Five Unconventional Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day
"Love is a state of Being.
Your love is not outside; it is deep within you.
You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.
It is not dependent on some other body, some external form.
In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form.
You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature.
You look beyond the veil of form and separation.
This is the realization of oneness. This is love."
~ Eckhart Tolle
As you probably are well aware, today is Valentine's Day. No matter what your relationship status, here are some ideas for how to celebrate this day. From my heart to yours, wishing you a most beautiful celebration of love!
1. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
“If you're feeling low, help someone else" ~ My Dad
Valentine's Day can bring up all kinds of emotions for some of us. Luckily, we just so happen to be right in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness Week! No matter how you are feeling today, and especially if you are feeling lonely, what a perfect time to share a little kindness! Doing random acts of kindness releases a whole host of feel-good chemicals in both the doer, the receiver, and in many cases, the witnesses (if there happen to be others around). So what better way to share the love than sending some simple love note texts, paying for the person behind you in line, putting flowers on your neighbor's steps, or going for a walk with a loved one? Even the smallest gestures can create ripples of joy!
Last week's post was all about this topic so head on over there for more info.
2. Who Have You Not Yet Tried to Love?
“Revolutionary love is the call of our times." ~ Valarie Kaur
The deeply moving TED Talk by Valarie Kaur on Revolutionary Love was just released this week. Do yourself a favor and watch this. I don't want to give away too much of her talk (her stories are so powerful and awe-inspiring), and it's best to just watch the video, but one of her central questions is, "who have I not yet tried to love?"
With the current state of divisiveness, blame, scapegoating, and outright hate in America and the world, can you imagine if more people started to earnestly ask this question and approach anyone that came to mind with curiosity, openness, and wonder? Wonder is one of the core principles that Valarie says is essential for Revolutionary Love. Can we ask, what is it like to be this person that I have not yet tried to love? What is their story? What does it feel like to be them?
The Love Army, in partnership with dozens of other groups, is organizing watch parties of this talk. You can look for gatherings in your area or host your own by clicking here! You can also watch the full TED Talk here.
3. Fall in Love with Yourself
“You can search your entire life for someone more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." ~ Buddha
Sometimes the person many of us have not yet tried to love may actually be ourselves. Valarie Kaur says Gandhi and Dr King spoke a great deal about loving the other and loving the opponent, but she says that loving oneself "is a feminist intervention." To her, Revolutionary Love is all three: loving the other, loving the opponent, and loving oneself.