“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing…not healing, not curing…that is a friend who cares.”
Friendship is an art. We are born into families but we must cultivate our friends. A true friend is priceless- someone you can call when you are confused, have a problem, or when you are excited and want to celebrate. Sometimes we need a friend to listen and not fix our problems or advise us with the best solution. Yet, how many people have someone in their life who will listen and love unconditionally without an ulterior motive; without asking for anything in return; someone whose own spirit is lifted by allowing you to share your dreams, worries, fears, confusion, anger, and other emotions.
This is rare in today’s society because we are in a hurry and listening takes time. It is also difficult these days because much of our communication is lost in texting, e-mail, facebook, and lack of self-awareness and mindfulness. How can we understand what someone else is feeling if we never take the time to understand our own inner world? Make friends with yourself first and you will be able to open your heart to others.
Like doctors, we want to give our friend a solution. Often we don’t want a solution; we just want to talk it out. A true healer will listen until they don’t exist so the other person can come up with their own solution, but this takes time.
There was a time when I went to a doctor and I said to him, “You know, Doctor, I think there is an emotional component to this and I really want to heal at a deeper level.” He looked at me with a sense of helplessness, and said, “Well, get up on the table and let me listen to your heart.” After putting the cold stethoscope on my chest, he proclaimed, “You are just fine.” Isn’t that funny? Would he really take the time to listen to my heart and soul and mind? No, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he doesn’t have time. Listening to someone’s feelings and emotions is difficult. We quickly want to solve the problem, hurry the pain away, and heal the person. We can’t expect our doctors to be our friends, but if we had more friends we might not need as many doctors.
You may have a “ton of friends,” but how many of your friendships are open and unreserved allowing you both to expose your soul and unleash your feelings and emotions without fear. You are fortunate if among the multitudes of people you know, you have one or two trusting friends who will be there for you even when they don’t understand you.
Cultivating friendship takes time and thought and the ability to give and to forgive. It is the desire to want to be in a relationship with another human being for no other reason than the healing energy of knowing you can count on that person and they can count on you in life when it is challenging or when it is exciting. This kind of friendship is the best medicine.
The Heart of Wellness
Wellness isn’t just about a healthy heart, low cholesterol, low blood pressure and living at an ideal weight in a disciplined exercise program. It’s more than avoiding cancer or staying safe. It is so much more than that. And, yes, it involves your heart, but your soul heart. And, yes, when your soul heart is healthy, your body often follows. But it is important to note that if your body does get sick, it may be the perfect time to accept your humanness and get in touch with your soul.
Your life just works better when your heart is open.
How do you measure this depth of wellness? There are no biometric measures, or blood tests for spiritual health. You can’t get on a scale and see how much your soul weighs. But you can go inside and see how you feel. What’s churning? What’s getting in the way of your happiness and peace of mind? What do you need right now-physically, emotionally, spiritually?
Do whatever it takes, a walk in the park, reading a good book, helping a friend, giving to a charitable cause, or sitting in a quiet space with your own kind of prayer or meditation.
Health and Well-Being begin with a healthy mind and heart. Here are some of my favorite books for physical and emotional heart health.
BOOKS THAT HEAL THE HEART
You Can Heal Your Heart by Loise Hay and David Kessler
This book is about finding peace after loss from a breakup, divorce, or death. David Kessler was mentored by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and Louise Hay. I attended one of his all day workshops on grief, and learned so much about to work with grief in a way that promotes growth and finding peace of mind. Sharing real life stories that open the heart and comfort the soul, this book is a journey well taken for anyone suffering loss.
When The Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd
I love Sue Monk Kidd. The author of The Secret Life of Bees, goes on a journey into her own soul, to find her authentic spiritual self. Her heart waits as she dives deep into her own dark night of the soul by contemplative self direction and direction from others as she finds some answers to the sacred questions that guide her life.
Feeding the Hungry Heart by Geneen Roth
I have used Geneen Roth’s work on emotions and eating with coaching clients. I love how she writes about her own journey and shares stories of those she has worked with in her own practice. Eating was meant to be both to feed our bodies, but also in joy to nurture our souls, and when the heart is starving, we look for fulfillment in unhealthy overeating leaving us empty instead of satisfied.
Journey of the Heart by John Welwood
John Welwood is a psychologist who teaches the path of conscious love and deep spirituality as a way to nurture our relationships with ourselves and others. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. said it perfectly “ A profound and wonderful book. It is a spiritual text on intimate relationship that is grounded in real life.”
There are so many other books that help us with that journey from the head to the heart, and books about healing. These are just a few.
If you are interested in exploring your own heart’s journey, I’d love to chat with you to see if I can help.
My coaching doors are open. To schedule a free consultation with me, use my calendar link.
I love walking
I hear this often -“I’m having a hard time getting exercise-I’m bored, get interrupted, it’s too cold and just don’t like it. What can I do to get my exercise and stay motivated?”
I always ask, “What is an activity you enjoy? Walking? Dancing? Ballet/Bar? Yoga? Tai Chi? Meditative movement? And then what is the best time for you to take 30 minutes to dedicate to a workout of some sort?” For me it’s walking and dancing. I love to walk.
30 minutes 5 days a week gives you the recommended 150 minutes for promoting and maintaining health and wellness. Add two days in your week to do resistance exercises using weights, bands or even your own body. Make the 30 minutes your sacred half hour and find something you like to do. Walking can be boring. I usually listen to podcasts or make phone calls. Some people love to listen to music and walk to the beat.
When it’s cold outside, walk in place or turn on a You Tube Walking Workout video. You Tube has just about any kind of workout you’re in the mood for.
Here are the links to a couple of my favorite indoor walking workouts:
FAST Walking in 30 minute
30 Minute Boosted Fitness Walk
10 STEPS To Help You Stay Motivated
- Make this your time to feel good. The best motivation is what comes from you internally instead of trying to please someone else or because you feel guilty. Call it movement instead of exercise or workout if that makes you feel better.
- Get a pedometer and track your steps-go for 10,000 but start from whereever you are and make 10,000 your goal. (More below)
- Make it fun. Put on some cardio dancing music and dance for 30 minutes. Or add variety. You can do some cardio and whole body work.
- Walk around your house when you are making phone calls or listening to podcasts.
- Put on a You Tube video.
- Join a Zoom exercise class.
- Buy a new exercise outfit that makes you feel comfortable with your movement. And don’t forget good shoes.
- If you can, create a special place in your basement or home just for exercise. You can put mats on the floor and posters on the walls that motivate you and help you to visualize your success at feeling and staying fit.
- Forgive yourself if you a miss a day or two and just get back to it. It’s not all or nothing, it’s something – whatever you will do.
- Reward yourself. After you are done, you can take a soothing bath, read magazines, play a game on your phone, or make a relaxing phone call.
More on 10,000 Steps
If you want to begin with lifestyle changes and exercise is your top priority, go out and buy a pedometer and work up to 10,000 STEPS PER DAY. I love my pedometer. I put it on in the morning and track every step. You would be surprised how little walking you get in if you sit at the computer all day. On the other hand if you have steps in your house and you vacuum daily, run errands, do the gardening, and walk to the mailbox, you may find that by mid afternoon you have over 5, 000 steps. Now all you have to do is go out and take a brisk walk for less than an hour and you will have your 10,000 steps. You can sneak steps into your day by parking your car farther away, walking up and down every aisle in the supermarket, window shopping at the mall, or simply walking around while chatting on the telephone. I wish I had invented the concept of 10,000 steps. 10,000 Steps is equal to about 5 miles of walking. In the beginning don’t worry if you are getting sufficient aerobic exercise at your target heart rate, just WALK. Once 10,000 steps is a habit increase your intensity and frequency, but for now just clip on your pedometer and get walking, and of course, if you are not used to exercise, check with your doctor to make sure you are ready to begin.
I found a great web site using this concept.
February is the month to celebrate our heart. We celebrate love on Valentine's Day and February is also Heart Health Month, but what about heart burn. They should have a national GERD month since so many people these days suffer from heart burn. GERD is Gastrosophageal Reflux Disease of which the most common condition is heartburn. Web MD has great info on this. It is called heartburn because the pain is usually around the heart, however heartburn is actually a gastrointestinal problem. It is important to make sure you have heartburn rather than a problem with the heart.
I have a friend who recently was hospitalized for three days after going to the ER thinking she was having a heart attack. She had many of the symptoms-chest pain, shooting back pain, trouble breathing, and the anxiety that goes along with it. They released her stating her heart was fine but she many be suffering from "heartburn." The Mayo Clinic site has a discussion on whether it is heart burn or a heart attack.
I have another friend who called me yesterday asking what I do for heartburn?
Within the last several months I have had the telltale symptoms. A burning sensation just below the heart and above the stomach, a funny taste in my mouth and a feeling of transient nausea, a slight cough, and then when it gets bad, the chest and back pain sometimes radiating to the neck. I have seen my doctor, and he did give me some tips besides taking my Pepcid AC.
If you think you have GERD be sure to see your doctor to rule out heart or other issues and to prevent or treat symptoms before the acid in your stomach that backs up in the esophagus causes a more chronic problem like scarring or narrowing of the esophagus. Your doctor may prescribe medication or want to do other tests to determine the extent of the disease.
What causes Heartburn? The symptoms are caused by the back up of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. The cause of Heartburn can be from the foods you eat or beverages. Also just eating too much and eating too late can cause heartburn symptoms especially at night. Alcohol, carbonated beverages and caffeine can be a cause. Other causes are pregnancy, wearing too tight of clothing, bending over after eating, and chronic constipation.
Something to consider is whether you are constipated. If you are not having regular and full bowel movements you could cause a back up of the whole GI tract causing heartburn.
Dehydration contributes to heartburn symptoms. Water is the best beverage.
Another cause is eating too fast or eating when you are under stress. Stress prevents food from digesting in a relaxed manner. Here are my four questions to ask whenever you are not feeling well:
What are you eating?
What are you drinking?
What are you doing?
What are you thinking? Thinking is soooooo important.
So here are some tips.
>Eliminate the foods you know cause problems.
>Avoid eating and drinking right before you go to bed or lay down.
>Elevate the head of your bed. You can put blocks under the legs of your bed. There are special wedge pillow but my doctor says those just make things worse.
>Practice relaxation techniques.
>Drink water throughout the day.
>Eat slowly and mindfully. Chew chew chew your food.
Andrew Wiel has some tips too.
Suffering From Heartburn? – Dr. Weil's Daily Tip.
Remember, don't assume it's heartburn. See your doctor for a full workup and his own tips on what to do.