Gandhi once said, “Where there is love, there is life.” Love is the marvelous special ingredient that makes life worth living. It comes in many forms: Love of self, love of work, love of others, and love of a Higher Nature (God/spirit). When you have love in your life, you live with peace, joy, and contribution—knowing that you are fulfilling your potential and making a positive difference in the world. Our guests on Love University, Dean Warren and Isabele Hazan, married podcasters (URlife.live) and world travelers, offered us insight into the nature of love, health, and happiness. Here are some of the things we learned.
*Practice the four pillars of healthy living. In Ayurvedic thought, we learn the four pillars of excellent health: Good Sleep, Good Nutrition, Movement, and Silence (Emotional Wellness). When you sleep peacefully, eat the right things, move your body, and take time out for contemplation, you enjoy a healthier and happier life. Consider your body a sacred temple that houses your spirit, your very essence. Before you go to bed, practice a relaxation ritual—put away all of your technological devices and sit or lie quietly—praying, meditating, or focusing on a pleasant image or memory. Throughout the day, make sure you take time out to eat slowly and put healthy ingredients into your body. Also, move your body—whether it’s through formal exercise at a gym, walking, or stretching. Finally, start and end your day with silence as you become aware of your thoughts and calm your “Monkey Mind,” the chattering thoughts and worries that fill your mind throughout the day. Each day aim to maintain peace, calmness, and love in everything you do.
*Recognize your energy style: All of us have different energy styles according to Ayurvedic tradition. If you are Vata, your primary element is air. You are a spontaneous and light person who is fast-moving, but may be prone to agitation. In my LoveTypes (personality compatibility) system, you are known as an “Excitement Seeker”—you crave novelty, stimulation, and excitement. If you are Pitta, your main element is fire, and you desire power and knowledge—to learn, learn, create and improve. In the LoveTypes system, you are known as a “Knowledge Seeker”—you value competence, knowledge, science, technology, and innovation. Finally, you may be Kaffa—your main element is earth. You are the practical, realistic, concrete, and grounded person. In LoveTypes, you are known as a “Security Seeker”—you value security, family, tradition, responsibility, and commitment. Of course, you could have a combination of more than one type, although generally you have a primary energy style that you use on a daily basis. Once you know your energy style, you can select the people and activities that best resonate with your nature, and you can plan your work and daily activities based on your particular strength. For example, a Vata person would likely want to choose a career that offers them maximum flexibility and spontaneity, while a Kaffa individual may prefer a more structured 9 to 5 job with good benefits and long-term security.
*Love yourself so you can love others. People who are natural givers and caretakers often burn out because they may give all they have to help others at the cost of their personal health and happiness. Although it’s wonderful to be giving and loving to others, it’s important that you practice self-care and recharge your batteries; get adequate exercise, eat healthy, enjoy recreational and social time, and participate in a spiritual or meditative practice. Remember that the more you love yourself—in a healthy, not egotistical way—the more you can love and give to others. On a daily basis, make sure you replenish your inner psychological plate—feed yourself with self-compassion and self-care—so you can fill the emotional plate of others with your practical help, empathy, compassion, and love. Remember: You can only give to others what you already have inside.
Dean and Isabel married late in life and are now in their 50’s. Their goal is to be healthy and happy together, enjoying another 50 years of life as a united couple. By focusing on improving your health—spiritual, physical, and emotional—you, too, can live a longer and happier life as you contribute to the world and leave behind a legacy of love and contribution.