February is the month of love! We’re just past Valentine’s Day, when our thoughts and attention are on romantic love. Many people feel that romantic love is the highest form of love. While it certainly feels good, is healthy and rewarding, there is actually a higher, more certain love that comes from within us and enhances all of our relationships, including the one with ourselves.

In her book Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love, Marci Shimoff talks about the difference between “love for good reason” and “love for no reason”. She states:

“Love for good reason has some limitations. The main problem is that its linked to reasons, and if those reasons change, your love usually changes too......you may feel attached, jealous, afraid of loosing the object of your love, or you may feel satisfied but still there’s something missing. .....Love for no reason is Higher Love, an inner state of pure love that doesn’t depend on other people, external conditions or circumstances.
When you love for no reason you bring love to your outer experiences rather than try to extract love from them.”

Unconditional love is an expansive, all-encompassing love that lies within each of us. It’s our connection to Source. When we know how to generate love from within, we don’t rely on love to come to us from an outside source. We live from a place of love that we can tap into at all times and radiate out to others.

Achieving a state of unconditional love begins with loving yourself.
Too often we fail to honor ourselves and tune in to what we need. Being giving and helpful to people is a good thing and opens the heart. But think for a moment. If we don’t stop to recharge our own batteries, what do we really have to give? I like to use the analogy of the flight attendants on an airplane. When they make their announcement regarding the oxygen masks they instruct passengers with children to put their own masks on before assisting the children. If the adult passes out from lack of oxygen, who will help the children?

To start practicing self love try this.
1. Several times a day stop what you are doing and ask yourself, “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?” Then listen for the answer. What comes to mind?
2. Then actually follow through and do it! Excuses may come up. But what you will find when you choose to do what feels best in the moment, is that you will be energized and actually accomplish more with less effort. Taking a walk break for 10 minutes, for example, can clear your head, get your heart pumping and blood moving. You will come back to your task with inspired ideas!

Another practice is to tune into your feelings. Are you feeling stressed, worried, fearful?
1. Acknowledge your feelings--don’t judge them. Allow yourself to feel them fully. They are there to let you know you are moving away from your vision of what you want. They are your internal guidance system. When you are feeling stressed, you shut down the flow of love and life force energy that wants to flow through you.
2. Now stop, and take several slow, deep breaths. Imagine the feelings slowly easing out of your body. See them dissipate like fog burning away when the sun comes out.

Giving and receiving both open your heart.
When we do acts of kindness for others we allow love to flow through us. It’s not necessary to do huge things for hundreds of people. Simply paying attention to the people around you can do so much to bring light to the world and open your own heart. Think of your family or your neighbors. Tell then how much you appreciate them! It can come as a pleasant unexpected surprise. What acts of kindness can you perform? Even smiling at a stranger can change a life! You never know what someone else may be going through that a small act of connection and kindness can affect.

Being able to receive from others is also a way to keep your heart open and love flowing through you. Often we have trouble receiving from others due to beliefs we hold that it is better to give than receive, or we simply don’t think we are deserving. Those are just beliefs and beliefs can change! If someone is trying to give you something and you won’t receive it, how do you think that makes them feel? Giving and receiving is an energy exchange that must be completed in order for both people to feel good. Receiving is actually an act of kindness to the one who desires to give. Next time someone pays you a compliment or offers you help or a gift, try simply saying a heartfelt “Thanks!” You will both feel the flow of love.

Live with a sense of gratitude.
Focusing on what is going right rather than what is going wrong will shift your mood and actually shift what is happening in your life. Make it a practice to write down five things you are grateful for each day. Remember that everything is FOR us. We grow from the experiences that were not so pleasant at the time. They help us to refine what we really want to be, do and have and cause us to look more deeply for answers. So also acknowledge the pesky people and hard times in your gratitude!

Connect with something larger than yourself.
We all need to decide if we consider the universe as friendly or hostile. Allow yourself to feel the oneness with all things. The universe is friendly to your plans and is based on love. When you connect to spirit through meditation, being in nature, listening to soothing music, or though prayer, you experience that higher love that is your deep wellspring of support.

There are many ways to experience unconditional love and the benefits are tremendous. Living from an open heart boosts your immune system and creates better relationships. When you are able to practice unconditional love, you can feel love no matter what is going on in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Estra Roell is known as America's Life Purpose Coach. She is a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, a PSYCH-K® facilitator and is certified by Marci Shimoff as a Happiness Generator and Love Course teacher. She helps clients get in touch with their highest passions and purpose and assists them to create their vision, shift limiting beliefs that may be holding them back and take the action steps to move into a life of meaning, joy and abundance. Estra has been a featured guest on radio shows and is the co-host of her own internet radio show, Coach Cafe, on Blogtalk Radio.

Please visit her website at http://www.AmericasLifePurposeCoach.com to receive her free report on "Visioning and Goal Setting” and to subscribe to her free monthly newsletter. Listen in to Coach Café on Wednesdays at 8 PM ET at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coachcafe