Hello. Sending hugs. I hope you are doing okay, my friend.
As I’m writing this to you, we’re receiving heartbreaking news from Ukraine. I hesitated about whether to send this out.
In a world full of bombs and killings, how can we even think about anything else? How can we consider celebration?
After much thought, I came to the same conclusion I always do, which is that in the face of violence, grief, and hatred, LOVE can be medicine.
LOVE can make us generous. LOVE can fortify us so we can be there for others. LOVE can give us strength to take right action, whatever that looks like for each of us.
When heartbreaking things are happening in the world, they can be a reminder to us to live our love out loud even more.
I really believe that if we allow ourselves to feel love, appreciation, and celebration — no matter what — we remind ourselves of our humanity and we can find the strength to support our worldwide community in previously unexpected or unseen ways.
LOVE can open us to new frontiers of generosity. Let’s go there, together.
The world needs us.
In light of that, today I want you meet someone in our community who is always bringing love, laughter, and color to the world. Her name is Deanna Bowers.
Deanna is pictured up above and you can see what I mean by color, right?!
I originally met Deanna through an online group of people called “Fluezies” who love a brand of shoes called Fluevogs. (“Unique soles for unique souls.”)
While it may sound somewhat frivolous and shallow to love shoes, my experience of Fluezies, is that they are creative, art-loving, courageous, heart-centered people who want to bring more joy into the world.
Over and over again, I’ve watched members of this community launch loving initiatives in the world to help people are who grieving or ill. I’ve watched them support humanity from a place of compassion and care. I’ve watched them bring joy when it is darkest.
Our Celebration Superstar, Deanna, represents all of those things 👆 — and more. She’s like a beautiful red poppy growing from a tiny crack in blocks of gray cement.
I could honor Deanna simply for the celebration she brings to life through her whimsical and artsy clothes. She wears joy so well! She lifts people’s spirits every day by being a walking rainbow.
However, what you need to know about her is that she is a teacher who cares deeply about her students, she is a friend who loves way beyond the norm, and she is someone whose heart is always open and generous.
Deanna brings to life one of the aspects of “Say it Now,” that I treasure the most: she sees so much goodness and beauty in people and she is courageous enough to tell them so. She uses her creativity to express her love.
And she often writes me to tell me about it!
Here are some Deanna-inspired celebrations — just a few of countless ones she creates:
- She and the students in her class painted a happy “Thank You” poster to the custodian at the school to let him know how much he mattered and was appreciated.
- She surprised her husband with dinner at one of the restaurants they frequented during their courtship and she gave him a Love List stack of Polaroid Photos with loving thoughts and memories written on each one.
- She painted a spirited and colorful portrait of a friend as a surprise in order to help her friend see herself as beautifully as others see her. (It is pictured on page 91 of my book, Say It Now!)
- She also painted a watercolor for her mom. She shared it with me. And she also told me, “I couldn’t get to the post office until after school was out. I cried because I knew my gift was going to be late for mom’s birthday. So, I wrote a Love List on the envelope to let her know how much I care.”
- She inspired one of her students to create a 52-item Love List on a deck of playing cards.
(Scroll down to see a few photos that Deanna has sent me over time!)
Bravo, Deanna! What a Celebration Superstar, right?
Please join me today in celebrating Deanna.
I hope her story might inspire YOU in some brand new way this week.
Listen, this pandemic has weighed us all down with so much grief, illness, and discouragement. Everything happening in Ukraine is terrifying and heartbreaking. Every day we hear new stories of grief, violence, and tragedy.
Our world needs us to be loving medicine. Every day.
YOU can be the one to lift others up.
YOU can be the one to bring tiny moments of joy.
Will you consider some ways you might love out loud or wear your joy the way Deanna does?
The more we lift our own spirits and create energy, the more we have to give to people around the world who are suffering.
Please notice what wants to come through you. Notice the little nudges you get. Follow them. Trust them.
Look for the sparkles and tiny pinpricks of light. They will lead you to that experience of generosity and compassion.
I love you and am cheering you on, always.
Thanks for who you are.
Your LOVE matters.
Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,
P.S. Below are a few photos that Deanna has shared with me and given me permission to share with YOU!