We all long to love and be loved, but sometimes it just doesn't happen for us. For many years I thought that love had passed me by, until I finally realized that I was the source of love for me. I learned that I needed to BE the love that I wanted to have in my life. I decided to cultivate the feeling of love in myself, which is much like cultivating a garden. Just like a garden, growing the energy of love requires daily focus, commitment, attention, and care. Cultivating love in my life laid the groundwork for a wonderful, incredibly loving man to show up who matched that vibration. It is a law: if you build the energy of love, love will come.

Here are five practices that will garden your energy field and help love bloom in your life.

LOVING SELF-ACCEPTANCE. Over the years I have developed a sense of loving kindness towards myself. What has helped me to do that is to think of my feelings as if they're my children, and treat them like a mother would treat a beloved child who is suffering. I bring loving attention to them, and let them express themselves. Like children, they just want to be held and heard. Once our feelings are fully seen, allowed and experienced, then, like a rosebud, we expand and blossom.

LOVING SELF-TALK. It is said that plants wilt when spoken to harshly and flourish when we speak to them in a loving way. We humans are the same way. One of the most important ways I've learned to cultivate my garden is in the way I talk to myself during the day. Ultimately, our primary relationship is with ourselves, and the quality of our life is determined by how we talk to ourselves all day. It's important to notice and weed out negative self-talk and replace it with loving self-talk. I talked to myself during the day the way I wanted to be talked to. I addressed myself as sweetheart, honey, beautiful. I was being my own dear lover; I was being the relationship that I wanted to have in my life.

BE A NATURE LOVER. When I walk in nature I experience it like a tuning fork; it has a high, expansive vibration, and as I walk I begin to resonate with that vibration and feel myself harmonize and expand into oneness with it. In this energy I feel the loving presence of my higher self and hear words of love and encouragement. Be the loving voice you are hearing -- greet the flowers, leaves, scurrying bugs and critters, saying "I love you flowers. I love you leaves. Thank you for your beauty. Thank you for the joy you bring me." On a recent nature walk I was inspired to write this poem:

Nature is My Lover

The sun warmly kisses my face.
The ground holds me in earthy embrace.
The wind playfully tussles my hair.
The gift of flowers scents the air.
My lover gives me lots of space.
And let's me move at my own pace.
Though some would say there's no one there,
I deeply feel this love affair.

I highly recommend that you have a passionate love affair with nature!

LOVE YOUR BODY. It's an act of love towards ourselves to nourish our bodies as we would nourish a garden. When I eat nutritious food, I feel calmer and more grounded. Eating is something we do several times a day, therefore, it's a great way to implant love in our day. Every time you eat something, love and bless the food, "Thank you for tasting so good. Thank you for nourishing me." Chews love!

BREATHE LOVE. Breath is a very powerful way to saturate our bodies with the energy of love. Breathing deeply into our abdomen and chest opens us to more life force energy and more vitality. Breathe into other parts of your body, bringing loving attention, and this will enrich that part of the body. Breathing through your heart opens your heart and generates loving energy. Breathe in through your heart and say "I' --Breathe out through your heart and say "love." Breathe through your heart sending love to the people in your life.

VISUAL REMINDERS OF LOVE. Surround yourself with photos of loved ones, including yourself. I put a picture of myself as a child where I can see it everyday. I look into that child's eyes, I see her beautiful soul, and say, "I love you." Some quantum physicists say that all time is simultaneous. Just imagine that the child you were still exists and is receiving that love.

USING THE WORD 'LOVE'. Just saying, or seeing the word 'love' effects our cells. In the book, The Hidden Messages in Water, Masaru Emoto tells us that experiments on the effect of words on water molecules revealed that positive words like 'love' created harmonious patterns in water molecules, and negative words created disharmonious patterns. Since we are largely made up of water, doesn't it make sense that the words we say to ourselves and each other have a powerful effect on us. Say "I love you" to others as often as possible and especially say it to yourself throughout the day. As the Beatles sang, "Say the word and you'll be free. It's so fine, It's sunshine, It's the word, Love."

What you focus on grows, therefore, focus on love! Cultivate love, dwell in love, choose love, open your heart to love, and your life will bloom into a garden of abundant love and joy. When you generate the energy of love, love will come.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Jacobsen is trained in Hakomi, a mind/body approach which advocates that healing
happens when we bring loving presence to what is. She has also apprenticed for two years with Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks (authors of Conscious Loving), learning skills to make love real and fun. Her thriving relationship with her husband Tom is a testament to
the effectiveness and value of those skills. You can read more of her free inspirational essays at EnlightenInk.com