With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, can you think about anything other than matters of the heart?!
Or 50 Shades of Grey?
Or what the heck to do on the feast of Saint Valentine?
Nope, me neither.
Whether you are flying single or double, this holiday brings with it all sorts of social pressures and marketing-induced expectations. With ads popping up in every social media corner, it’s easy to feel conflicted and even a little loco this time of year.
Take me for example. Here are a few of the random thoughts I’ve had in the last 12 hours:
- I don’t need to do anything for Valentines Day. I’m relaxed. I’m cool. Really. I’ll just hang out with my fiancée on the sofa. I refuse to be seduced.
- No, OK, I got it. I’m gonna suggest to my fiancée that we cook a 5 star breakfast together and eat it in bed. Yum.
- No, wait! This weekend is Carnival weekend in the Netherlands. We could get all costumed up, check out the floats and make it a FUN day/night. Phew. Plans made.
- I’m exhausted. Valentine’s Day is bonkers. It’s just another Saturday. What I really want to do is take a hot bubble bath, listen to some good ol’ Nora Jones and spend some quality time with moi!
And that’s when it hit me.
What if this Valentine’s Day you focus your efforts on increasing feelings of love within yourself – regardless of your situation? Knowing that ultimately, you’re after the feeling?
Here are 10 ways to fuel your inner love affair:
#1. Do a love meditation. Find a meditation that focuses on increasing love and strengthen relationships. Check this one out by Abraham Hicks.
#2. Pamper yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to treat you. Book yourself a day at the spa. Low on time? Get a pedi. Saving money? Put on some music, light a few candles and paint your own toes!
#3. Tell love stories. Get together with some girlfriends and share stories about the most exciting and thrilling love you have felt. As you tell the story, move away from the details about the other person, and move into how YOU felt.
#4. Bake! Have you seen all the yummy recipes for sweets pumping through the internet veins? I still think a way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, including your own. I’m going to try this one for Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes!
#5. Listen to a love song. Put on some music that connects you to your heart, something that makes you feel alive, tingly and joyful! Get your sexy funk on with this Bruno Mars gem – Uptown Funk – or you can slow it down with this beautiful live performance of No Ordinary Love by You + Me.
#6. Watch a great movie. There are so many great love movies. You could go for a classic like The Notebook (Ryan Gosling, sigh), something more recent like The Fault In Our Stars (tissues required) or even a foreign language film like The Lunchbox, which I’ve been hankering to watch on Netflix.
#7. Write a future love letter. Not one to a future lover, one to your future self. Imagine yourself 10 years from now, living the absolutely perfect, love-filled life. Write to the current you from that place. Describe (and feel) how it is to live with so much love.
#8. Write a letter of appreciation. Put your gratitude and love for someone else on paper. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to do this well. Even a short little thank-you note will go a long way!
#9. Carpe Diem. Open up that bottle of wine you’ve been saving, wear that new dress that still has the tag on it, or treat yourself to weekly home deliveries of fresh organic food. YOU are special and worthy of love-filled treats.
#10. Commit a RALK. A WHAT you ask? A Random Act of Loving Kindness, I say! February 9 – 16 is the 10th Annual Random Acts of Kindness Week so do something special and unexpected for someone you love and appreciate. It feels soooo good (and that’s the feeling you are after! One of my favourite RALKs ever was sending 10 ice cold lemonades to the staff at a passport office on a steamy summer’s day after I received amazing service!
So, as Valentine’s Day approaches this weekend remember that the best love affair you can have is one with yourself.
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Let’s go on a RALK spree! Since loving yourself, loving others and living in love feels so amazing, let’s do this and enter a chance to win a lil something!
1. Look for opportunities with people you know or even complete strangers to show appreciation, be helpful or surprise and delight.
2. Commit the RALK – help someone with their groceries, send a “just because” thank you note, buy the person in line behind you a latte. The sky is the limit and there is no right or wrong!
3. Share it with me – take a picture, post it here on my Facebook page and tag it with #actsoflove.
To inspire and treat you I’m going to randomly select one RALKer on February 17th and send that person a lovely Poetry Pouch from my friend Karen Ward over at Purses + Poetry. (She is a world class RALKer who gives away beautiful goodies every month!)
Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Now let’s go spread the love and remember to share it with me here so I can commit a RALK and send you over s lil something!