Hey Everyone! Happy Valentines Day! I am totally snowed in here in Charlotte and “me and the ladies” have been nestled in as the three different storms blow over. I wanted to post a brief and cabin-fever-fueled Valentines Day message for you.
The day of the heart. That is what Valentines Day means to me. Not the consumer driven day of obligatory roses, chocolate, and expensive dinner reservations, but a day to honor the great and courageous call to live in your heart fully. To live and love unconditionally. To use the great human act of tenacity to deconstruct the meticulous walls that have been constructed to keep your authenticity hidden. To use the great elixir of vulnerability to melt the not so rose colored glasses through which we fail to see others in their true-ness.
The 14th is about the great internal “ecstatic” urgency to experience, and give, real love. Hallmark can’t do that. A bottle of wine and 12 roses can’t do that. A fancy pants dinner can’t do that. It is really something that bubbles up from our deepest core and begs, again and again, to be set free in this life through us, as us. It’s a way of being. It’s not a day on calendar. This ecstatic urgency, if you’ll stretch just a bit, is “God” pushing through each of us, longing to create. The dam that blocks that flow are our limited beliefs, our untrue stories, and our hapless identification to who we think we are. And, my goodness, there is so much more than the world that lives on between your ears. Like a beggar on the street we live at a small fraction of our potential, not knowing that the begging box we sit on has a $10 Million dollar diamond duct-taped inside of it. What is calling you? What is pulling at your heart? And, when you answer that question, step deeper into love and look squarely in the eye of that which scares you. What is it that holds you back? What do you most fear?
St. Valentine’s day is about courage. The day of the heart. Courage. Courage = heart. Courage comes from the root word Coer (or cor), which means HEART! In French, the word for heart is Coeur. It’s a day to deeply sink into one of the most important human emotions: courage. When you really think about it, anything in your life that means anything, any breakthrough you want to make, any risk you want to take, any thing you want to create requires COURAGE. Rollo May, the great psychologist, stated that all other virtues wither away without courage. It takes courage to love. To tell the truth. To be true to your word. To look squarely at your life and not flinch. To open your heart in this world of ours takes courage. To be vulnerable takes courage. It takes courage to befriend your fear and face your shadow. All of these acts are the ingredients of greatness. They are the raw materials of love, real love that has substance + depth.
St. Valentine’s day is the time of year to cough the kindness virus everywhere you go. Really, its time to start a pandemic – a global pandemic of healing kindness. “My religion is kindness,” said the Dalai Lama. When you act from kindness, when you spread goodness, virtue, you literally spread an energetic fertilizer around you and make it possible for seeds of love to grow and KEEP growing, long after you are gone. Get off your smart phone and start dialing into the people in front of you and around you. Every day, every way, there are hundreds of opportunities to be kind. Wayne Dyer talks about a study that looked at Serotonin levels and kindness. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps your nervous system communicate. When you have a lot of it, you feel great. When you are short, you feel cruddy. When you do a kind act, you increase your Serotonin levels. Not only that, but the recipient of your kindness experiences a big boost of serotonin. Here is the part that I love: anyone observing your kindness has a boost in serotonin. So give with a courageous heart of kindness. If you are in pain or struggling, double the kindness. If you feel lonely during this marketing fabricated day of love, then triple your love. When I was in college and had taken a 12-month commitment to no relationships, I would spend what money I had on roses and carnations and drive to nursing homes and give them out. After a while, I recruited friends to come with me. So lets merge courage with kindness, shall we? The more you give in kindness the more you permanently change the morphogenic energy fields that drive evolution. WOAH! LOVE UP!!!
St. Valentine’s day is about passion. What is passion? This word has a poor time in our culture. We are a culture that craps all over passion and we are a culture that has created a cult of mediocrity from very early on in life. In so many ways, we are encouraged to stay in the bell curve and to squelch that ecstatic urgency to create, love, step up, and step out. I know of no greater elixir for the heart than passion. “In the ruin of heartbreak,” speaks Rumi, “there arises a passion that can raise the dead.” God, I love that line. Passion, to me, is that felt sense of aliveness, of purpose, of fire, and of excitement to live, act, and love for something so much bigger than “me”. It is the felt sense of being pushed along a path by something Vast, Huge, and Kind. It is the energy that rises up in me every time I think of the mass suffering in this world that can, and does, get better when individuals wake up and start living like they mean it. Passion is the rocket fuel of the Heart that transcends logic and that is the source of all true creativity. Passion begs us to question our rules and the rules laid down by teachers, preachers, doctors, and politicians. It implores us to give up our stories that hold us back and trust that living flame within. Passion was the fuel source of the illumined mystics, the great writers, the luminous musicians, and the courageous agents of social change. Passion is not a mental event. To really live and serve Passion’s great call, we’ll have to have courage and be ready to leave behind the dead weight of a life of compromises. Passion will not let you live small. Your life may be entirely ordinary, and yet it can be illuminated with passion that even your silence makes the squirrels dance.
Relationships – all of them – thrive on positive interactions of kindness, play, authenticity, vulnerability, and laughter. In the hum-drum drone of day-to-day existence, so many people get away from the juice of goodness that lies in fostering positive interactions with those we love again, and again, and again. Gay Hendricks states that simply to have an OK relationship you need 5 positive interactions for every negative one. An awesome relationship – whether with your life partner or with your best friend – requires a relationship heavily weighted to the positive. Paradoxically, however, real honesty and vulnerability will open the door to authentic positivity. It’s easy to gloss over incongruences and just “be nice”. That is not what I am describing. I am talking about a potent force of energy we call positive love that arises again and again and again and becomes medicine for our personal and collective brokenness. We rise into a place of freedom in relationships where only love exists. Passion. Courage. Kindness. Keep score. Yes – I said that. Keep score. Note the ratio and shoot for 10-1. 20-1. And when that ratio gets low, don’t freak out. Look deeply. Speak deeply. Courageously take responsibility and forgive radically. And then step up. Up and up. 20-1. Begin and end your day with acts of positive kindness. Text them. Email them. Use whatever means you can. Water the soil of your relationships with unconventional and uncalled for kindness and positivity. Especially when you don’t want to. Especially when it wasn’t “your fault.”
Finally, love yourself. Big time. The Buddha said that no one is more deserving of your kindness than you are. Take care of yourself, mind, body and Spirit. Self-care is not selfish; rather, it’s a supreme act of love. When I am connected, whole, and in my zone of passionate loving genius, I am SO Much more for the world. I also enjoy the ride a lot more, and that fuels me to give more, and then the world keeps giving back to me in this play date of flowing, energetic and sensual love. Life becomes much more of a play of energetic and sublime love than a survival match. Get entrained. Do SRI. Take an extra hour of sleep. Drink raw juice. Get a massage. Go on a retreat. Ask for help from a therapist or coach when you need help. This amazing game was meant to be played together, and, believe or not, there are folks on this path who have been where you have been and have a roadmap to a much cooler place. Spend time around people that energize you, inspire you, and push you just a tad past your comfort zone. Meditate. Pray. Talk to God (whatever you call God). When you are up against a wall and don’t feel like you can go any further, for god sakes let yourself cry. Don’t make your busyness an excuse. There is nothing so barren as a busy life said Socrates. I am a dad, have a waiting list practice, I am a business owner, a busy coach and consultant and I make time for self-care. The more we do, the more we have to make time for it. ‘Nuff said. The more light you spread, the more that shadow can creep on you, so DO YOUR WORK. No one is above the fray of human-ness.
I love you all! Have an amazing Valentines Day. Be the epicenter of an earthquake. Let the tectonic plates of Love, Passion, Courage, Kindness, and Reality smash together and make that Richter scale ROCK 10.0!
Yours in passion and well-being,
Dr. Matt Lyon