February is the coined month of love in our media-driven culture. Grocery stores are once again lined with pink and red chocolates, emails with hearts and gift ideas for sweethearts are stacking inboxes, and romantic comedies crowd the movie lines. I used to be more jaded by this Hallmark Holiday coining phrases of love and desire. But, I am growing less phased by it, and perhaps a bit more appreciative to have a dedicated time each year to really reflect on love, in my own life, the life of my family, and the love around me in my community. Let February be the month of love. Though some may love chocolate (truth be told, I do), and some desire and yearn for gems, I am more interested in the reflective qualities that this holiday has to offer. How is love unfolding in your life? What do you love? Do you love yourself? Do you allow yourself to fall in love every day?
I was reading Lorin Roche’s Radiance Sutras the other night and was stuck by this sutra speaking to how letting yourself love can really be a gateway to deep feelings of intimacy with oneself and others. It reminded me of the time in my life that I really began to feel and understand the depth of love.
“Be wildly devoted to someone, or something.
Cherish every perception.
At the same time, forget about control.
Allow the Beloved to be itself and to change.
Passion and compassion, holding and letting go,
This ache in your heart is holy.
Accept it as the rise of intimacy
With life’s secret ways.
Devotion is the Divine streaming through you
From that place in you before time.
Love’s energy flows through your body,
Toward a body, and into eternity again.
Surrender to this current of devotion
And become one with the Body of Love.”
– Lorin Roche, The Radiance Sutras
When I was 24 years old my father passed away from a sudden heart attack. It rocked my world. It wasn’t until years later that I was truly able to understand how lucky I was to have had such a connection, as Lorin states, “this ache in your heart is holy.” I had loved, and still do love, my father. And his loss, my letting go of his physical presence in my life created a deep sense of ache and pain. I am now able to reflect back and see that I am so fortunate to have had a relationship with another where I did feel such deep and intense love. His passing really made me understand that the connection between a parent and their child can be such a pure, deep, and unconditional love.
I grew up a lot in the years to follow. I fell in love with my now husband. I realized that I did in
fact want to extend that bond of parent child relationship and worked to mend a relationship with my mother as well as welcome a child into my own life (and now working on two). I have learned to fall more and more in love with myself. And, my understanding of a greater “Body of Love” has only evolved the more I practice and study yoga. As all these connections evolve and deepen I truly begin to feel and understand that love reigns, love grows, love can only expand if one wants it to grow. I am making the choice to welcome more love into my life.
One of my favorite teacher’s Mitchel Bleier continues to inspire me with his reflections. I could read his vision for his studio Yogapata over and over as it just lights me up. I offer it to you and wish you all to deepen your understanding of love in your own life… begin falling in love with yourself and with this brilliant world around you every moment of every day.
“So love reigns, or it rains. It is both what controls us and what we decide to give. Falling in love is the greatest human experience we can have. It awakens everything in us, nourishes us, and yet like it says, it is a falling, not ascending or transcending act. It places us into the world of connections and conditions. Falling in love is the way to know what is unconditional within our own conditions. So everyday I fall in love with my wife, my children, my dogs, my family, my friends, my community, my work, with waking up to treetops outside my window or the sweet “Hi,” from my 4 year old. I am making the conscious choice to pull together the world I want to create and live fascinated by it all.” – Mitchel Bleier