by Ana L. Palles
A friend of mine commented that she would have her Christmas chocolate finished just in time for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate aside, February 14th is a celebration of love for many of us. Husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends race around town in search of bouquets of beautiful red roses, boxes of fine candies, or amorous heart-strewn cards in order to express their feelings.
Valentine’s Day is when we master our shyness and any reservations we feel about relationships. A day to tell our beloved how much we treasure them, even if our carefully scrolled signature on the bottom of those heartfelt verses reads Secret Admirer.
With the focus clearly on love and union on Valentine’s Day, here are some helpful suggestions for celebrating your relationships.
It’s what I like about you
When people have known each other a long time, many couples assume that each knows the other so well that there is little need to say what is perceived as obvious.
A man might assume that his wife knows she attracts him, but maybe she needs to hear what it is about her that makes her attractive and unique. Take a few moments and tell her. A wife might think that her husband realizes how much she cares for him by the loving way she prepares the meals. But maybe her husband needs to hear that her heart fills with love for him at soft, quiet moments. Maybe it happens when she sees him hold his strength in check while gently caressing a baby’s cheek, or when tenderly helping an injured animal.
The point is, everyone needs to hear that they are loved. This Valentine’s Day look at the partner you have chosen and think about the things you love about them. Share it with them.
Set aside some time and create your own traditions. Write a love letter or a list of the things that you treasure about your beloved. Take the time to really think about the person when you write it, seal it and bless it. Then create a quiet mood with candles, pillows, and soft music. Turn off your phone, and set the world aside for the next hour. Exchange your love letters with one another. Keep your voices hushed. Remember, you have set a sacred space between yourselves. Take your time, hold hands and read your love letters.
C’mon Now Touch Me Baby
A friend of mine who had been married ten years told me that one of his secrets to a happy marriage was to give his wife foot massages while they relaxed on the couch in the evenings. Relaxation and a sense of well being are typical results from massage, but the feet are particularly powerful. The feet have a number of acupressure points that according to Chinese medicine, map to all areas of the body. When these points are activated, they trigger responses such as lymphatic drainage, and liver and gall bladder release and even improvements in your vision. Best of all, it takes the person into a state of deep relaxation and enjoyment.
And it doesn’t just have to be the feet. When you receive a massage, you are getting the warmth, energy and sense of nurturing that touch provides. The skin is our largest organ. We already know the importance of touch to life, and touch is one of the basic ways we communicate love, compassion and support. Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to explore the power of gentle touch. Give your loved one a massage. Focus on anything and it doesn’t have to be an hour long. Just do it with love and intent.
So Happy Together
Dr. Christiane Northrup, a physician known for her empowering approach to health and wellness, asked an entire studio audience to stand up and do a simple Chi Gung exercise on a recent afternoon talk show. The exercise involved placing a hand over the high heart, on your chest, and the other hand on the low heart which is down by the second chakra. She then asked everyone to close their eyes and smile and send that smile through your hands, through your hearts.
The audience was amazed. Within minutes, the difference was immediately felt throughout the body. Chi Gung, a facet of Chinese medicine that focuses on the Chi or life energy, talks about the inner smile as a profound tool to rejuvenate and transform stress into vitality.
It’s a simple, important concept. There are people we know in our day to day life that smile a great deal, and that always seem to look for the positive. It isn’t that their life is any simpler than ours, or that they are not touched by tragedy or pain. It’s that they’ve made a conscious choice, and they are choosing happiness.
On Valentine’s Day, why not choose to push aside any inconveniences of the day. For example, someone cut you off in traffic, you are angry at your boss, or your child got a F in Math. Decide that Valentine’s Day is devoted to your own inner smile. Now, turn around and shine that smile on your beloved. Look directly into one another’s eyes and beam the word happy, joy, or light into their eyes. Smile and imagine every cell in your body smiling.
All the baggage of the day is simply set aside for another time. Imagine it stuffed into a backpack. It’s not that it’s gone away, it’s simply how you choose to work with it. You can carry it around everywhere you go, or you can lay it down for a while and figure out what it feels like not to have all that weight on your back. Make a choice on Valentine’s Day to set it down outside the door for the evening and enjoy yourself.
There’s nothing quite as heady as being in love. It makes us feel happy, buoyant and alive and research shows that it is good for our health. On a day dedicated to love, make it a point to discover the joy and sacredness in your relationships. And remember that smile!
Lastly, it ‘s good luck to be awoken by a kiss on Valentine's Day.