We feel prosperous when we experience love and when we love others. Feeling love is different from feeling happy. Happy comes and goes. Love can stay as long as you welcome it regardless of circumstances. The love I am referring to is not romantic love. This is simpler and more accessible than tackling the complexities of finding and maintaining an intimate relationship.

With practice, we can create the feeling of love whenever we choose. When we are conscious and aware of the fullness of an experience in the present, we feel a shift in our physical and emotional state.

Simple love is felt as caring, kindness, connection, appreciation of beauty, witnessing the miracles of nature, and more. It involves all of our senses. Memories can be collected, recalled and re-experienced when we need them.

Here are some simple steps to increase the love in our lives and expand on what we already have: 

Be Present:

Regularly take 10 minutes to completely relax your body. Shake off the tension, loosen any tightness you feel, slow your breathing and your thoughts. Allow yourself to visualize and/or experience the loving energy that exists in your life. This includes nature, music, children, any memories of beauty, or simply nice people you encounter.

Use all of your senses to bring that feeling into awareness - sights, smells, sounds, textures and tastes. (A few of my examples would be springtime green, the scent of roses, a child singing , the cocoon of my own bed, coffee in the morning, a view of the ocean years ago in Bermuda).

Bring into your mind and your heart a special memory of love, a memory of being comforted in a time of need, the moment when you clicked with a new friend, a moment of knowing you have made a difference for someone else and that you matter. Hold these visions and memories in your heart and mind and reflect on them throughout your day. Use them to replace a worry or an upsetting thought.

Concentrate on the best moments of each day:
Create and hold on to good experiences. Write them down; repeat them in stories to those with whom you interact. Create good moments by pausing and giving your attention to beauty. If you are driving, pull over to take a picture or just pause to let it in the view.

Connect with people you encounter:
Whether through eye contact, smiles, touch and light conversation - connection can make a huge difference in your day. Share a bit of who you are (with limits) and ask for what you need. Throughout your daily routines, give love to others. Give the benefit of the doubt when you don't understand the choices of others.

Listen:
Pay full attention, put aside your agenda and see and hear what is around you. Remember to keep "people first" as your policy. Things become less important when you are collecting moments of love.

Keep Gratitude lists:
Keep a record of what you love about those closest to you. Be specific. If you are employed, list what you love about your job, your work place, the people you work with etc. If you do not hold a paid position, focus on the tasks of the day and what you appreciate and enjoy. Ignore what bothers you unless you can take action to change it. The law of attraction brings more of what you dwell on.

Pay it Forward:
When you feel poor, give something away to another in need. Be generous with your attention and care. Focus at the same time on self care and generosity toward yourself. Generosity toward yourself means acting as your own loving friend. Don't confuse this with self indulgence, which is usually self- destructive as it involves taking an impulsive action to sooth a bad feeling with something that is not good for you in the long run.

Say Yes as much as possible unless your self care requires that you say No
:
Saying yes to life creates possibility and potential. Say yes to new experiences, friendships, fun, or trying something you always wanted to do. Live each day as if you have no fear. Simplifying your life by clearing out material things you don't need can make room for more of what you do want.

Read daily meditations with regularity:
Find books that speak to you and keep them with you. Take them to work and use them to ground yourself when you feel stressed. Post positive, loving quotes around you to keep you on task.

Use Abundance Journals:
When you want something wonderful to happen, but have doubts about your ability to attract it, write down your aim and then write in a special journal everything that happens each day toward that end. Examples would be: phone calls you receive that relate to your dream, any evidence that the world is a loving place, ideas you have, a check in the mail that was unexpected, meeting a new friend who has a random suggestion for you, any encouraging words you hear. Read your journal over and over when you are discouraged or just need a re-charge.

Maintain Basic Self Care:
Sleep, Eat, Exercise. Live within your physical limitations. Your body will cooperate when you listen to it. Love your body and thank it for being such a great vehicle for your spirit. Laugh and play.

Listen to your spirit:
Check in and ask "How am I right now?"; " What do I need that I don't have right now?" ; "What am I feeling?" ; "What is keeping me from my joy today?"

Ann Smith is the Executive Director of Breakthrough at Caron. Connect with her on Twitter @CaronBT or Facebook at Healthy Connections.

About the Author

Ann Smith

Ann Smith is the author of the books Grandchildren of Alcoholics and Overcoming Perfectionism.

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