I’m receiving a nudge from the Universe and it’s about love. Self-love. Just returned from a short get-away at St. Pete Beach where I stayed with my dear friend Anita, as I have done many times.
On one of my solitary morning walks, I marveled at my joy. Wet sand underfoot, bright sunshine, cool breeze, waves lapping, birds singing, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I questioned my love affair with this beach.
I rarely venture more than ankle deep into the water–too murky. Every strand of seaweed that brushes my leg is potentially a man-eating shark or a stingray’s tale. “Just shuffle your feet,” they say. “If you don’t step on them they won’t sting you.” Right.
My phobia stems from an incident with my nineteen-year-old self. I was visiting Florida’s Atlantic coast on Spring Break with friends. When I righted myself after tumbling with a rambunctious wave, I realized I could no longer touch bottom and there was a clear, slimy jellyfish clinging to my entire forearm. From that day forward, potential panic accompanied a frolic in the ocean. Chicken shit-ness or not, it’s there.
Still yet, there is a pull. If I haven’t beached in awhile I find myself searching Southwest for flights. Once there, I awaken early and can’t wait to get walking. I sit on the sand and stare at the sun on the water–bliss. The days are never long enough. The best days are those when the dolphins appear. Last week I saw the biggest, darkest dolphin I’ve ever seen and I named him Grandpa Dolphin.
February on St. Pete Beach was the perfect time and place for me to read The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. The book is a Valentine to the world and, among other things, outlines the principal that all love begins with self-love.
Back home this morning, our meditation from Holy Shift by Robert Holden was “To love yourself is to heal yourself.” (February 14)
My Valentine wish is that we turn our love inward. Focus upon self-love first and then spread joy to everyone around us. Ruiz writes that happiness and love are our birthright. We are here to spread joy–it’s our purpose.
So we secure our own oxygen mask first. Drop the first valentine in our own bag. Shoot a random act of kindness inward. Go places where watching the sunset is an event. It’s a Valentine. To self.