The Way of Love - The Way of the Heart

In her book, Living in Gratitude: A Journey that Will Change Your Life, Angeles Arrien, notes that "February is the month when we consciously review what touches our hearts." It is after all, the month where we celebrate Valentine's Day.

She shares this quote by Brother David Steindl-Rast:

"The heart is where we belong.
We belong there as to our proper place,
no matter how estranged we have become.
And we are there, we belong,
because what makes home home
is that each belongs to all and all to each..."

And it is this sense of belonging, and being in the heart which is the way of love, and enables us to be more grateful.

Just a few moments ago, I read this very appropriate quote by Paramahansa Yogananda:

"To develop pure and unconditional love
between husband and wife, parent and child,
friend and friend, self and all,
is the lesson we have come on earth to learn."

Such a simple lesson, but not always an easy one to always embody - now is it?

Pearl Bailey, wisely noted the following:

"What the world really needs,
is more love and less paperwork."

What really takes up more of our time on a day to day basis? We all want love. In fact, Arriens observes that "to learn how people want to be loved, we need only look at the way they love." So true!

Arriens shares this wonderful practice from the Dalai Lama to cultivate more love and gratitude in our lives:

1. Spend five minutes at the beginning of each day remembering that we all want the same thing: to be happy, to be loved, and to feel connected.

2. Spend five minutes cherishing yourself and others. Let go of judgments. Breathe in cherishing yourself, and breathe out cherishing others. If the faces of people you are having trouble with appear, cherish them as well.

3. During the day, extend that attitude to everyone you meet - we are the same - with "I cherish myself and you too..."

4. Stay in the practice no matter what happens!

This month, stay open. Be grateful. And love. With abandon!

"Tenderness and kindness...
are manifestations
of strength and resolution."
~ Kahlil Gibran

"Prayer is not a substitute for work,
thinking, watching, suffering or giving;
prayer is a support for all other efforts."
~ George A. Buttrick

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
Have you used one to say thank you?'"
~ William A. Ward

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