Let it all go…

stop-fighting-the-battle-petite-wordsI felt inspired to write this post after seeing some true words of wisdom from the very lovely lady MAMA LINA…. she simply said:

“S T O P  F I G H T I N G  T H E  B A T T L E ”

and we’ve all felt it… that great pull down downwards, that knot in our stomachs, that just builds and builds until it is towering above us… and then knocks us flat. The fact is we’ve all made life exceptionally stressful for ourselves.  We’ve made bad choice and we’ve put ourselves in places we don’t want to be. Truth be told we’ve caved into pressure and it makes our lives dam right miserable.

And we needn’t have caved in, we didn’t need to pile all that stress on ourselves, we didn’t need to do that, see that, take this, have those….it was all an illusion and we need to go back to basics.

Reading those 4 little words was the answer to my prayers that day…. I needed to see those words… because these last 3 years I’ve made the transition to a more natural, more simple kind of living, with much less pressure and much more time for self-development. But why did I stop fighting the battle? Well, at one point a few years ago I was slipping down DOWN D O W N  for no other reason than my outlook was just totally wrong. I was trying too hard, pushing in the wrong direction and looking in all the wrong places, for all the wrong things. From the outside things looked good but my heart, my soul were totally in pieces. I was egotistical, vain, foolish, and fighting with myself.  I wanted to have big things and make grand plans for the future, I wasn;t a bad person but I just wanted things that can and should not be wanted, I wanted financial security, I wanted success…but these things are not obtanable, no amount of money will even insure happiness, no amount of houses or investments will eveer insure a peaceful future, no amount of career sucsefful will ever insure a happy ending.

Infact often these are the true roots of the problem because we get blinded by these things, because they are so appealing and sparkly, these are the things we are told to devote our life to, to put all our time and efort into….. can’t have a family until I have a house, can’t take my head up from the desk until I finish this work, can’t go out because I have to work overtime, can’t go expoloreing got to stay in educaiton…. what is really the driving force? I we driving? Or are we beaing driven…. STOP FIGHTING THE BATTLE…..

And if you stop fighting, struggling and pushing and just….

“L E T  I T  A L L  G O”

…you’ll see how happy you can really be…..I don’t have more stuff, more money or more success than a few years ago, instead I’ve spent time investing in M Y S E L F because what’s more important that that?! Now have a fresh perspective and this invigorating feeling inside, the best feeling I’ve ever felt, the feeling of peace, of freedom and contentment…. because when you truly let go….. that’s when the good stuff floods in.

 

How The Queen Of Sugar Kicked Her Habit!

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This is a post I never thought I’d write.

But the truth is SUGAR is bad. Yes I said it, it’s bad,  SO very bad. And what’s worst is that we look at sugar as an old friend, someone who can comfort us, someone who is always there to make us feel happy. After all sugar will never stand us up, sugar never argues back, and sugar will always taste sweet. But what’s that old saying….

“…for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

Yes yes he does and the worst thing of all… you don’t even know it’s there and without realising it you and your family are probably well exceeding your sugar limit (6 tsps women, 9 tsps men).

Let me just blow you mind for a second… think about those 2 sugars in your morning coffee, think about that big dollop of sweet chilli sauce at lunch, think about that sneaky chocolate bar before dinner, think about that can of coke to keep you going. How much sugar, add it up, what do you reckon? Well for a start that can of coke contains over 9 tsps of sugar. That little bar of Dairy milk has 6.25 tbsps,  you get the picture.

And that’s only the things we KNOW are bad… what about all the other little things. When you start checking ingredients, it’s literally MIND BLOWING!

Ok, now onto the factsheet… because no doubt you need hard proof iF you’re gonna give up your best bud sugar… so here we go, why is sugar bad:

It makes us fat…. and yes, in the words of Bridget Jones,  I will always be just a little bit fat, but I’m talking about ‘obesity’ and THAT is dangerous.

It causes heart disease….sugar literally helps to damage the lining of your blood vessels, what a bastard!

Sugar has a way of suppressing your immune system…WHAT! It’s literally trying to kill you!

Sugar has an empty soul meaning it literally gives your body NOTHING.  Sugar also enjoys taking away valuable stuff such as zinc, magnesium, potassium and chromium, all the good stuff we have!

Bad bacteria LOVES sugar so it really is your guts worst energy… think yeast infections, autoimmune disorders, arthritis to name but a few.

Type 2 diabetes… yeah yeah we know the drill…but did you know that it can lead to cancer, coronary heart disease and strokes.

Sugar is ADDICTIVE. Meaning it makes you want it, even when you don’t REALLY want it and definitely don’t need it.

So now we can all see sugar for the devil it is… let’s see how we can move on with our lives and be the healthy goddesses we all know we are.

HOW I DELETED SUGAR FROM MY LIFE:

  • Smoothies: They are literally like the ‘get out of jail free’ card for kicking cravings and keeping your appetite satisfied. There’s a million different kinds, find what you love and get blending!
  • Bananas: Like them or not they offer a great energy and sugar fix. They are also amazing in smoothies, especially protein smoothies…My fav is unsweetened almond milk,  bananas,  cacao powder and organic peanut butter, that’s how I usually start the day.
  • Labels: this is the best way to check your sugar intake, because companies love to sneak sugar in wherever they can! After all… it’s addict, which means you’ll keep coming back for their products! Peanut butter, sauces, milk alternatives, cereal bars, sugar loves to hide in supposedly healthy places.
  • Fruit: pineapple, grapes, mango those super sweety fruits really give you the boost you need. If my family or friends are tucking into treats I have my own stash of fruit and cheese at the ready!
  • Drink green tea: for those who are wanting to loose weight in addition to cutting sugar, green tea is a wonderful way to reduce cravings and for many people it helps to loose weight.
  • Diary: Eating a little more diary really helped me, cheese and fruit are a really satisfying thing and also butter on toast, it stoped me wanting cake!
  • Visualisation: this was really good for me… visualising chocolate, cakes and sweets in a VERY negative way stops you wanting them! I imagined them making me feel sick, hurting my teeth and picturing all that oiling, sugary crap that they are made of.  It’s a good idea to check the indigents in your favourite ‘bad’ foods but beware it REALLY puts you off them!
  • Eat more: you’ll feel more hungry so always make sure you have nice snacks (nuts, cheese, fruits, smoothies, sandwich, shakes, sugar free cakes) eating little and often is the best way.

Finally I must tell you after a few weeks with 0 added sugar (not even honey, agave syrup etc) I felt pretty amazing.

My brain felt clearer, my skin was gooood, a cavity that was hurting before just stopped and in general I felt less mood swings and less tired! So a pretty big payoff for quitting sugar.

I’m going to do a month and then I’ll probably add agave syrup again, as the only thing I’m really missing is pancakes with bacon and agave nectar!

Have you given added sugar the boot, I would LOVE to hear your story!

NOTE: When I say SUGAR I’m talking specifically about added sugar. Sugar that has been added in during the making process I AM NOT TAKING ABOUT NATURALLY OCCURRING SUGAR. Fruit has natural sugar and is amazing, so don’t think of them in the same light.

SOULFUL May

petite-words-instagram-mayMay was a pretty special month, I didn’t have anything planned, nothing in particular went down but it was an amazing month of calm clarity.

Several things happened: I got outside a lot, taking in the gorgeous street art of Bristol (sometimes I forget how cool this city is!). I laid on the grass reading in the sunshine (good to top up the vitamin c) and I got busy making stuff, from trying out news paints to experimenting with smoothie recipes, getting my hands dirty ALWAYS gives my soul a good stretch!

I also cut myself a mini fringe which I never imagined would look good, but it did and I wouldn’t be without it now. I’ve also taken a step back from work, creating things as they come and generally going at a slower pace… because I’m always in such a beehive rush to push projects out and I can make myself crazed in the process. So taking time this month to invest in my mental and physical wellbeing has worked wonders.

This month I’ve also said good riddance to sugar and I’m not sure if my new found calmness has anything to do with that… we will see!

I hope you’ve have a magical May too!? Are we following each other on Instagram? Come and find me …..

Finally, each month I’m going to add a mantra in the name of self growth and all that stuff! So here goes….May’s Mantra :

Slow down, kick back,  breathe and take in the scenery because the ‘stuff’ will still be there when the sun goes down.

 

Petite Posters Are Here! Limited Edition.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 18.35.48Inspiration.

We need it. We need it everyday! We need it in our homes, we need it in our offices, we really just need to have something lovely and motivational to kick start our day, for when we’re doing the dishes or putting the little ones to bed. It’s not a luxury,  it’s essential!

So I’m very excited to share with you my new Petite Prints! They’re  small, so they can fit in anywhere and they aim to give you that essential  boost of inspiration that everybody must have.

Petite Prints are for a limited time only and at a very special price of £8.99. Come and have a nosy in my Etsy shop and grab your own little slice of inspiration!

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My Fav REAL PEOPLE instagrammers

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Instagram is a place of inspiration, well sometimes, well actually no…sometimes it just makes us feel inadequate, messy and like we really don’t have our shit together! And yo can read more about that here: Instagram: Inspiring Or Just Making Us Feel Like Shit!

BUT fear not….I have found the gems, the great super woman that are keeping it real and far from making us feel crappy with their sparkly faces and not so messy buns, they are inspiring up with REAL life ! These are my Fav REAL People Instagrammers.

gypsynspice: This new mama is truly WOW, her openness about life has made me cry on more than one occasion because she asks the question’s we’re sometimes too shy to ask and she does so half naked, feeding her baby in a flower tiara, what a goddess!

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KRISTINROGERS: This homeschooling mama is keeping it real. I loved her videos where she was showed people around her house, highlighting just how dirty it really is and how pictures can totally hide that. 100 points for honesty! A star!

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omgkenzieeeSo much respect for this lady, she really puts herself out there. Love your rolls, embrace your stretch marks, she shows us that beauty is not plastic, beauty comes from being REAL.

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GEMMA_MARIN: I’m a big fan of this Spanish mama living in L.A. Famous for her bump dancing, she really has an incredible energy! she shares her story in a very natural and warm way, she even uploaded her birth video to insta which unfortunately got pulled down due to her being a bit naked. It is such a powerful video that really shows how natural and instinctive birth can be.

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WILLITLOOKGOODONMETHO : These 2 gals are amazatron! They try out the new makeup and fashion trends to see what is looks like on a real person!  Because lets be honest does blue lipstick really work for anyone? And what an amazing job they’re doing.

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BADDIEWINKLE :This 88 year old superstar is a true asset to instagram! Legendary for her pink, fluffy lycra style, she is a rainbow bubble of inspiration!

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bodyposipanda: This shining star is all about promoting positive body image. I love the unglossed pictures of beauty and how she empowers woman  all over the world.. This is a message we really need to embrace!

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PINKSCHARMING: This British mama has her fair share of pretty pictures, but she also inspires me with her little real life snippets: her daughters misshapen gingerbread people, inspiring notes on life or Organic makeup that really works. A lovely feed (:

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JULIABERNHARDCOMICS: For when only cynicism will do! This hilarious illustrator, based in Germany always makes me laugh out loud with her bitter-sweet observations on life! This is one of my absolute fav pics.

AND DON’T FORGET TO FIND ME PETITE I’M ALWAYS KEEPING IT REAL TOO!

I hope you get some well deserve insta-ration. Am please let me know your most inspiring instagrammers! I absolutely can’t wait to know. And if they inspire me too, I’d love to add them to the list!

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Time Is OURS… let’s take it back!

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Jolly Cake time picture aside the other day was far from a cake walk….I just cried, I cried because time tick tocked by and seemed to just  laugh in my face at all the plans I had… “As if you have time to do that all!” cackled Time. And so I cried a bit more.

Has that ever happened to you? What a silly question, I’m almost certain it has, and if you’re very unlucky it may happen on a daily basis!

Because you know what… our current system IS flawed, but have you ever stopped to think just how bad it is and how much it’s effecting YOUR life?

Look at an average persons week: working 40 hours (the U.K average)  adding on a commute, 54 minutes each way (the U.K average) plus getting ready in the mornings, that’s over 55 hours spent being the WORKER YOU! Not being YOU because YOU are not your job, but being a YOU that’s doing a certain role, for a certain company that you may or may not loathe.

And I guess the rest of the time you’re sleeping? Well, that is, unless you have a child or a life, a family, a husband, friends, where do they all fit in?

And what if your trying to better yourself, you’re writing a book, maybe your a blogger, perhaps you’re trying to set up a company, you’re moving house, you’re pregnant. Or what if times are hard, you’re suffering from depression, you’re  going through a divorce, someone in your family is terminally ill, you’re having to take another part time job. These are things that real people are going through every day.

You can quickly see just how easy it is to become a shell….. a ghost of a person, someone who goes through the motions of life, having no time to really relish any of life’s happiness. Wow, do I sound bitter, but I’m not, not anymore…

Yes, I’ve done 12 hours days and silly commute times and I’ve felt sheer momentous exhaustion before, one where you don’t know whether to eat, sleep or shower first. And you know what, I could never EVER do it again. Even for a million pounds and I mean that.

Because I had NO time, NO energy left to be me, Charlotte…. just to sit down and chat with my partner, to go for a coffee with their parents, no time for my writing, no time for watching anime, no time for drawing, no time for eBay shopping and reading articles… I don’t like ‘no time’ for that stuff. Time in mine! And re-connecting with people, and yourself takes time.

So now, I feel exceptionally lucky to work from home and work for myself, because demanding and stressful as it can be, it is totally mine, my schedule is my own. And there’s something really special about that.

So this post for everyone who hates their job, who sighs and almost cries when their alarm goes off, who can’t even find time to read a book or do their 15 mins yoga workout,  who feels sick to their stomach every Sunday night.

To you I say….Time is yours…. let’s take back time. Money is money, a job IS a job, but ultimately we make the choice, we shape our own lives and sometimes we forget that. Even if it seems like you have no choice and find yourself saying “Well, it’s all right for them…” STOP. Think…. why are you really doing what you’re doing and is it really worth it?

Is the world going to crumble if you don’t bake a cake for the school’s cake sale, will it be armageddon if you don’t clean the house for one more day, and well all hell break loose if you don’t attend Annalouise’ birthday party? No? Didn’t think so.

YOU deserve happiness, not just at weekends, but everyday and to be happy in your job, in the life you lead.

And because there really IS nothing more important in life than happiness and healthiness and if your lacking in either of these then something has GOT to change.

Wishing you health and happiness always!

Petite

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Instagram…Inspiring or just making us feel shit!

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I love using instagram, I like the idea of snapping away,  little rainbow fragments of my life. I love sharing snippets of thought and interacting with my fellow insta-sistas.

But ….

The other day I was flicking through Instagram as you do, touting for new inspiring peeps to follow, searching for vibrant bursts of wonder to zest up my imagination…. AND suddenly I was knocked down by a sudden wave of rubbishness… I felt blemished,  I felt scruffy,  like an ugly little ragamuffin in comparison to what I was seeing…all those shiny, sparkling people on Instagram.

Thankfully it only lasted a few moments, until my brain kicked back in and I remembered, THIS IS INSTAGRAM not the real world.

However, it did make me worry, what about all those people who CAN’T see through the filters, the young, very impressionable people who believe perfect DOES exist and who spend their entire lives striving for it. Then instagram becomes not a thing of inspiration but of segregation… the Sparkly Perfect People Vs the Real People.

And so I wrote this post…. because I can only take so much of THAT woman, we all know the one… the one with the perfect messy bun (there’s an oxymoron for you) with her little model baby that never gets chocolatey cheeks or sticky hands. The one with the house that looks like a Pintrest board and the vintage designer wardrobe. The one with the hipster husband and his glossy beard, who wears limited edition ran bans you’ve only seen in vogue. That woman who drinks fancy gin you’ve never even heard of and eats vegan white strawberries for breakfast. They’re so cool, with their cryptic tattoos that you can’t even decipher.

Buts guess what…. I don’t follow THAT woman….because she doesn’t inspire me. In fact she makes fell like shit. Which I am absolutely not and neither are you.

So from now on I only look for ‘Healthy’ inspiration. That is the kind of inspiration I can fly with, the kind of inspiration that stirs a sense of wonder and fascination.

Because yes our lives are sometimes messy, even with a filter on.  So why should Instagram not be? How can we only enjoy perfect pictures, why should it be exclusively for pretty things, surely we’re missing the point. Instagram should be a platform to inspire each other with our messed up, weird and wonderful lives.  And say hey this is me, it’s a mess, sometimes I’m sad, but this is my slice of earth and this is how I roll.

And those are my favourite instagram accounts. The ones I can believe. The ones that share the painful times, the cock ups as well as the sweet times. The ones that can laugh at themselves! Because it’s those nuggets of human emotion that we’re all looking for because we’re really just looking for the story, the soul that’s brings a picture to life. Because without the story we’re just flicking through a mindless catalogue of ‘pretty’ pictures and that’s just not the inspiration we deserve.

Are you an Instagramer? Let me know! I’m over at Petite.words hope we can spread the inspiration love!

P.S I’d really like do a feature list of the not so well know instagrammers, the newbies that really do inspire, if you have any favs drop me a line below!

I have OCD. And you?

OCD-mental-health-petite-wordsWhen you think of OCD you probably think of the continuous washing of hands or of someone turning the light switch on and off 100 times. But is that it? Is that really OCD? Nope. It’s part of it, for some people, but like all mental problems,  OCD comes in many shapes and sizes.

I have OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. I was born with it. And I will always have it, because OCD never leaves you. And if you let it, it will eat you up. It will make you feel isolated, hopeless and like the most dreadful person in the world, which of course you are not.

OCD is a clamp on your mind, it twists your thoughts and memories and can play them on repeat until you’re literally about to explode, anxious, torturous, THAT is OCD.

It started when I was a child, I remember having to tell my mum EVERYTHING, that was the first compulsion, THE TRUTH. I’m a compulsive truth teller, which most people actually admire, until I tell them something a bit too honest and  then suddenly friends vanish in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I think you need to know, because it’s my belief that there’s a of lot of us out there and a lot of people too scared to admit it.

But WHY?

Even today, where the gates of mental health are pretty open, there’s still such a cloud of uncertainly, too many questions unanswered. So as soon as you mention ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ you get thrown into a box marked ‘risky’ because  the brain is a funny old thing, it’s unpredictable and most people don’t like unpredictable. And here lies the big problem….. Of course we don’t want to admit we function differently from other person,  because god forbid we are actually different.

But I wonder… if we really got down to it, how many of us would have a mental health problem, at least at some point in our lives. I can’t talk for all mental health issues but I can give a little voice to OCD.

So here’s what you should know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

You should know your child could have (it often starts at birth)

You should know it will never completely go away but it can be tamed

You should know that drugs (antidepressants etc) are not the answer

You should know it’s not just about ritualistic actions but also repetitive thoughts

You should know it’s really hard for people to admit they have OCD because explaining how they feel seems like the hardest thing in the world

You should know  going to therapy doesn’t help most people

You should know OCD is irrational, you cannot rationalise it

You should know about CBT, a great technique to deal with OCD

You should know Mindfulness and learning to live in more spiritual way is really helpful for calming OCD

You should know OCD has a good side, people with OCD are often more dedicated, motivated and push themselves until he job is done

I believe I was given OCD for a reason. I believe I can control it and I believe I can harness it for the better. If I wasn’t OCD I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be so ambitious, so pushy, so driven and I’m certain I wouldn’t see the world as I do.

I now understand that OCD is a part of me and by rejecting it I just made things worst. The hardest lesson in life is learning not to hide from ourselves, we have to embrace our demons and we have to remember there is no light without dark.

P.S  A  person who just washes there hands lots probably doesn’t have OCD. We call these people ‘hygienic’. This is something we need to think about because throwing labels around like they’re the cool new adjective can be really damaging. Ditto with ‘depressed’ you bf didn’t text back and you’ve finished the Ben and Jerry’s boo hoo, that’s not depression.

Mama.

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Mama and me have this thing, we have this thing where we can communicate without words, it’s not telepathy, it’s just what we do.

Because when we’re together we can think as one. So even though our minds are so very different, we really are the definition of chalk and cheese,  I feel her thoughts and I know she feels mine too.

Mama and I are one of the same and no matter how grown up I become, the fact will always remain, I was made from her.

I am hers and she is mine.

And there is something unequivocally wondrous about that.

Because being a mum is extraordinary.  Yes it may happen every day, it may be as common as taking a breath, mother’s are everywhere. But that bond between mother and child is really something to be in awe of.

And yet… how often do we stop to soak it all up, to sit quietly and drink it all in.

Today I am doing just that, for today is Mother’s Day. We are both sitting here, counting the zillion wonderful blessings we share. We’re here just having laughs and eating cake and loving it all, because there’s nothing quite so perfect as my mama.

Mama,  I will always be with you and near you, no matter how time and space separates us. We will always be US. And US is something so special, so treasured that it laughs in the face of disaster, it stands firm against disease and not even death can make a mark, for too much love has been shared and too much happiness has been granted. So US is impenetrable, US is forever. There will always be US mama.

Happy Mama’s day.

 

What IS LOVE?

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It’s an odd question isn’t it… What IS love? I often wonder about it, I bet you’re thinking , WOW here’s a lady with way to much time on her hands, but no, I just think it’s a question that deserves a thought and it IS almost Valentine’s Day!

LOVE: some say there are different types of love; the love of husband, love of a mother, a father, love of a friend, sibling love, to me it’s always been ONE love, like Sir Bobby Marley preached. And that’s how I knew, when I met my husband, that’s how I knew I loved him. He felt like my family, almost instantly,  like I’d always known him, he was the missing piece of my Petite jigsaw.

So we all know LOVE is amazing, but do we ever really stop to ponder the true ‘power of love’, yes I know it’s pure cheddar cheese, but do stay with me…

I believe we don’t think about LOVE enough, we talk about it enough, but never really stop to give LOVE  enough credit.

I get it, life is busy, we get comfortable, sometimes we take love for granted (naughty naughty!) but I can’t help thinking that us humans have complicated life way too much. I mean ‘All you need is love’….. and if the Beatles said it then it’s probably something we should take pretty seriously.

And whilst some people question, what about health, what about money, love won’t pay the bills and love doesn’t cure diseases. But… doesn’t it?

I mean, that do you think?

Here’s what I think about LOVE… incase you wanted to know:

I think far from blinding us LOVE actually gives us clarity, to view with magic eyes the true beauty and purpose of life.

LOVE unravels all problems, even if it takes a long time, it does.

LOVE moves us to the places we need to be.

LOVE is the biggest reality check, EVER.

LOVE makes even the grey days shine. Even when all hope is lost,  love has a way of soothing pain and calming reality.

LOVE teaches us the lessons that nothing or no one else can.

LOVE nurtures us without judgment and truly cares, unconditionally.

LOVE guides us to make better choices.

LOVE inspires us deep down to our roots.

LOVE shows us perfection isn’t real and that life and people are imperfect by nature.

LOVE teaches us that death is a fragment in time, but LOVE will be forever.

LOVE heals our wounds, no matter how deep they are.

LOVE gives us the space and confidence to grow into the person we are meant to be.

LOVE puts us back in tune with nature.

LOVE gives us unnerving strength to hold us up in the darkest of times.

LOVE makes us fight, for what is  good in the world.

LOVE brings out the best in our hearts and brings our souls back to life.

That’s what I think…. but look at me babble on like a love sick pony, let’s end this gooey eyed post before we both turn to mush.  Wishing you all a very happy day of love, today and always. One LOVE people, one love.