LOVE AWARENESS MONTH 2024
Welcome to the LOVE AWARENESS MONTH contemplations page 🎉
Every week a new theme will be added here. You will be notified by email when a new article is out.
BIG LOVE 🧡
February 22nd, 2024
And finally Friendship! Maybe that’s another one you didn’t see coming?
Friendships are the most abstract of all relationships, because they can be casual and superficial, like bare acquaintances, and sometimes the bond is so strong that our friends feel like our soul family… And everything in between!
Are we going to try to define them? Naaah not really… There’s magic about the things that we can’t define, and those things that need to be experienced rather than discussed.
So why end this Love Awareness Month exploring Friendship then?
Because they are the perfect practice playground for learning how to create healthy unattached relationships. Indeed, no matter how much we adore our friends, there will always be less at stake, less expectations, and less pressure when it comes to how the relationship should look like, and what needs it should fulfil. We are friends because we enjoy each other’s presence, and often friendships develop without us realising that something is happening. WHEN did we start being friends? We might recall our first encounter if it was something significant, but more often than not, we don’t, and for most we just can’t recall the exact day we committed to the friendship. That’s what makes them so special. Friendships are by nature very organic. We don’t force them, or apply any agenda on them. We just experience them and let them take us on a ride full of surprises as we discover one another and create a whole new world based on our shared interests.
Even when we end up being dear friends for life, we are never really committing to a lifetime of togetherness in the same way we do with romantic partnerships. We may allow each other to drift apart for a bit and then savour reconnecting and catching up on these years and how they made us different from what we used to be, while still being deeply the same. True friends can see this, they see how our expression may change over the years while our essence remains the same. That is also why people can stay friends despite the distance, changes and different lifestyle choices, because they know that deep down we are still the same, and being in each other’s presence is a gift with no name.
Friends often see you more than you can really see yourself, and during challenging times, they are your best ally to guide you with your best interest in mind, giving you the perspective you might be lacking. They do this effortlessly, without being threatened in any way because they want you to be your best Self. Because they chose to be with you for YOU. They don’t “need” you, or expect you to be any certain way.
There is indeed a big difference between relationships created around Choice VS the relationships based on Needs. This difference affects the whole dynamic of the connection moving forward and it’s rare we can change it later. When we are with people out of necessity, the necessity is what keeps us together for best or worst but soon enough, when the necessity is no longer there, the relationship also disappears.
After 7+ years of working on Love and relationship dynamics it became obvious that Friendship love (See Love as Relation in the #11 words chart) is the ESSENTIAL FOUNDATION for any thriving and fulfilling relationship, be it romantic, professional and even familial - because blood isn’t always strong enough to foster such Love.
That’s why choosing your friends wisely is critical, because in the end, no matter if we are in a romantic partnership or not, we end up spending A LOT of time with our friends, and sooner or later their strengths become our strengths and so do their limitations. Love makes us or breaks us, same with friendships!
“Show Me Your Friends
And I'll Show You Your Future”
~ Dan Pena
Whether we are conscious about it or not,
we are deeply influenced by the people we spend most of our time with
and overtime it adds up! Choose wisely my friend :)
It was a pleasure to spend this month with you all. And before I go, I want to share that clip that I discovered 10+ years ago, as I was finishing College. It came to mind as I wrote this article, and watching it now made me very emotional (it's so simple yet so deep) . This clip is full of friendly and timeless advice I don't want you to miss on! ♡
Posted 17 years ago - Original video with Portuguese subtitles here
February 15th, 2024
Wait, what? Abuse? Why so much violence all of the sudden?
Well, because Love can be violent at times.
I know, this is not pretty, and it’s probably the aspect of Love we are the least willing to look at.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and in my case, more often than not, Love didn’t feel good. From the start, Love hurt - a lot - even before I had a chance to feel how good Love could be.
Sure, my Mum cared for me and for that I consider myself lucky (it wasn't the case for her), but some other family dynamics really made it hard for me to grow up emotionally healthy.
Looking back, there was so much confusion about what Love and Family bonds were supposed to be. No wonder I ended up doing the work I do today.
There was a strong dissonance within my being between what I knew Love could be and what I was receiving on a daily basis. All the various treatments shared “in the name of Love” were highly disturbing; the unwanted attention, the constant critique as soon as I would do something that did not please them, my kindness being taken advantage of, and totally disregarded afterwards… and even the physical violence. Is this really what Love is? It can’t be!
I knew from very early on that something wasn’t quite right, and as a result I was always on the lookout for positive models on the outside to reinforce my inner-knowing.
Fast forward to today, something that I am absolutely sure of: LOVE (no matter how it feels) is the most powerful force there is, and surely the most important driver in everything we do - yes even more than Sex or Power (Oscar Wilde reference). Because both are actually rooted in Love, and our deep yearning for it.
Those who grew up in healthier emotional environments are more equipped to navigate the yearning positively, when those who didn’t, often find themselves in a place in which they would do anything they can to soothe/escape the pain of an unloving or rather a “mis-loving” environment.
A LOVE that hurts is a LOVE that is CORRUPTED
The reason why Love isn’t simple is because we attach all kinds of things to it, our insecurities, our desires and expectations, even our fears. This corrupts and weakens the bond between people to the point they are totally disconnected from each other - no matter how close they are physically or intellectually (family expectations). And this is how relationships turn into abusive situations, when the other person is no longer considered as an individual with their own needs and desires but rather a mere resource to be used (see “Love as Consumption” in the #11 words chart) to satisfy one’s own personal needs.
A Love that exists only to satisfy our own self-interest is a love that Takes, rather than Gives, and even if it may appear as the easiest or fastest solution to fill the void inside, it’s a disempowering approach in the long term because we end up having to constantly rely on others to meet our needs, and this is how we fall into codependency patterns.
There is so much to say on the dysfunctional aspects of Love, and if you want to know more, do not hesitate to reach out and let’s see how we can work together. For now, let me share with you my own twist on the popular adage saying that “You have to love yourself before you can love someone else”. It’s true in some regards, but somehow misleading, because sometimes it’s precisely because we love others that we learn how to love ourselves. Here’s my take on the question, hope it to brings clarity on the meaning behind this quote
“People can’t properly give you what they don’t know how to give to themselves first”
~ Magalie MAB
This is often why people treat us poorly, it’s because they treat themselves poorly on those same aspects. They simply don’t know how to do better. And this is also why the journey to Love will always start with yourself first. Yes, we do learn A LOT from the relationships we are in, but ultimately, we are the only ones responsible for our own happiness and fulfilment. Love from others is amazing, but there’s nothing like the Love we have for ourselves. And this leads us to Self-Love, another buzz word that seems to mean everything and nothing these days. It may seem abstract but I can confidently tell you: done right, Self-Love is the most powerful and sustainable cure to Abuse. This is also something we can explore together :)
And if you found your way here invited by a friend and want to sign up now, do it here 💛
February 8th, 2024
Aaaaaah Romance, who does not like romance?
Actually a lot of people, but they won’t be our focus today, haha!
Romance is an art form, popularised in the mid 18th century by writers and poets. Today, it is depicted as the feelings and behaviours of two people who are in a loving and sexual relationship with each other, as well as the feeling of excitement or mystery that you have from a particular experience, place or event: “He loves the romance of travelling on a steam train” (Cambridge dictionary).
Romance aims to make things more beautiful than they are, or to be more accurate it’s an invitation to see the beauty in the mundane and let it transcend us. Romance invites us to connect to our emotions and let them drive the way we interact with the world around us. In this way, it can also be seen as a spiritual practice, as a way to sublimate the beauty that surrounds us, and live in appreciation and gratitude.
Looking closer we find out that 18th century Romanticism, more than just an artistic practice, was an intellectual movement aiming to challenge the Industrial Revolution of the time, and the prevailing ideology of the Age of Enlightenment (Wikipedia). It greatly contributed in shaping the world we now live in. Romance was most strongly embodied in the visual arts, music, and literature (root word “roman” = novel in French & German) yet it also had a major impact on fields like education, social sciences, the natural sciences, as well as a significant and complex effect on politics: Romantic thinking indeed influenced conservatism, liberalism, radicalism, and even nationalism. [End of the nerdy transmission 🤓]
Apparently, the movement emphasised intense emotions as an authentic source of aesthetic experience. Suddenly, we better understand why Love and Romance have become so closely related today. The Romantics were all about experiencing the full range of emotions intensely - the good, the bad and the ugly - and which emotion other than Love can make you feel this way?
In a sense, Romance is the Art of making up stories that makes us feel something, something rather intense, something that makes us come alive. We can see it as some form of emotional engineering, and even if this might not be the most glamorous analogy, it is helpful to take some distance, and put back the power in our hands, from something that “just happens” to something that is actually created with intention.
How do you like the sound of that?
This week let’s explore Romance. How does it feel to see Romance as an Art form?
A practice, much more than a label and predefined expectation on a relationship?
How about romanticising our lives, no matter our relationship status? Can we make others around us benefit from our creativity? When it comes to Romance, what do we have to offer?
No need to feel intimidated, Romance doesn't have to be grand gestures, remember it can also be about appreciating what already exists around us ;)
Affirming our personal taste is in itself an invitation for others to dive into a whole new world.
This week, how about sharing our favourite Art pieces about love? Let’s see who else connects with it!
“How we spend our days is, of course,
how we spend our lives”
~ Annie Dillard
Do you like Art? What can you share during this LOVE AWARENESS MONTH
to celebrate Art that you love? - My favourite Art form is songwriting. I'm pretty basic in this way.
I absolutely love pop songs, but not any pop songs. I am obsessed with good lyrics especially when combined with catchy or enchanting music. For me, it’s such a holistic experience, listening to stories that touch my soul and move my body. When it comes to Romance, one pop singer comes to mind: Lana Del Rey.
She is clearly “The Queen of Romanticising her life” and a role model in that way.
Every song is an adventure to far away lands which only exist with her in it.
The drama is real, probably too “American Dream" for me to relate fully, nonetheless it’s grandiose!
If you're not familiar with her work, let me choose one song-story for you:
RIDE, the video clip builds perfectly into the song - and the ending is powerful. Don't skip it ;)
If you liked it, you can find more here
February 1st, 2024
#1 WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Love, everybody wants Love, but do we really know what LOVE is?
Everyday we might encounter things or people we love. Do we love them all the same way?
How come do we have only ONE WORD to describe an experience that is obviously so different case by case?
I had to look into this deeper! I personally wasn’t really satisfied with the narratives about long-term romantic relationships being the most important relationship there is, and the real true love. That wasn’t my case, I had so much love for my friends and even for projects I was involved in.
How come we never hear about these forms of Love?
And how about the love we feel for the various members of our family? Is it always the same? Is there such a thing as one universal love between parents and their child? Or sibling love? Or is it possible that it varies for every unique combination of people and their specific relationship?
No one talks about that!
When it comes to Love, the one that gets more attention is Romance, and of course, Romance is usually associated with couples. So all we know about (when only looking at popular culture) is mostly about monogamous heterosexual relationships. In recent years, things have changed quite a lot, and we might see some alternatives to that simplistic model… yet it is still commonly agreed that a long-term romantic relationship is the only thing that makes Love magical and worthwhile. Is it really?
February is known to be the month of Love, with its peak on February 14th, Valentines Day.
The culmination of Romanticism, or at least what we’ve been told Romanticism is.
But what about LOVE? Like, what about JUST LOVE?
Not romance and fantasy, but simply the bond between two people, or between someone and their pet, or the food we cannot live without, or even that humanitarian cause that we are so dedicated to?
Recently I have been thinking: why not use the framework (February being the month for Love) that already exists and give it a twist as a way to focus on the meaning of Love?
How about we really start to question: WHAT IS LOVE?
For this first week of the LOVE AWARENESS MONTH, I invite you to dive into the 11 words for LOVE, a chart based on ancient Greek and Latin words with the purpose of providing some understanding around the various dynamics we may feel when we experience LOVE.
Contemplating these “definitions” on your own might already sparkle some insights and help you put words on some complex experiences you had in your life.
Yet if you want to go deeper, then follow along this 4-week journey to explore what Love is and co-create the new narratives that our popular culture is cruelly lacking!
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”
Understanding how you love will lead you to more clarity and purpose in your life.
How can you do that if you don’t spend a bit of time contemplating yourself?
My goal is to give you the tools to do that, some landmarks to help you navigate the chaos that emotions
and relationships can be at times.
Who is “I”?
Hey my name is Magalie, and I make LOVE simple and accessible for ALL.
For as long as I can remember I have always been an idealist, believing in the subtle laws of Nature and a powerful wisdom within us, yet the more I was trying to engage with our modern society, the more I suffered all forms of mental and physical illnesses.
In 2015, I had enough and I decided to retire from the “normal” world, so I could dedicate myself to searching for the answers I was after. I told myself: “In order to experience a life you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do the things you never did” and as a result I took a sabbatical for what ended up being a couple of years.
In 2017, I came back with the purpose of studying Love and this is what I have been doing ever since, hosting workshops about emotional literacy, creating events and retreats for people to practise love intelligence, coaching people 1:1, and even consulting companies with fostering more engagement and understanding between employees.
Today, I decided it was time to fulfil my lifelong vision of a world in which everyone can access healthy forms of Love.
Imagine that, how transformative this would be?
Help in moving the needle forward by committing to learning more about Love yourself and spreading the world about Love Awareness Month. THANK YOU.
Let's be social :)