As I sat and thought about the word to focus on this month, it didn’t take long to see that LOVE is in the air. When you think about love, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The one word that always comes to my mind is family. I am so proud to be the mother of three amazing children. Each one is unique and holds a special place in my heart. 

My daughter, Alexandra, recently traveled with me to the Bahamas for my first international speech. It was so fun to have her with me and spend some quality time together. When we were there, she was trying to find gifts to take back home to her two children. Every time we would walk past a store, she would make a comment about buying a shirt or a stuffed animal. The morning I was scheduled to speak, Alex walked along the beach collecting seashells for her son. She was so excited to tell me about it, so the next morning we went back down to the beach together to collect more shells. When she got home, her son was so excited to receive the seashells and played with them all day.  

This is the true value of love. Children will remember being loved when you show them love. The littlest gesture can mean the world to them. Alex will always remember walking on the beach collecting those seashells for her son, and every time she sees him playing with those shells, memories of the beach will come back to her. She could have bought him a shirt or a toy, but what memory would that have created? Love isn’t about money and buying the best gifts. It’s about how you make someone feel.

I also had the opportunity to speak in Scottsdale Arizona this month and one of my best friends came to my speech. Love is about being proud of your circle of friends and the love that surrounds you. We all have a circle of people who support us and lift us up and those are the people who we need to keep close to our hearts.

Self-love is also very important. In 2008, I realized I was not happy. I also realized I was the only person who could change how I felt. I made a commitment to change my eating and exercise habits and I drastically started to feel better both mentally and physically. If you love yourself on the inside, it will show on the outside and you will also share that love with those around you.

I encourage you to love deeply and truly. Share that love with those around you. Give someone a smile or a compliment, because you never know when that small gesture can be the highlight of their day or the turning point of their life. 

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