Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Aa-at Laaast....

Dear Valentine's Haters,
I have been one of you, so for your convenience feel free to stop reading now.

This was the first time I can remember actually looking forward to Valentine's Day. I got up early and made heart-shaped pancakes for my little loves. I walked into my job to having the door opened and was greeted with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates from three of my students. A cupcake was waiting on my desk, I listened to a beautiful music mix, received my first bouquet of flowers at work (a beautiful one, I might add), received lots of sweet goodies, and watched great art students drawing "love"ly drawings. After work, I taught a heart-opener yoga class, got to have a homemade dinner, go Salsa and Tango dancing, and then finished off with snuggles, a glass of wine, some girl scout cookies, and the new episode of Inkmaster. And the rest is filtered. This was a good day. (Aa-at Laaasst...oh, sing it Etta!)

In Valentine's past, I dreaded them, never quite knowing what to expect, what to give, or how to react. The build up of romance always kind of seemed like a stress and a let down all at once. Yesterday, I woke up with no expectations. I didn't really care one way or the other. My goal was to just express joy and gratitude. I was not quick to judge or anger and just attempted to see the good (even when my son got angry and yelled at me over the heart sticker I put on his sticker chart because he wanted a car). I've found that once I get my head into a space of  "I-am-going-to-have-a-good-day-no-matter-what," it usually turns out pretty great. It's just getting it there that is the daily challenge.

Here's a lil' history (or herstory, for my feminist pals)... Today, women purchase almost 85 percent of all Valentine's cards, but according to legend, the original letter it is said was written by a man named Valentine who was imprisoned for helping Christians escape the harsh Roman prisons. The oldest known valentine still in existence is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife also while he was imprisoned.

Really? Imprisonment? How does this connect? Do we only express from the heart when we are in that place of feeling trapped? Is this why people have affairs? Is this why we stay in relationships that cause us pain?This makes me think of one of the fluffychickflicks I leave on if it's on to fold my laundry. It's the Wedding Date and Dermont Melroney (sigh* I love his crazy Elvis lip) plays the hired hand, Nick.  In the film, Nick tells his "employer" that people have the relationships they want and what keeps them from having fulfilling relationships is the inability to let go of basically their own imprisonments.

And then here is his method:   Nick Mercer: Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close... your... eyes. You're safe. You can relax. I'm not going to kiss you. He's gonna be so sorry he lost you, so stop worrying. Forget the past. Forget the pain. And remember what an incredible woman you are. You do that and he'll realize what he lost.
Kat Ellis: Holy crap. You're worth every penny.

So, when you are feeling that imprisonment in your life whether it be in a relationship, a job, etc... Why not just let go? You can't really control it all anyway. So don't fight it. Take the time to stop, identify what is hold you back, and just open up and ask for what you need for yourself. It's worth a try, and as I coin the phrase to my kids (much to their chagrin)- "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."
So I'll leave you with this. Hopefully I'll be able to heed my own (and some borrowed) words and keep connecting to this road of "at last." I know I'll slip up and end up in a few ditches here and there, but thankfully there's people out there who I share love and a common thread to help me get up, brush off the dust, and continue. Everyone has them and they need us as much as we need them, and that what love is all about.

To all my loves, a note from a favorite for you.
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.    -Kahlil Gibran



  1. To my favorite, most inspiring yoga instructor:
    Thanks for your wonderful perspective on life. I wish I had read this earlier. Valentine's Day is difficult for my of my students - feelings of rejection, reminders of lonliness, broken dreams and pain. With this in mind, my students & I had a love party in all my classes where we shared our love for one another. Even the most jaded kiddos wore smiles (even if just for a moment). Glad we are in the fight together to reshape hearts and minds towards loving all the peeps! Keep up the good fight!