Valentine’s day…what does it mean? As a teacher and a parent, it means giving and receiving cards at school, sending love grams, giving chocolates and sweets to tell the little people in my life that I love them. As a partner in a relationship, it is to express gratitude, to feel the fullness in my heart, to be thankful I have a life partner and companion, and to give a gift.
To some, this is just a Hallmark holiday. To some, this is a time to fee lonely, to focus on what is lacking for those that find themselves not in a romantic relationship. But it doesn’t have to be so…
Last weekend, I began a year long immersion and teacher training for Anusara yoga. One thing I love about Anusara is the emphasis on opening to grace. It is common to hear teachers instruct students to melt your heart, bow into your heart, lead with your heart, etc. It is an outlook of love. It is what Valentine’s Day should and could embody. It’s a feeling that should carry us throughout the year.
Today in school, I led the children through our yoga practice focused on love and the heart, a perfect theme for Valentine’s Day. Children amaze me in their perceptions, and we practiced shining our hearts to send love out and bowing our hearts in to receive love. At the end of Savasana, one student said she could hear and feel her mom’s love, even though she was not present.
It is common in our culture to believe that the brain houses our minds. This is not the world view everywhere or historically. National Geographic explains
The ancient Egyptians thought so little of brain matter they made a practice of scooping it out through the nose of a dead leader before packing the skull with cloth before burial. They believed consciousness resided in the heart, a view shared by Aristotle and a legacy of medieval thinkers.
Embracing heart energy in all our interactions changes our outlook on life. When we first acknowledge our true nature of goodness and feel the love embodied there, it becomes easier to deal with life’s little problems and challenges.
Whether physically or consciously, may we honor our heart’s true nature on this Valentine’s Day. May we receive love and give love. May our actions align with this attitude beyond giving cards and sweets. May we honor the goodness in all beings.