Happy Valentine’s Day, YOGANONYMOUS!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d take this Monday morning to talk about one of the most important relationships that we all have: the one with ourselves.
Now before you start rolling your eyes at that whole catchphrase about “You have to love yourself before you can love someone else” that your mom tells you because you haven’t managed to snag the love of your life, just hold on a second. I’m not only talking to you single folks out there; I’m talking to all of you.
How many times have you doubted yourself or your abilities? Have you had the courage to bring up your flaws and self-doubt to your significant other or best friend?
Have you ever denied yourself something that you’ve really wanted to do because of someone else, friend or lover?
How many times have you thought your hips were too big or your eyes too small or hated the way your hair looked like, um, everyday?
Well not this week. In honor of V-Day, I’m going to be talking about wild and radical self-love for Y-O-U. Whether you’re currently in a relationship or not, we can all learn to love ourselves a little bit more.
So, the truth is, I have some goofy features. I am of Italian descent on both my mother’s AND father’s sides, but apparently my brothers got all of the Sophia Loren-in-her-20s genes and I kind of got the Robert DeNiro in “Analyze This” genes. Yup, I’ve complained about my big nose, my floppy ears, and my deathly-pale-in-the-winter skin. But then I hopped on the slopes this past weekend in Vermont and remembered that, despite all of my body issues and fears about the way I look to other people, I’m one badass athlete. And while we’re on the topic of things I rock at, I write really great birthday cards. And the people I work with appreciate my humor and positivity in the face of another long day. And I make my niece giggle even when she’s in a cranky mood.
And remembering all of those things makes me realize that I’m actually pretty dang awesome.
I know. It’s hard to sometimes see the good things in a sea of negativity, and the images of happy couples flying around our heads during this time of the year, but I promise you, you’re awesome, too. I’m already jealous of your hair and your gorgeous smile.
So, on this Valentine’s Day, I propose the following to make for an awesome day, even if you don’t have someone buying you flowers or forcing you to gorge yourself on tiny chocolates that you don’t even really like that much:
Don’t forget what Valentine’s Day is REALLY about. I can tell you for sure it’s NOT about fresh cut flowers and snuggly teddy bears. It’s about love, people, and we need to be giving more of it away. Call your momma/pops/big sister/favorite aunt and tell her/him/it that you are ABSOLUTELY in TOTAL love with him/her and appreciate all of the things that she/he gave you growing up to make you the person you are today. Example? I went skiing this past weekend and as everyone was telling their “How did you learn to ski?” stories, I realized that it was my pops that forced us to learn to ski and not only did he drive us to the mountain many Saturdays during those frigid Upstate New York winters, he learned to ski with us. At 45 years old. After I wipe the tears out of my eyes, I’m calling him straight away.
Take the money that you saved on fancy VDay dinner and buy yourself something you REALLY want. Since I’m single, I’m a big fan of taking the “couples tax” (aka the money I would be spending on taking someone else out to dinner, buying someone else a gift, etc.) and spending it on myself. For example? I’m getting a massage. I’d rather not eat dinner and have an hour of absolute heaven than 2000 calories I probably didn’t need anyway. If you’re part of a couple, throw off the traditional dinner/flowers/candies and do a couples activity that both of you have always wanted to do like seeing a concert or taking a cooking class.
Get off the couch and do something you love. My plans for tonight include going rock climbing followed by an intense yoga session with one of my favorite teachers. Are you a big movie fan? Grab a friend and check out something at the local theater (or go by yourself and don’t share the popcorn with anyone. My fave!). Some of my other favorite treats include hitting up Sephora or your local makeup counter and having them do a free mini-makeover. Or grabbing your chi chi spa products that are gathering dust in your medicine cabinet and give yourself a complete spa night at home complete with a glass of wine.