It's hard to believe that February 14th is already this week. On Wednesday, we'll be half way through the month and many of us will celebrate St. Valentine's Day. Have you ever wondered how Valentine's Day got started? While the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, the legend that is most widely recognized as being the impetus for Valentine's Day goes something like this. Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men performed better as soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, who believed the decree to be unjust, defied Claudius and continued to secretly perform marriages for young lovers. However, when Valentine’s actions were discovered, he was put to death. It has been said that from then on the day was remembered as St. Valentine's Day, in Valentine's honor.
Through the years, the legend spread. "Valentine's Day" was further romanticized in works by Chaucer and Shakespeare, causing the day of remembrance to gain popularity throughout Europe. During the Middle Ages, paper cards became part of the Valentine's tradition. And, as all things tended to do, Valentine's Day eventually spread to the New World. By the 19th century in the United States, the industrial revolution was underway and with it came factory-made Valentine's cards. Then, in 1913 mass production began. Valentine's Day, with its associated cards, candies, decorations and gifts, has been a big business in the U.S. ever since.
When most people think about Valentine's day, love is one of the first words that comes to mind. Believe it or not, love and health are deeply intertwined. Human beings are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards can be extraordinary. Close friendships and non-marital family relationships certainly influence our health. Yet, it is the marriage relationship that has been shown to have the most dramatic influence on health factors. Some of the positive effects of a healthy marriage include:
Conversely, strain or ongoing conflict in a marriage relationship can play a part in creating negative health outcomes. And let's face it. Marriage is hard work. What other relationship do two (usually) very different adults share the same bed, see each other every day (or nearly every day), share financial burdens and (possibly) parenting responsibilities, and see each other's dirty laundry (both literally and figuratively)? In the same way that our physical and spiritual practices require time and energy, the marriage relationship, too, needs intentional care and attention if we want to reap the positive health benefits that can come from having a healthy marriage.
One of the best ways we can support our marriage is by getting to know our partner better--to learn what makes our spouse tick. What animates her personality? What fuels and depletes him? How can we learn to listen and communicate in ways that encourage each other rather than frustrate? How can our fears and hopes become assets rather liabilities?
To help us get started on answering these important questions, we will be co-hosting an Enneagram Workshop for Couples in Clear Lake on Saturday, March 24th. This retreat-style workshop will be facilitated by Rob Yackley. Rob currently lives in SanDiego with his wife Laurie, and he's graciously agreed to leave sunny California and take on Iowa in March in order to share this opportunity with us. Rob has been guiding people into deeper self and others awareness through the Enneagram for over 20 years and we can't wait to welcome him to Clear Lake.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite and 100% of the ticket sales will go towards workshop materials and travel expenses to get Rob to Iowa. There is currently an "Early Bird" discount in effect. The ticket price is per couple and includes the all-day workshop and snack refreshments. Don't procrastinate; this special rate ends February 14th. What a great gift idea for the sweetheart in your life!
And, to make things even sweeter, stop by Simply Nourished and show us your e-ticket receipt and you can choose any organic chocolate bar as our gift to you. It is such a privilege to bring holistic health opportunities to North Iowa--to bring wellness within reach.
UPDATE: This event has been postponed.