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A black woman in a red sweater, a woman in front of a store's LOVE sign, a woman on a staircase, and three friends.

Self-Love and Selfless Love for Valentine’s Day

Five Fulfilling Ways to Love on You (and Others)

By Leslie E. Royal

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, you may be married, dating or single.  All are equally celebrated. This year, take the opportunity to alter the mindset of this traditionally dedicated day for lovers to reach a new level of awareness. Thoughtfully love on yourself, caringly nurture relationships with friends and family, and intentionally spend time with those who are most in need. To help you do so, we’ve created a fun, exciting, inspirational, reflective and practical how-to guide on five things to do to have your most fulfilling Valentine’s Day ever.

1. Give yourself a Solo Spa Day or Beauty Package Gift Certificate.

A black woman in a black dress standing in front of a storefront window with a red, lit LOVE sign.

Just get lost in a world of relaxation, rejuvenation, and revitalization at a sanctuary like The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort or one in your city.

You can even treat yourself to a day of wonder and wandering at your favorite store selling candles, candies or clothing, or a place offering handcrafted, all-natural soaps and products like Duross and Langel in Philadelphia.

Whatever you do, make it about you.

2. Think about ways to serve others, such as visiting a nursing home or volunteering at a VA Hospital.

A black woman with shoulder-length hair wearing a red sweater, in front of white string lights.

After serving their country so honorably, our veterans need our support. You can write letters, visit the patients, box care gifts and more.

Find a place near you at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or Soldiers’ Angels. Or light up the life of any senior when you visit him or her for Valentine’s Day.

Places like Bessie’s Hope in Denver, Colorado will delight in having you.

3. Volunteer at a Women’s and Children’s Shelter or Food Pantry.

An African-American woman in a winter coat and jeans, leaning against a graffiti wall on a city sidewalk.

Women who are in shelters need a positive role model and want to know that other people care.

Show them that you do by giving your time at places in your town such as Days for Girls in Washington state.

Volunteering at a food pantry helps us appreciate the blessings we have and understanding what others are going through. Volunteering at food banks such as Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. presents a great opportunity.

4. Leave work early and have a Movie Day with your daughter, mom, grandmother and/or special woman.

A silhouette of a woman walking through a building's corridor towards a sunny city plaza.

Watching the big screen is just so much fun.

Because we are so busy with our lives, it’s hard to take time to enjoy time-honored traditions like movies and showing your love for the special woman in your life.

If you are in Columbia, SC, you can go to the Spotlight Cinemas Capital 8.

5. Have a Paint and Sip Divas Day or Girlfriends Getaway.

There is an artist in you. Truly there is. Grab your girls for a day of artistic creativity at Don Janelle Paint Party & Sip in Decatur, GA, or a similar place near you.

If you haven’t been on a weekend vacay in a while, this is the perfect time for you and your friends to converse and connect.

Escape to the luxury Sapelo Island Birdhouses on the southern Georgia coast or another beach retreat in the states or abroad.

We hope that you consider one of these distinctive ideas or create your own unique twist to Valentine’s Day this year. Whatever you choose, we wish you happiness, joy, and fulfillment today and always.

All images in this article are compliments of HOLLY MIXON, an agency-represented commercial/lifestyle model who owns Zebra Lane Graphic and Stationery Company. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Holly has a passion for painting, fashion and design in all forms. She is an avid stalker of textile, paper and color trends. This devotion to stunning imagery is poured into her modeling and graphic design work. Keep an eye out for her warm smile and creative spirit on your screens and magazine pages.

Follow Holly

Zebra Lane Greek Stationery & Gifts ( Instagram: @HollyLaneMixon
Zebra Lane Business Instagram: @ZebraLaneGreek
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Dr. Joyce, the Love Doctor’s, Soulful Affirmations for Valentine’s Day

An Ashro EXCLUSIVE: 10 Tips to a Newer, Happier, More Liberated You!

By Dr. Joyce Morley

Dr. Joyce Morley, a smiling African-American woman with a shaved head, wearing a lime green suit jacket and white pearls.

For Valentine’s Day, to complement our special piece above, we enlisted the keen gifts of internationally renowned psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author, Dr. Joyce Morley, affectionately known as “Dr. Joyce the Love Doctor”. With her inspiring tips, she helps us internalize the healing benefits of loving on ourselves and others.

“It is important for you to practice engaging in self-love and loving on you for Valentine’s Day because all love starts and ends with the love that you have and show for you. Unconditional self-love allows you to have unconditional love for others,” counsels Dr. Joyce Morley, an international renowned relationships expert on TV One’s “Fatal Attraction”, Oxygen’s “Snapped”, and Atlanta’s 104.1 Radio.

[quote]“When you spend time loving on others by engaging in genuine acts of kindness, and share yourself and your time through volunteering, spend time with the lonely, disabled, and disenfranchised, you can experience feelings of inner peace and wholeness.[/quote] -Dr. Joyce Morley

  1. What is love? Love is an inner state of emotion, permeating on the outside, allowing a state of being and existence of peace, satisfaction, and wholeness. It is a feeling, which is not actualized until it is put into action, starting with you and shared with others.
  2. Because you have been endowed with a heart of emotions, you have the capacity to love, starting with you. Too often, individuals look on the outside to fulfill the void in their lives surrounding their seeming lack of love on the inside.
  3. Self-love begins with prioritizing you, putting you first, accepting you first, with all of your failures and faults, no matter who you are, what you have or don’t have, and no matter where you are.
  4. Until you understand and engage in the practice of self-love through processes of self-care – emotionally, physically and spiritually – self-respect, and self-acceptance, love will have no power.
  5. Self-love is seeing and believing that you deserve the best, not accepting less, and believing that there should be no conditions on how you love you and how much you love you, as long as it doesn’t result in narcissism, arrogance, vainness, or being egotistical.
  6. On Valentine’s Day, you might feel alone or lonely, because you don’t believe you have someone with whom to share your love. However, you are mistaken! Here is your opportunity to love the one you’re with—YOU!
  7. Buy flowers and candy for yourself. Take yourself to a movie. Take a bubble bath filled with rose petals, with you. Enjoy a great Valentine’s Day meal by yourself. As a matter of fact, you will be spending time with the person who deserves your love the most—YOU!
  8. Serve those in need. Treat him/her to a movie, dinner, a single red rose, a walk in the park or a handcrafted Valentine’s Day card. Visit the elderly, sick and shut-in. Cook and clean for the disabled. Share quality time whether reading a book or going to a musical.
  9. It is important to practice selfless love and love on others on Valentine’s Day and beyond because sharing your love with and on others not only fills the void of those feeling lonely and alone, it also models for others how to show love and how to be loved. Your unselfish love also allows others to feel valued, worthy, and appreciated.
  10. If you practice engaging in self-love 364 days of the year, there will be no difficulty in you making day 365 which is Valentine’s Day.

The president and CEO of Morley & Associates and J. Morley Productions, Inc., Dr. Joyce has served as an expert for numerous international publications and medical websites such as WebMD.

Follow Dr. Joyce on Social Media

Books by Dr. Joyce Morley

  • Weary but Not Worn: A Spiritual Reawakening
  • Seeds for the Harvest of a Lifetime: Increasing Self-Awareness, Self-Esteem & Improving Relationships
  • Mama Said…Mama Really Did Have All the Answers After All: Hilarious, Outrageous, and Eye-Opening Statements Mama,
    Grandma and Big Mama Said that You Can Now Laugh About

How 9 Couples Keep the Fire Going: Our Valentine’s Day Love Letter

We asked nine African American couples, who honor their love 365 days a year, to share their inspirational stories of romance. Don’t miss this…

Nine African-American couples, together at different events.

Leslie E. Royal is a Lifestyle, Travel, and Fashion Contributor for Ashro. An international freelance writer, her articles have appeared in Upscale, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.

She is the author of two books:

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