This Valentine’s Day, have a love affair with yourself.

February is American Heart Month – time to check in with your beautiful heart. Please go to the American Heart Association website to learn more about maintaining heart health. Today, February 2nd is National Wear Red Day. Wear red to bring greater attention to heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans and perhaps save a life.

It’s hard to believe it’s already February (more on that to come). This month in the studio we’re going to be focused on the Hindu deity Hanuman. According to the epic story from Hindy mythology, Hanuman, known for his incredible loyalty, meets Lord Rama and becomes his devoted servant. 

Hanuman jumps from India to Sri Lanka to rescue Lord Rama’s wife Sita, who has been kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. Hanuman’s leap to Sri Lanka is described as a remarkable feat! He uses his immense strength and divine powers to leap across the ocean – covering hundreds of miles in a single jump. This jump signifies Hanuman’s unwavering devotion to Lord Rama. 

I see Hanuman as the ultimate Valentine! Of all the things that may be transient, it is that enduring loyalty that speaks so strongly of love. His devotion gives him his superpower and I think that is very relatable. There is nothing in this world more powerful than the power of love. The ability to lift someone up when they are at their lowest is a remarkable feat! Understanding that we’re not alone is truly magical.

AND there is another profound message to consider. In this myth, Lord Rama represents the ultimate reality and Hanuman represents the ultimate commitment to reality. Can you love reality?

We all live in a dream world to a degree. It’s the human condition: 

“What kinds of perceptions and thoughts and feelings guide us through life each day? The answer at the most basic level, isnt “the kinds of thoughts and feelings and perceptions that give us an accurate picture of reality. No, at the most basic level the answer is “the kinds of thoughts and feelings and perceptions that helped our ancestors get genes into the  next generation”…our brains are designed to, among other things, delude us.” – Robert Wright, Why Buddhism is true. 

And the work is to choose the red pill like Neo in The Matrix, or in other words, to have a love affair with reality. 

We can choose reality – stay with it, be here, show up, be open, turn toward the sights and the sounds and the thoughts that pass through our minds – or we can choose to turn away. Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart. 

Do you love the idea of someone or do you love them as they are today?

“What would people look like if we could see them as they are-  soaked in honey, stung and swollen, reckless, pinned against time? Ellen Bass, If you Knew. 

Can you love yourself, in this moment perfectly flawed, or only the idealized version of who you may one day be? We hear it over and over, but it is worth repeating. There is no love without self-love. Start here: “May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.”

This month we’re asking everybody to bask in the glow of Hanuman’s love story. I plan on spending more time noticing the love in my life, cultivating self-love, and getting closer to reality! `