I collect self-care books like others collect teapots or things decorated with sunflowers. But I don’t just collect these books, I read them, oftentimes over and over again. The authors are my teachers, and the underlying message in all their books, is love – for others and for oneself.
My daily mantra is “I accept myself with love and understanding.” Through this mantra of self-love, as Tara Brach explains, I “nurture my inner life and offer myself a message of reassurance.”
Brene Brown writes that we are all “worthy of love and belonging…love gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama wrote in their Book of Joy, “allow your heart to open and experience love and appreciation for all people.”
“The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence,” the Dalai Lama explains.
While writing this column with music playing in the background, Tracy Chapman sings out “I love you, I love you,” and over the decades we have heard John Lennon proclaim, “Love is the Answer.”
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we turn to expressions of love, through our words and deeds, for our favourite peeps. And, while you’re at it, show yourself some awesome self-love! Here are a few gift suggestions from local vendors:
Artist Tracy Wandling has created jewelry using “pebbles, shells and sea glass that [she] has collected from local beaches and pieces from old jewelry.” Her creations, as well as Valentine’s Day boxes featuring Christopher Norman Chocolates, are available at the Halfmoon Bay General Store.
Christine Fearn is the creative behind Fearn Leather. Her Whiskey Lover’s gift set ($100) includes two crystal glasses, two leather sleeves, eight granite whiskey stones and a set of tongs. She also has “a nice selection of ladies’ leather totes.” To order, call Christine at 604-989-8484.
A local market regular, many will recognize the beautifully crafted boards of Tree to Table. Go to their website www.treetotable.ca to view their restocked inventory.
How about a gift of fitness?! Kristin Mccarthy offers classes at her “little home gym.” “I’m just getting started, trying to balance classes and being a mom,” she told me. Kristen offers a Saturday morning high intensity interval training-style class, for any level. “You can go at your own pace. Its great solo, or for couples and friends who can encourage each other.” She has plans to expand to evening classes in March. For more information, write to Kristin at email@example.com.
The Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary Thrift Store on Cowrie Street has gently pre-owned gift ideas, from home decor to children’s stuffies and books. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Feb. 12, the Halfmoon Bay branch is holding its monthly meeting at 10 a.m. at Coopers Green Hall. Everyone is welcome!
For more ways to celebrate Valentine’s check out the Coast Cultural Alliance calendar coastculture.com/event-calendar/
So, what do I want for Valentine’s Day? Love is the answer!