Its that time of year…candy pink hearts, over-wrought greeting cards, chocolates that you poke in the center before eating and a gluttony of roses wherever you look. And the point of it all? LOVE.

Well, despite the fact that roses are my least favorite flower, taking a day to focus on love is something I fully support. The wise teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says this about love: “The most precious gift we can offer is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they bloom like flowers.”

How do we shine that beautiful light of pure attention on our beloveds? One of the most healing ways is to shed negative self-talk, energy drains, and the litany of of distractions that each day offers, even if just for a few moments. When I am loving myself and being true to myself, then I am more tuned in to you. This is a simple and at times difficult practice: love is a state of being and in order to be in that state, I have to include myself.

So, today I will love myself. And, in being self-loving, I will love you more too.