Happy February everyone!! Is it me or did January swim past faster than I could say “Happy New Year”? Each month seems to pass by faster and faster the older I get. My dad’s words to me growing up, grab a hold of me tighter now. “Akum, life is short, it goes by faster than you can blink, make sure every moment counts” He’s right! As February begins, I reflect on my dad’s wisdom. I ask myself how this month will be a reflection of my most authentic, most courageous, most loving, most fearless, most abundant self? How can I make every moment, especially the present moment, count?!?! This feels like a daunting task, but it helps to start from this place of awareness. Becoming aware of each present moment and recognizing the power each moment has to heal, transform, recharge, BREATHE, relax, reconnect.
My ego often has a hard time staying in this state of presentness though. The past and the future seem to be more seductive. Between worrying about the past, planning for the future, wishing for a different yesterday, analyzing and re-analyzing what the next moment and the next moment and the next moment will look like, my ego misses the present moment, and before you know it a new month has passed. So how can this month be different? How can every moment we live be savored rather than chewed quickly? How can February be more aligned with our most present selves?
Well it helps to start by looking at the significance of February and the power which this month holds.
The word February is born from the Latin word Februairius, meaning to “purify” or “expiate”. In Rome, February was honored as the “Month of Purification”. Festivals, rituals, and ceremonies were celebrated to re-center and purify the country. One such festival was the Feast of Feralia, which honored ancestors and loved ones who had passed away.
February’s birth flower is the Violet. Violets are often associated with inspiration because of how brightly they bloom in the winter months. Violets have also been known to symbolize humility, hope and promise. The color of violet is symbolic of the crown chakra as well, situated on the top of the head, often where violets are traditional worn. The crown chakra is the foundation of our spiritual body. It rules our central nervous system, pituitary gland, cerebral cortex and cerebrum. Physical ailments such as headaches, anxiety, immune disorder, and worry are often associated with an imbalance of this chakra. When the crown chakra is balanced, the ego is silenced and we are open to trusting our higher selves and spiritual guides.
With Black History and Valentine’s Day, February historically has also been dubbed the month of love. Whether you are pouring love into yourself, your history, your partner, your friends, your ancestors, this month heralds energy that focuses on the hows, whens, whys and who’s of giving and receiving love. To be very honest, I find a lot of how our society chooses to celebrate this month quite stressful and a bit ludicrous because of how deeply connected it is to materialism and the commercialization of love. The act of love and celebration translates into “things” that can and “should” be bought. Love, as expansive and infinite as it is, deserves to be celebrated and honored every day, in every moment, to all living beings, unconditionally, in ways that allow the essence of love to fully shine. Refocusing the energy has been my saving grace. Luckily, there are ways to get grounded and engage with spaces, traditions and people that are more aligned with how I want to celebrate love. Each year carves another opportunity for me to asses this question,” how do i want to nurture love?” and provides room to respond honestly and creatively.
I believe nurturing love means telling the truth about who we are. It is seeing and supporting the full expression of truth in ourselves and others, without judgement, with deep compassion and forgiveness AND with the ever-expanding desire to continue to understand who we are as evolving beings. We must learn to give ourselves the love that we want so that we do not get trapped into seeking others to fill that void for us. This does not mean that we don’t allow others to love us. It means loving ourselves whole to welcome love from others that will support them in loving us fully and reciprocally support us in loving them wholeheartedly. The beauty of love is that we can plant, grow and harvest it ourselves at any given moment, as long as we give ourselves the permission to do so. We need to take responsibility for carving love in the palm of our hearts, to bear witness to the deep fruits of transformation and healing that can bloom.
Now obviously this isn’t an easy journey but it is one that we can all embark on AND succeed!!!!. For many of us, love has been conditional, filled with restrictions, judgements, distinctions, constraints. Many of us have been exposed to models of loving, as early as our childhoods, that lock us into loving in ways that does not support the truth that lives within us. Creating space to understand and nurture what we feel, what we what, what is clouding our present, and plant healthier habits is essential.
Granted these February themes can be observed any and every month, its helpful to understand their specificity to February and spend time reflecting and recognizing how these themes come up in your life. I find all of this symbolism particularly powerful and synchronistic with what I need to nurture in my life right now.
So lets check in with ourselves for a moment. what comes up for us around love? What are our biggest fears? What comes up around loving ourselves, loving our friends, loving our partners, loving our family, loving our history, loving our ancestors, loving our community, loving our higher selves?
Commit to listening to the answers that arise. Commit to seeing these fears for what they are and not how they control you. Learn their language, name them, allow them to speak so that you can better understand how to let them go. Nurture this process with compassion and love and understanding. Commit to not doing this on your own. Seek community that will stand with you, pray with you, laugh with you, cry with you, push you to that next level of understanding of your self and each other.
My intention for us this month is that we
Embrace the sacredness of who we are
Awaken and embody the truth within ourselves
Liberate our love from conditions, restrictions, suffocating roles, unhealthy spaces
Engage wholeheartedly in perpertual endless love for all that we are and will be
Cultivate space that allows us to negotiate our unique journeys with love
Develop healthy co-commited, reciprocally loving relationships with ourselves and others
Thank you for honoring February, yourself, each other and the love that is ever expanding in all of us!!!!