Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
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Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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love

Renée Trudeau Renée Trudeau speaker. life balance coach. affection spiller.

Renée Peterson Trudeau is the author of the book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family. Thousands of women participate in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, the award-winning The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal. [www.ReneeTrudeau.com]

renee_trudeau_feature

Are we here to be productive or to give and receive love?

My mom died 13 years ago this weekend. A nurse and single mom, she died at age 60 from congestive heart failure as a result of a sudden, serious case of the flu. She left behind seven children ranging in age from 19 to 34.

A beautiful, artistic, sensitive, highly creative only child, she was plagued on and off for many years with clinical depression, a dark visitor that arrived after the birth of her second child.

And she was stingy with her love. I know she loved us and could be affectionate at times, but she doled out her love in small amounts—like precious squares of 70% organic dark chocolate. In retrospect, I realize it must have felt like a herculean task to try and outwardly lavish us with love when she had so little for herself.

Are you stingy with your love? I’ve noticed ways in which I can be. Like when I put “getting things done” over giving and receiving love. When I see fault before I acknowledge good. When I hear myself say, “I’ll give my son or husband my full attention as soon as I…(fill in the blank).” When I embrace someone I care for and then pull away a little too fast, already moving on to the next thing on my to-do list. Or when I see an inconvenient time or place when my love is being called forth—maybe at the grocery store, on the playground or in a business setting—and I sweep it aside, staying safe and playing it cool.

Routine, they say, lulls the brain to sleep. Most of us move through the day on auto-pilot—succumbing to our habitual ways of seeing and being. But I want to stay awake. I want to make sure that I’m not rationing my love, saving it for the right time or the right place or the right conditions.  I want to keep nurturing and practicing loving kindness towards myself every single day-so that I not only have enough love to fill my well, but it overflows and spills out into my family, my home, the streets of my neighborhood, my city and beyond.

All the great philosophers and spiritual teachers say love is the most powerful force on our planet. But doesn’t its power only grow when we learn to freely and generously share it as often as we possibly can?

– Renée Trudeau

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