I just got back from a wonderous, shirt-sleeved, sun drenched mid-day walk listening to Anne Lamott narrate her book “Help-Thanks-Wow.: The Three Essential Prayers” (using the Audible app on my android phone). Being able to read and walk at the same time is sheer ecstasy, but that is beside the point. It was only for an hour, but this moment was noteworthy because, if you knew me and/or the climate here in Southern Alberta, Canada in February you would know the relative implausibility of such an indulgence. My perpetual patterns of ‘work before play’ and merciless martyrdom would typically prohibit such carefree meandering. And, the often harsh weather patterns of wind, snow and freezing temperatures usually forbid such outdoor activity without copious layering of long underwear, toques, mitts and scarves. But, there I was … bare-armed and bold-faced ignoring the responsibilities that would usually consume me and I was wandering about the Universe with a smile in my heart instead. Clearly, this is no ordinary February.
But the story I want to share didn’t start with my walk. It all began, in earnest, as I turned the 2015 calendar to February and noticed that the first thing on my agenda was a Reike appointment. We drew some cards to gain some insight into the next six months, and my February card was “What do you desire?” It was suggested by my very intuitive Reike practitioner that I put that question at the top of my Daytimer and let my dreams, desires and delights guide my thoughts, words and deeds for February. Well … I skeptically pondered how on earth I could manage to honor this directive given that my best efforts and intentions over the last 20 years to disrupt my default self-denial have been nothing short of epic fails. Not being one to ignore divine guidance … I wrote it on my calendar anyway.
As you know, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and we’re honoring cupid’s big day at work by resurrecting the old school age ritual of tucking little cards with cute sayings into envelopes for others. I was filling mine out on Wednesday and one of the brightly colored “Be Mine” cartoony ones popped into my lap! As I pondered which of my colleagues might be best suited for this heart-felt bequest … a crazy thought caught my awareness. Maybe that card was meant for me! What if February 2015 marked the start of me showing as much love to myself as I typically offer to others??
It seemed crazy, but so began my awkward, uncomfortable and tentative commitment to such radical self-love. And then Thursday at lunch with my dear friends Robin and Deb after yoga class … there was this burger. Although I had clients in the afternoon with whom I would be in very close proximity … it was February 2015 and I had just made this commitment to honor my desires and show myself some love. And so … I ordered the onions. It was an act of self-love. Really it was. I opted to offer my client’s an apology and myself a breath mint. And it tickled my heart.
And … today, Friday, only three days into this craziness, I added fuel to my own internal flame when I abandoned my responsibilities and went for that walk with Anne Lamott that I just described. And now, I am going to pour myself a lovely glass of Malbec … and … give myself permission to reflect really deeply around how I can smother my newest Valentine with love tomorrow. As Anne Sexton once suggested, I am going to put my ear down really close to my soul and listen hard to what she really wants to do for the day. You never know … maybe there are a whole schwack of beautiful moments that can “be mine” if I allow myself to listen to what I truly need, want and desire.
And “Happy Valentines Day” to all of you too! May you find yourself smothered in love … and … onions. Yes, I highly recommend you order the onions whenever you get the chance!