I love Valentine’s Day. It’s one of my favorite holidays. I keep a box of Valentine’s decorations in my garage, and hang them up at least a week before the big day to get into the spirit of the holiday. For some people, flowers or a gift wrapped in festive paper with red hearts is their idea of a Valentine’s celebration.

I love gifts, both giving and receiving as much as anyone, particularly good quality, scented body lotions that hint of sensual pleasures to come later. But more important to me than the gift is the card. It’s not the pre-written message on the store-bought card that I like; I can usually do without those. It’s the personal hand written message added to the card that I really love. I have saved every one of those beautiful Valentine’s cards from over the years. There’s a special place in a drawer where I can easily get my hands on them. They are my rainy day notes. If I’m in a dark mood, or feeling lonely, I read a few of them and get an immediate pick me up.

On Valentine’s Day, Charlie and I exchange cards in a ritual way, usually over a romantic dinner. When we dine at home I always get out the red tablecloth, and the candles, not just the two on the table, but lots more all over the place for dramatic effect. My very favorite part of the event is when we speak from the heart. We start by reading aloud the messages on the cards. Then we share our specific appreciations of each other. Some of our words are prepared, but most just comes to us spontaneously when we connect through our eyes. We go on for a good long while.

After giving and receiving appreciation, we usually renew our vows, and sometimes we add new ones. Sharing from the heart is always vulnerable, and the love of rawness is definitely a cultivated taste. But to feel a bit shaky and exposed is a small price to pay for being able to fill your soul tank up to the brim. And by the way, this method of restoration is not just for romantic partnerships. It can be done with anyone you love.

It’s a sure-fire way to show our dear friends how much we care and how enriched our life is by their being in it. I see these practices as ways of making deposits in Karma Savings and Loan. We can make hefty deposits on Valentine’s Day and draw on them throughout the year. Why don’t you try it? I bet you’ll like it.

With blessings and best wishes for a soulful Valentine’s Day and a full Karmic Account, Linda Bloom