Every once in a while, I come across a book so special that it earns the coveted position of permanent nightstand placement. The few books that occupy this space by my bed serve a very important function: they usher me into slumber with visions, ideas, and stories that often translate into wonderful dreams.
I take my nighttime reading seriously. My goal is to go to sleep feeling inspired, intrigued, and soothed, in hopes I’ll wake up that way.
So when I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Rachel Macy Stafford’s newest book, Only Love Today, I was delighted to discover that it’s designed for exactly the way I like to read. I fit my reading into the 15-30 minutes before I fall asleep, and the short passages (2-3 pages) in Rachel’s book are just perfect for this.
Only Love Today is based on the simple premise that whatever happens today, we can choose love as our response. Rachel has a tremendous gift for seeing miracles in the mundane, and in her book she shares a series of stories that illustrate her premise through every day occurrences that every reader can relate to.
Only Love Today. The idea is so simple that it could even easily be dismissed. “Yeah, yeah…choose love. I’ll add it to my To Do List,” you might think to yourself.
But there is immense power in those three simple words, and that power can transform your life and the lives around you if you let it.
Because chances are we will feel many things in a day—and they will not all be love. Chances are that today we will feel fear, anger, sadness, frustration, disgust, and a dozen more feelings—all within the span of a few hours (or minutes!) perhaps. But we don’t have to stay there. That’s the beautiful thing about Rachel’s message: we can make another choice.
Every time we find our way back to love from somewhere else, we’re training our brains to choose an alternate neural pathway. We’re building emotional muscle memory geared toward helping us become more compassionate, caring, and kind. And that is what the world needs now more than ever.
Repetition is the key here: Only love today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
”Today I will choose love. If I mistakenly choose distraction, perfection, or negativity over love, I will not wallow in regret. I will choose love next. I will choose love until it becomes my first response . . . my gut instinct . . . my natural reaction. I will choose love until it becomes who I am.
Let love start this day.
Let love end this day.
Let love transform the minutes in between.”
—Rachel Macy Stafford
When I read Rachel’s words, I’m instantly infused with a sense of calm. It’s as if I just sipped a warm cup of peppermint tea with a dear friend, who is now tucking me into bed with sweet murmurs of encouragement. And that’s worth keeping on my nightstand for years to come.