Embodied Practice, Part 1: Inhale Love. Exhale Love.

by Eliza Demarest

Editor's Note: Embodied Practice is a new series of posts from Aspen City of Wellbeing's staff writer, Eliza, designed to help you integrate an everyday wellbeing routine into your own life. Small rituals and mindful exercises like conscious breathing have been shown to benefit one's wellbeing by relieving stress, increasing focus and cultivating a general sense of calm and inner peace.
 
Wherever you are, I would like to invite you to place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. Take a couple of slow, deep breaths, and allow your mind and body to relax. Soften your gaze. Now, start thinking about the word “love.” If you’re somewhere where you feel comfortable closing your eyes, do so for ten deep breaths, and continue thinking about what “love” means to you. Once you’re finished, softly flutter your eyes open and continue reading. 

 
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What does the word “love” mean to you? 
 
My fear is that our society has lost sight of what is truly means to “love.” 
 
To define love is very difficult, for the same reason our minds struggle sometimes to find the words to express how we feel. 
 
Love as a verb, comes from the Old English word “lufian,” which means “to feel love for, cherish, show love to; delight in, approve.” (etymonline.com)
 
Love as a noun originates from the Old English word “lufu,” which refers to “feelings of love; romantic sexual attraction; affection; friendliness; the love of God.” (etymonline.com)
 
We are in an era of social media, email, and text messages. Our brains are busier than ever and our “gadgets” often become a replacement for building real life connections. 
 
This disconnect of true relationship leaves our society hardwired to believe that love is outside of us; that it is merely a relational word passed between two human beings. For many of us, we became disconnected from the deeper meaning of the word when movies, fairytales and even interactions between our parents influenced our idea of love. Love is the source of everything. It is present everywhere and in everything. But because of ego and pride, there is hatred, abuse and discrimination in our world. We have forgotten the source and the depth of the word “love.” 

 
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Being one of Aspen City of Wellbeing’s Core Values, we care a lot about the word “love.” We believe in community, and the warmth between the soul and the spirit. You may know this feeling. It’s the feeling you get when you choose to fully lead your life out of the eyes of love. 
 
The more passionately I became about writing this post, I felt compelled to squeeze my way into the heart’s of our community and listen to what they have to say about the word “love.”
 
Kerrie Martin Schur is a transformational coach and yoga teacher with a background in holistic health, mind-body nutrition, eating psychology, and personal development. She has been working with clients in her private coaching practice since 2007. She also teaches yoga in Aspen and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley at Aspen Shakti, O2, Fahrenheit Body Spa, and True Nature Healing Arts in Carbondale. She has lived in Aspen for two years. 

 
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I asked Kerrie: What does the word “love” mean to you on a personal level?
 
Kerrie:  "Love” means being aligned with spirit and divine energy and feeling deeply connected and present to my environment, community, family and friends.  Love is when people offer presence to one another and have a true heart connection.  Love is when we appreciate the full spectrum of human experience and offer understanding and compassion to one another.
 
I hope mine and Kerrie’s words inspire you to think about the deeper meaning of love. 


Originally from Mount Shasta, California - Eliza is a wellness focused contributor at Aspen City of Wellbeing. She's a lover of all things wellbeing: smoothies, yoga, meditation, glitter, flowers, and time in nature. She's an aspiring road hog. Be sure to honk or wave if you see her cruising on her Harley through the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Jess Ewart