It’s that time of year when we reflect on love…
and I am bowing to you…
… and your willingness to love! Whether you love your life, your home, your dog, your body, your bicycle, your life partner, your child, or your food, that which you love will someday go away… nothing is permanent… and yet we still love…
Love is not all flowers and chocolate… love takes work… it takes a courage to be willing to be vulnerable to the possibility of losing what we love. And that is scary!
So, I bow to you on this Valentine’s Day… because you love despite knowing that loss will happen someday. So be present, open to this tenderness, and vulnerability, and let it bring you to a place of gratitude for all that you have. And if you feel longing and loneliness, open to that too, knowing that you are not alone, and let it guide you to create and find what your heart longs for.
And it all starts with you… so this valentine’s day, fill yourself up with self-love, self-acceptance, and self-care… and then let it spill over to those who you love.
Read on to learn about some great F*R*E*E ways that have helped me to fill up on love so that I have love to give back through my bodywork practice!
I Bow to Your Heart,
Five F*R*E*E things to do to fill up on love:
1) Take a bath in self-acceptance. Fill up your tub with hot water and put drops of your favorite essential oils or bath salts and maybe some flower petals too. Imagine that the tub is being filled up with love and acceptance. When you rest in the tub, take deep breaths into your body and quietly say “thank you” and “I love you” to each part of your body. When you end your bath, let all the negative thoughts go down the drain with the water.
2) Practice Tonglen meditation. Check out this video with Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron who talks about this beautiful meditation practice that uses difficult feelings to help to wake up. Remember that “other people feel this feeling”. Breathe in the pain with the longing to remove the suffering, and then relax and breathe out and send out wishes for all comfort and safety for all others. This video is lovely because it guides you to focus on your self as well.
3) Listen to your Body
Set an alarm to go off every 30 minutes and check in to see if your body has any feelings that would like some tending to… sensing for any tension or discomfort, and then check and see what your body would like… maybe it would like to change positions, or take a deep breath, or some fresh air, or maybe a walk! Practice honoring your needsbefore you tend to others needs.
4) Write a love-letter to yourself Write down ten qualities that you love and appreciate about yourself… what you have accomplished, what attributes you appreciate, and what actions you’ve done that you love, and then write down 10 more!
5) Practice a random act of Kindness
Go out with the intention of being kind to a stranger or a neighbor… Open a door for someone,
put a quarter in someone’s expired parking meter,
help someone to cross the street,
complement someone on how they look,
or smile at someone on the street.