Charina CabanayanComment

Let's talk about... Love

Charina CabanayanComment
Let's talk about... Love

Love is what makes the world go round.

I know, someone somewhere is rolling their eyes at this statement. I can think of a few in a leadership role who'd do this in a heartbeat. 


I can hear them saying, “Darling, don’t you know it’s money that makes the world go round?” 

But here’s the thing. I believe that experiencing true love in my life equals immeasurable wealth above and beyond material abundance.

Yes. We do need a certain amount of dollar bills to survive and live a comfortable life. And this level of security and comfort will look different from person to person. But love—love is unquantifiable.  

If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I’ve lived through seasons of less material abundance. There’ve been times in my life where I’ve had real trouble figuring how to pay my bills on time. That being said, I know that living “without wealth” in a first world country looks very different from living without in the third world. 

And if you think I may not know what that looks like, here’s a little secret. When I was 14 years-old, I lived for a year and half in a shanty home in a third world country.

Yes, as in: tin roof, incessant flooding on the first floor of our home from tropical storms, questionable plumbing with brown water coming out of a spigot to shower with, and rats running around the kitchen while I hand-washed my laundry on the floor every Sunday. 

Rice and soy sauce were my lunch staples for a better of this year and a half of my life. 

I’ve lived a mostly privileged, yet a-typical, life. Someday I’ll tell you of my time in that home, but I’ll save it for another day.  

Back to our talk on love. Tell me, are there days you feel that something may be missing, despite the material abundance you have? 

Do you feel that though your money tank is full, your love tank may be near empty?

That’s your love tank gauge on alert, letting you know that there are probably just a few miles left before you come to a full stop.

When you begin to notice the blink, blink, blink of your own love tank gauge, take a moment to pause and drop into your heart. 

It’s trying to tell you something. It’s telling you it’s time to fill up on some LOVE. 

Love is powerful. When we act from a place of love, we stop the desire to feed our ego. We stop trying to change others and realize that change can only truly begin from within ourselves. This is the kind of love that requires practice and awareness.  

With Valentine’s Day just a couple days away, we all have love on our minds.

But love, is an everyday practice that requires nourishment. All living, breathing beings—like our bodies, hearts, and spirits—need nourishment. Love, too, needs nourishment. So what kind of nourishment can we give to love?  

You probably already have some favorite sources of fuel to help you fill up your love tank, but here are some of the tools I’ve found lately that have opened up and filled my heart on love

I hope you find these useful, and that this week and the next 320 days of this year, your love tank will never run on empty again.

  1. How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

    This book has been our go-to back pocket wisdom resource in our home. Don’t be fooled by its petite stature. TNH’s teachings on love are so distilled and so clear, that each page is filled with wisdom. I like to read a page, or a few at a time, and sit for a while to reflect on his teachings. Let this work open your heart to the principles of true love: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. In Sanskrit these are maitri, karuna, mudita, and upeksha.

  2. Self-Compassion Meditation with Dr. Kristine Neff

    Compassion is one of the underlining principles in supporting true love. Practicing compassion for one’s self is essential in extending true compassion for all beings. Without truly cultivating these seeds within our own heart, the seeds of compassion that we wish to sow for others will have trouble blooming. Dr. Kristine Neff is a leading researcher, author, and teacher on self-compassion. Her guided meditations have transformed my practice, and I hope you also give them a try on those days you need to extend loving kindness to yourself. If you’re short on time, there is a beautiful 5 minute guided practice on compassion for those days you have just a few minutes for practice.

  3. Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg

    This is another amazing tool to place in your love box that will provide you insight into how your choice in language and communication can build others up, versus tearing someone down. This is a practical handbook on learning the skills at effective, yet peaceful, communication. Take your time to read this book, and enjoy the transformation that will unfold in your relationships through the application of mindful, non-violent communication. 

  4. The Art Of Connection: Partner Yoga & Massage Workshop 
    Sunday, February 16 1:30 - 3:30 pm at Oshman Family JCC.

    Are you looking for ways to give your sweetie some loving attention? Or rekindle that flame of love in your heart? This weekend, my colleague Vince Baza and I will be leading you through a beautiful practice in connecting with your self and your partner. You’ll be guided through a gentle, flowing partner yoga practice, learn to move together through mindful touch, and conclude with a grounding and healing massage sequence. Bathe your senses in sound, touch, and taste with a chocolate treat. Join us and SIGN UP for a joyful expression of '“date day” with your partner, BFF, or bae. 

Now, I would love to hear from you. What practices have you found to be useful in filling up your love tank? 

Also, if there’s anyone in your life that you know needs to fuel up on love, please share this post!  

The more nourished humans we have on this earth living with love in their hearts, the more we’ll see that love DOES make the world go round.

Love you! 

Charina