This Love’s for You: Bonus Practice Series
Love Practice 1: Remember the Love
This day is as good a day as any to remember the love I’ve felt for the people, places, and things that have at one point or another given me joy. Today I will remember that feeling of being pleased and at ease. I will breathe into a specific time, place, and moment when I felt fully loved by and in love with my surroundings. I will call up that feeling from memory and allow myself to enjoy it for a full minute, hour, or from time to time throughout the day.
Affirmation: Today I remember the feeling of being loved and of loving.
Practice 2: Show Myself Some Love – Mind, Body, and Spirit
This day is as good a day as any to show myself some love – mind, body, and spirit. Today, for my body, I will gently move into some mini stretches in a way that feels good. I will use the kitchen counter, a wall, or a chair for support while I stretch my body -- legs, shoulders, neck, torso, wherever feels good to move. Right now, I can extend my leg and point, flex, or circle my ankles to get started. Then I will reward myself with a big glass of water with lemon or something else truly nourishing and chemical-free for my body.
For my mind, I will practice thinking patient, kind, and loving thoughts toward myself and toward others. When I am upset or rattled I will pause and remember we are all doing our best at any given moment – even when our best is not as good as we’d like it to be. Today, I can cut myself and those around me a lot more slack and see what happens.
For my spirit, I can see what my inner little girl is hoping I’ll help her with today, and give a minute or two, or maybe a whole hour, to that. I can put on my big girl pants and take better care of myself – the secret big needs that get bogged down, hidden, in the drama of daily life. I can start with something that seems really small, like taking one or two minutes to calm my mind and return to center.
Affirmation: Today I practice acting as if I love myself with how I treat my body, mind, and spirit. I will do my best. When I falter I will resume the practice of showing myself patience, tolerance, kindness, and love. Today I don’t beat myself up for falling into old habits. I get back on the path when I wander off it.
Practice 3: More Love = More Better
Today is as good a day as any to be extra loving to random people around me – the mail delivery person, the parking lot attendant, the barista, the person walking their dog on my street. Today I will give people I come across a smile and sincere “How’s your day going?” and wait for the response before rushing on to the next thing. Today I’m going to be that friendly, nice person to those around me. No matter what is going on in my world I am happier when I make time to connect with other people. And when I’m happier I’m better able to take care of whatever else needs taking care of.
Affirmation: Today I am going to show love to those around me, the strangers who are friends I haven’t met yet. Today I’m going to make someone’s day, even if it’s only my own.
Practice 4: See the Love in My Life
Today is as good a day as any for me to see the love that’s all around me, in whatever form in which it exists. I used to have very specific ideas about what I wanted from the various people in my life – friends, family members, my spouse, my child. Then I realized I was asking of them what I didn’t want asked of me – to be different from how they were.
I show my love in my way, they show theirs in their way. The trick for me is to see it for what it is. Today I will appreciate what there is to be appreciated in the people who love me. I will think about all they do for me and will notice that these are the ways that they show me love.
I will respond to their demonstrations of love according to the intent behind it, not the expression of it. If there’s something I really, really need that’s different I’ll make a request rather than a demand and know I’ll survive and feel loved whether or not the specific request is met.
Affirmation: Today I’m going to look for the different ways people show me love and appreciate those ways rather than needing them to be different to feel good.
Practice 5: Today I Celebrate Love in My Own Way
Today is as good a day as any to make a mini-ritual or pause for even a moment to feel grateful for the love in my life – friends, family, partners, pets, my love of nature, of wonderful music, art, and yes – television, french fries, pedicures, certain stones, the bizarre and amazing experience of being a person, at this time, in this place, in this body, with this multi-chaptered, ever-evolving life. Holy wow, right? So today I celebrate the people and circumstances that have helped me get here, right now, and I pray for willingness to continue to grow, to continue to allow myself to be loved and to show love, and for willingness to allow life to be as good as it can be.
Today I will consider my truth and what would make me feel best this evening given my current life circumstance – For me today, an early bedtime and scrambled eggs for dinner might feel even more luxurious than a fancy night out.
So I’m going to celebrate that I get to do that if I want to and don’t need to do something else to prove anything to anyone. I get to live in my truth and allow those who love me to know what that is.
Affirmation: Thank you Universe for the love that’s been in my life and has brought me here.
Practice 6: Give THAT Person Some Love
Today is as good a day as any to give a loving shout out to THAT person, the person in my life who I’ve had a thing with, a falling out, or with whom there’s some tension for whatever reason. If there’s unfinished business in my life, a relationship that needs tending, then today is the day I’m going to reach out and begin the conversation again – from a place of patience, tolerance, kindness, love, and compassion. “Hey there, just checking in, I am sorry about the way we left xyz and I wanted to let you know,” is a good generic way to acknowledge a bump and give the other person an opportunity to resume or not as they desire.
Today I will call – not text, email, messenger, or whatever digital device – I will call that person who’s been on my mind and apologize for my part in whatever has been keeping us apart. I will tell them I am interested in making things better with them in the future and see what happens from there.
Affirmation: Today I bring love to people and situations that I haven’t in the past. Today I begin to repair my relationships.
Practice 7: Love My Family and Loved Ones
Today is as good a day as any to give some extra love to my family and loved ones through my words and actions. I can tell my son I love spending time with him when I drive him to school. I can play one of his favorite songs on the stereo.
I can ask my husband about something related to his work and listen without interrupting. I can call my parents and my sisters and ask them about themselves. I can cook something special and be okay if it doesn’t get eaten, or I can just be willing to hang around and co-exist in an easy, connected, loving way with them as they are, without having to do anything special at all but be together live or on the phone.
Today I will show my family I love them as they are by gently co-existing with them as they are, listening to what they like to talk about, doing what they like to do, without needing them to do or say anything special to please me.
Affirmation: I love my family members and loved ones as they are with no need to change them.
I’m gonna keep going. Thank you.