Do You Need a Reason to Love?
Today I want to share a very special story with you…it’s an excerpt for Marci Shimoff’s brilliant New York Times bestselling book LOVE FOR NO REASON—that’s newly out in paperback:
The woman sitting across from me was radiant. Mirabai Devi, an international spiritual teacher from South Africa, was known for the unconditional love that emanated from her, and I could see why. Her dark eyes sparkled, her smile was both serene and joyful, and I felt a warm glow in my heart as I gazed at her.
I pressed the Record button on my digital recorder, and Mirabai began to tell me about her first experience of unconditional love. It had taken place almost 20 years earlier, when, as a young woman, Mirabai experienced an awakening while traveling through Europe:
“It was as if a dam burst in my heart, and the waters overflowed. The love that came forth was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.
Like a flood, it was all-consuming and all-encompassing; I could hardly contain it. I felt electrified; my body was tingling all over. I was so in love with the whole creation that I wanted to hug everyone I met. I knew that couldn’t do that because people would think I was crazy. Still, people could feel it. Everywhere I went they would just come up to me and say, “What can I do for you?” “Can I help you?” “Can I give you a ride?” “Can I get you some food?” “Can I . . . ?” They just wanted to be around me.
Traveling through Holland one afternoon, I stopped on the side of the road and looked at a field of cabbages. All the cabbages were just filled with this iridescent, luminous light. My heart was bursting with love for the cabbages.
I felt union with the whole of creation.
I saw that everything is connected and everything is one. And everything is radiant with this exquisite, ecstatic love.”
I sat transfixed, taking in the details of Mirabai’s remarkable story, and asking myself: Is it possible for me and for others to experience that state of unconditional love all the time?
That was the question I set out to answer in my latest book, Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love. As part of my research, I found and interviewed over 150 unconditionally loving people I call “Love Luminaries,” including scientists, psychologists, spiritual teachers, and people whose lives were rich in the qualities of the heart—to find out how to be unconditionally loving.
What I discovered through my research is that each of us can grow in unconditional love, the kind of love that doesn’t depend on any person or situation, what I call Love for No Reason. I found 14 keys that will help you experience this higher state of love more and more of the time. Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Anchor Yourself in Safety. Feeling stressed, unsupported, or fearful essentially takes love off-line. It’s impossible to activate the physiology of unconditional love when you’re experiencing stress and your body is in fight or flight. To quickly switch out of stress mode, take a few deep breaths and consciously relax your pelvic floor, located at the base of your body. This kick-starts your parasympathetic system and sets the stage for what mind/body health expert Dr. Eva Selhub calls your body’s “love response.”
2. Feel Your Feelings. Stifling your emotions or expressing them excessively is equally damaging to your capacity to experience unconditional love. Luckily, there’s a third option: feeling your feelings. This is not the same as “expressing, exaggerating or acting out,” as Love Luminary Raphael Cushnir told me. “All it requires is a gentle focus, a turning toward what’s actually present.”
Practice experiencing your feelings directly and completely by observing them as they move through your mind and body—and then letting them go.
3. Practice Self-Compassion. Try a simple self-love technique that brings you into your heart and reminds you to treat yourself with care. Throughout the day, ask yourself, What’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? or What’s the most loving way I can be with myself right now? And then pay attention to the answer and actually do whatever it is. When you love and take care of yourself, you’ll find it inevitably serves everyone.
Practice these simple exercises frequently and you’ll notice more love in your heart. Learning to experience pure love within yourself is the key to living a life of unconditional love. When you fill your own love tank, you bring that love to everything in your life.
Then, as Mirabai experienced, you still love people and things outside yourself, but the difference is that your love doesn’t depend on any of those things, whether people, jobs, relationships, cars, clothes….or even cabbages.
(By Marci Shimoff. Adapted from the NY Times bestselling book Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love. This book offers a breakthrough approach to experiencing a lasting state of unconditional love—the kind of love that doesn’t depend on another person, situation, or romantic partner, and that you can access at any time and in any circumstance. This is the key to lasting joy and fulfillment in life.)
I strongly encourage you to order Love for No Reason –NOW out in paperback and receive the wonderful Bonus Package free at www.TheLoveBook.com
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!