I don't know about you but I'm tired of some women who either whine that they don't have a date on Valentine's and/or campaign to boycott Feb. 14, arguing it as another evil product of capitalism. I find the former pathetic (honey, there are other worthwhile things to do than to complain about finding a mate). The latter, I think are just plain uncool (helloo, why can't you pseudo-intellectuals just R-E-S-P-E-C-T other people's choices? I'm channeling Aretha here).
So I find it refreshing that the recent webinar by Rachelle Mee-Chapman /, life coach and spiritual director of The Flock , an online soul care community for women, has enthused us to stand in our own power and reclaim Valentine's Day. Rachelle said her family celebrates by giving out these lovely gift cards and books designed by one of Flock's members Amanda Oaks, spreading a message of kindness and love.
Like any other holiday, we celebrate Valentine's Day, because it has significance to us. Which means that if you want to celebrate Valentine's day, you'll celebrate it based on how and what you want to do with it and not based on what OTHER people are doing.
Valentine's day is a time to honor the joy of being single. A day to be grateful that we can do whatever we want – like traveling alone – without seeking permission from a domineering/insecure partner.
And since Valentine's day this year falls on a Monday, this is the perfect time for a solo woman traveler to escape and explore!
So in this coming weekend why dont you…
1. Book yourself in a destination spa.
2. Sign up for a yoga retreat.
3. Find a quiet place andmeditate.
4. Feed your inner soul by going on a spiritual retreat.
5. Dump your diet and go on a food trip – feast on those cakes, pasta, cheese and wine.
6. Spend hours looking at your favorite painting in a museum and/or gallery.
7. Bring your credit cards and shop till you drop!
8. Roam in the streets and take photos of anything and everything that catches your interest. Channel your inner Henri Cartier Bresson and indulge in street photography.
9. Swim, surf, scuba dive!
10. Or you can just bring your favorite book and read at the beach, while listening to some cool songs in your MP3 player.
11. Trek, hike, climb mountains
12. Watch this fabulous video made by the Canada-based performance poet Tanya Davis:
How to Be Alone
by Tanya Davis
If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in. And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.
The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees that only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo desserts and cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching, because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there are always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself.
Society is afraid of alone though, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.
You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner. Look both further and farther in the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.
Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cause if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach.
And it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, that community’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. Take silence and respect it. If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. If your family doesn’t get you, or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.
You could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it. If your heart is bleeding make the best of it. There is heat in freezing, be a testament.