Monday, April 2, 2012

How's Your Heart?

Friday, March 30th was the 12 year anniversary of my mother’s death.

I’ve lost three family members prematurely and these anniversaries always affect me--even if I don’t remember the dates until after the fact.

My healthy and active parents both died of heart ailments (I’ve never thought that was a coincidence, given they lost their third child-- my brother Geoffrey--when he was 20). My dad had a sudden heart attack at 55 and my mom went into congestive heart failure brought on by the flu at the young age of 59. They left six children behind.

I always get extra sensitive around these anniversaries. And last week, it seemed many in my community were feeling tenderhearted as well (everywhere I turned---board meetings, gatherings, workshops, dinners—the tears were flowing; it was an emotionally charged week for many).

It seems sometimes we’re moving so fast and spend so much time in our heads, we forget that we need to take time for emotional check-ups. Just like going to the optometrist, the dentist or seeing your doctor for a physical, we need to pause for emotional self-care, too. (Read more.)

The groundbreaking book HeartMath, which introduced us to the concept of the “intelligent heart”  says that our emotions create physiological responses in the body—both good and bad—depending on how we’re feeling. Over the last ten years, research has revealed that the heart is much more than a blood-pumping machine.

So last week and this past weekend, I paused. And took time to focus on the care and feeding of my heart.  For me, this often looks like:
• Slowing down and feeling my feelings (the good, the bad and the ugly)
• Allowing myself to live with polarities (read more) and embrace the unknown
• Surrounding myself with people who let me show up warts and all
• Balancing giving/receiving (masculine and feminine energies)
• Practicing extreme self-care (I cancelled all activities this weekend so I could hole   up at home with my family)
• Attuning to my portals for renewal: nature, my women’s circles, yoga and movement, heartfelt conversation, being with my beloved
• Making time for my daily practice of meditation and sometimes, journaling
• Connecting with my wise self—my inner teacher
• Attuning to my natural rhythms and nature’s rhythms,rather than other people’s demands  or schedules (read more)
• Allowing, flowing and being flexible as I move through my day—rather than pushing and  forcing things to happen

When I woke up Monday morning, I felt different. I felt nourished—from the inside-out.I felt alive and grateful. My sweet heart--was happy and full.

Personal invite: interested in exploring what emotional self-care and self-acceptance would look like for you? Join me at an upcoming Spring Renewal Retreat (April 13 is just for small business owners).

P.S. Heard about our global I Choose Love PSA? Learn more about how letting your heart take the lead can impact your life in big and small ways.

I love to hear from, connect with and meet The Journey readers at our events. I invite you to:  
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  • Pick up my life balance title The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal from the library or buy it here
  • Read past issues of my Life Balance newsletter
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  • Empower Others: Schedule Renee for a private workshop or retreat for your company or organization
  • I Choose Love PSA: a reminder that when we come from love--one of the most powerful yet underutilized forces on the planet--we have the ability to transcend fear and remember what we're really hear to do: give and receive love. Learn more.
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Photo: Two dear, beloved friends who nurture my heart and whose love and support are key to my emotional self-care. Deborah Kern middle and Margaret Keys right. This picture was taken a couple of years ago at a women's circle honoring "gifts from our grandmothers."

1 comment:

Ciara said...

I think letting others see our 'warts' is so difficult in a world where people appear perfect online. I realized this while at RT last week. So many people I've gotten to know online showed up to a convention and for the first few days they remained on stage, but then things changed. People dispersed and stopped hanging out together. It was fascinating to watch.