At The Heart Of The Matter (An Exercise in Self-Love)

My mother once told me that you need to open up your hand to give, but must keep it open to receive. As women, we are natural nurturers. We own the hands that keep on giving – to our families, friends, work, etc. – that’s who we are. But how often do we become depleted, shut down and withdraw before we give to ourselves? Let’s get to the heart of the matter… Did you know that the heart is the hardest working muscle in the body? Whether you did or not, what we all have come to learn is that we need to eat heart-healthy foods such as an assortment of fruits and vegetables, and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts to name a few. We also know that we need to engage in some form of aerobic activity on a regular basis to have a healthy heart. Whether it be walking, running, swimming, dancing, or whatever gets you moving – exercising is vital in keeping all of our muscles in shape, including the heart. Mix in a bit of R&R (rest and relaxation) and one could say that these are good examples of practicing self-love. How about listening to our hearts or, rather, WITH our hearts in order to receive? Yes, we can hear our hearts beating when we pause to listen. But truly listening with our hearts (not the noise in our heads) to guide us in choosing what is best for us, I believe, is an act of self-love. Tuning into our built-in radar systems, learning to feel what is right, and be guided by your instincts. For so many women, even finding the time to meditate can cause anxiety because we’re all so pressed for time! Let’s turn to our bodies for a practical, yet, effective exercise in becoming clear about how to begin tuning in: practicing good posture! Whether sitting at your desk or walking to an appointment, check in, steal a glimpse of your reflection in car window or mirror. Inhale deeply and watch your chest lift and expand as you draw your shoulder blades closer together. Work it ladies! Take another big breath and feel your chest open. Continue to practice this exercise and you will literally lighten up, mentally and physically! When your chest is open, you open up your heart and your radar. Yes, you become more vulnerable, but you also open up to yourself. Just as you need an open palm to receive you need an open heart to give love – to yourself! What moves you?