Here’s hoping you had an extraordinary Valentine’s Day! I just flew back home to San Diego after speaking in Nashville at the National Speakers Association Winter Conference. (Definitely a way fun event; made awesome new connections and we even enjoyed a local tweetup last night!) Oh, and props to SouthWest Airlines for all the LUV!
Valentine’s Day surely means different things to different people. In many cultures, it’s a day to express romance to a significant other. In other cultures, it’s more a day to acknowledge friendships of all kinds.
When I was growing up in BC, Canada, I found it odd that all the kids at school would bring in playful little cards for every student in class, along with candies, etc.
Yet, in Scotland, where I later lived for 20 years, Valentine’s Day was more about romance.
Here in the U.S., I think Valentine’s is about romance, friendship, and everything in-between! 🙂
As a sidebar, I’d love to know how many Facebook users who have their relationship status set to “It’s Complicated” are in the U.S. – per capita – compared to other countries! LOL. I just tried to find out using the Ads wizard, but it seems advertisers can only target Single, In a Relationship, Engaged or Married. even though there are three other categories of relationship status. heh!
I also see some folks refer to “VDay” as “Singles Awareness Day.”(I imagine someone made this term up sort of in jest, which I find rather sad; if you’re single today, it’s a time to rejoice and celebrate YOU! And to express your love for and to ALL your loved ones!)
I was laser focused on finding a way to earn a living and remain in San Diego. One of my hobbies for many years in my 20’s was decorating cakes. (My dad was a baker and I went to night school for three years to study confectionary!) I had submitted my portfolio to a local bakery just in case I could find temporary work to get me started, and had been praying for a sign that I was supposed to stay in the U.S.
Sure enough, within a matter of hours, the phone rang: it was the local bakery needing help with their Valentine’s Day big rush on cakes and cookies! (The rest, as they say, is history! Hehee.)
By the way, maybe you can relate: I’ve had the great fortune to enjoy a very wide and varied career since I left school and started working at the young age of 15! (I’ll save my journey to becoming a recognized social media evangelist for a different post!)
Another significant Valentine’s event: I got married on February 14, 2001.
However, after 8 years, I made a conscious decision to transition back to singlehood (LOL, sounds more playful than “divorce.”) You’re welcome to read about my personal journey (and how it relates to social media), if you haven’t already on my blog.
So, this is actually my first Valentine’s Day as a “single” person since 1999. And, I just have to share that I’ve never felt more liberated.
I am blessed to have a wonderful spiritual mentor, Esperanza; her work has made a profound difference in my life over the past year.
One of my favorite quotes from Esperanza is:
“The most important relationship you have in the world is the one you have with yourself; everything and everyone is a direct reflection of the quality of that relationship.”
This is so true.
Just this past week, I had a wonderful phone conversation with a friend I’ve known for years. She asked me a very poignant question about what exactly it was that I did to catapult my success and visibility to the “stratosphere” in the past 12 months or so. 🙂
She wanted to know the name of my PR Agency, or Speakers Bureau. or??
I began to chuckle.
I told my friend my answer would surprise her. I shared that, in fact, I hadn’t hired any third party publicity support and that all business comes to me via the “Law of Attraction,” if you will.
See, my big boost in success can be directly attributed to my choice to pursue a more spiritual path last year.
I chose to stop playing small, stop the self-doubt and fears. I made myself step further into my power and light. To own my gifts and be willing to share even more.
I’ve always resonated deeply with Marianne Williamson‘s words, but I finally chose to embody: “our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” “.as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
My friend was astounded by my reply. She was looking for something formulaic; something she could simply plug into and achieve similar results.
Well, the good news is she can. And so can you.
At my speaking engagement this past weekend, I shared the same story right up front with the audience. And I told them I’ve never felt more on purpose during the past three years of my career.
I was deeply touched by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the audience members on my presentation… and by the number of people who shared how inspired they were by my inclusion of spiritual principles.
See, so many times, we get afraid to talk about spirituality (and/or religion) in the “workplace.” We tend to think that’s part of everyone’s “private” life.
Yet it’s not private at all. (Well, your own beliefs can certainly be held privately!)
SO, my wish for you this Valentine’s Day and beyond is that you, too, stop listening to those doubts and fears. Those voices in your head (that quite often are not even your own!) that hold you back.
And, instead, begin listening to that still small voice that knows who you ARE at the core. Listen to the part of you that absolutely knows without a shadow of a doubt why you came to this planet. And dare to go out and take big, bold action steps.
This, in fact, is also the message from Seth Godin‘s latest book, Linchpin – Are You Indispensable?. I had the great fortune to meet Seth at an incredible event last week and I managed to “livetweet” the bulk of his deeply inspiring one hour keynote. (See tweets here).
I’d love to hear your own thoughts on the pursuit of success and how it relates to your own spiritual path. And your thoughts and feelings about the biggest day of romance and love of the year – what does it bring up for you? Do share your thoughts in the comments below:
P.S. Another quote from Esperanza – if you happen to be single (or your S.O. is away) right now: “You can never be alone because you will always have YOU.”