Reinventing Valentine’s Day

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love. ~Tom Robbins

Valentine’s Day can bring up such triggers for women and perhaps a few gay men. For most of the rest of the population ( straight men) it is completely insignificant unless they have a partner and will have hell to pay if they forget this holiday. Case in point: last year when my publisher and I were deciding when to release my first book, I mentioned that given that it is not a relationship book, I wanted to do it after Valentine’s Day. He said, “When is Valentine’s Day, March?”

For a woman however who has any love addiction issues and is not in a relationship or is with a man who hates holidays, this can be a painful one meant to simply get through. Ala, my LifeQuake Model, I thought this might be a great opportunity to use a holiday to transform that longing into an experience that is healing. And men, all men could benefit from these tips as well!

By definition, a LifeQuake involves cracking open outdated beliefs and programs so that the organism can be authentically real. This relates to individuals, organizations, a society, and yes, even a holiday.

I propose we crack open Valentine’s Day and expand out of this notion that it belongs to lovers. St. Valentine was a priest and the legend around him came out of all the cards that were sent to him in prison by the local community in protest for his arrest and subsequent martyrdom. So, this was originally a humanitarian gesture. What if we were to make it a day for giving love, period. All kinds of love. Well, in order to truly experience this day with love, it begins with ourselves.

1) Instead of buying a box of chocolates that the cashier thinks is for your mate and starting your day with sugar sedation, try stopping at a juice bar and give yourself a smoothie chocked full of anti-oxidants. The energy it will give you will make you feel vibrant. As they say, each action begets the next action. With plenty of energy, you will feel empowered to go to the gym or do an exercise routine that will get your endorphins going, high endorphins are great love chemicals!

2) With this physical support, you will be brimming with self love. You’re on a roll. Buy yourself the flowers you would have wanted from a mate. I have found that most Valentines Days that I spent in a romantic partnership, I was less than impressed by the posies brought to me by my beloved. I like yellow roses, white roses, and lavender roses but I do not like red roses so buy them yourself.

3) Call all your single friends and wish them Happy Cupid Day. A phone call as novel as it may seem, far exceeds a text message or an email in extending a sincere holiday greeting.

4) Call your mother or an elderly woman you know who doesn’t have a husband and make her day. And yes, of course you can extend this to your dad, brother, or grandfather. (Those of you who are in romantic relationships need not be told to reach out to your lover… hopefully)

5) Everyone’s first experience of Valentine’s Day was as a child, giving home made or Hallmark valentines to your first grade class. We rarely think of the fact that there are children right here in this country whose families are too poor to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Keeping in the spirit of the LifeQuake Model stage seven, part of altruism is giving love on a large scale to a non-profit organization. One such organization focuses on The Appalachian children right here in this country where one in five children live in abject poverty. “Actress, author and mother Julianne Moore today announced a special initiative with Save the Children that will allow people across the nation to print and email custom cards to friends and loved ones this Valentine’s Day in return for a donation to the charity. The initiative comes on the heels of Moore’s visit to see Save the Children’s work in one of the poorest, most remote communities in the mountains of Appalachia, where Save the Children has worked for more than 75 years.”

6) When we smile, we increase both dopamine and serotonin in our neurotransmitters so we get the benefit and the hunger for love is transformed by the giving of love. Make eye contact with strangers and extend the non-verbal universal sign of love. And then, do it again on Feb 15, Feb 16th, Feb 17… you get my drift…

Dr. Toni Galardi is a public speaker, psychotherapist, columnist, and the author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive Not Just Survive in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval. She can be reached through her offfice at 310- 712-2600 or