Hello everyone – and Happy Valentines Day to you!
It’s Valentine’s Day, so my thoughts are turning towards LOVE.
Actually, my thoughts are very often turned on to LOVE as this underpins all of my work. Whether I am at my “day job” in a nursing home delivering the activities programme, running a dance class in the evening or working on-to-one with a client offering a Holding for Healing Cuddle Therapy session I feel my main role is to hold a space of love for those around me, so that they feel heard, received, uplifted and supported.
I feel I am able to do this by sticking to four main principles and I am going to share them with you following a message of LOVE
Listen, be Open, be Vibrant and Embrace life.
Listen: Everyone likes to feel important and we all deserve to be heard. Listening to someone with our undivided attention, being fully focused on them and what they are sharing is a fabulous way to really make someone feel special. I talk a lot at home about things that I have been going through, interactions with friends, challenges I face and emotions I am feeling. Sure, sometimes I just want to get things off my chest, but imagine how great I feel when a few days later my husband refers back to something very specific that I shared. It makes me feel truly valued. He has listened and cares enough to ask how I am getting on. To listen noon-judgementally and without slipping into just planning our response is a skill. Start practising today!
Be Open: By which I mean the ability to accept and be tolerant – or even interested – in everyone you meet. I am not saying everyone has to be your best friend, and naturally we will feel more drawn to some personality types than other. However, at the most basic level all human beings have the same needs and desires and we have the same rights to physical health and emotional well-being. I understand many of us may have been “stung” in the past; our heart broken our boundaries not respected, our dreams undermined, our feelings hurt or worse and these experiences automatically produce a response that means we build a wall around us to feel safe. We even create physical body amour to protect ourselves. My suggestion here is that we gently, gradually let down our defences to let others in, we open up a little to connect more honestly with those we come into contact with. This can start by smiling at the checkout person or making that phone call to a relative you haven’t spoken to for years.
Be Vibrant: This is my favourite as it is all about spreading positive energy, but it is not about positive thinking. For many, many years I was a huge advocate of positive thinking, always looking for the bright side of situations and only saying nice things about everything. Although on some levels this isn’t a bad idea, it is superficial and can be incongruent and inauthentic. As I have shared before, our universe works on energetic laws, if we meet someone who says they are OK when in fact they are depressed or angry we can feel that something isn’t right; the situation doesn’t feel congruent. Likewise If I act cheerfully when actually I am feeling anxious or scared then I am not being authentic. Being vibrant means being true, honest and aligned to how you are really feeling in any given moment. It means accepting that how you feel changes constantly and also that you are able to improve how you feel by doing things that soothe and uplift you….More about this next time.
Embrace Life: Sometimes life can feel scary or over-whelming, we have so much to do, so much expected of us, so many demands on our time, so much stimulus thrown at us, so much so that we wish to run away and hide under the duvet (or is that just me!).
The fourth principle that I try to live by is “embrace life”, which can be translated as “go with the flow”. I spent a lot of my time in the past desperately trying to be in control of everything and everyone in my life. And you know what, that is exhausting and impossible. I defiantly still have a tendency to do it but slowly I am learning to stop needing everything to be in safe little boxes and for everyone to fit into my schedule. I have achieved this in two ways. First by working on dissolving the physical tension and resistance I held in my body, thus becoming more relaxed generally and secondly, through cultivating an attitude of trust. Neither of these methods are an overnight fix yet as I began to relax and flow with life, people around me magically became happier too. I was less demanding and had few expectations, quite naturally people felt more accepted, cherished and loved for who they were. Relationships improved and life became easier.
It’s important to add that life under the duvet is fun sometimes too!!!
Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day – Remember self-love is the most important love there is.