Readers share how they bring the spirit of love into their life and the lives of others. Add your thoughts to the Comments area below.
A daily yoga practice has introduced such powerful, positive changes to my life. I began practicing with yogatoday.com after reading about it in Body+Soul, and I've been hooked ever since. Having left the religion that shaped my early years, I felt alienated from houses of worship. At the same time, I sensed a lack of spirituality in my life. My daily yoga practice has helped me realize that my spirituality doesn't need to be tied to religion. Now I focus on the inner journey.
--Skye Cornell, Milford, Connecticut
I used to be go-go-go, committing to too many projects and social events. Then I got pregnant and learned at 20 weeks that our son had a serious heart defect -- one that would require three open-heart surgeries. Suddenly, I was a stay-at-home mom, spending every hour with this amazing, little creature. Recognizing that our time together might be limited and wanting my son to enjoy every moment, my priorities changed. Thankfully, he's growing and developing like any other toddler, and I'm growing right along with him -- learning to take it slow, stop more often to play, and appreciate this moment, right now.
--Erika Lanier, Boston, Massachusetts
Rather than see everything in a negative light, I've started to view the world as full of possibilities. What if I can create my reality? This wondering has helped me listen to my desire to write a novel. I can't predict the outcome, but just attempting to write has been a breakthrough for me. I realize that the only limitations I have are the ones I put on myself.
--Vanessa Drewlo, Gilbert, Arizona
I always assumed that I'd wake up one morning and be thin, satisfied, and confident. But hearing my father voice regrets before he passed away made me recognize that it's up to me to take charge and make my life happen. So I completed training as a life coach, and I think I'm on the right track. I still work at my full-time job, but my goal (and it's exciting to actually have a goal) is to be my own boss and run a coaching business. It's never too late to make positive changes. Who knows where they'll lead?
--Cathy Colangelo, Weatherly, Pennsylvania
The most positive change I've made during the past year has been putting my environmental consciousness on autopilot. I joined a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group last summer and now pick up fresh, organic produce once a week in our neighborhood. I signed up to receive eco-living tips from idealbite.com via email every weekday, and I renewed my subscription to Body+Soul. All of these things keep me grounded and help me stay on course in the struggle to live by my values on a daily basis.
--Kristen O'Donnell, Brooklyn, New York
I always thought that happiness would come from pursuing my interests, but I never followed through until last year. Working from a list of 10 personal resolutions, I went back to school, started an interior design business, and cultivated new friendships. And after a period of not speaking to one another, my mother and I are part of each other's lives again. I made the decision to be my own positive influence, and the results have been astonishing.
--Terri Dudash, Huntersville, North Carolina