Remember the scene in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” when the “Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day?”
Of course—it’s an awesome line and a great scene.
I’ve been thinking about that line as Valentine’s Day approaches and our thoughts once again turn to honoring those we love.
I remember when my oldest nephew was born, looking at this tiny baby and wondering what I would do when more nieces and nephews appeared. I could not imagine sharing that love with anyone else, I feared I would run out of love. Then three more amazing nieces and nephews came along and my heart just kept expanding. I am continually astonished by how much love I have for these four people.
It is unconditional and, by some miracle, they all love me too.
After I got divorced, I could not imagine finding space in my heart to love someone again, yet I am now happily married and my love for my new husband grows all the time. And, the more I love my husband, my nieces and nephews, my family and my friends, the more space I seem to find to love new people and to deepen my love in existing relationships.
As my circle of love has expanded, so have my roots in my local and far-flung community and, with it, my courage to grow and explore new heights.
One of my favorite things about being a mentor is sharing with people that our hearts operate at their most efficient and effective state when experiencing feelings of love.
It is awesome that the more love we feel, the better it is for our hearts.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, I find myself thinking about love and its gifts.
Breathe and focus. Often in rushing around to get things done we forget to breathe, be present in the moment and focus on those around us.
Listen. Truly, deeply and with rapt attention, listen when people speak. Often we multi-task and don’t provide ourselves the opportunity to feel or receive the love that is available even in the most mundane conversations.
Be open to people who are new to you. Sometimes meeting someone new can provide a totally unexpected gift of love, whether it is the start of a new relationship or a brief and passing moment.
Make time for loved ones. Valentine’s Day offers a great opportunity to reconnect with those in our heart, whether it has been hours, days or years since we last connected.
Do something kind for a stranger. The experience of love can occur in giving or doing something kind for a stranger. This act of kindness isn’t just good for our hearts, it’s good for our brains as well.
Experience a feeling of love for natural surroundings. Love and gratitude for the Earth that sustains us can be deeply rewarding and calming.
Love yourself. It may be the case that all love starts with self-love. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others?
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a loved one can be special and awesome. In addition to that fabulous celebration, I suggest trying at least one of these practices every day for 30 days and see how you feel. I believe it will make your heart grow “three sizes in one day” and in doing that, we can change the world.
Author: Wendy Kuhn
Apprentice Editor: Megan Ridge Morris/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock