By Ora Nadrich
On this Valentine’s Day, go beyond exchanging the usual gifts and calling it good. Instead, make an effort to mindfully celebrate all the love in your life. Bring your full presence and awareness to recognizing the love around you and feel gratitude for the love that you are able to give and receive.
Honor love in all of its forms — both romantic and platonic love. With mindfulness, be a conduit for love by radiating warmth and compassion to touch the hearts of others. Focus on the love that fills your own life, and think of filling the well of love for all in the world through the positive energy that you radiate.
Use these and other ways to move beyond the superficial aspects of Valentine’s Day and mindfully explore the deep, vibrant qualities of love with your partner, yourself, and other loved ones.
Cherish your lovable self. Whether or not you have a special someone, celebrate Valentine’s Day by recognizing and appreciating the lovable person that is you! Self-love is at the root of all the love and compassion you give to others. Go inward and contemplate what your heart feels. Honor the thoughts that well up.
Express your love in writing. Instead of just signing a card with “I love you” and your name, write a heartfelt message. Share something meaningful that honors the special attributes that initially drew you to your partner or other loved ones. Include a favorite memory or a special quality and say why it means so much to you.
Revel in each other’s company. Give each other your full attention. Turn off screens and devices and fully engage with each other. Connect with the feeling of warmth and tenderness between you. Take turns sharing what you love about each other.
Enjoy songs that stir up fond memories. We all have experienced the power of music to take us back in time. Do you and your loved one have your own song? If not, is there music that you enjoyed together in the past that will evoke special moments? You may want to take your sweetie in your arms and sway to the tunes.
Savor the intimacy you have with your lover. Set the stage to relish the intimate pleasure you give to one another. Play soft music, make love by candlelight, use massage oils to prolong your foreplay, or whatever else you imagine will enhance the sharing of sensual pleasures. Intently focus on your partner and fully show up together in your intimacy.
Recognize the love around you. Make time to quietly connect with the love in your life. Treasure those who share their love and brighten your world. Use a breathing exercise to breathe in their love and breathe out your love. Focus on expanding the love outward to include all the living beings in the world.
Show up completely with yourself and your partner and open your heart to profound love. Let mindfulness give you and your loved one the perfect valentine. It will stay with you longer than a box of chocolates.
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Ora Nadrich is founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named in the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at theiftt.org.
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