This was originally written for the delicious Breakfast Criminals blog. BC is the food-blog-baby of my lovely yoga student Ksenia Avdulova, and is THE hot spot for scrumptious brekkie ideas!
I’m sure Cupid is a great cherub, really. But if his arrow hasn’t struck us or the apple of our eye by February 14th, it can leave us feeling a little duped. Personally, I can find this holiday simultaneously romantic and painful, and I know I’m not alone.
There is this stigma, this “in or out” division that happens with the Valentine Haves and Have-nots on this beloved day. I say, it’s all skate. Rather than sitting at home sulking when you don’t have a honey, be sweet to yourself! Many healers and self-help gurus tout that in order to find true love, we must first cultivate an authentic sense of self-love. We are, after all, the only one person that will be there for us for our entire life! It’s quite a magical thing to celebrate, if you really think about it. Jack Kornfield says: “When we open our hearts to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. Only in this moment can we discover that which is timeless, only here can we find the love that we seek. Love in the past is simply memory, and love in the future is fantasy. Only in the reality of the present can we love, can we awaken, can we find peace and understanding and connection with ourselves in the world”. So, if the only place that love actually exists is in the present, then celebrating Valentine’s Day should be just that, a chance to honor the present. Here’s how:
1. GET REAL SEXY. Fun fact: We are the only person we sleep with every night, forever. That, my friend, is reason enough to get juicy. I have a dear friend whom, whenever she is single, still gets ready for bed as if she has a lover: shaved legs, yummy body lotion, teeth brushed. It helps her stay nurturing and positive despite the loneliness that can emerge when not sporting a Valentine. By continuing self care routines whilst single, we aren’t perpetuating the “I do this all for someone else ” mentality. Try it out: Take a warm bath with lavender essential oils and Epsom salts, use a yummy body scrub, shave or don’t shave-whatever is YOU, light candles, put on that music that connects you with a feeling of sensuality, of your aliveness. Steep.
2. ASK YOURSELF OUT. Take yourself on a date. Create the environment most likely to make you feel gushy and cared for; get all dolled up, wear the shoes that are saved for special occasions, dress in whatever feels special and delicious and like YOU. Go see that play, buy tickets for that event that feels like an indulgence. Treat yourself to things that you would want your hunk / goddess to plan. I firmly believe that it is not hard getting what you want, it is hard knowing what you want. Here is the perfect chance to cultivate knowing what you want. Ask yourself what your dream date would entail? Think of it as setting up a foundational love-routine that your future sweetie can pick up and run with.
3. WRITE A LOVE LETTER. Yes, you heard me right, a love letter to yourself. Get out your prettiest stationary or journal, set the mood (candles, a glass of red wine, chocolate… whatever spins your fan!) and get going. Write this letter to your Self. Not you the banker, teacher, mother. Write the letter to the purest essence of your being. To your deepest, most intimate soul-self. What do you admire about you? What are your greatest accomplishments? Whose lives are better because of you? What are your 3 greatest and most lovely qualities? If you feel silly or foolish, join the club! Most people have a hard time accepting compliments, let alone self-generating them! When it comes to practicing receiving love, There is no place like home. When your letter is finished, read it out loud to yourself (in front of a mirror, if you are feeling brave).
4. ROCK YOUR BODY. Get a massage (if money is tight, invite a best friend over to do a massage swap), take a playful yoga class, run with your dog, hell—put on some Katy Perry and dance around your living room in a feather boa, if that’s what makes you happy. Just, for the love of Cupid, enjoy and celebrate your physical form. Connecting with your body is a great way to drop into the present moment. Isn’t it beautiful how many places this body has taken us?
5. SAVOR THE SOLITUDE. You will not be single forever—unless you want to be! What if, moving forward, this is the last Valentine’s Day you will ever spend single? What a special and momentous holiday! Treat this special time as a chance to honor and establish personal rituals and solace. Think of this year as one you will spend with your most loyal Valentine: you. Bliss out with a good book or some Hafiz poetry and meditate on your beautiful life. “What you seek, is seeking you.” — Rumi