Do Small Things With Great Love

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Do small things with great love.

We’ve all heard this before. One of Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s most beloved axioms, this quote serves as a beautiful reminder to infuse all that we do – even the smallest, most mundane tasks – with love. When we act from self-centered or ambitious motives, our professional and societal achievements – no matter how great – are worthless. It is love alone that transforms and uplifts our actions, and there is no value in whatever is done without it.

This sounds simple enough in principle, but what does it actually look like applied to the regular happenings of our lives? How do we sweep the kitchen with love, shop for groceries with love, or sit in traffic with love? Continue reading on The Fullest to find out. 

Image via Sonya Khegay

Life As An Artist: Q&A With Abbey Holden Studio

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I met Abbey Holden on the first day of fourth grade, and even then, I knew there was something special about her. She’s gorgeous, kind, personable, and, as evidenced by the pics below, uber talented. Even as a kid, Abbey had a clear gift for art, so it should come as no surprise to learn that she studied it further in college and became a print designer for Lilly Pulitzer (!!!) after graduating. Her most recent endeavor, though, has been starting Abbey Holden Studio, which sells the absolute dreamiest paintings on the planet.

Check out my Q&A with Abbey to learn more about her paintings, what it’s like to be an artist, and how she started her own business! Continue reading

How to Cultivate Inner Beauty in Seasons of Monotony

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When we look back at our lives, it’s often astonishing to see how much things change over time. Even when our schedules and situations seem the same from week to week, change and growth are nevertheless at work. It’s like a garden; with soil, sun, and water, even the smallest of seeds can become the largest of trees, though we cannot see it happening from one moment to another.

Similar development is not just true of our external circumstances, but of our interior lives, too. Our souls go through slow, imperceptible seasons of growth and require constant care so that we can tend to the goodness we wish to plant in them. If we’re not attentive, then the “weeds” of attachment or toxic relationships can choke out flowers of love and virtue in our lives.

English journalist Rudyard Kipling put it like this: “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.” In other words, the act of creating beauty – even in our souls – requires work. Continue reading

How Imperfect People Can Do Great Things

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Whether we wish we could serve the poor and alleviate suffering like Mother Teresa or pioneer critical scientific research like Marie Curie, we all dream of doing beautiful, world-changing things with our lives. Yet, no matter how much we might long to follow in the footsteps of such women, who in fact believes themselves capable of that kind of greatness?

Perhaps we can imagine ourselves doing so in the future — when we are “older and wiser” — but in our present, imperfect condition? Hardly. Continue reading

What “Aesthetic Activism” Is And Why Bib & Sola Is Leading It

Bib & Sola - White SetA glassware company that produces striking hand blown carafes and glasses, Bib & Sola offers a stylish and conscious alternative to plastic bottles. The brand’s founder, Kira Heuer, is adamant about reducing plastic waste and providing clean water solutions. Through Bib & Sola’s colorful pieces, she aims to do both, believing that their beauty has more power to inspire education and change than anything else — a concept she calls, “Aesthetic Activism.”

I recently had the chance to connect with Kira and learn more about Bib & Sola’s story, its Aesthetic Activism campaign, and the difference that using glass instead of plastic can make. Continue reading

35 Things to Cross Off Your Winter Bucket List

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As someone who grew up in Minnesota and now lives in southern California, I’ve experienced winter in all of its forms — from harsh blizzards to mild rains to full-on heat waves. Yet, there are some aspects of this season that remain consistent no matter what part of the nation we reside in. Whether we live on snow-capped mountains or along sandy beaches, we all experience shorter evenings, lower average temperatures, and a subtle sense of pause around us.

Animals rest in hibernation, nature’s colors fade, and we, too, are invited to take on a slower, more peaceful pace. There is no better time for quiet reflection, for hopeful dreaming, and for all the best comforts of home. Whether we prefer to remain indoors and keep cozy or get outside and explore, there are countless opportunities to savor this season. Continue reading

Unleashing From Expectations

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Growing up, I had clear expectations for the kind of life I would lead as I matured, including what I would know, how I would behave, the kind of job and husband I would have, and so on. As I’ve gotten older, most of those expectations have died, but new ones never seem to fail to take their place.

We all have expectations for our lives and our careers – whether big or small, positive or negative, realistic or not – despite the fact that we’re often told how damaging these expectations are to our wellbeing. As 18th c. poet Alexander Pope put it, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Continue reading

Small, Random Acts of Kindness

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O, the power of kindness
So gentle, loving, meek,
It is indeed a language
Even the dumb can speak;
The deaf can understand it,
It sheds a shining ray;
Then let us strive to make it
Our guide from day to day.
Eva Alice

Kindness, as this poem suggests, needs no words in order to be understood. A universal language in the truest sense, its generous, considerate nature is unmistakable. Yet no matter how quiet and unassuming it might sometimes appear – in a silent smile, a hidden note, or perhaps a sweet word – kindness, in even the smallest gesture, can have tremendous power in impacting someone’s life for the better. Continue reading

Being OK With Being Last

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 When it seems like all of our friends are getting married, having kids, purchasing houses or settling into careers before us, how are we supposed to feel? Is it possible to maintain true excitement for them without comparing their circumstances to ours?

In such situations we’re often first told not to measure ourselves against others, but this advice is easier said than done. In most cases, it’s just natural to compare ourselves to those around us; we look to others’ situations and behaviors in order to gauge our own. At one point or another, haven’t we all asked ourselves, Am I as happy as her? As capable? As successful? Yet, if this is how we determine our worth, we’ll never win. Continue reading

The Beauty of Silence

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We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life.

Mother Teresa

Image via Instagram