Friday, February 08, 2008
It’s Valentines Day and love is in the air.
Actually, love is always in the air and in every particle of creation, but sometimes it takes a holiday to get us to shift our focus and see it.
Society and greeting card companies have seen to it that you'll be feeling disheartened on Valentines Day if you don't have a partner or significant other with whom to celebrate. Yet, you don't have to be held hostage by commercial interests that may want to limit and define this holiday to a very specific configuration that requires purchases of flowers, chocolates, and jewelry. Just as couples rekindle their love for one another on this day, so we can also rekindle our love for this entire universe, our love for ourselves, our natural state of lovingness. A true celebration of love can be so much more than an obligatory sharing of chocolate hearts, champagne, or candlelight dinners, and this celebration of love doesn't require anything more than the depths and richness of your own sweet heart.
Here are some alternate ways you can celebrate this day of love and deepen your experience of love on Valentines Day and every day:
1. Love your life! Spend time this Valentines Day enjoying the peacefulness and love of your own company. Take a walk in nature, contemplate your life and feel gratitude for the blessings you have and the challenges you've overcome thus far. Love yourself just as you are right now -- flaws and all. Light a candle inside yourself and sit quietly, taking stock of what you love most, and contemplating how to give more goodness to yourself, and others.
2. Love everyone! Go through this Valentines Day focusing on the feeling of love in your heart. Imagine that this was your last day on earth and with this exercise, see each person you meet with fresh eyes. Instead of going though your day with usual formalities, look into the eyes of every person you come in contact with, and bring an appreciation of them and their life story into your heart. Look at the supermarket cashier with the eyes of your heart, and buying milk will become an act of divine love.
3. Love anything! Whatever you naturally love in your life, focus your attention on the love you are feeling for that object, person, or situation. If you have a pet that you love, then hold your pet and allow the feeling of love to expand. One ancient technique is to feel the love you have for anything you love, and then to move your focus from the object of your love and onto the feeling of love itself. This practice helps you to strengthen your connection with the experience of love, so your intermittent drops of love can eventually expand into an ocean of love that stays with you all the time.
4. Love SPIRIT! Whether you consider yourself to be a spiritual or religious person, you can still love God, either as a religious persona, or as the formless absolute force of nature that creates and sustains everything. Feel how your heart connects with the universal heart. Love the divine, and become divine -- this is one of the great secret alchemies of spiritual life. The poet Hafiz said, "Someone inside of us is now kissing the hand of God and wants to share with us that grand news." On this Valentines Day, turn your attention within to taste this part of you that is kissing the essence of love.