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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Living From the Heart

Jan 31, 2020 07:03AM

Love may be in the air this month—with a big heart stuck in the middle of it—celebrated on Valentine’s Day, but at Natural Awakenings, our editorial team has been focused on all matters of the heart—the one that keeps us alive and well. I have discovered that when it comes to my own heart health, it’s a whole body, mind and spirit thing, and we’ve got you covered on all fronts in this issue. 


In “Sacred Vessels: The Lifeblood of Heart Health,” on page 38, Julie Peterson examines the crucial role of the vascular system and how simple, natural lifestyle choices can prevent or remediate damage that may result in a heart attack, stroke, vision loss and cognitive decline.


You’ll get a large dose of love reading Scarlett Lewis’s inspiring essay, “Choosing Love: How to Cope With Fearful Times.” She founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement after her 6-year-old son saved nine of his classmates’ lives before losing his own in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Choose Love Movement has reached more than a million children worldwide. Read more on page 54.


Choosing love in intimate relationships requires skill sets that most couples lack, according to couples therapist and author Linda Carroll (page 50). She notes there is a skill to every aspect of a relationship, especially in communication, and if we don’t have a good relationship with ourselves, we really can’t have a meaningful relationship with another person. 


Once I discovered how important self-love was to my own well-being and ability to “share the love” with others, I became more diligent about practicing it. So often the word “self-love” has been associated with the word “selfish”, but loving ourselves doesn’t take away from loving others, like being selfish or narcissistic does. Self-love helps us to embrace every aspect of ourselves, and we in turn become much more accepting and loving of others. 


Here’s some ways I love myself these days: I notice when my self-talk is negative and I turn it around to give myself some love. I stop work when it’s time to take care of myself and amazingly, when I do, the work often gets done more efficiently. I eat healthy foods my body loves, giving me more positive, uplifting energy. I exercise regularly in different ways that feed my body, mind and soul, and I spend time with people who uplift and support me. 


I also take some time in meditation, prayer or walking in nature, connecting to my larger self, my essence. Once I have strengthened my connection, it spills outward in all my activities during the day, revealing my oneness with others. I like to hold the intention throughout my day to discover ways I can connect with others to exchange some loving energy. Doing this uplifts us both. 


When it gets down to it, we all want the same things, no matter what religion or political views we hold. We want to give and receive love, feel safe and feel like our lives matter. Love is the glue that makes it all work and it’s free! 


Here’s to a heart-opening month and finding some new ways to share your healthy heart with the world—starting with yourself! 


Spreading the Love, 

Sharon Bruckman


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