Valentine’s Day, coming right up! It’s a special day to offer love and affection. And, it’s a gentle reminder that every day offers endless opportunities to share loving feelings and to embrace a giving and positive mindset.
Helen Keller observed that loving kindness was an “inside job”: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” So, what makes your heart sing? I have a few ideas, one for each day of our shortest month. Add you own and flourish:
28. Share your joy. Is there a hobby you (re)discovered during these pandemic years? Join an online community or local group devoted to this topic. Your skills and abilities can inspire many others.
27. Be enthusiastic. A college bound student may be receiving acceptance letters this month. Cheers to them! Or, take an extra step and find a high schooler who will attend your alma mater and offer hearty congratulations.
26. Create a handmade card or send a handwritten note to a friend. This little gift of creativity and time is a quiet way of showing how much you care.
25. But, it’s the thought that counts: E-cards also are a welcome addition to anyone’s inbox.
24. Give a sincere compliment. Genuine praise often is unexpected yet always appreciated. It often starts a wonderful ripple effect.
23. Do you have a favorite book? Why not pass it along to another? Or suggest it to, or start, a book club.
22. Do you have a favorite meal? Enjoy sharing the recipe, or better yet, an extra serving (or both) with a solitary neighbor.
21. Hug someone in your household. Right this minute!
20. Remember a moment from your childhood which made you happier beyond measure. Share this recollection with another and ask them to share a similar tale with you.
19. Listen to someone who is having a difficult time. Because you heard them out, they know they are not alone.
18. Choose to feel peaceful. Reinforce this commitment throughout the day. Your sense of calm will express itself in your interactions with others, perhaps helping them in a moment of stress or struggle.
17. Random acts of kindness inject happy surprises into our lives. These can be simple gestures: for instance, paying for the order of another behind you in the drive through lane.
16. Call someone who would appreciate hearing from you.
15. Or, send a funny text to someone who needs a laugh. People never forget how you make them feel!
14. Treat yourself to something special. Loving yourself is an essential foundation to discovering and expressing the best of what humanity has to offer to our life in Naples, and, indeed, the world! 13. Forgive and release yourself from the past. Forgive others pave the way to a better future.
12. Put an end to a quarrel which may now seem senseless. And even if not…consider the benefits a clean slate may offer.
11. Let your eyes light up when someone you love walks into the room. If that hasn’t happened lately, make it so today!
10. One of my favorite pieces of advice is also a way of expressing love. “Give a soft answer.” My late mother also said, “You can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.”
9. Find the words to affirm another’s worth. Speak them! And, share these with that special person, and others, too.
8. Hold someone’s hand. Or give your pet an affectionate cuddle.
7. Support your favorite charity, even if a financial donation is not possible at this time. You can promote their mission by liking and sharing their online posts.
6. And do the same with a new favorite charity. Maybe a cause suggested to you by a friend. This could prompt a wonderful conversation and even a new cause to adopt as your own.
5. Take a walk in your neighborhood and make a conscious decision to notice things that make you smile.
4. And, give a warm greeting to neighbors you may see along the way.
3. Flowers are always a day brightener. Send a loved one a beautiful bouquet and support a local florist while so doing.
2. Make time. Be in the moment with your loved ones – young, old, and in between. This is a priceless and irreplaceable gift.
1. Express gratitude. Especially to those whose presence matters in your life. Not just on Valentine’s Day. Today and every day
Email Karen with your article ideas for Life in Naples (especially as to local charities and their activities): Napleskcc@gmail.com. Follow her on Instagram for more happy moments and scenes about Life in Naples: @naplesbythenumbers