When I was 16, I worked as a clerk in a grocery store in my Iowa hometown. I earned about $2.35 an hour, and over the course of a week, I might clear twenty bucks. I liked the independence of having money in my pocket and in my bank account. But mostly I loved the other “kids” I worked with. In my town there were two grocery stores and two high schools. I went to the “uncool” public high school, but I worked at the “cool” grocery store with kids from the Catholic school across town. It was a pretty good gig.
At 16 I was also dating my first boyfriend. He was from a neighboring town and he drove a sweet Dodge Charger. I’m pretty sure I had a bigger crush on the car than the boy, but at sixteen that wasn’t immediately clear.
One night while working my grocery store shift, a guy walked in. He was about my age and handsome in a way that elevated my heart rate. He brought his soda and candy bar to my check-out lane where we barely made eye contact and spoke only minimally. But as I watched him walk out the door, the butterflies of self-consciousness remained, and I was smitten. A few days later, he called me for a date, and I accepted, subsequently dumping the Dodge Charger. At 16, I didn’t necessarily have finesse in the area of love, but I did have instinct. The boy I met in the grocery store has been my husband for 37 years.
Four decades is a long time to be acquainted with another human. Excluding the family you are born into, there aren’t many relationships that can withstand the metamorphoses that accompany 40 years of life. Our bodies change, our attitudes adjust, goals are reevaluated, and stuff happens. In order to maintain any relationship that time has presented, and love has accepted, it takes a large dose of conscious intent to keep the relationship animal well-fed.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, and we celebrate this day of love, I won’t offer any marital advice, but I would like to share a few words of wisdom I’ve learned through my yoga practice that might fan the flame of your love light this year:
- Be flexible. All perspectives are worthy of consideration.
- Let go of anything that doesn’t serve you. Release what’s unnecessary, and retain what is vital. Only love is vital.
- Honor your body. Move it, nourish it, cleanse it.
- What we think, we believe. What we believe, we become. What we think and believe of others, they will also become.
- Be truthful with yourself and others.
- Be present in the moment. Be present in the moment with the person you are with.
- Use your voice for kindness toward yourself and others.
- Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
- The only person you can change is yourself.
- Love, like yoga, is a daily practice.
Time decides who comes into our lives. And if we’re listening, our heart tells us who we want to keep in our lives, but it’s our behavior that ultimately determines who will stay. If you love the people in your life, display the behavior that tells them so. This Valentine’s Day, choose love.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.