Let 'I YAM Love' be your mantra this month
Through love, we all have the power to connect with each other, peacefully, heart-to-heart. In celebration of Valentine’s Day this month, we hope the YAM family (that’s You!) will join us in celebrating and practicing our first Monthly Mantra of the Year: “I YAM Love.”
As dedicated Yogis know, selecting a word or series of words to repeat out loud or while meditating helps strengthen its meaning and allows us to let go of negative thoughts and transform them into positive ones.
So this month during class, let YAM instructors help you accept your beautiful self even more fully so that you can share that love with family, friends – and even strangers.
Instructor of the Month Jen Duffy shared some personal thoughts about what Love means to her. Enjoy!
What is Love? How would I define it? I don’t know that I can adequately put love’s meaning into words, but I do have some beliefs about love that I can share.
Love is vital. I believe love is necessary for our growth, health and healing. Not only is it necessary to receive love, but it’s also important to give it, express it and share love with others. Personally, giving love genuinely and openly feels even better than receiving it. The more we are willing to nurture others with love, the more it seems we nurture ourselves.
Love is everywhere. No, really it is. I know that sometimes it seems impossible to believe, especially when we look at the headlines and see all the fear and violence in the world. But love is there, too. We see it in the aftermath of tragedy when countless people come to help, donate or give in whatever way they can. We see it in our day-to-day lives when friends hug, when strangers share kind words, when compassion compels someone to help an animal, a stranger, a friend.
I believe love is in all of us. We are born with it, although sometimes it gets buried under the burdens of life. I see it in nature, the way the delicate balance of ecosystems and the many species that make up these ecosystems support and sustain life. I see love in the way animals and insects have an instinct to carry on their species, to produce and support more life. Even in death, plants and animals continue to give to others.
If ever love is hard to feel, you may find this quote from 13th century Persian poet Rumi helpful: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Love is strength. Some think that loving, kind and compassionate people are softies. I believe just the opposite. The more loving we are, the stronger we become. Why? Because every time we open up our hearts to the world, we expose themselves. We become vulnerable to hurt and heartache, but we have the courage and strength to love anyway. I have heard it said before and I believe that there are two basic motivations and emotions (all other emotions and feelings can be boiled down to one of these): FEAR and LOVE. When we allow fear to guide our decisions and our life, we shrink back from life. We close ourselves off. We judge others. We can become angry and resentful. We disconnect from the world as well as ourselves. When we take the brave path of love, we open up to life. We connect more fully and deeply with ourselves and with others. We move in a direction of hope and healing of ourselves and our world.
I choose love.
And because I am big on giving thanks … I’d like to thank YAM for the opportunity to discuss this beautiful topic, for welcoming me into this amazing community, where I see and feel lots and lots of love!Posted in YAM Teacher Profiles