Love yourself - a Valentine's meditation with essential oils
Whilst many people enjoy the commercial hearts and flowers of Valentine’s Day, for some people it isn’t as enjoyable because it can reinforce feelings of isolation, low confidence or worry about the past and future. If that’s how you feel this year, why not try this combination of yoga and essential oils? It’s perfect for a nurturing night in with yourself!
Yoga is a great way to help us realise that actually, whether we are with someone or in our own company, our journey through life is ours, we are still independent, no matter who we are attached to. The Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita – two key yogic texts – remind us that we should be ‘unattached’ in our journey through life, and that self-knowledge is important in following our own truth. They teach that we are all connected, but we control our own paths. The Gita describes yoga as “the journey of the self, to the self, through the self": it is actually ourselves that we have to feel comfortable with most, and we can do this through nurturing our relationship with ourselves and whatever universal power we believe in that is greater than us (perhaps nature in the case of essential oils) - and through putting the focus back into the present moment.
So, however you’re spending Valentine’s this year, the combination of this heart-warming, confidence-boosting, self-love meditation, and the healing power of nature’s essential oils will soon become your favourite way to create that important time and space just for YOU!
Find a quiet, relaxed and comfortable place for yourself to sit with yourself, grab your box of aromatherapy essential oils, and spritz bottles, and follow this guided meditation.
Selecting Your Essential Oils:
The following essential oils are real heart-chakra balancing oils for self-love, compassion and confidence. You can choose from any of these in your aromatherapy blends, but I make suggestions below:
Jasmine - Rose - Patchouli - Bergamot - Frankincense - Ylang Ylang –
Sandalwood – Neroli – Geranium – Chamomile – Lavender – Rosewood
- Diffuse: 3 drops Rose, 3 drops Patchouli and 3 drops Bergamot in an aromatherapy diffuser or candle burner
- Spritz: 10 drops Jasmine, 10 drops Ylang Ylang and 10 drops Geranium in 100ml of Chamomile Hydrolat. Mix in a spray bottle and shake well before use.
- Leg massage: 1 drop Frankincense, 2 drops Sandalwood and 3 drops Neroli in 12ml of Grapeseed oil – massage into your legs to help 'ground' you.
- Body massage: 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Rosewood and 2 drops Neroli in 12ml of Grapeseed oil
- Temples: Pop a drop of Lavender oil on your temples, your forehead and your wrists (this is one of the only aromatherapy essential oils you can apply neat to skin).
Pop your aromatherapy diffuser or oil burner on with your chosen blend, prepare your massage oils and spritzes and place them nearby, then pop some Lavender essential oil on your pulse points and forehead. Light some candles, make a nice dimly-lit, warm space, perhaps make yourself your favourite herbal tea, and grab a journal and a pen, so you can jot down any feelings that might come up. Maybe even pop on some low-key meditation music. Now, surrounded by pillows and blankets, sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position, stretching up nice and tall with your spine, with your palms face up on your knees in a way that says you are receptive to today’s meditative practice. You’re ready to begin!
One of my favourite quotes is by a poet called Rumi:
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
Let’s take ‘Lotus’ mudra - place your hands together in front of your chest so that only the palms and pads of your fingers touch, and then spread your fingers wide, keeping contact only with the edges of your thumbs and little finger, so your hands look like a lotus flower opening. This is the seal of purity and love; a real heart chakra opener. Love lies in the heart chakra and this mudra helps keep the heart chakra open, which helps us keep focus on today’s meditative aim. Return to this mudra at any point during the meditation.
Now, close your eyes for a few minutes and focus on your natural breath without changing it. Just become an observer of your breath for a few minutes, observe your body, observe any thoughts that come into your mind and then just breathe them away. Just notice how you feel – mind, body, soul – and how your natural breath reflects that. Inhale the lovely essential oils in your diffuser – nurturing Rose and confidence-building Patchouli, and anxiety-busting Bergamot!
When you have taken some time on your natural breath, try some “Sitali” (hissing) breath. This breath is very cooling for the mind and body, relieving stress, anxiety, anger, aggression – anything that prevents self-love. All you have to do is roll your tongue and inhale through it, exhaling through the nose. Lengthen your inhale to a count of 6 and your exhale to a count of 8.
Repeat this technique for 5 minutes. Close your eyes whilst you do this.
All the time, notice where you feel tense, unloved, unlovable, and breathe it out. Where do you feel love for yourself, where do you feel lovable? Feel free to jot any notes in your journal to self-reflect on later. Thank your thoughts for being there and send them away – visualise them leaving your body.
Inhale self-love. Exhale doubt. Remember to stay comfortable - any shifting of the body may represent you feeling dis-ease with your emotions, so just notice that too.
If you are shifting about, now might be a nice time to incorporate the pre-blended massage oils. If you want some grounding, try massaging the leg blend into your calves, knees and thighs, in a direction towards the heart – Frankincense, Sandalwood and Neroli will ground you back into the present.
Louise Hay is another influential and inspirational speaker, who says:
“The greatest gift I can give myself is unconditional love. Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the main keys to positive change in my life. I am perfect exactly as I am.”
Affirmations are a wonderful addition to breath work, especially if your mind wanders. Try silently repeating any of these affirmations (or create your own) over and over in your head whilst continuing whichever breath pattern you feel comfortable with – either natural breath, sitali breath or just inhaling through the nose for 6 and exhaling for 8:
“I am perfect, exactly as I am”
“I love myself”
“I am loveable”
Take 5 minutes for this exercise. Between every 10 or so repetitions, spritz yourself with your lovely aromatherapy spray – the nurturing floral blend will really reinforce the message of love. The more often you repeat this technique with your affirmations, the more you will embody the feelings and associate them with the scent of your essential oil blend, so that you can just simply spritz yourself throughout the day and be taken back to this moment. This is a great technique if you’re short on time!
Journal how you feel for 2 minutes after this, just notice the difference now from the beginning of the meditation. How do you feel?
Massage & Mindfulness:
When you are ready, make yourself comfortable lying down, apply the nurturing Rosewood, Lavender and Neroli body massage oil, and cover yourself in a blanket if you wish. Lie on your back, with a pillow under your neck, placing your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your stomach. Notice how nurturing this feels and embody it – you can return to this place any time you want. Close your eyes.
Start to just listen to the sounds around you, ground yourself in the present through the noises you hear – the sounds of nature, of life going on around you. Realise you are not alone – you are surrounded by life. Take a few moments to appreciate this.
Breathe. However you love breathing. You decide – because you are in control. Just like you are in control of your life.
Imagine now that you are surrounded by a green light. If you have an electric aromatherapy diffuser with lights, you could set the light to green – the colour associated with the heart chakra.
Visualise the green light entering your head at the crown, filling your body, and making its way right down to your feet. Pause at every single part of your body – head, shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest, stomach, bottom, legs, thighs, calves, feet, toes - feeling this light fill you with love. Visualise it filling the room with love, radiating from your heart.
Imagine yourself in front of a mirror, facing yourself. On an exhale, beam the green light across to the mirror you. On your inhale, send it from the mirror you, up from your crown, across and back to your own body through your crown, and back down to your heart. Repeat this cycle until you feel comfortable.
Come back to sitting cross-legged with your eyes shut. Sit up nice and tall. Spritz the lovely floral Geranium, Jasmine and Ylang Ylang blend once more to end. Breathe – inhale and exhale.
We will leave with another quote, this time from Osho – a famous yogi:
“Your whole idea about yourself is borrowed
from those who have no idea who they are themselves.
Find ecstasy within yourself. It is not out there, it is within your inner flowering.”
If you want to, you can end with a long sound of ‘OM’ - your contribution to the universal sound of nature – with your hands together at heart centre.
“I honour the place in you that is the same in me; the place where the whole universe resides, filled with love, light, beauty, truth and peace. In this way, we are always connected, we are the same, we are one.”
Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day filled with beautiful essential oils, self-love and appreciation!
Read other articles by Nicole Barton