How can I best serve Love in my life? What does that mean for me on a daily basis?
Rather than a cheesy holiday for Hallmark and purveyors of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates (which I do enjoy, don't get me wrong!) I choose to view Valentine's Day as an opportunity to recommit myself to a life devoted to Love and Loving in thought, word, and action. Each day I have an opportunity to realign myself to Love, and exploring the many ways I can exercise that choice has me bubbling with excitement and ideas.
This is the intention behind my online offering HeartFull Living 2016: Devotion to Love.
I cannot believe this is the fourth year for HeartFull Living?! I have to confess: each year I think "This is it ... I have said all I have to say ... I have nothing more to offer." I don't plan anything, I don't think about it at all. And then something happens.
I'm not sure I can even explain what that something is ... I wish I could say it was a brilliant flash of inspiration, a flood of insights threatening to spill over. But the truth is I recommit myself to this offering out of a selfish need for inspiration, for the light of love and a place of warmth to move me out of Winter doldrums. Each year I discover I must dive back in. Each year I place my trust in the notion that Showing Up is the first and really, the most essential step. I am never disappointed by the magic that always follows.
Magic happens because HeartFull Living is not a classroom, it is not a course ... It is a community. It is a space of sharing, a place to witness and be witnessed. It is an invitation to talk about what really matters, what inspires all that we do and all that we yearn to do and be ... Love.
Three years ago I wrote the following:
My heart is my anchor, my compass and the source of my deepest truths, the container for my greatest challenges. How to tend to and care for this precious part of ourselves? How to step forward into a chaotic and uncertain world with our hearts wide open, willing and ready to give and receive? How do the wounds we hold in our hearts offer us the opportunity for growth and strength and understanding? How can we support each other in living our lives with radiant and loving hearts, extending compassion for ourselves and our world?
Each year I write to a number of friends and colleagues who inspire me and I ask if they will share something with the HeartFull Living community. I hit send on the email and then I cower. To ask share my dream and to ask for support is one of the hardest things I can do. To be vulnerable, to open myself up to rejection?
So I am always blown away by the responses, many coming within minutes of my email being received. The generosity of friends and the enthusiasm of their responses is like sunshine warming the soil of my heart. I can immediately feel the ideas germinating, excitement bubbling over and a rush of energy that comes from sense of empowered action.
This year I asked my guest contributors for responses to the following questions: How do you turn yourself towards love, towards joy each day even when it feels especially hard? What do you call upon in those moments to reset your inner compass towards Love?
For me, HeartFull Living 2016 will be a daily reflection: On this day, how can I realign myself with Love?
Putting HeartFull Living in action, all proceeds from HeartFull Living 2016 will be donated to Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA). I have been volunteering for HETRA for the past year and it has been an incredible opportunity to witness the power of Love to inspire and heal. HETRA's Mission is "to improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children with disabilities through equine assisted activities."
HETRA is a non-profit 501c3 organization. They rely upon donations and funding to keep services affordable for the 115 or so participants who ride each week, supplementing approximately $75 to $90 for each rider. They offer a variety of services in Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Services for Veterans, Therapeutic Carriage Driving, Day Camps, Life Skills Training and Special Olympics. In the Winter HETRA runs their Horse Penny Race, a campaign to help raise funds to offset the care and training of their 16 therapy horses, the heart of their programs. I am part of Team Star, a handsome 21 year old Palomino Quarter Horse and Star will be the HeartFull Living 2016 mascot.
For the heart empowers us to do those things we otherwise believe ourselves too small, too ineffectual to take on. Like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, we embark on a journey certain it is ours to make even though we know not the way. This is one of the many insights of HeartFull Living.
Fresh insights and ideas are bubbling up and I can feel the energy of this gathering stirring me in exciting and fruitful ways. I would so love to have you join me. Star could use the support ... and so could I. Because HeartFull Living is All of Our Stories and All of Our Voices bringing light and hope into our world.
For more details and to sign up go HERE