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It’s the one day of the year that conjures up images of hearts, flowers, chocolates and candlelit dinners, simultaneously summoning up feelings of dread and of being alone. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with someone or by yourself, remember to always love yourself.

 

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,” said Oscar Wilde. The quality of your relationship with yourself is of supreme importance: all your other relationships are based on this. Your capacity to love and respect your own self determines your capacity to love everyone else. And yet, this is often the most neglected love. Valentine’s Day is associated with buying gifts such as jewellery, flowers, chocolates and perfumes. This Valentine’s Day, why not focus instead on boosting your love for yourself as a way to grow your capacity to love those around you?”

Heart chakra

Chakra is a Sanskrit word, meaning wheel or disc. There are seven major chakras, each a circular wheel of light spinning in your energetic system, associated with certain body parts. Chakras are energy centres that run from the base of your spine to the top or crown of your head. They are the openings for life force energy to flow into and out of your aura, which is an electromagnetic energy field around you. The heart chakra is the centre of the entire chakra system, where art and music is processed into feelings and emotion, where the ability to love is generated and where balance is created, within ourselves and our relationships.

Self-love is an important component in being able to reach this state of balance. The heart chakra relates to acceptance, connection and trust in the universe. When you are able to openly give and receive love and show compassion for yourself and others, the energy flowing in and out of this area will help keep it healthy. To create more love in your life is as simple as putting an effort into doing things that will activate the flow of energy in the heart chakra.

When the heart chakra is activated, it has the power to attract experiences of love, bring forgiveness into past relationships, and teach you how to love and accept yourself. Shades of pink and red in addition to green are the colours of the heart chakra, which draw in elements of love, acceptance and joy into your life.

These colours can be worn in clothing, or simply surround yourself with items and objects of this colour to vibrate with the energy of the heart chakra.

This chakra’s element is air, which spreads and energises, assuming the shape of whatever it fills. Air permeates breath, so pranayama practice helps balance and tone this chakra.

 

Heart meditation

You can do a healing meditation on Valentine’s or any other day, to open and expand your heart chakra. Find a time when you can relax undisturbed, somewhere quiet and comfortable.

  • Sit in an upright posture and ensure that you can remain in that seated position for 10 minutes to half an hour or more.
  • With your eyes closed, let your awareness drop into the centre of your chest.
  • Imagine a flame in your heart, radiating loving energy from the inside out.
  • Breathe naturally and imagine your breath moving in and out through your heart. Let each inhalation soften your inner heart space.
  • Become aware of a golden light in the centre of your chest. You might visualise it or simply feel its warmth.
  • With each inhalation, imagine the love filling you and the light glowing; and with each exhalation, imagine the love radiating and expanding to the world around you.
  • Rest your awareness gently on the light.
  • Keep relaxing the heart, spreading the glow of your inner flame throughout your body and out into the room.
  • Think about your loved ones individually with each breath you take, think about others you have met and strangers.
  • Focus on sending this healing light to your own heart as well sending love out to the planet.
  • Stay in this meditation for as long as possible.

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