You might be well aware that a certain Hallmark holiday is coming up this weekend. If you know me, you might also know that I’m not impressed by Hallmark holidays. They don’t hold much emotional weight in my heart, and typically sail by without so much as a glance from me.
But this year, something feels different, particularly potent, about Valentine’s Day. Have you noticed any extra chatter about it out in the world? This holiday, meant to honor love and togetherness, is tugging at our heartstrings after a year of being forced apart.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have no plans to celebrate with red construction paper, or rituals for satisfying externally sourced relationship expectations. I require no thing from any other human being. This year, I plan to spend mid-February in the private practice of cultivating pleasure.
Our culture likes to relegate the concept of pleasure to the realm of the sexual, but I see opportunity for pleasure in every moment. Pleasure is the simple act of enjoying your experience. Tasting a fruit, feeling the wind on your skin, the sun on your face. Laying down to rest at the end of the day, noticing your body breathing.
In the spirit of Valentine’s, I want to offer you a gift that I’ve been using to enliven my senses, and tap into the pleasure of everyday moments. This meditation is meant to be listened to outside, while walking, or just sitting still. It can be enjoyed deep in a forest, or in the middle of a busy city.
Here you'll be invited to use your senses to perceive the world around you. Every time I’ve done it, I’ve had a bit of a magical experience. I’ve felt myself drawn towards a small, previously overlooked tree, and found a perfect sitting stone melted out of the snow beneath it. I’ve watched the Sun burst through thick clouds for just a moment, and the experience filled my blood with euphoria, because my senses were so engaged.
I promise that this 17-minute exercise will leave you feeling more connected with nature, generally better, and more awake to your pleasure.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Please pass the pleasure along by sharing this Valentine with your beloveds.