At this time of year, with the ominous V-Day looming up, I can almost tangibly feel the collective emotional heart clinch. Men in relationships may experience that telltale thud in the chest. You know what I’m talking about–the thought alone of Valentine’s Day causes some men to desperately seek the “ultimate” expression of love. Then they quickly scan their bank account to see what they can afford.
Perhaps you’re of the female persuasion, dreaming and creating expectations of how your man “should” show you his ultimate love (simultaneously recalling what he’s done or not done in the past to live up to this impossible standard). Or maybe you’re flying solo and this time of year is a nasty Hallmark reminder that you’ve yet to pair up. The “day of love” has created all kinds of untruths in your psyche about how neurotic, damaged or unlovable you are (and whether you should call that ex of yours). Then, on second thought, maybe you’ll just boycott the whole thing and get loaded with your friends instead. Not that I’ve experienced any of the above!
What if we could collectively reconfigure our relationship with this commercialized day? What if you could renegotiate and instead see this as an opportunity to reconnect with the heart and its sensational role in your life? In a country where heart disease is our leading killer, it’s time that we care for the electromagnetic center of our vessels. In addition to taking physical measures toward heart health (regular exercise, a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and dark leafy greens, and taking deep breaths to spread oxygenated blood to your body) you can also take emotional and spiritual measures to care for this special organ.
As if you needed more convincing that this a serious matter, according to The Institute of HeartMath, heart signals significantly impact brain functioning and influence emotional processing as well as perception, memory and problem solving. The brain continuously responds to the heart. Caring for the heart is caring for your brain, your emotions and cognitive functioning. Most important, in my 10+ years of clinical practice, I’m convinced that our hearts are literally breaking because we are cut off from the vibration of love. Not the romantic kind, but the omniscient, unconditional kind of love that can come anytime and always if you’re open to receiving it. It’s opening up to love in all circumstances: to love for your cup of coffee, love for the gas in your car, love for the fact that your mom loves you enough to keep nagging you, love for the opportunity to stop right now in this moment and breathe into the space of your heart and know that you’re lovable, simply because you exist.
So, take the time to celebrate anahata (Sanscrit for heart center) by recommitting to the health of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your heart. Try giving and receiving love with those in your life, from the store clerk to your coworker…a smile, a hug, a nod of appreciation and a sacred pause to let it flow.
Be the Love!
- Choose Omega 3’s- flax seeds and salmon
- Set a reminder on your phone to breathe deeply at intervals during the day
- Floss and brush your teeth regularly–oral and heart health are related
- Receive more-–take that compliment, say yes to others’ offers to do nice things for you and stop to bask in the sunshine
- Be a walking love bomb–give freely sans expectations to those around you