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Back To School, Back To Kindness

As we head back to school, there’s no better time to spread kindness. For some, going back to school can be a daunting task – whether starting at a new school, or feeling anxiety, fear or concern based on past experiences. Whatever you’re feeling about school is, I encourage you to share one of the greatest and most fulfilling things in life … a simple smile. At the end of the day, you could change a person’s life.

But there is no way something so small can affect people in such a big way! Wrong, in fact, the effects of smiling date back to ancient China with a simple but powerful proverb, “A man without a smiling face should not open a shop”. The proverb teaches us that without a smile there is a great chance your shop (in this case, your life) will not prosper as much as it could, or it may not even prosper at all. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at science.  So, how does smiling affect those around you? According to an article in Psychology Today called “There’s Magic in Your Smile” written by Ronald E Riggio Ph.D. smiles are actually contagious, so much so that when someone smiles the brain can’t help but return the favor and smile back. In a Swedish study, people were shown pictures of other people with different emotions, ranging from joy, sadness, and even anger. But when the picture of someone smiling came up the researchers asked the people to frown. To their amazement, the people struggle to frown and instead started to imitate the smile. A person can consciously choose not to smile, but unconsciously your brain will naturally imitate a smile. In fact, smiling actually can change a person’s entire day from a terrible one to a good one.

I’m going to move away from the technical aspect and factoids and look at an ordinary day. You have practiced and trained for a moment in your life, you finally believe you have made it, and that this is your time and chance. Only to find out it’s not your time and you need to work harder.  You internally start thinking of all the work you put in. Was it worth the effort and the pain you are going through now? In your mind, you believe nothing can stop you from feeling this way, until a friend, a stranger, a family member, a teacher walks up with a great and warm meaningful smile. They start talking to you, maybe they crack a joke, or ask about your day – creating that slight smile on your face, and slowly the negativity fades, and joy fills your body. You start thinking it may not be your time now, but it will be in the future. All of this came from something as simple and small as a smile. A second ago you were worried and contemplating where you wasted your time, and now you are building yourself up again.

Just Smile!

Now I want you to think about the effects of a smile and how contagious they can be, not to mention how powerful and mood altering they can be. When you head to school I challenge you to take 2 weeks and just smile. Smile at people you would have never smiled at before, that person that sits alone at lunch – flash a smile at them and see how it changes their mood. Be there for others, smile at your teachers as a way of showing you are grateful for having them in your life. Smile at your friends, family … smile at the world. Watch and see how a smile can not only change the world around you but more importantly watch and see how a smile can change you.

Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate Michael Scotten

Back To School, Back To Kindness 2018-08-27T15:53:31+00:00

3 Ways to Become Fearless

I’m afraid. Words I have often heard from people and always brushed off as insecurities. I often wondered why these insecurities manifested themselves because no one starts off having insecurities. I decided to do some research and found some interesting facts. Most people’s insecurities are projections of others in their life or social groups. There is a school of thought in the psychology field called Psychological Projection, which aims to show the human ego and how it defends itself by projecting insecurities onto others. Based on this theory so many people with fears, about failing may, in fact, be fears that other people projected on them.

So, what’s the significance of learning about Psychological Projection? Well, if we better understand why we are afraid to do something it may help us overcome it. Too many people have shunned away from something great because they were afraid of failing. I am not immune to this. I’m afraid of my art not being good enough; I’m scared to fail. Now is this me, or is this a projected insecurity from someone else? In game design that involves art, many people say only 2 out of every 10 people make it. Daunting numbers if you are one of the ten people. As an example, let’s say the person next to me leans over and says “Well I guess I won’t make it”; the person projects his/her insecurity onto me, and I start thinking, I’m not good enough to make that 20 percent. But what was I basing that off? A simple sentence some random person said to me that changes my mindset and crumbles my future because I allowed it to project insecurities that influence my life. The sad answer is yes, I allowed that person’s own insecurity to cripple me.

Here are three ways to deflect projected insecurities from others:

–   Surround yourself with fearless people

The goal is to find people that have embraced the feeling of being challenged, who look at life as a challenge, not as an obstacle – filled with insecurities and doubt. Look for people that strive to own courage and take on titans. Bud Bilanich is a self-proclaimed career mentor. In an article he writes about “Surrounding Yourself with Positive People”, he points at a sales position as one example, and says the following: “To succeed in sales you must be self-confident, but by its very nature selling involves a lot of setbacks and rejection.” What Bilanich is saying is that in sales you are dealing with a lot more negativity than you do positivity so, by surrounding yourself with positive people you counter the negativity presented with rejection. Life is all about balance and maintaining a balance, of positive to negative to make life a lot simpler.

–   Change your mindset

A simple thing to say but how does one do it? Well, it turns out the best way to change your mindset is to think about the situation as you did when you were a child. Because a child has no biases or insecurities, children live in the moment and dare to dream. This will change your mindset and remind you why you chose to achieve this goal or dream. Myrko Thum is an author that helps entrepreneurs create and sell profitable information. In the article “What is a Mindset” Thum mentions the need to find your voice. The author uses a quote from Stephen Covey that asked fours questions people need to ask themselves to find their voice.

  1. What are you good at? (this is your mind)
  2. What do you love doing (this is your heart
  3. What need can you serve (this is your body)
  4. What is life asking of you? What gives your life meaning and purpose? (this is your spirit)

What Thum convey is patience and understanding in life. Think of yourself as a rubber band – if you’re quick to judge and express your opinions too fast, it would be like stretching a rubber band out to its max point, bringing it closer to its snapping point. But if you assess things in life, you start expanding slowly and through the slow, progressive nature, not only do you expand at a healthy rate, but you grow your mind, ultimately learning how to change your minds way of thinking.

–   Remember the journey is supposed to be fun

Remind yourself that you are supposed to enjoy the journey to the end goal not just enjoy the end goal. When you enjoy the journey and embrace it, your life fills up with positivity. By enjoying the journey, you will appreciate the end and always strive to be better. Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, marketing specialist, and inspirational speaker. He runs his own marketing firm consisting of 700 employees. In an interview conducted by Erik Wahl, Vaynerchuk expresses the importance of enjoying the journey by saying the following, “I made a video that is recorded for when I buy the New York Jets, and it’s going to say ‘ This is the worst day of my life’.”  Vaynerchuk’s dream is to buy the New York Jets and when that finally happens and he has achieved his dream the journey that he enjoys so much will come to an end.  A mountain climber doesn’t just enjoy being at the top of a mountain; he/she enjoys the journey up to the top. So, always remember to enjoy the journey because that’s just as important as the end goal. Enjoy Life!

In the end, fear is nothing more than the power you give it. You can decide to be fearful and watch as others achieve your dreams, or you can take life by the horns and in strides to achieve your own dreams. I will leave you with a very powerful quote from a man who has struggled with fears and advertises in life “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but rather the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate Michael Scotten

3 Ways to Become Fearless 2018-08-22T18:51:02+00:00

Truth Through Artistic Expression

Funds for the arts have been cut over 80% in U.S. public schools and at-risk youth are most affected. In addition, low self-esteem in youth is at an all-time low.

Art is a universal language that enables us to be more insightful about the world we live in. It allows us to heal and to see truth in ourselves that we may not have understood before. Evidence-based research shows that artistic expression can be exceptionally healing, as it gives youth the opportunity to adopt new healthy coping skills that lead to a higher sense of self-worth.

We are proud to be presenting the Free2BeME Project to instill hope in our youth and provide a safe space for creative expression. We are moved and inspired by the powerful voices of our youth. The Free2BeME Project has been instrumental in reducing anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and negative perceptions.

We stand in gratitude for the support of 4Culture, Arts WA, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their commitment to the arts and support of our programming.


Truth Through Artistic Expression 2018-08-30T00:46:22+00:00

The 3 Faces of School Bullying

School bullying 101. Imagine the following scenario: It’s the first day of school, shouting echoes through the school halls, as something attracts the attention of the students. A boy has thrown another against the wall and proceeds to physically hurt the other over and over again, followed by name-calling. The bystanders stand and watch the cruel events that take place. Eventually, a teacher gets to the scene and tells everyone to head back to class. The teacher then takes the person that committed the bullying to the office along with the person that was bullied.

For the sake of explanation, the person that is the aggressor will be named Jake, the person that is bullied, Carl, and lastly an innocent bystander, Andrew. Each person is a victim, each with the inability to communicate his thoughts properly. Each in need of help from one another.

Committing the Act of Bullying (Jake) – This person is often seen as the aggressor who picks on a particular person or group of people. There are a lot of negative connotations associated with Jake, often called a tormenter, intimidator, oppressor, bully. All these are labels, but people are far too complex to simply be defined by labels. The reality is people who bully suffer in some way or another and it’s not always obvious.

The person being bullied (Carl) – This person is the target of bullying, often seen as the main and only person to suffer. This person suffers on a day-to-day basis because they are a target of an act caused by pain. This type of a person struggles to communicate because they are fearful of the consequences. They struggle in silence and often blame themselves for being a target.

Bystander (Andrew) – This person is the least thought about in this scenario. They experience a feeling of helplessness, the urge to want to help but, fearful of trading places with Carl. This type of person is a very silent one. A lot of internal thoughts happen; fear of being an outcast because they said something, fear of being shunned in their social status, fear of losing what they have but, frustrated because they want to intervene. They are conflicted on the inside, and it’s because of this conflicted nature that they start suffering; a consistent internal struggle.

So how can we help reduce school bullying?

There are loads and loads of websites that state helpful sets of tips and solutions to help with bullying. These include not to retaliate with aggression and fight back, stay in crowded areas don’t be alone, and tell a trusted adult so they can help with the situation. All of these solutions have merit and can be of help. But, what if you are too scared to approach an adult? There are parents out there that have written about their children’s traumatic bullying experiences at school and their children beg them “not to tell the teachers”. Why may you ask? The children are fearful of being called a tattletale, or a snitch. When it comes to not fighting back, “sometimes emotions get the best of us and we can’t hold back”. Staying in large groups may stop what you experience sometimes “but what happens if you are alone and no one else is around?” These are just some of the most common concerns seen online in comment sections.

So, does this mean we should give up? No! There are other things we can do we can teach our younger generation about awareness. “But, everybody already knows about bullying so what’s the point of awareness?” True, school bullying is not a new thing. It’s been around forever, but the act of bullying is new. Now I know what you are thinking, isn’t that the same thing? No, it’s very different because it separates the act from the person. By removing the label, we choose to address the problem, not the person.

Once the problem is out we can choose to address it in different ways. The problem, in this case, is the act of bullying. We can start asking questions like, what causes a person to act out and bully? How does this act affect all people considered? Can we address school bullying by doing certain things? What are the underlying causes of this problem? These questions all forget about a person bullying and rather focus on the act of bullying. We create awareness by getting people to talk about it, by showing the youth of today that they are not alone. Simple things can go a long way – creating events, or social gatherings that bring people together and create an atmosphere where children feel loved and safe to be who they are. To let the people like Jake know that there is another way to overcome this problem. To let the Carl’s of the world know that they are loved and are accepted for who they are. To all the Andrews, you’re not alone because others are there for you. We combat this problem by showing youth that they can empower one another, push back, and solve the problem. To preach love not hate, we can make this all happen with organizations like Free2Luv. Let us show our future generations that we have the capability to be more compassionate and empathetic. If anything, it will make us grow as a species.

Rock Luv … Not Hate Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate Michael Scotten

The 3 Faces of School Bullying 2018-08-09T22:37:35+00:00

The Power of Love

“What we see in others we are strengthening in ourselves.”

Hatred begets hatred. Period. There are no exceptions to this rule. By bullying someone who is bullying we have a world with MORE bullies, not less.


Hatred can only be dissolved through love. Hate and love cannot reside in the same space. When you choose to hate, you activate the hatred inside yourself. Hatred lowers your immune system, raises blood pressure and floods your body with chemicals that harm your physical body.

Hatred is a choice.

If we want to heal the world, make it a better place for our children, ourselves and everyone else in it, we must operate through love.

Under anger is hurt and under hurt is where love resides. we must move THROUGH the anger, experience the vulnerability of the hurt and the pain and then into the love if we want anything to heal. and we must heal ourselves in order to heal the world. It’s always an inside job first. Then we can actually affect change in this world.

The only thing that has ever healed anything is LOVE. healing is the act of applying love to hurt. It takes true strength to find compassion for someone who doesn’t appear to deserve it. If we stand for love and in love, we cannot condone bullying of any sort.

When we attack others, we attack ourselves. Compassion activates more compassion.

Every person bullying was once bullied by someone else. That’s how they learned it. Perpetuating the cycle of bullying is ineffective in resolving the problem.

The problem and the solution are not found in the same vibrational space. All solutions come quicker when compassion is in the mix.

Today, I challenge everyone to lay down one grievance. Just let it go. …and then replace it with compassion. Each of us was once a small, innocent child that just wanted to be loved. With love, we can minimize bullying.

This I know for sure. If every person on the planet decided to spend 10 minutes sending someone love instead of hate today, they would behave differently tomorrow.

Contributed by child development specialist, Angelina Hart.

The Power of Love 2018-07-16T23:51:33+00:00

Do High Schools Contribute to Suicidal Thoughts Among Teens?

When USC Professor Ron Avi Astor finished watching “13 Reasons Why,” he, like many other professionals in his field, had concerns about how the show portrayed suicide. An expert in bullying and school violence, Astor worried the show sensationalized suicide, placing too much emphasis on what was going on in the school and not enough on individual mental health. Skeptical of the show’s premise, he set out to do a school-level analysis of nearly 800 high schools throughout the state of California.

What he found surprised him.

“I had this image of these kids coming in with a lot of mental health issues that the school didn’t know about,” Astor said. “I didn’t quite think the composition of students in the school setting was contributing so strongly — much stronger than most of our theories and prior studies suggest — to suicidal ideation to the extent that it is. And it is. So I was wrong.”

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics  by Astor and his colleagues, Dr. Rami Benbenishity, a professor at Bar Ilan University,  and Dr. Ilan Roziner, a departmental advisor at Tel Aviv University, found that nearly 1 in 5 high school students in California experienced suicidal ideation, a number that is high, but also consistent with many other studies on suicidal ideation among adolescents in the nation. However, the new study, the first to have a school-level analysis, found that the level of suicidal ideation varies greatly from school to school, with some high schools reporting as low as 4 percent, while others reached nearly 70 percent.

“Imagine trying to teach math and it’s not getting through to the kids, and your test scores are down because of this invisible barrier not known to the school staff,” Astor said. “Half the children in the class may not be thinking about what you are teaching them; they are actually thinking, ‘How am I going to die and where am I going to do it?’ When we presented data back to principals, superintendents and teachers about students in their schools and school districts, you see them tearing up and crying because it’s not just an abstract happening in somebody else’s school. They know these are students in their schools.”

Individual student-level characteristics such as gender, school belongingness, adult support and involvement in violence significantly impacted suicidal ideation for teens. However, school-level characteristics such as overall demographics and peer groups had a greater impact, contributing more than double to explained variance in suicidal ideation. The overall composition of the student body, for example, may be more indicative of the risk of suicidal ideation among students in a school than an individual teen’s race or ethnicity.

“This has a clear implication for the state and national educational system,” Benbenishty said. “Look for schools with extremely high rates of suicidal thoughts, focus on them, and provide resources to help them engage in preventive work.”

Nationally, suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds in 2015. The age-adjusted rate of suicide for 15- to 19-year-olds was approximately 10 per 100,000 population, with rates of suicide among young men and young women steadily increasing. Although young males had higher rates of suicide, females in high school were more likely to consider attempting suicide and to make a suicide plan.

More than just an individual problem

Astor, Benbenisthy and Roziner’s study highlights a problem in how suicide is addressed in schools in California and across the country.

“[Suicidal ideation] is really conceived of and thought of as an individual issue and treated as a counseling, psychological or medical issue,” said Astor. “But the school is not just a place where you find kids with mental illnesses and deliver services. It’s a place where you have to address the actual peer and social dynamics that contribute to higher suicidal ideation.”

Based on their analysis the authors believe suicidal ideation needs to be tackled with a public health approach in schools. Instead of focusing on the individual, schools need to focus on the entire community and environment, supporting students from both an educational and a socio-emotional perspective. That requires making sure the entire school staff, including teachers, principals, bus drivers and cafeteria workers, understand the dynamics within high-risk schools and are prepared to intervene when they see individuals who may be at risk. Adults, including parents, need to be educated about how to respond when a student says they want to die.

Similarly, schools have to address issues of secrecy among peer groups. Peer groups may be more likely to know a friend is thinking about suicide or has attempted suicide than staff at the school due to privacy policies. Students need to understand the importance of referring friends when they say something of concern. Astor added that schools should make sure staff is trained on how to handle such referrals.

He also worries there may be a strong contagion factor within school peer groups and perhaps even faculty.

“Once you hit a tipping point of say 30 or 40 percent of kids just talking about it in the cafeteria, it may get normalized,” he said. “If there are suicidal attempts and they are not responded to correctly either by the faculty or their peers, it gets normalized and could give it more legitimacy.”

Further studies on peer group dynamics and the question of tipping points related to the number of students who have suicidal ideation in a school can help schools determine the types of resources, staff training, expertise, community supports and programs they need, Astor explained.

Saving lives with peer groups

Astor believes schools can work with peer groups to help save students’ lives by focusing on school climate.

“You’ll see kids with mental health problems say ‘I need another school, I need a place where kids are nicer,’” he added. “And it’s not just about bullying. It’s about being part of something.”

Focusing on making schools more welcoming and more accepting between peer groups and school staff is one way to help high-risk groups. Astor suggests developing extracurricular activities that emphasize school connectedness and acceptance. He also suggests paying close attention to new students transitioning into schools who may feel isolated or stigmatized and have difficulty making friends, leaving them vulnerable to joining risky peer groups.

Astor, who co-authored “Welcoming Practices” with Benbenishty, has helped train teens how to welcome new students into a school, ensuring that transitioning students have a positive peer group to help them through their first couple months. With teachers’ and principals’ guidance, the students can offer simple support such as a place to sit in the cafeteria or tutoring to help prevent them from falling behind academically. This kind of support may be minimal but it is also important for teens who may be heavily influenced by their peers, he says.

“The next step for the research team is to compare schools that have similar school-level characteristics but different levels of suicidal ideation in order to determine why certain schools are addressing the problem better than others,” said Roziner.

The team hopes this will lead to a more effective strategy to deal with suicidal ideation that zeroes in on problematic areas with high suicide ideation rate schools.

“You go where it’s the hardest hit. And that’s kind of a different strategy than what the country is doing right now. They are kind of providing FYIs to students, educators and parents and they can take it or leave it as information,” Astor said. “Why not target a smaller number of schools and at least take care of this problem in the most extreme places?”

Free2Luv is passionate about mitigating youth and teen suicide and offers tips for early prevention. 

Content contributed by The MSW@USC, the online Master of Social Work program at the University of Southern California.

Do High Schools Contribute to Suicidal Thoughts Among Teens? 2018-07-02T21:15:36+00:00

5 Action Steps To Prevent Youth Suicide

Suicide is a leading cause of death in youth ages 10 – 24. Each day in the United States, there are an average of over 3,041 suicide attempts made by young people in grades 9 – 12. These are staggering statistics that can be prevented.

Now, more than ever, it is vital that we address the ‘whole’ child, their social and emotional well-being and this learning begins at home. “Family life is our first school for emotional learning,” states Daniel Goleman, the author of the groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence. Through family life “we learn how to feel about ourselves and how others will react to our feelings; how to think about these feelings and what choices we have in reacting; how to read and express hopes and fears.”

Social and emotional learning is a process which allows children to acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Social and emotional learning is a powerful way to help children become healthy, caring, and competent.

If children learn to express emotions constructively and engage in caring and respectful relationships before and while they are in their lower elementary grades, they are more likely to avoid depression, violence, and other serious mental health problems as they grow older.

Here are the 5 key skills social-emotional learning develops:


Self-awareness involves understanding one’s own emotions, personal goals, and values. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations, having positive mindsets, and possessing a well-grounded sense of self-efficacy and optimism. High levels of self-awareness require the ability to recognize how thoughts, feelings, and actions are interconnected.


Self-management requires skills and attitudes that facilitate the ability to regulate one’s own emotions and behaviors. This includes the ability to delay gratification, manage stress, control impulses, and persevere through challenges in order to achieve personal and educational goals.

Social Awareness

Social awareness involves the ability to understand, empathize, and feel compassion for those with different backgrounds or cultures. It also involves understanding social norms for behavior and recognizing family, school, and community resources and supports.

Relationship Skills

Relationship skills help students establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships, and to act in accordance with social norms. These skills involve communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking help when it is needed.

Responsible Decision Making

Responsible decision-making involves learning how to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse settings. It requires the ability to consider ethical standards, safety concerns, accurate behavioral norms for risky behaviors, the health and well-being of self and others, and to make a realistic evaluation of various actions’ consequences.

Here are 5 ways you can strengthen your child’s social-emotional well-being:

1. Create a trusting, safe connection with your child.

Spend time with them and talk about anything that comes to their mind. Offering a safe space or time for children to talk to you assures them that you care. Ask children how they feel. When you ask how your child feels, the message is that feelings matter and you care. Then, stay open to listening without judgment so they know you are a safe space for them to express themselves. Acknowledging and exploring their feelings help children feel understood.

2. Give children choices and respect their wishes.

When children have an opportunity to make choices, they learn essential problem-solving skills. Giving children ways to express preferences and make decisions shows that their ideas and feelings matter. Rather than helping solve a challenge, offer encouragement and help them believe in themselves. Ask questions or make statements that allow your child to find their own answers. It can be as simple as ‘I wonder what you’ll do’ or “What do you think you can do in this situation?” Positive encouragement from a parent can go a long way in building your child’s self-esteem and sense of optimism.

3. Avoid humiliating or mocking your child.

This behavior can be damaging and lead to a lack of self-confidence and, in turn, problems with schoolwork, illness, and trouble getting along with friends. Unfair criticism and sarcasm also hurts the bond of trust between children and parents. Be mindful of how you speak to your children. Give them the room to make mistakes as they learn new skills.

4. Create a ‘kind identity”.

Ask children to reflect. If you notice them being empathetic towards another child who is upset, ask your child to talk about what they were feeling and why they behaved in the way that they did. Be sure to encourage this type of behavior by saying, “I liked how you were kind to Billy when he was feeling sad.”

5. Teach healthy ways to express, process and manage emotions.

There are many effective techniques and exercises. Find the ones that connect with you and your child. The goal is to help your child promote healthy expressions of their emotions.

Mindfulness exercises, such as guided breathing, stretching, and movement activities, can be extremely beneficial.

Reflective activities, like journaling or meditation, where children sit still while focusing on becoming aware of their surroundings and posture, can help them unpack their emotions and feelings.

Listening to music or creating art can help relieve stress and strengthen relaxation. Research shows the arts promote creativity, social development, personality adjustment, and self-worth. You can learn more about Free2Luv’s art empowerment programs, the Free2BeME Project here.

The goal of social-emotional learning is to help youth develop more positive attitudes toward themselves and others, enhance self-efficacy, confidence, persistence, empathy, and connection, and develop a strong sense of purpose.

It is vital for families, communities, and schools to work together to raise confident, empowered, and balanced children. It takes a village to minimize bullying and teen suicide and begins with each of us modeling kindness, acceptance, inclusion, and healthy emotional expression. Let us start today.

5 Action Steps To Prevent Youth Suicide 2018-06-28T03:00:27+00:00


Did you know coloring can lower stress and anxiety? Enter a meditative state and enjoy the healing, health benefits at any age. Express yourself!

Print our free coloring pages, post on social with #Free2Luv and we’ll make sure to share it! 

Anything is possible when you believe. Dream Coloring Page

Kindness is contagious. Spread it! ROCK KINDNESS Coloring Page

You are UNSTOPPABLE! Unstoppable Coloring Page

Pages designed by teen artist, @AveryLanaArt


PRIDE: Living My Best Life Without Fear

To me, pride means I MUST live my BEST life without FEAR of ANYTHING. It means I must conquer anything in my inner space that is keeping me from becoming my best self so I can ignore and outperform the haters every single time. It means early mornings and meditation when my eyes are heavy and an extra effort into my appearance, not for vanity’s sake but for pride of self. It means not only not stopping when I’m tired but pushing through that much harder. Because one day??? I WILL be able to have the huge impact I dream of because I’m putting in the work TODAY. PRIDE to me means being a great role model (even though I might swear in proper company), and making sure that NO ONE feels inferior. It means acknowledging that we ALL suffer in life and to never paint someone a villain for the sake of their actions.  Listen, louder than I speak.

Pride acknowledges a true love of self and the human soul. To have pride is to recognize that no one is superior nor inferior, we are simply here to love and live with our own individual journeys. It is to have the roar of a lion to defend those whose voice is not quite loud enough to be heard, and, to have the warm heart of a Golden Retriever to have empathy towards even the toughest of adversaries. There is so much to do and so much more I need to accomplish and better myself with and I know this…but I REFUSE to quit until I get there. I REFUSE to slow down until I know I can say I’ve done my best.  This is absolutely going to happen in our lifetime. THANK YOU SO MUCH FREE2LUV FOR ALL THAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!! #cantstopwontstop

We invite you to join Free2Luv Advocate, Avi and help us support LGBTQ youth. Together we can change lives.

Contributed by composer/instrumentalist Avi Garvin @altruistmusicus

PRIDE: Living My Best Life Without Fear 2018-07-17T02:30:44+00:00
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