February is often observed as the month of love. Around the 14th, we may find ourselves feeling anxiety, stress or pressure to find just the right card, flowers or candy for those we care for. The unfortunate thing is that when we give a gift from a space of stress, we are giving our stress.
Sometimes we get so caught up in ‘what’ we are giving that we lose touch with the reason for the giving. Let’s take this moment as an opportunity to get to the ‘heart of the matter’ and explore a few simple ways to be sure we are gifting from the Heart.
1. Take a conscious breath and focus on the rhythm of your beating heart.
2. Allow yourself to acknowledge your gift of Life.
3. Ask yourself:
“Who lights up and brings joy to my heart?”
“Who do I love, appreciate, and care for?”
“Do I want to express gratitude to this person/these people?”
“If so, what would be a true expression of my love and appreciation?”
4. Upon reflection of your answers, take action that flows from your heart.
For those who are open to ‘appreciation adventures’ beyond the boundaries of February 14th, I invite you to express love and gratitude to others throughout the month! It may be as simple as a note in your child’s back-pack, a call to a friend, an appreciation text to a co-worker, or a quiet moment for yourself enjoying a cup of tea. If you do one loving thing each day, I guarantee by the end of the month you will begin to see there is a great deal in your life to appreciate. And that is the true heart of the matter!
O Open your Heart
V Voice your Appreciation
E Express your Love
ILENE KIMSEY, PhD