Nature & Energy Insights
So….., we’ve made it through two years of a pandemic: ups and downs, ins and outs, and now we’re ready to celebrate that all-too-needed sentiment of: LOVE. Hallelujah to THAT! ;-) Before we dive into the gift of our time and other gift ideas, I hope you’ve checked out my blog on love.
In this blog post, as I like to do each holiday season, I pull back from the commercialism of the holiday and reflect more deeply on activities that enable us to create special time together. Too cold where you live for outdoor activities? No problem! I’ve included plenty of ideas for indoor activities that help you celebrate with your loved one. Herein, my 2022 Valentine’s day gift of love ideas that I hope inspire you to create even more! ….
Idea #1: Plan a picnic in a local park or at the beach. You don’t have to be close to other people in either location. And if you cannot get out of the car, or you live in a place that’s still FAR too cold to enjoy the outdoors, crank up that car heater and find a place to see a beautiful scene right from your car. Enjoy your picnic right there in the comfort and warmth. To make it even more special, catch a sunrise or a sunset there. Bring the warm, comfy blanket, some bolster pillows from home, and anything else that shifts the car to a comfortable Valentine’s escape. You can even create a picnic theme – perhaps it’s a typical lunch, or perhaps it’s just dessert. Either way, get creative, have a little fun – and enjoy!
Idea #2: Find a nearby Botanical Garden and explore what they may be offering this time of year. Remember that Botanical Gardens have year-round programs to enjoy, as well as the seasonal features in their landscape displays. It might be a nice opportunity to take a class that gets you ready for Spring gardening, teaches about something in your backyard, or other insights. Often these parks have ADA trails and benches throughout as well, making them accessible to a broad range of people and their needs. I LOVE the Norfolk Botanical Gardens where I can pop my mother on a tram that enables her to see most of what the park has to offer, from the comfortable seat of her tram ride!
Idea #3: MOVE! Your body, that is .... One of the wonderful ways that we can treat our bodies well is to keep stagnant energy moving through our bodies. Our life force energy, or Qi, can get stuck with the trials and tribulations of life. So why not practice the gift of wellness – together! Whether you opt to plan a romantic evening of slow dancing to a Spotify, Apple Music or other love songs playlist, or you plan a yoga or Qi Gong session together, this is a wonderful way to share your love by sharing a gift of well-being. Have a senior citizen that you’re planning a Valentine’s activity for? QiGong is very gentle as are many of the yoga modalities. There is even senior yoga. Check it out on YouTube, YogaDowload.com, and other online sites.
Idea #4: Virtual tasting: Plan a virtual visit to a winery or microbrewery, or visit a tea room. Or have a taste testing featuring teas or foods from a particular area, or several areas, of the world. If you fancy a good wine or microbrew, sample different varietals or types from the same or different brands and use your Valentine’s day for a taste-testing experience. Or perhaps there’s an area of the world that intrigues you. Explore its cuisine! Perhaps fill up a food board with samples of different specialties from that region. We recently visited Santa Rosa, CA for a quick getaway and enjoyed doing the same. We spent the afternoon – away from crowds – in the fun microbrewery of Lagunitas, and had a nice sampler of Jewish delights at a Noshery in downtown. We thoroughly enjoyed these parts of our trip even though originally they weren’t the focus of the visit.
Idea #5: A Challenge - Puzzles and Games! Buy a new puzzle, a new game, a mandala coloring book and coloring pencils, a new crossword puzzle book or some other relaxing game or activity that you can enjoy together. Is your game of choice limited to parties of 4? Forget about it! We just modify the rules and setup to have fun with games like Cranium and Pictionary so that we can play with just the two of us. Do you enjoy spelling and games like Scrabble? Another fun – and mobile - game is Quiddler. Mobile because it’s simply a big deck of cards you can take anywhere. We keep it in our camper so we can play anytime. You could also take it in the car for your aforementioned car-picnic, Idea #1, above.
Idea #6: Experiences! This is still one of my ‘new’ favorites. Visit AirBnB Experiences and choose an online – or socially-distanced onsite - activity you can do together. You can explore cooking, take a virtual tour of an area of the world you’ve never visited, discover a new hobby such as Kombucha making. I’ve used such experiences to visit animals. Not available on Valentine’s day? No problem! Book it and pop the voucher into a Valentine’s card for future use, enjoying it on a day that doesn’t feel rushed. The beauty of the online experiences is that you can connect someone, such as your mother, in another area of the country or world, and time-zone-differences permitting, still enjoy the experience together.
Regardless of what you do and how you share Valentine’s Day, be sure to take the time to reflect and appreciate the love you share with those in your life. They can feel your gratitude energetically and who can’t use a good dose of more love in our lives?!
Happy Valentine’s day everyone!!!
Being Open to Show and Receive Love
One of my dear friends has always had an incredibly open heart. From the time we first became friends, I was so taken with her ability to express her love so freely. She has always told me often – on the phone, with notes on my desk, with gifts ‘just because’ – that she loves me. She was from Israel and I am from the U.S. and I wondered, “Is this an Israeli characteristic to be so open?” But no – she is unique in her self-expression and her open expression of love. But it strikes me as odd that I think of her as the exception rather than the rule. Why don’t we indeed express more freely our love for our friends and maybe even family? Yes, many of us do this with our families, but I suspect even with them it becomes robotic. When was the last time we were truly *present* when we said those 3 important words to our parents, our siblings, cousins, or others around us?
Did you know that our words have a vibration, a powerful energy to them? They do. I’ve written about the energy of things in previous blogs and you can read online all about the experiments with water and with plants to see the proof of this energy. The next time you’re thinking of your beloved aunt, cousin, father or other loved one, picture their face and say aloud, “I love you”. They may not be conscious of it, but they will “feel” your love – across the miles or just across the street, wherever they may be. And you’ll have that wonderful satisfaction of knowing that they do indeed feel your love with them.
Back to my friend, just being around her makes me awake and aware of how little or how much I remember to express my love to the loved ones in my life. She is my unintentional mentor in being open-hearted! I aspire to be more open with my love. And so with Valentine’s Day approaching in the U.S., I was thinking what a perfect excuse it is for us to reach out to all those we’ve been meaning to. To remind them how much we appreciate them. It doesn’t mean only our romantic partners. This can just as importantly be for our friends and family as well. I’ve noticed that my wonderful girlfriends from across the country have been messaging and asking to set up Zoom or phone calls to catch up recently. Perhaps the pandemic has given us all that space to be awake to how important our loved ones are in our lives. It’s such a loving feeling – like a nice big hug – when friends reach out to reconnect regularly.
A Valentine’s Tree: Representing Love for All
This year, for the first time, my 83-year-old mother has decided not to take down her Christmas tree but to repurpose it. She’s merely changed the ornaments – to Valentine’s ornaments. Another friend has done the same. I love that idea of continuing what can be
to take mindful action to reach out, schedule the gift of your time with one you love. Just like we do on Thanksgiving to be more mindful of gratitude….
I hope this holiday, but also most of the time, we can still reflect on love as something we value, that we can be *mindful* about – appreciating those who are near and dear to us, just because …. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Pamela, Eyes4Nature's proprietor, enjoying life out in the field among the animals and the peacefulness of nature.