Today marks the Feast of Saint Valentine, or as many of us know it as, Valentine’s Day. This day for many prompts the purchasing of romantic gifts, candy, flowers, dinners, and red roses. For others, its just another day. I have always been for celebrating and cultivating more Love; for myself, this day is a gentle reminder to do so. So whether you celebrate this day or not, this post is for you.

At the centre of our being, literally and energetically lies the heart; the strongest muscle in our physical bodies and the most powerful force permeating our entire being and the world around us. The heart muscle pumps blood to our entire body nourishing every last cell; without it the body’s existence would end. The energy of our heart is love; when balanced and thriving, it travels in the same way through the body creating health through a positive emotional state that uplifts and heals the spirit and psyche.

The centre of the chest also lies at the centre of the chakra system. More than four thousand years old, this energy system acts as a template for transformation and union of our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health.  The heart chakra is one of seven main energy (or bioenergetic) centres in the body. For some people these are literal centres they can sense through feel or sight; for others they are metaphorical or symbolic, a guide to deeper self-awareness and growth. The heart chakra is the bridge between the body and spirit, earth and heaven, the physical aspects of ourselves and the unseen or invisible qualities of ourselves. Physical issues related to this energy centre – heart, ribs, breasts, lungs, arms and hands -are signs of deficient energy flow to the chakra.

Science has proven and shown that our entire physical body is composed of energy and that each one of us emits an electromagnetic field that can be measured. Interestingly, the heart organ has the largest and strongest electromagnetic field compared to any other part of the body.

When we are in balance in our heart centre, we are able to give and receive love equally, we move into a space of unconditional love, we feel a deep sense of connection and compassion for everyone and everything in our surroundings, there is a sense to the core that we are truly all connected, and mind and body are in harmony. We begin to live wholeheartedly; our thoughts, words, and actions become increasingly more conscious, compassionate, and heart-centred. In this space, our mind and body responds in health (i.e. heart rate and pressure drop or normalize, the nervous system relaxes, anxiety and worry diminishes) because the stress of toxic emotions such as guilt, blame, resent or judgment, are not creating stress hormones that over time dampen our glow and vitality.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Oscar Wilde

When we live in a state of love, acceptance and compassion for ourselves, we enter a ‘lifelong romance’, and begin to recognize that the more we embody love, everything in our lives seems to flow with ease.

As this love grows and expands, it overflows into all of our decisions and actions. We choose foods and habits that nourish us. We let go of self-criticism and self-judgment, even self-loathing because it simply feels ‘heavy’. We are gentler and more supportive of ourselves. We can find the lessons in our mistakes and faults. We are more willing and open to forgiveness, first of ourselves. We are able to open up to, sit with, and accept even the most uncomfortable emotions like grief, sorrow, and disappointment. These expressions of self-love will naturally begin to infuse all of your relationships, as love is an expansive energy and does not contract or withhold.

Use this day as a touchstone, or reminder, to shower yourself with unconditional love and acceptance. It’s well known that the act of giving love to another positively affects our well being, but we often forget ourselves. We can get lost in the idea that you’re a ‘good person’ if you give, and though we don’t always admit or recognize it, we feel ‘selfish’ when we focus on ourselves.

Practice living from the heart. Each morning brings another opportunity. Let love be the driving force behind everything you do. Notice how energized your normally mundane experiences become. Begin right now by getting in touch with your heart centre with this free guided meditation.

Wishing you a heart-filled day!