“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
~Oscar Wilde


When was the last time you actually interrupted the relentless flow of tasks, emails, texts, calls … and took a real moment for yourself, BY YOURSELF and stood in front of the mirror and had a conversation with yourself? And what if you actually made yourself turn off the bad radio inside your head, the one that is ceaselessly self-critical? And what if you stood there basking in the wonderment of who you are as a perfect, loving, whole being on this earth?

Maybe today’s the day you need to do it. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I say you do it … And this is how the conversation should go:

“Hello there, stranger. How have you been? How are you today? Right this minute? Right here, right now?  Did you know that I love you and I appreciate you? All of the little things you do for me, body and mind, to keep all of my finely-tuned involuntary systems humming along … keeping me alive so that I can stop and smell the roses and share a smile with that lovely child holding his Mother’s hand? Here I am, self, here I am spirit, saying hello and giving you some much deserved, overdue love.

I did this very thing today, and was surprised and delighted to find that when I looked at myself, I felt a sudden sense of comfort, peace and quiet. It was some kind of unexpected magic. There I was floating inside this bubble of surreal amazement, this rare opportunity that I had chosen to create, suspended in time, holding the rest of the world at bay in order to have this very important conversation … with myself.  I was suddenly no longer just a person, but an entire world unto myself– yes, that’s right, bigger than my own reality outside- no longer merely a person, a person who interacts with the world and focuses most of her energy and attention out there, but pristinely alone in this stolen, dedicated moment in time.  I was the only one alive and ready to be lavished with the love that only I knew how to give. And I smiled at myself- I felt overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to be alive, in this body, with this heart, silently pumping inside. And I gave thanks to myself, my body, my mind, my soul and I kissed myself on the forehead, the way I would tenderly kiss my child. And then, I smiled, a deep, broad smile that lit up my face- the face that was staring back at me, and inside, I could feel the new, life-giving energy that can only come from love zephyring up and down my spine and traveling to every part of my being, igniting me with inspiration and epiphany. It led me to put fingers to keyboard today and share this with all of you … that to love yourself is the only way to go. I highly recommend it, this loving of yourself, this smiling to yourself in the mirror, and I have vowed to myself, that even on my darkest days, I will perform this most sacred ritual of not just checking in with myself, but loving myself and giving myself a smile, which serves as a perfect segue to the “Inner Smile,” perhaps one of the most powerful ways to love thyself, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.
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