“Love is never outside ourselves; love is within us.”
February brings us Valentine’s Day, making it the ideal month to focus on what we love. Think about what you love about yourself. What do you love about your life? Your work? Your habits?
As you build on your newly established goals for the new year, now is a good time to adjust your plans if necessary. Do you still want what you thought you did when you identified your 2019 goals? Have you been following up on your plans? If not, why?
In my own life, I’ve noticed some of my well-intentioned plans aren’t panning out. So I am giving myself permission to change my mind based on whether I can connect my goal in some way to love.
The practice of self-care is an expression of love. Women sometimes find it easier to love and care for others but then struggle with giving that same level of care to themselves. But what happens when we put our needs aside, sacrificing self-care for others? Love works like gratitude. The more we give, the more we get. It’s just we forget to give to ourselves first. It’s important to remember: “Place the mask over your nose and mouth first, before assisting others.”
Sometimes it helps us take care of ourselves when we think in terms of needs rather than wants. Identifying needs can be revealing and can inform you about why you want what you want. You may find it’s easier to meet a need, and it allows you the chance to see things differently. If you have a need to exercise, for example, but can’t seem to get going, think about pairing it up with another need. You might pair it with, say, the need for more connection or community, and then find a group with whom you can enjoy hiking, dancing, walking, or some other form of exercise. This way, you fill two needs — exercising and connecting with people — which is twice as motivating!
Next, ask yourself how you can put a little love into it. More nature, beauty, laughter, nourishment, fun? These are the spices of life that feed the soul, and we need to sprinkle them generously around ourselves — and others.
Love is the magic ingredient that makes everything more worthwhile. Vitamin L — it can be evoked through thought or deed, received and delivered. Identify what you love and commit to having more of it.