Every Valentines Day, we spend our time and energy focused on what we have to give others and what others have to give us.
We spend our currency—energetically and monetarily—on our external relationships. Celebrating the people we love is a wonderful thing but not at the expense of the most important relationship in our lives.
The one that begins, thrives and ends with you.
The relationship to self.
Here are some tips to be your own Valentine:
1. Make Time For Yourself.
You know when your darlings need some extra love? When your partner really needs you to listen? When your child is having a hard day? Or when your girlfriend needs to spill her guts?
We all need that care.
Carve out time for self support. Do something that nourished your spirit. Everyday. Make it a non-negotiable. Whether its journaling, yoga, meditation or simply sitting quietly with a cuppa tea.
Make space in your day to just be.
Find space in your body and space between thoughts and I promise when you do re-engage with your daily activities, you will be that much more effective and present and clear. Ready to serve, wholehearted.
2. Look Inside For Happiness.
Find the source of happiness within. Don’t always depend on external circumstances for your self worth.
Our actions, our attitude and our accomplishments don’t make us who we are.
Stop basing your self worth on the roles that you play—mother, partner, sister, daughter, professional—we can make mistakes along the way, but we are still just as perfect, precious and priceless as we always were.
We are inherently and intrinsically valuable, worthy and perfect. True happiness arises when we come back to this.
You are a diamond. If only in the rough. Whats not to smile about?
3. Tell Comparison To Beat It.
Comparison. Oh, dude. There you are. Never too far.
Comparison steals the joy right out of the glorious moments in front of us. When we focus on the Pinterest Moms, the model/gymnast who’s unrolled their mat beside ours, a person’s perfectly fake online persona, we dim our light. We lose sight of all that we have to offer.
There is a space between the moments of comparison and competition. We can choose compassion for ourselves. We can choose to meet and honour ourselves on our own unique journey. There is room for us to expand our consciousness and see more clearly and we have such a great capacity to burn beautifully and brightly when we let go of the fear and the doubt and settle into the love that is always there.
4. Create, Create, Create.
Fill yourself up with what excites you.
Love to cook? Make time for it. Love to write? Have at ‘er! Dig yoga? Sign up for a workshop or do a teacher training.
Commit. Prioritize. Keep moving forward. Invest in yourself, in your expression and never stop creating. Get in there!
5. Forgive Yourself.
We have all made really big, sh*tty mistakes.
We have all said terrible things to the people we love, we have all lied, we have all judged others and we have all been unkind. Those moments we lack compassion aren’t who we truly are.
Punishing ourselves (by feeling horrible for the rest of our lives), serves no one. No one benefits. Not you, not your family and definitely not the person you wronged (especially if the person you wronged is you).
When we sit in a place of guilt and shame, we pass on that energy to the people around us—parents, children, friends, coworkers—and the pain and regret ripples out in an incredibly toxic way. Our bodies respond too, in the form of stress, high blood pressure and depression.
Its time to take back your power and give yourself into a big ol’ hug. Its time to forgive yourself. The arguments, the hurtful words, the negative self talk…forgive it all. Let go and then let go some more. Feel the weight fall off your shoulders, feel yourself stand taller, feel your heart expand and allow yourself to move forward, and in doing so, come back to who you truly are.
Mantra is profound. Mantra is sounds and sound is vibration and vibration is everything. From the subtly of thought to the density of matter, everything is vibrating.
When we recite a mantra, we attune. We align. We harmonize. We resonate. We vibrate. Look in the mirror today, genuinely smile at yourself and say: I am worthy of love. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of love. Say it, hear it, feel it, be it.
There is always cause for celebration, always a sunny side. We are worth celebrating simply because we are alive. Every single one of us is deserving of gratitude and appreciation and its so important to take the time to do so.
Pick up a bottle of champagne, have a kitchen dance party, bake a cake, soak in the tub, book a weekend getaway (do it.), get a pedicure.
Celebrate the sheer spaciousness and kindness and clarity that is inside us all. Celebrate your capacity to crack your heart wide open and offer so much love to the people in your life. Celebrate all that you are, and all that you offer. Celebrate you.
8. You Are Love.
Love is not attachment based or attraction based. We do not have to look outside of ourselves to find it and we don’t have to change anything to access it.
Yoga teaches us that at our very essence, we are love. We are an expression of the deepest kind of love. We are blissful, radiant consciousness. We are complete. We are whole and perfect exactly as we come. When we can get quiet and contemplative, when we can find our most open hearts, we will always, each and every time, come back to love.
Author: Shannon MacLaggan
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Hayley Bouchard/Flickr, Brittany Gillman Photography