(Cy Twombly’s Wilder Shores Of Love)
Love is what everyone resolves to have, to magically find, to attain. Love gets head-twisting, heart-wrenching and all sorts of other things. People want feng shui to bring love into their lives. Searching online for love, questioning your destiny with self-proclaimed sages and creating vision boards are all the rage these days where love is concerned, romantically.
This eloquent phrase explained what I could not articulate about the mass-populace concept of love:
“What we call “white” is a rainbow of colors packed into a small space. A prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion. It includes many feelings which, out of laziness and confusion, we crowd into one simple word. Art is the prism that sets them free… ” ~ Diane Ackerman, A Natural History Of Love.
And of course, to make this personal, now I am going to ask: What does love mean to you?
And how do you think you can bring more of it to life?
When I returned from a magical trip to Taisekiji in Japan a few months ago, love was apparent to me, everywhere. The Buddhist concept of love is all about compassion, connection, and being present. There are no games, no rules, no tricks and no manipulations and power plays with friends, family or lovers. It isn’t possessive to love. It just IS.
Living in that space absolutely flooded my own life with love.
How do you do it for yourself?
After immersing myself in a beautiful history of love (A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman) it became clear that love is intensely personal. And as in all things so personal, no one definition of love fits all.
What does love mean to you? The word “love”. What does it mean?
Diane Ackerman suggests the exercise of writing a love poem to her students, a love poem devoid of cliche and free of the word love as a crutch.
Can you shine a light on love and feel what it is to you? You may find, as I did in Japan, that what I was “searching” for in love was actually something that didn’t exist, and there was already so much love around me! Can you really get more exacting about the love you have. Where do you feel it in your body? What does it do to your vision, your senses, your dreams, your sleep, your sense of time?
Do people around you elicit that love? Do your friends give you that feeling, your partner, your job, your pets, your community, the world? Are there people who elicit that feeling? Do you spend time with them? Do you cultivate that feeling with your loved ones?
(Art floods love into my life. This painting by Julian Schnabel, Mutant King, 1981, holds a special place in my heart… personal and pure everlasting love. It’s surprising that it doesn’t seem that sublime!)
Are there places that bring love out of you, the love that feels the way you know it to feel just for yourself? If you home doesn’t feel like that love, can you create space that does echo your love ideals?
Where do you give love? In many of the great love quests of history, there is typically an outpouring of love to bring love into life. Bring more of that energy to your life.
Love isn’t a trick you read in a self-help manual, or a goal, or an achievement. That I can say with total clarity, no matter what love is to you.
My ideas for the new year to flood your life with more love are very simple…
- Expand your personal energy (sleep, eat, revive your spirits) to a place where you can give more freely to your life in a way that makes you feel more alive.
- Spend time with people who elevate that sensory wonder.
- Resist the urge to control life, instead creating more flow in your home, more open flow.
- Be willing to make deeper connections to your world and share more of yourself in your life, in your work, in your family and community.
These are really my own love experience. Add fresh ideas that are your own. Personalize the experience. You are your own guru!
Live with more love in your own way. It will expand your concept of who you are. And you likely wont get too significant about fears, rules, tricks and tips, advice columns and love doctors and the other crushing confusions that can make love a thing of the mind rather than a way to live your life. I have found it is an exuberantly life-affirming way to live. xoxo Dana
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