« It must be love love love »…
I guess I should say happy Valentine’s day today but I prefer to say « Happy Love Day! »
As an International citizen, you know how widespread Valentine’s Day’s celebration has become.
Maybe you’re a big fan of Valentine’s day, maybe you avoid it because you think it’s a big money making scheme, or you have no Valentine to celebrate with, or your love is no longer of this world, or, as it can easily be the case if you are an Expat, your spouse currently lives miles away from you…
Well, I suggest we get creative this year.
Are you in?
Let’s decide, no matter what, that we are going to make this day The Day of Love.
The world needs a big dose of it at the moment.
This day gives us a great opportunity to join forces together and to make use of the collective energy to make it bigger and brighter.
This day, whether we adhere to the concept or not, is a great reminder to open our hearts. We want to open our heart to our partner of course, but also, and beyond that, we want to extend the meaning and purpose of this day and make it broader so it encompasses Love in all its shapes and forms.
Love. Just Love.
How can you do this?
- First of all, by becoming aware of the fact that, whether you have a partner or not, what matters is to generate the energy of love, so it can benefit you, your partner, or/and your children, your friends, your family, your colleagues, and all your relationships.
- Second, by practicing this love energy in order to increase it…
Various sources of Ancient wisdom and health, like the Classic Book of Change (The I-Ching), and the principles of Chinese Medicine, to name but a few, tell us and show us that we are all made of energy as is the rest of the universe, and that these energies interact with one another constantly.
If we also consider that feelings are manifestations of energy, we can envisage that hightening our feelings of love will highten our energy of love, and as a consequence, make us shine brighter in a way. Does that make sense?
If we push it further, this very bright loving energy might in itself be able to attract another loving energy in the form of a beautiful partner (that is for those of you who have not (yet) found love) or in the form of harmonious relationships and interactions with others. Are you still with me – or have I gone too far?
So, what can you do in order to develop this loving energy?
Practice Love with Mindful Awareness
Yes, it is a practice. It requires trying and trying again. And once you have it all under control, practice some more 🙂
But what does it mean and how can you actually practice love?
Buddhist traditions teach us a lot about relationships. And help us grow into more caring and loving beings. I want to share with you today one of the most valuable teachings on love, which I have learned from Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh during a beautiful retreat in Germany.
It is called:
The 4 Elements of True Love
It depicts 4 essential practices named (in Sanskrit) :
The road you travel with your partner may be beautiful, however there may also be bumps or very windy parts which make it difficult for you to stick to.
As an Expat even more so… you and your partner (plus children) have to adapt to one or several substantial life changes, plus, if you and your spouse are from different cultural and geographical backgrounds, as is often the case, things can get even more challenging.
Likewise, if you have no partner, the road you travel in all your relationships, with your family, your colleagues, your friends, your neighbours, holds just about the same challenges.
Start practicing now, today, in order to enjoy « true love » in all your relationships.
The first element of true love is Maitri, it is in Sanskrit, and it means Loving Kindness.
We often forget to just be kind, to just want to be loving and kind.
Today is a good opportunity to be kind, not only to your partner but also to your colleagues, to people in general.
Karuna means compassion.
If you have no compassion for your loved one you do not truly love him or her. If you have no compassion for others you can end up finding yourself very isolated. We each have our trials and errors and are here to learn. How can one learn (starting with ourselves) if no one gives us a chance to. We can thank the people on our road who have been compassionate and understanding with us.
Mudita means Joy.
If you are able to generate the feelings of love and happiness, you are giving a great gift to yourself, if you are able to give yourself this great gift, it becomes contageous and you are able to give it to others and help them feel it. This is true love.
« You must love in such a way, that the person you love feels free »
Thich Nhat Hanh
If you practice, you can achieve more freedom of mind, and become less guided by the desires and demands of your ego, or less shaken up by outside circumstances, by the actions of others. You are able to love more, with less restrictions, conditions.
Good luck, sending loving thoughts your way.
PS: Questions? Comments? I’ll be happy to reply.
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