Happy Valentine's Day, yogis!

Religious associations aside, St Valentine's Day is really nice opportunity to stop and notice the great things in your life. I like to make a fuss on Valentine's Day; usually I am the marketing folk's dream. I dress the table, I buy balloons, I write cards for my husband and children telling them I love them, I buy heart shaped chocolates. My husband and I buy each other gifts, we have a special meal. But this year it feels different. Having a much more mindful approach to my life means I've been appreciating things in a very different way, every day. My sons and I have been noticing the different colours in the sky, the shape of the clouds. Things feel richer and things have a greater depth.

This year, my husband and I had already decided we don't need a special day to show each other how we feel; he said it felt quite refreshing to be freed from the heart-shaped trap set by the card shops and chocolate sellers. However, on noticing some beautiful flowers in the supermarket, he decided that although we don't need to feel obligation for showy displays, he wanted to buy me flowers to tell me he appreciated me. A non-Valentine's bouquet, if you will. The flowers were very beautiful but it was his consideration that made me so happy. It makes me feel very blessed that this wonderful soul spends time to think about me.

This Valentine's Day morning, I up-cycled some Christmas wrapping paper to fashion some heart shaped placemats and we ate our normal breakfast with the 'Love Actually' film version of "Love is all You Need" playing in the background and we each took turns to say something that we loved about each other. It felt very special but commonplace, 'everyday' and normal at the same time. Isn't that as it should be?

It is lovely to see the shops decked out in the red and pink heart-shaped paraphernalia and goodness knows, it is good for businesses and the economy but when it all actually boils down to it, it feels quite lovely to dedicate special time to appreciate the special people in your life. Heck, why limit it to people - do you have a cat who is your best buddy? A dog who's wagging tail cheers your heart? A little goldfish who blows you kisses every time you pass the tank? Your time is the most precious gift you can give to someone because it cannot be bought, it cannot be returned or taken back; spend it wisely and the rewards are so bountiful.