February 2018 - Valentines Day & The Power of Love

Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

February! It's a month to celebrate love in all it's forms

It's easy to think of Valentines Day as a celebration of romantic love, but really, if you look past all the greeting card, jewelry and candy advertising, how lovely and powerful to have a holiday to celebrate love- not just romantic love, but love in all it's forms - self-love, compassion for all beings, unconditional love, universal love, love as a force or an energy that we can tap into and share, love of community like Martin Luther King Jr's Beloved Community.

I invite you this month to look beyond the superficial aspects of this holiday, to spend some time exploring the deeper aspects, possibilities and power of love to change and enrich your life, the lives of family and friends and your community. It all begins with you. The world needs your love!

Here are few jumping off points:

INSPIRATION

Love after Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life.
       Derek Walcott

All love and compassion begins with self-love and self-compassion and this poem is a great inspiration. Take some time this Valentines Day to honor and deepen your own relationship with yourself. Practicing yoga & meditation is really just a process of befriending yourself. You can use yoga & meditation practice as an inquiry into Self-Compassion and Non-Judgement, maybe paying attention to your internal dialogue and making an effort to drop the judgement and be more compassionate and friendly with yourself. While self-love is something we can practice and cultivate in our lives, Yoga teaches us that Love is also our true nature and birth-right.

PRACTICE

Guided Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation - This guided meditation is just 20 minutes and it is designed to cultivate first self-compassion and then allowing that circle of compassion to expand out, eventually to all beings everywhere.
 

give yourself the gift of self-care....

Join me for:

Yoga Nidra for Self-Care & Compassion

Sunday, Feb. 11

at Westford Pilates
288 Littleton Rd #16
Westford MA

5:00 6-:15 PM
Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep. This deeply restful and restorative practice has ancient roots in the Yoga Tradition and yet is perfect for helping us to unplug from the distraction, busyness and stress of living in our modern world. As you untangle the knots of physical, mental and emotional tensions your natural state of love and peace rises up the your state of deep presence. Learn More...

RESOURCES

*Sharon Salzberg's new book Real Love : The Art of Mindful Connection shows us how to redfine our limited definition of love and offers numerous mindfulness experiences and meditations.

Real Love : The Art of Mindful Connection By Sharon Salzberg

*Brene Brown's Book The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embracing Who You Are offers guideposts for living wholeheartedly with a sense of worthiness.

The Gifts of Imperfection

*Inspired by the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the essence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and work was LOVE and nowhere is it more obvious than in his teaching on the beloved community. Enjoy this On Being Podcast with John Lewis......

https://onbeing.org/blog/we-are-the-beloved-community-john-lewis/

Hope to see you on the mat soon.

Much love,

Marie