Hi friends. Days and days of gray clouds and rain have given way to sunny skies, a gorgeous breeze and 74 degree temperatures here in Charlotte. I am sitting here working with doors and windows to my house open and I’m going to get out for a walk with the girls here in a bit to soak up the sun before the rain returns this weekend.
The beauty of this day is tinged with heaviness and sadness but despite that I’m also feeling hope and gratitude. Last night I taught a Valentine’s Day yoga class to over 60 gorgeous yogis and read them this message from Katherine Budig about love.
I have experienced many seasons of love in my life. Single, in-a-relationship, purposefully celibate, cheated on, lied-to, unrequited, blissed-out, engaged, married, confused, divorced …
I struggle to say any of it was ‘bad’. That’s like calling a tree scrawny because it’s December in the North East. It’s all part of the (hella intense) lesson plan.
On this Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing my love offering to anyone who reads this: a simple meditation for your heart. Put these affirmations on repeat and sit with them for 10 minutes or as long as it takes to feel them. Happy ❤ to all.
★ My love is never wrong.
★ My love was never wasted.
★ My love is mine to give.
★ My love flows on tap.
★ My (our) love is a freaking miracle.
And then I walked out of class and received the notification on my phone about the school shooting in Broward County Florida and my heart sank. The constantly increasing incidence of of mass shootings, school shootings and gun violence in our country has got to stop. It’s terrifying, sad and senseless. There are so many things that I could say here about desperately needed changes to gun control policy and also to our approach to mental health but I’ll just leave it at something has to change, it needs to change soon and we need to be vocal about it.
So how does Kathryn Budig’s reading about love and the Broward County shooting relate here?
The last thing I shared before I closed class last night was how we have the choice to open or to close. Last year I read The Untethered Soul and the hardest hitting takeaway for me was when Michael Singer wrote that in every moment, every situation, every struggle, every challenge, every heartbreak…we have a choice. Are you going to stay open or are you going to close?
That hit me like a ton of bricks because my default is definitely to close. Staying open is probably the thing that I personally struggle with more than anything else. But staying open is one of the best and kindest things that I can do for myself and for all those around me.
A passage from The Untethered Soul…
The more you stay open, the more the energy flow can build. At some point, so much energy comes into you that it starts flowing out of you. You feel it as waves pouring off of you. You can actually feel it flowing off your hands, out your heart, and through other energy centers. All these energy centers open, and a tremendous amount of energy starts flowing out of you. What is more, the energy affects other people. People can pick up on your energy, and you’re feeding them with this flow. If you are willing to open even more, it never stops. You become a source of light for all those around you.
I’m bringing these two things together to remind us that our lives, our hearts and our worlds are messy places that are full of ups and downs as well as mysteries that we cannot understand. There are times when our trees of love are flowering, growing and thriving and then there are times when they’re withering and baron. Despite this, we best serve ourselves and others by staying open. There is so much beauty in our hearts if we choose to keep them open. There is beauty in joy and there is beauty in pain. Like Kathryn Budig writes, your love is never wrong.
This has been so evident to me lately as I’ve been on the receiving end of a whole bunch of kindness that has absolutely reminded me to stay open during a time of life that is full of transition, trepidation and unknown. As I have shared with you guys openly, my biggest struggle throughout pregnancy has been the emotional side of it. Please don’t ever mistake my uncertainty or fear as me not wanting baby boy. I want him more than anything. Pregnancy is just such a crazy time in life where you’re preparing for a life change that there’s honestly nothing you can do to truly prepare for. You can’t even imagine how your life is going to change, even if it’s something that you desire very much.
Couple that with some uncertainty around how relationship and career are going to unfold in the future (I’m sure that you guys have picked up that there is something going on but I am still trying to muck my way through it myself so please give me time), and it’s a bit of an overwhelming experience.
I am so fortunate to be receiving constant reminders that people are good and kind and that the world is still full of love. I’ve had blog readers send me baby gifts from my registry with sweet notes that have brought me to tears.
A friend with five daughters (including a four month old) brought me an epic comfort food feast of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn and mac and cheese. I’ve eaten it for dinner every night this week! Talk about selfless and loving. I don’t even know how she pulled this off.
My sweet grandmother sent me chocolate covered strawberries along with a note telling me how special I am to her.
And countless other examples. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt as unconditionally loved and supported as I have in my third trimester of pregnancy. It is the ultimate reminder of the power of staying open.
So I’m here today to tell you to AFFIRM YOUR LOVE, CHOOSE TO STAY OPEN and LOVE EACH OTHER WELL. This is how we keep going when the world seems broken and lost. We still have each other and we can choose to treat each other with love, respect and kindness. When we stay open and do this, we are able to be a source of light to those around us and show the world that there is another way.
Sending all of my love to you all,