On this Valentine’s Day as I sip on purple beet juice, douse myself in ylang ylang, and string rose quartz around my neck - I feel like the quintessential yogi with a full and happy heart.
I get it, holidays are commercialized and designed by Hallmark for us to spend more money blah blah blah, but regardless, this holiday serves as a nice reminder to soak in some extra love and to share it with others. My Valentine’s Day so far hasn’t cost me a thing, and just like last year, we will cook dinner together at home, and my heart shaped vegan brownie is already prepped and ready to bake!
Here is why what may seem like an odd combination of beet juice, ylang ylang, and rose quartz all fill up my heart with joy:
Beet juice: Before you say “yeck!” - hear me out. All roots vegetables are grounding, so, it makes me feel connected, whole, and stable to fill myself with love on this beautiful day. Beet juice purifies the blood (so my heart really does love it!), it provides a ton of Vitamin C, and reduces inflammation. From my very brief research, I also found that eating beets produces nitric oxide in the body which increases blood flow; aka it can boost your libido. Oh, and the color is simply lovely, especially if blended up in a smoothie with a little ginger and apple for sweetness. Valentine’s Day love in a cup!
Ylang Ylang: This is by far my favorite essential oil! I have found that applying it topically will sometimes cause redness, so I like to put a few drops on my fingertips and run it through my hair. All day long I feel showered in this beautiful scent. It smells like blossoming flowers in the jungle after a summer rain. I have always been drawn to this oil and medicinally it is used as an antidepressant, antiseptic, and OH what do you know, an aphrodisiac.
Rose Quartz: The crystal of unconditional love. It is believed to restore harmony in relationships and purifies the heart to open you up to self-love, deep inner healing, friendship, and overall peace.
So, did I select these things intentionally? Honestly, no. I knew that I wanted to write about Anahata, which we will get to, but it wasn’t until I sat down that I realized I organically was drawn to all of these lovely things today. Perhaps that’s simply how intuition or synchronicity work, when you’re aligned with the energy around you, things harmoniously fall into place. For an example, when my heart finally decided to let go of the “search” for the “one”, I met my current valentine. As if the universe and I finally decided I was ready for something stable, secure, and real (and I wouldn’t need to exhaust myself trying to find it!) - bam, while walking down a random street in Hartford, there he was. And as they say, the rest is history.
My heart chakra and I have a history of being way too open, vulnerable, and overly sensitive. I am still dialed up on the sensitivity notch, but a little more discernment and self-love has developed with practice. The heart chakra, or energy center over your heart and lungs houses our joy and sorrow. In sanskrit, this chakra is called Anahata, which means “unhurt, infinite, and boundless”. This energy center is responsible for how we give and receive love and is ultimately the lens in which we seek connection with others and the world. The heart chakra is where we “feel” our way through decisions, it is where unconditional love, joy, compassion, kindness, connection, forgiveness, and acceptance is created. There is much that can be learned from the heart chakra, and I refer to the work of Donna Eden or Anodea Judith for techniques to work with this energy center. One of the easiest ways to connect with your heart chakra is to:
- Take your right hand and place it over your heart and begin to circle your hand over your chest in a clockwise direction, breathing deeply.
- Closing your eyes, imagine the purest form of love - it can be God, a significant other, a place in nature, a favorite animal friend, or even a memory of when you felt showered with love -
- Allow the images and scenes of love to organically flow through your mind, your heart, and your spirit...see if a natural smile or sense of calm appears
- You can also, as you circle around your heart chakra (this is also known as a thymus rub), recite an affirmation like: "I unconditionally love and accept myself."
- Continue this brief heart chakra meditation for as long as you like; even 5 minutes will fill you up with love!
Sending love to each of you! On my Valentine's Day, I was inspired to give some love back to my overflowing Anahata with an ode:
Anahata ~ the center of my being
radiate, shine, and stay expansive for all to see.
Worthy of love and joy, I’ll ache and hurt if you’re misaligned.
Caught between intuition and the mind, you always know the way to guide me
from my loneliness,
out of despair,
letting go of resentment
replacing it with careful discernment -
Compassion, and full
of divine love for what’s within and around.
Without conditions or regulations, your reach knows no bounds.
Anahata, my heart, you’re my child’s first laugh
The first sight of spring,
a blossoming rose,
my gravitational pull to my soul’s greatest mate -
Beauty of the world