I’ve been working on The Love Project. Planning, mapping, drawing, writing. I’ve got a notebook (in which I keep feverishly scribbling new ideas), my camera (now with me all the time), a calendar, a map (like all good explorers), colored pencils and pens and neon postcards with matching envelopes. Of all the bloggy adventures I’ve undertaken over the past two years, this is the coolest. And, of course, how could it not be? It’s about love – wild, fierce, spontaneous, deep, searching,  fearless love.

The Love Project is barely ten days old, and already I’ve felt magic – these weird, wonderful tectonic shifts, inside and out. Part of it, I expected. I knew there would be sparks. January is the month of “spontaneous connection,” and my week has been filled with surprising moments of sweet, electric authenticity, startling and pure. What I didn’t expect was this undercurrent, this energy that flows beneath the surface of everything, this sense I have of being totally awake, aware, expectant…

I think it’s true that you get back what you give in life: shitty begets shitty, love begets love. So maybe this thing that feels like magic to me is really just karma, the natural order of things. I am doing unto others and they’re doing back to me, and it’s as simple (and lovely) as that. Maybe. All I know for sure is that I’ve spent the first week of 2011 acting on my best, most generous impulses, and here I am at the end of that week feeling dazzled and alive. I think it’s going to be one hell of a breathtaking year.

But this is a project. Because as much as I believe love should be our default position, I know how life is. I know how it gets in the way (and pisses us off, and beats us up, and hardens us). So I have a plan: a January-December spread-the-love list. On the first Monday of each month, I’ll tell you my wild, improbable love objectives, and I hope you’ll tell me yours, because spreading love is just too awesome a goal for me to have it alone. Here’s my list…

Jan: A month of spontaneous connection (like the act that started it all)
Feb : A month of hugs
Mar: A month of giving what you need
Apr: A month of capturing love (in photographs)
May: A month of self-love
Jun: A month of graffiti (displays left for others to find)
Jul: A month of (heartfelt, absolutely true, one-of-a-kind) compliments
Aug: A month of grand gestures
Sep: A month of seeing
Oct: A month of love letters
Nov: A month of gifts
Dec: A month of volunteering

There you have it, the big love list for now… until one of you inspires me to change it. My idea for March was inspired by Melissa’s comment on my original post about giving a hug when she needed a hug. I think the idea of giving exactly what you need to get is emotional genius. I’m open to more ingenious ideas, so feel free to toss them out.

In the meantime, join me! Spontaneously connect – send a text, make a phone call, leave a message, kiss someone beautiful, hug someone who needs it, doodle a postcard.

Spread the love.

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