Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Soapy Valentine

Years ago, I use to design and make costumes for a local Children's Theater.  That was when I learned that Valentine's Day is a huge holiday for kids.  Not in the "I want everything" sense, but in the giving to others sense.  Every Valentine's Day, there would be candy kisses, boxes of Conversation Hearts, lollipops with "Love" and "Be Mine" stamped on them, and my favorite, the hand made heart with a little note.  All given out of love, respect and acceptance, in celebration of the day.  It was a day for the kids to show appreciation to the adults and kids they liked, it really was no holds barred on that day around the theater. All of this was done in the simplest ways, it was really beauitful. The first year, it took me back a bit, this out pouring of attention and creativity.  Then I thought about my youth and how I loved Valentine's Day as well.  I use to make my own Valentines for everyone in my school class (even the wierd boys got one) and the neighbors (even the cranky lady down the street got one).  Over the years, Valentine's Day grew into to this day of, "If you aren't in love, then you don't get to play, and giving Valentines to everyone is not appropiate."  So, it would slip off my radar a bit, until I started working with kids.
For the last 12 years, I've observed Valentine's Day.  For people in my life, I usually make some sort of Valentine.   I usually feel like, why am I doing this?  This is awkward, but I soon get over it, when I think back to the kids.  I can still see their faces, as they would proudly give me a Valentine.  They would smile, and most of the time, the talk didn't go any further than, "I have this for you." or "I made this for you, Happy Valentine's Day."  and I would thank them and tell how much this meant to me to be remembered.  They would smile and carry on with the rest of their deliveries.  It was a smiple show of love and acceptance, it didn't need to be a big deal. And yet it was.
So, in making Valentines this year, I wanted to do something a little different.  Fun for me to make, and simple.   Soap!  Heart shape soap!   Soap is so easy to make.   It's melted soap to create the shape or pour into molds to create the shape.   I controled the color and scent.  
As I was making this soap, I thought about what do we do for ourselves to show ourselves that we love who we are? (Oddly enough, this week I've had several conversations about showing love and accepting ourselves).
How do I be my own Valentine?  In all the outpouring to everyone else, I didn't want to forget me.  Really my most important Valentine of all!
That thought felt awkward and silly, sort like presenting Valentines I had made.  Then I was struck with this...
if I don't love and take care of me, how in the world can I expect my creativity to flow?  How can I be my best in the world?  The world that really needs not only my creative gifts, but everyone's creative gifts.  If I don't love and take care of me, I'm not taking care of my creativity, and I just might run out of creative ideas, and that, my friends, would be hell on earth.  So, being my own Valentine is essential!  It's essential for living a rich full life.  It's essential for helping to create a better world around me and beyond.  It's not selfish, it's essential to life and living.  In the words of the great RuPaul, "If you don't love yourself.  How in the hell are your gonna love somebody else?"  Amen!
After I finished my soapy Valentines.  I went for a walk.  A long walk.  I'm giving myself the Valentine of an hour a day silence and no distractions.  A difficult gift to accept and follow through with, but it is a marvelous, important gift.  I also had the opportunity to have a two hour massage with an amazing massage theraptist.
I cooked myself a great dinner, and spent time in my studio creating some things for me. I'm feeling more contected to myself and the world.  I feel like I have a new take on things.
I'd like to make Valentine's Day everyday.  Wouldn't that be cool?  A simple show of Love and Acceptance everyday.  To myself and others.
Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers.  Happy Valentine's Day.
Until next week...create to feel great.  And because it really bears repeating..."If you can't love yourself.  How in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"  Thank you, RuPaul!
18 projects complete.  34 to go.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oops! That comment got deleted! What I posted was... Derek, you were one of the kids I mentioned in my post. And now you are a grown up! I know you appreciate our friendship, as I do. Glad you like the post!