How Healthy is Your Heart?

I’m sure most of you know, but the month of February is officially “Heart Health Month.”  We hear endless news about this cardiovascular issue or that one and how we are supposed to be watching what we eat, exercising and reducing stress

I completely agree with all of that.  We do need to be more aware of everything that we come into contact with, especially if we have the genetic predisposition to have higher cholesterol, to have higher blood pressure or to have a higher body fat percentage.

I hope that you also know that none of that is a death sentence.

Just because close family members of yours may have had heart issues does not mean that you are doomed to the same fate.

It does mean, however, that you will need to be more vigilant.

I truly believe that none of us are immune even if we are at an ideal body weight, an ideal cholesterol or an ideal blood pressure.

You never know what is going to happen next, so it’s best to be prepared and to enforce in your body a bit of preventive maintenance.

This was my original intention.  I find it so critical to get correct information about health, nutrition and overall well-being out to everyone that I come into contact with BUT I am going to turn to another aspect of this topic.

I am going to really talk about heart health.

I want to talk about passion, about motivation, about love and support and I want to talk about everything that goes along with it.

For most of us, we live in a place where the need to work overrides the need to do work that speaks to our heart.

What I mean, we work to live rather than live to work. Why?

We need to live.  We need to eat.  We need to have a place to live and a roof over our heads.

We need to work because work gives us the one thing that has become a necessity over anything else- we need money.

Money will give us the opportunity to provide our families with the things they need to survive.

Why am I even addressing this?

We all know this, right?

We all know that money has become the answer for a lot of the problems that we may have in our lives.  But I’m offering you, right now, a chance to think outside of this money box.

What if we took money out of the picture?

We wouldn’t take working out of the picture.  We would still need to have a job or a career that would earn us a living, but this job would guarantee us of having enough to satisfy our basic survival needs.  Lacking money would not be an issue.

What then?

You would now be free to choose a career path that would speak to you on a level deeper than the one that just gives you enough money.  You could choose to live by passion, to be in an area where you could indulge yourself in your dreams.

You could choose to work in a place that was previously off-limits because it wasn’t safe or could possibly not support your standard of living.

What does that mean for you?

Before you say- This is not an option.  You have too many bills.  You still have kids in college or you need to pay off your own student loans or your car or your mortgage.

Before you start loosening your tie or the top button on your sweater or blouse, just wait.

I am not talking about dropping all of your responsibilities and changing your 9-5 job and becoming the next great American Novelist (one of my own dreams).

Before you jump the corporate ship, think for a moment what your heart is telling you.

This is the type of heart health that I’m referring to.  We don’t listen to ourselves unless we’re saying just how awful we look in our bathing suit or that dress or those shorts or that whatever.

We don’t listen to the parts of us that are actually trying to say something useful.

What is your heart trying to tell you?

Where do your passions lie?

What would give you the “I love what I do and I love what I’m doing” feeling, even if it happens to be outside of your everyday job?

I am saying right now that we all limit ourselves.  We limit our thoughts, we limit our capabilities.  We even limit the amount of time we allow ourselves to be proud of the things that we do and of the person that we have become.

We all need to stop, slow down and breathe.

Our lives are so much more than the work that we do until the work that we do becomes less like work and more like enjoyment, excitement and fulfillment.

I wear a pendant around my neck that is a daily reminder that I need to always listen to my heart.

“Love the life you live.  Live the life you love.”

This message, courtesy of Bob Marley, is what I need to see to remind myself that my life is up to me.

I can create a life that I’m proud of, that will sustain me and give me the things that I need, both monetary and personally fulfilling.

So please, take a moment now and listen.

What is it that you really need to do or be or see or feel or experience?

Can you do it now or next week or next month or next year?  Can you live well and happily if you never accomplish it?

Be honest.  Be patient but most importantly, be happy in who you are and where you are because our lives are not a dress rehearsal.

Live now.  Live well.
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