Valentine’s Day can be a delightful if you have a partner that loves you and wants to celebrate your love. What if you don’t have a partner or the commercialism of the holiday leaves you feeling like something is wrong with you?
I used to hate Valentine’s Day because it was a reminder that I was single and didn’t have a love interest in my life. I felt like I was a bit of a misfit. I still feel that way sometimes…
However, I don’t fight it anymore. It’s not a one-size-fits-all world, and being a woman who stands almost 6’2” tall, I definitely don’t fit into the standard. In school I was always the tallest girl and often taller than the guys. I wished I could be “average.” Thankfully, my Dad, who was 6’4”, did his best from a very young age to get me to embrace my uniqueness. One of my favorite things about my height is that it provides me with a different perspective. Elderly ladies ask me for help reaching the top shelf in the supermarket, and it feels good to help them.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Franti and Spearhead jam at The Fillmore in SF. It was a blast to see my favorite band at my favorite venue in SF! (If you have the chance to see MF live, go! You can thank me later 😉). Always a good, uplifting vibe!!!
It was a full house and we were in the back of the room and I could clearly see the band and didn’t have to worry about not being able to see the show. There are advantages to my height, and that sure is a different perspective from my teenage years when I wished I could shrink down to be the same height as the other girls.
It took a long time for me to embrace my height, but acceptance is a powerful thing. Each decade of my adult life has brought more kindness, compassion and love into my life, both in my relationships with myself and others.
But back to Valentine’s Day and my shift from hating the commercial aspects and feeling left out..
My perspective began to shift years ago when I decided not to be a victim of the commercialism of Valentine’s Day. Instead of feeling like a single misfit, I began to learn to give myself the love that I wanted to receive from others. It didn’t happen overnight. It started with noticing the voice in my head that was critical and not very kind. Raising my awareness of the part of me that was not loving toward myself was the beginning.
Learning to reframe my critical thinking and has become a daily practice for me for over 20 years now. Replacing my critical thoughts with more kind and compassionate thoughts is indeed a practice that pays dividends. Examining the thoughts and stories we tell ourselves is one of the key components of my coaching work. I do it with myself. I do it with corporate teams. I do with individuals that come to me for career and energy/mindset coaching.
One of the first things I try to address are the personal lies we tell ourselves.
- Awareness of the lies we tell ourselves
- Accepting where we are now
- Creating statements to reframe the lies into truths and even writing them down – having mantras ready in your back pocket is key!
- Intending to be more kind and compassionate with ourselves and others.
- Developing a mindfulness practice: committing to spend a few moments a day on this. Just following your breath and quieting your mind is hugely transformative, and the benefits are cumulative. The more you practice, the deeper the benefits.
So if you want to bring more love into your life, start with you. Notice your thoughts and simply begin to be more kind and compassionate with yourself. It’s so important to acknowledge and accept where you are right now. When you reframe your thoughts, start by making little shifts that feel authentic to you. Sometimes telling ourselves “ I love you” may be a bit of a stretch. But we can take small steps and tell ourselves a truth that we can access. One of the ways that I leveraged my own self-kindness was to remind myself that I was a person who is kind to others. I could access that. And I used my knowledge of how to be kind to others in turn to be kind to myself.
This stuff isn’t rocket science; it’s much simpler. We come from Love and as humans our journey is all about coming back to Love. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Our souls come here to learn through experience. My friend Donna calls it “Earth School” and here on earth we have ample opportunity to experience all that is in contrast to Love. Just turn on the TV to a news channel and you can see all of the horrible things in the world. That is Contrast, and our soul’s job is to return to Love in the midst of all that isn’t. That’s where the magic happens. When we can align with love in the midst of a shit storm, we can have a broader and deeper impact in our world.
My wish for you this Valentine’s Day is that you align with Love, no matter what your circumstances. Be the love you wish to see. Our world needs you and your love. I am grateful for you!
Sending you big virtual hug and so much love today!