for Urban Professionals & Other Skeptics in a Rush
February 13, 2013 in Inspiration
“What you seek is seeking you.”
I’ll be the first to say that Valentine’s Day is yet another attempt to monetize something that is supposed to be free. But you know what – I’m right in there with Hallmark and Godiva cheering to make this day full of love – because we need a better model to make every day that way. If it has to start with this one little day, so be it.
We are not in a culture of self-love, or of shouting our love for each other from the rooftops, or of putting love into the world as a seedling to grow. But we are so close, that this little push into a day of overpriced roses and chocolate goes into my books as inertia. We are collectively more familiar with longing and fantasy than with the overwhelming realization that our desires have manifested. Change that today, starting with your own life. What you seek, as Rumi says, is seeking you. Go first.
We seek peace in our hearts, our lives, and our world. Here are three ways to magnify the love in all of these places, starting right now.
Nourish yourself with kind thoughts and good nutrition. Can you imagine taking care of yourself like you would a lover or a small child? Ideally for a lifetime, but even just for a day. This can look like a decadent day of self-care with your favorite healthy foods, surrounding yourself with people you love, or a massage. But it can also be as basic as replacing the self-criticism that swirls in your mind with post-it style positive affirmations, taking three minutes instead of twenty seconds to nourish your winter skin with body lotion, or skipping a single packaged processed snack in favor of a fresh whole food that your body will love. How hard would it be to wink at yourself in the mirror, and mean it?
Love the loves in your life
Your partner, friend, or family member are all short on acknowledgement. Acknowledgement is not a habit that we’re in, and it really goes a long way. While you may think it’s obvious that you adore him or her, or value his or her opinion or the endless ways that your life is enriched because he or she is in it – do you communicate this really clearly? Remember that time you were exhausted but emptied the dishwasher anyway? That time you read that draft letter and made edits? That you keep buying beets even though you would personally never eat them? I’ll bet it would be nice to for you to feel seen and heard, and you can give that great feeling to someone else. It’s so easy, and such a great practice to improve the communication and quality of your relationships, multiplying the love in your life – just by naming it.
Put love into the world.
One of my favorite things I’ve come across since moving back to Toronto is the love lettering project. A young woman has put hundreds of love letters all over the city, to be found! Committing random acts of kindness feels terrific, and that is reason enough to do them. Even better than that, it puts that very thing that someone was seeking out into the world for them to receive. An anonymous flower delivery. An extra few coins in the parking meter. A subway swipe. These seem like tiny gestures, but what you create when you put them into the world is more love, and more hope that maybe, as we sometimes dare to dream, love really is all around.
One last note. Why is this on a site that is devoted to nutrition? If you’ve looked around my site, you’ll see that my approach connects how you eat and how you live with how you feel. You can do all of the technical things right, like eating a balanced diet, but primary nutrition – like the quality of your relationships, exercise, spiritual practice, and work – are all intimately connected to how you feel.
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