Our very first Share the Love event was a huge success! This spirited crew hit up the local neighborhood (and unassuming people along the path) with little love notes, chocolates, high fives & hugs. While I am blown away by how fun this event was for all of us, here are a few of my lessons learned.
5 Lessons Learned from Leading my 1st Valentine's Day Walk
#5 Guarded Hearts: People LOVE to give & are REALLY not so good at receiving. Now we gave out tons of chocolates & handwritten notes to some very appreciative recipients, but I was actually surprised by how many people were guarded. My assumption is that we rarely greet each other anymore unless we are trying to "sell" something. This is the main reason I didn't take a ton of photos. I wanted to keep each engagement as authentic as possible.
Next Year: remember to have a big sign that says "Don't be afraid, we are just Sharing the Love. Join us."
#4 Invitation: I was blown away with how many new walkers came to our weekly walk with a spin! They embraced my crazy ideas and seemed like they even enjoyed it. A simple invitation to move alongside an idea that was bigger than ourselves.
Next Year: a little more guidance on having these awesome volunteers take on a specific task that speaks to them, a creative way they want to Share the Love.
#3 Kids are a must: If we all LOVED each other the same way these little girls ran up to strangers to deliver chocolate this world might feel a little more connected & a lot more loved. There is a palpable energy that comes from these sweet charismatic cuties.
Next Year: Kids are awesome & creative. Invite them too so we can all learn from each other.
#2 Love Languages: While my initial "Operation Valentine's Hug" idea was politely declined by my weekly walkers, I was reminded that we all give and receive love differently.
The 5 Love Languages, highlight 5 main ways you feel love (although I am sure we all feel them differently over time). I hope it helps you identify how you feel loved and how you effortlessly give love away. These cool images were a reminder.
Next Year: Operation Choose your Hug (real or chocolate) is going to happen. Can you tell what my love language is!
#1 Loneliness is real & it is big. Apparently you can't talk about LOVE without hearing about heartbreak. You can't feel joy without listening to pain. On this walk, about Sharing the Love, we connected on so many layers from beating cancer & understanding epilepsy to losing a friend to suicide. We wholeheartedly connected on deeper levels that created a true sense of belonging.
Next Year: Do this again. Imperfectly. We all have a purpose and it is important we walk with each other just as we are. Broken & Beautiful.