Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away. Whether you love it, hate it, or don't really care about it, it’s pretty impossible to ignore all the romance in the air. As annoying and ridiculous and money-driven as this Hallmark holiday may feel to many of us, that doesn't mean we don't believe in love. So why not treat this time as an opportunity to bring a little more of it into our lives—whether with others or just with ourselves?
For this very reason, we turned to transformational healing artist Alexandra Roxo, who specializes in opening the heart in love, sex, and relationships. She showed us different rituals—all varying in purpose and intent—to help bring more love in.
“A ritual can be anything you imbue with intent, devotion, and repetition,” says Roxo. “Ritualizing something is the act of creating depth around it. For example, the first time you drink tea is not a ritual, but when you begin to establish a relationship with it and fill it with intention and meaning, it ritualizes the experience. Then, the next time you come back to it, you know you will feel the warmth, pause, peace, or whatever you have created around the experience of it.”
And while making a ritual out of lighting a candle, writing down lists, or repeating affirmations in a mirror might not seem like it's changing much of anything, rest assured that, by putting intention on these experiences, change often comes. “Rituals have the power to move energy, to transform an experience. They can create an intentional space for us to make life changes, or start a new cycle or habit," explains Roxo. "The act of lighting a candle every day for a month ceremonially dedicated to a wish has the power to make the wish come true. Every time you light it, you align with that wish, and those vibes come closer.”
So, in honor of love (instead of a random holiday), below are four rituals to heal, open, and strengthen the heart. These are bound to be beneficial, whether you’re wallowing in the pain of a breakup, seeking the perfect partner, looking to strengthen the existing bond between you and your partner, or just wanting to reconnect with yourself.
How to set the space for a ritual
First things first, if you’re going to do any sort of ritual, you must set up the space for it. For Roxo, this means carving out some quiet, peaceful alone time. She suggests turning off your phone, turning on some music, burning candles or incense, and even putting on a hot outfit, if you want. “Whatever gets you feeling grounded, connected to yourself, and good,” says Roxo. “Make it magical, and you will make magic.”