What's love got to do with it?

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     Our profoundest and most human yearning, our most compelling longing, is to turn towards love. To turn towards love is to open our hearts to its presence within us and within others, and then to live our lives in steadier alignment with it.   Bill Mahony, from  Exquisite Love

Our profoundest and most human yearning, our most compelling longing, is to turn towards love. To turn towards love is to open our hearts to its presence within us and within others, and then to live our lives in steadier alignment with it.

Bill Mahony, from Exquisite Love

Wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day, wherever you are! To be honest, I’ve never quite got to grips with Valentine’s Day. The times I wanted to be in a relationship and wasn’t it would often serve as a reminder of my being single. In the run-up to February 14th, with so many shop and restaurant windows festooned with hearts, and newspapers publishing their How to Spoil Your Loved One on Valentine’s Day guides, it’s easy to feel as if the rest of the world is gloriously and effortlessly coupled up. Now I’m happily married, I've yet to fully embrace the day, and don’t feel entirely comfortable spending the evening in a restaurant with my husband, surrounded by other couples. It can all seem, as Bridget Jones would put it, a bit Smug Marrieds! And there can be pressure to have a really good time, rather than celebrating your love when the moment more organically arises. Perhaps it's no surprise that my husband and I (who don’t argue much) had one of our biggest ever bust ups on V-Day!
 
For sure, romantic love is a beautiful thing, and something most of us value greatly. But it’s not something we can guarantee at any given time – and to a certain extent it’s chance that brings our soulmates to us. Most of us will experience, through the course of our lives, seasons that are ripe with romantic love, and others that are more fallow.
 
Love, in its broader bandwidth, is however something each one of us can both celebrate and keep opening to every day of our lives: the love we receive from and give to others;love for life itself; and also the love we can offer to ourselves. This Valentine’s Day I invite you to take a few minutes to say thank you for whatever love you are blessed to have in your life right now. You may like to first sit with your eyes closed and your hands placed over your heart as you direct your inhale into your heart centre and sense your exhale being breathed out from your heart centre. Then bring to mind all those whose love you are grateful for and offer them a silent thanks from your heart.
 
Tonight, I won’t be at a restaurant, but at Triyoga! I’m delighted to be starting a new weekly restorative class at the Soho studio. It’ll be every Tuesday from 19.45-21.00, and is open to all levels. Restorative yoga is a beautiful act of self-care, and I think it’s an essential antidote to our frenetic urban lives. For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, it’s a very gentle practice where we use props and long holds to encourage a sublime state of rest and relaxation.