Let's be honest. Us connecting like this is simply never as good as the real thing.
After all, the real thing - postive, caring, face-to-face human connections - creates powerful biochemical effects and expansive states of mind. I'm hoping to encourage you via the inspirational power of my written word to stick more of these connections into your life, every single day.
Your body needs it.
This is a lovely quote from Professor of Psychology, Barbara Frederickson:
Just as your body was designed to extract oxygen from the Earth’s atmosphere, and nutrients from the foods you ingest, your body was also designed to love. Love — like taking a deep breath, or eating an orange when you’re depleted and thirsty — not only feels great but is also life-giving, an indispensable source of energy, sustenance, and health.
So how do we tap into this source of energy?
Is it a finite resource, like fossil fuels?
Before we look at the answer to this, a reminder for anyone just tuning into this conversation now that this is the third and final in a series of emails entitled 'A Year To Live'.
The idea is that by reminding ourselves regularly that life is definitively a finite resource we can make the most of our lives. You can read Part One in the series about Deep Appreciation here and Part Two here about Radical Forgivenness.
So, if 2017 is going to be our Year to Live - a year so complete that if we were to pop our clogs on the 1st Jan 2018 they would be disco clogs and we'd be dancing contentedly to meet our maker - then we will surely need to be tapping into this indispensable source of energy called Love as much as we possibly can.
So many people's last words are 'I love you'.
This says it all, don't you think?
This is the ultimate gift of life: our ability to give and receive love.
Beyond this, nothing really matters.
Tuning into the energy of love may sometimes appear difficult. But this is simply a matter of narrow perception. As Aldous Huxley said:
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.
Love is infinite. It is all around us. But we often don't believe its real. Its like we are starving in a land of plenty.
If we open our eyes, we can see gestures of love everywhere we turn.
Love is so much more than the grand romantic gesture.
Love isn't just the number of heart-shaped likes you get on Facebook either.
Love is the openness and warmth that we show each other, even if just for fleeting moments, each and every day.
Love is a momentary yes to what is.
So how can we become 'more permeable to love' (John Welwood) in our Year to Live?
The key is to notice it.
When you consider the number of connections you have with other beings in any given day, consider that there is at least some openness and warmth in many of these connections: whether the bus driver stops to let you on, a stranger smiles at you on the street, someone listens to you in a conversation, you are greeted with a 'hello' when you arrive at work.
As psychotherapist and all-round very wise being John Welwood says, "Add up all the interchanges you have with others every day, and you will see that your life is sustained by a flow of interconnectedness, which is the play of love at work."
So my challenge to you in your Year to Live is to tune your consciousness into the Love that underpins everything. Notice this force at play every day in your life.
Once you have read this, see how many times in the next 24 hours you can notice an interaction that contains even the smallest grains of Love. Let yourself be permeated by Love's presence.
By the way, a prize for spotting the place in this email where I reference lryics from this highly relevant track, and one of my all-time favourites.
Keep your eyes peeled, because over the next week I will be sending you a mind and heart-focusing tool tool I have created based on this Year To Live practice.
Sending All My Love