For most of my adult life, I have always felt like I was waiting for love, waiting for “the one” to make his entrance. I have had relationships that burned quickly or raged on endlessly. None have satiated my deep need for soul connection. After decades of struggling with my marital status, I have finally gained an understanding of my unique human design. I am the person for whom I have been waiting. I am the love of my life. In celebration, this Valentine’s Day, I am committed to celebrating this inner union by learning how to love myself – body, mind, and soul. 

Body Love – Physically Express Loving-Kindness

On Friday, after I get home from work, my family knows that this mother is off-duty for the evening. Once dinner is finished, I will retreat to the sanctuary that is my master suite and partake in much-needed self-care. I will light my favorite scented candles, draw a warm goddess bath (see the recipe below), then immerse myself to cleanse, detoxify, and prayerfully thank my body for carrying me through this life’s journey. Physical expressions of appreciation and kindness, to myself, from myself, are essential to my newfound practices of self-love

Goddess Bath Recipe

Ingredients:

  • pink himalayan salt (1 cup) 
  • rose absolute oil blend (3 drops) 
  • nutmeg essential oil (2 drops) 
  • vanilla essential oil (2 drops) 
  • carrier oil (1 ounce)
  • full-fat coconut milk (1 can)

Directions: Pour the pink himalayan salt into the bath water. Distribute evenly. In a separate bowl, combine the essential oils with the ounce of carrier oil (I prefer jojoba oil) and the can of full-fat coconut milk. Stir all of these wet ingredients to blend  then pour into the tub of warm water, using your hands to disperse the mixture.

If you are really feeling fancy, finish off the bath with a layer of petals from your favorite rose variety.

Mind Love – Intently Focus Present Awareness

On Saturday, the weather will not permit the dedicated time in nature to which I have grown accustomed on the weekend. The projected cold temperatures will not be conducive to placing my bare feet on solid ground. (Texas, I’m going to need you to get yourself together, girlfriend!) Instead,  I will busy my hands with nature’s bounty, her most beautiful treasures–flowers. If you have ever created a floral arrangement, then you have experienced the stress relief made possible by those moments of stillness and mindfulness. Although my hands are busy cutting stems, creating and filling a grid, and artfully draping the greenery and flowers, my mind is carefree, liberated from troubles and worries. If I allow myself to completely let go of everything outside of the present moment then absolute magic happens. When all is done, I am left with an arrangement that brightens my home and further inspires my creativity. (More often than not, I immortalize my handiwork by putting pencil to paper to draw a still life in a sketchbook or bujo journal.)

Here is a list of seasonal flowers, aside from roses,  to consider for arrangements or bouquets this time of year: tulips, sunflowers, ranunculus, lisianthus, larkspur, iris, hydrangea, and gerbera.

Soul Love – Spiritually Explore Heart Matters

On Sunday, the final day of rest before another week as a working mother begins, I will rest. When I wake up on these mornings, I immediately settle into a meditation. Before I allow my feet to touch the floor, I stretch–extending my body from the tips of my toes to the top of my head–then find a comfortable seated position against my headboard. On this Sunday, Valentine’s Day, I will close my eyes and reflect on Toulouse Lautrec’s famous words, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” As I inhale, I will fill my lungs with the love that I openly receive from myself, my family and my friends. As I exhale, I will freely send that love out to every man, woman, and child on this planet–without condition. 

If you struggle with meditative silence, consider introducing sound to draw in your focus and settle your mind. Almost any song by Beautiful Chorus hits a spiritual chord within my heart, but, Infinite Universe is definitely a favorite. As you listen with intention, place both hands (one on top of the other) on your heart and take full, deep breaths in and out through the nose.   

For anyone desperately looking for love during this holiday, I hope that you find what you are looking for–not without but within. I hope you do not ache from loneliness as long as I did. If you must, dig, however far down, and find healing in your stage in life–regardless of marital status. Let these practices, or ones that you find or develop on your own, lead you to unabashedly and wholeheartedly loving yourself; so when you step out of the bath and look in the mirror, you truly see Goddess.

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Dana Thompson, M.Ed. has been a fine arts educator in Greater Austin Area secondary public schools for over a decade. After years spent working in theatrical wardrobe and commercial makeup artistry, she found her calling in the classroom guiding young people to become innovative, well-rounded thinkers prepared for a future in the global economy. Never-married, Dana had an unconventional journey into motherhood. Although the births of her two sons flipped, turned her life upside down, she is proud to include the title of “boy mom” to her many accolades. When she is not surrounded by her children, at school or at home, Dana enjoys getting into good trouble with the diverse women who complete her tribe.

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