February brings a little more daylight to all of us and for those like me that love NASCAR it's the start of the racing season. There is a short race called the "Clash" which is before the official opener at the Daytona 500. The Clash this year will be on February 6th and for the first time ever at the Los Angeles Coliseum. They have created a 1/4 mile track inside this historic football stadium. In case you are wondering, Yes, of course, I will be there to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. They can't go very fast on such a short track but that doesn't affect the excitement of the race fans. Then at the end of the month, I will be at the Fontana track (2 1/2 miles) for the only other Southern California event. Along with SuperBowl, I will be getting my Sports On this month!
Several of the monthly topics this year will be focused on emotional traits or states such as joy, gratitude, and forgiveness. The reason for this is that if you possess or develop a strong degree of these traits you will naturally have less stress in your life. Just as entering a room with a lit candle takes away the darkness, it is not possible to have high stress when you possess these emotions in large quantities.
And the Greatest of These is Love by Jan Cerasaro
If you are living anywhere in North America and parts of Europe you know that Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th. Centuries before Hallmark cards existed, Valentine's day had its beginning, in fact, around 270 AD. In modern times this celebration of Love has gotten to be more commercialized than ever before and much of its meaning has been lost.
This month is not about Valentine's day, cards, flowers, or candy, it's about Love and that it is essential to our lives and health. Love is the most powerful of all emotions and can solve many of the problems of the world when there is an abundance of Love circulating the globe. Much has been written about Love and since this is only meant to be an article, not a book I would like to direct your attention to 3 of the facets of Love.
The first is your Love of self. This is where it all starts since you cannot give Love to others if you don't Love yourself first. This is not about being selfish but realizing that while you may be a work in progress you are OK the way you are today. You deserve to Love yourself as much as you deserve to give and receive Love from others. Loving yourself includes many things like taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual self. Your physical care can be eating healthy and enjoyable foods, moving your body whether it be through exercise or some form of sports. Loving yourself mentally can be personal growth and learning, including things that stimulate your mind, and changing things up from time to time so you continue to take one step forward and don't settle into a rut. The Love of your spiritual self includes things that speak to your soul. This could be prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and nurturing yourself perhaps soaking in a tub; anything that lifts your spirit which can also be playing and just having fun.
The second is your Love of others. This form of Love includes the whole world. This can fill your heart with such an intense feeling that you wish you could bottle it to be opened any time you want. The Love you have for your family, friends, colleagues, and anyone that you come into contact with or even just think about. Sharing your Love with others can come in so many forms and depths of feeling. The Love of a couple married 60 years that has endured so much they could write books about their time together. The Love that families have and the sacrifices they make for each other. Even sharing a smile with a stranger is a form of Love. You can even send Love to others by just thinking about sending them Love whether you are using a card, email, or text. I have an amazing story about sending Love through your thoughts that I will share with anyone interested (it's too long to include here).
The third is your Love of nature. Have you ever just stopped to study a flower, watch the trees sway in the breeze, or gaze at the clouds drifting by and feel that fullest in your heart? That feeling is the love of nature. This aspect also includes animals and all of our beloved pets. Now when it comes to our pets I'm sure we all know that feeling of unconditional love we get when we see them and they respond in kind to us. Every pet person has pictures that they will gladly show you as quickly as they do pictures of their grandkids. Animals are a great way to reboot your heart if you have had a rough day because they Love you no matter what.
Since I promised you an article, not a book I will stop with this. The more Love you let in for yourself and others the more you will have to give and the happier and healthier you will be.
Love, What life is all about... is written by one of my favorite people, Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D. If you have never seen his material you are in for a treat. This is also available on audible and Leo is the narrator so you get to enjoy his exuberant way of presenting the material (he was Italian through and through) and will quickly bring a smile to your face. My only regret with Leo is that I never met him personally, I know that would have been a truly memorable experience.
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Stay safe, healthy and happy!