It shouldn’t take a holiday like Valentine’s Day to remind you to pause and reflect on the relationships you value in your life. Whether it be with colleagues, friends, lovers, or a spouse, you can always benefit from taking a step back, appreciating the love you have in your life and making the time to show others you care about them.
When you are mindful of the love in your life you open yourself up to the opportunity for love to grow. And not just romantic love, but self-love, and loving friendships as well.
START WITH SELF-LOVE
To connect more deeply with others, you must face the one person that you keep on the shortest leash: yourself. We often reject other people’s care or attention when we believe we don’t deserve it—but there’s nothing special you must do to deserve love. As Sharon Salzberg reminds us, it is simply because you exist. Follow this fifteen-minute guided meditation to open your heart toward giving and receiving love.
Try this practice from Sharon Salzberg to learn how to open your heart to love and compassion:
A Practice for Opening Your Heart:
A Meditation for Opening the Heart
Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg offers a brief meditation for cultivating compassion.
1) Imagine you’re encircled by people who love you. Sit with your eyes closed, breathing normally, imagining yourself in the center of a circle made up of the most loving beings you’ve ever met.
2) Receive the love of those who love you. Experience yourself as the recipient of the energy, attention, care, and regard of all of these beings in your circle of love. Send love to yourself by giving yourself this message: May I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy. May I live with ease of heart.
3) Notice how you feel when you receive love.Whatever emotions may arise, you just let them wash through you. And repeat to yourself: May I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy. May I live with ease of heart.
4) Open yourself up to receiving love. Imagine that your skin is porous and this warm, loving energy is coming in. There’s nothing special that you need to do or be in order to deserve this kind of loving care. It’s simply because you exist.
5) Send loving care to the people in your circle. You can allow that quality of loving kindness and compassion and care you feel coming toward you to flow right back out to the circle and then toward all beings everywhere, so that what you receive, you transform into giving. May we all be safe, May we all be happy, May we all be healthy. May we all live with ease of heart.