The fulfilled heart
As the official Heart Month draws to a close, we must continue to open our hearts. The full heart is more than a physical organ responsible for nurturing our physical body. It has great importance as mind and spirit in the “mind-body-spirit” trilogy that defines us as human beings.
In previous columns we have been informed of the physical ways to help the physical organ ” heart. Diet, exercise and cholesterol levels. This is familiar stuff we have heard over and over while heart disease maintains its position in health topics. We are also, I believe, the most stressed and angst-ridden culture in today’s world. Our rate of use of antidepressants, anxiety reducers, hypertension drugs is phenomenal. Road rage, divorce, substance abuse, over eating, snatch and grab eating are omnipresent.
Here in our Truckee/Tahoe communities, we have a significant exercise culture. Lots of outdoor activities. Add to that the indoor exercise rituals of yoga and “the gym” and we should be very healthy in mind-body and spirit.
We are constantly busy. In the majority of families both parents (if there are two) work one or more jobs each to survive in our expensive area, or to maintain a fairly upscale life-style. Our children are scheduled from dawn till dusk. Our TVs are on most of the time. We even rush to get our exercise. All that makes it difficult to find time to just stop and breathe, and savor the wonderful place in which we live. Our hearts and minds don’t need more “shoulds.” We live with too many already. Let’s assume the life-styles we have, our routines, are just the way they are. If I want to nurture my heart, my being, within those parameters, it requires consciousness in the moment.
What if I merely re-framed the moments of my life from anxiously trying to get it all done, worrying about what I didn’t get done, and not thinking ahead to all there is to do tomorrow? What if I savored each moment, being fully present and aware in each moment, treating each moment of my life as if it were the only moment?
Here I am and this is what is going on right now. I frame each moment as fulfilling, as full and satisfying. It appears we make up our attitude, our belief and our shoulds. Why not make all that up in a more fulfilling manner?
Now that you have an attitude adjustment, here are other moment-to-moment ways of being to nurture your heart.
l. Lots of laughing and an ongoing smile upon your lips and in your heart. This creates an energy of lightness, of relationship and being in the moments of your life as an interesting dance which includes everything that comes into your awareness. Also, laugh with your lover, laugh with your kids and laugh as you negotiate our “roundabout” town.
2. Breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose drawing your breath way down into your belly and fill your entire torso. Breathe out fully, pushing out all the air. This type of breathing is actually the natural form. We breathe shallowly when tense and nervous. Our chest tightens, accentuating our anxiety. Be aware. Take those deep breaths and find your body-mind relaxing into the moment.
3. The 3 Rs. Rest, Rejuvenation and Recuperation. There is ample evidence our beings require seven to eight hours of restful sleep per night. Grab a “power nap” during the day. Actually eat lunch, relaxing, chewing, easeful. Eat a light evening meal with your family. Take enough time for breakfast.
4. If you commute use the time in your car to smile, breathe, think of all you have in your life to be grateful for. Smile at the other drivers.
5. Relax into your life as pleasurable; ’cause you say so, ’cause that is your conscious choice. If there are areas that could be more pleasurable/fulfilling, such as your relationship, learn how to accomplish that.
So, for a more healthy mind-body-spirit, you don’t necessarily have to change what you are doing. You simply change the energy you do it, each moment.
Life isn’t doing it to you, your reactions to it are the major cause of your tense heart. Savor each moment of your life, even if you are cleaning the toilet.
” Rolf Godon, Ph.D., is a longtime local psychologist, specializing in relationship enhancement. He practices and teaches Ki Gong, an ancient system of gentle movement, focused breathing and meditation, all done with a smile. He can be reached at 587-2557.
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