For us Valentines Day is about intense gratitude. Nine years ago on Valentine’s Day, we birthed our son Abe. He was born ‘still’ due to a condition known as Isomerism during the sixth month of our pregnancy and since then clearly Valentine’s Day hasn’t had quite the same level of frivolity as it used to…
…Our household however decided sometime ago that rather than feeling sombre regarding our loss or distracting ourselves with roses and gifts, we would celebrate Abe’s birth by marking Valentine’s Day as a day to be intensely grateful for the abundance in our lives and to celebrate life.
Create Gratitude Rituals
We put in place rituals for the day or weekend that demonstrate gratitude — acknowledging each other, friends and family, enjoying beautiful food, birthday cake and whatever simply feels right. A random gift works too.
So this Valentine’s Day you may wish to move beyond just feeling grateful for your mate and their cute butt, you may wish to consider far and wide what are you grateful for and use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to simply stop and give thanks.
If you’re willing, contemplate today the relationship you have with yourself, your partner, friends and family. You may wish to thank your partner for the opportunity your relationship has given you to grow and learn. And if you’re feeling courageous you may like to thank a previous partner for how they helped shape who you are today.
I encourage you to take the time to acknowledge yourself in as many ways as you can. Shed the disparaging echos and consider that perhaps you need to pat yourself on the back for having committed these last few years to living life with a greater level of authenticity. Or for being someone who focuses on giving impeccably.
There are so many areas of our lives we can choose gratitude,
it simply begins with slowing down and looking around.
Here are some things I have personally been giving thanks for again this week…
A Benevolent Universe
Without wanting to start a long winded new age blather, I simply believe in an abundant universe that consistently brings good things my way. Seeing the benevolence is always about my perception, deciding what’s good versus bad, useful versus stressful.
Being a Mum and that My Children are Healthy
Without a doubt birthing and holding Abe changed the fabric of who I am. I believe I now have a deeper sense of gratitude for my role as a parent, enormous empathy for others who have faced the death of a child and for those who cannot have children. The experience enables me to look at my children and marvel at their uniqueness, their strength and buoyancy. They are remarkable.
Of all the privileges in my life —
being their Mum is the greatest.
For My Groom
I am grateful for groom who has been my anchor since I was eighteen and it still surprises me that even when I make things complicated and chaotic – he adores me. His innate commitment to ‘enjoying the ride’ of growing old and grey together is stunning. I am eternally grateful that he has always encouraged me to live from my deepest core. He’s fun, sexy as hell, kind and courageous and I am TRULY blessed.
A Deeper Sense of Self
As I age, I realise that I am my own “best form” of entertainment. Depending on the day I can create deep stillness and peace in my life or immense turmoil within. I delight however in being someone who can see the humour in this and someone who is incredibly committed to growing and learning.
Diversity in Friendships
I feel incredibly blessed to have great diversity in my friendships. I often sit in awe for the richness they bring to my life. Some of them are incredibly inspiring mums, or dads, corporates, skilled practitioners, film and television stars, supermodels or professional athletes. Others have lived such colourful lives that my naivety seems to be a constant source of entertainment for them. Regardless I appreciate the honesty, accountability and joy they bring to my life.
My “favourites” however are those who have wiped my brow
in my weakest hour or held my heavy heart when I was in need —
you know who you are. Each of you is a “gift” in my life and you
are deeply loved.
For my Parents
My parents continue to this day to be an example of a couple committed to being adventurous. From a young age they helped me to set a vision for my life that has meant that I have had to stretch and extend myself in ways I would never have thought possible.
To Love What I do
It would sound cliché to say I absolutely love what I do if I didn’t also appreciate that my work brings with it its share of stress and pressure. When I reflect on the beautiful feedback I receive from parents none of the stress matters, only that they feel confident and empowered to navigate their health.
I could go on forever but let’s make Valentine’s Day a time to tell those we love what we are grateful for.
. . . . .
With Lots of Love,
Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
CHIROPRACTOR & AUTHOR