Feed The Heart
When I reached out to our readers for some healthy New Year’s resolutions, I received some great food, lifestyle, and nutritional goals. Thanks to everyone for sharing your resolutions and spreading the inspiration to take action, make change and live well.
As I lay awake, the wind howling and these resolution ideas streaming through my head, I kept returning to one poignantly put phrase that read, “eat what the heart wants instead of the mind.” Eating what the heart wants, literally, means bringing more awareness to what and how you feed your body. But figuratively I thought, the concept of nourishment can stretch beyond the realm of food and into the proceedings and thoughts of our every day lives. Let your heart, and not just your mind, guide you to the nourishment it needs from wholesome food as well as goals, inspiration, decisions, activities and relationships. If a change is grounded in what the heart guides you to feel and not just what the mind thinks should happen, does this define the difference between long term achievements and short term spurts of motivation?
When I step back to examine goals and resolutions that I have set in my own life, it is achingly obvious that far too many of them have dwindled only weeks after their initiation. I would have liked to cut processed sugars out of my diet because I know they are hard on my body, energy and mood, but the commitment just was not strong enough to keep my hands off platters of gingerbread cookies and chocolate ice cream cakes over the holidays. Why was I unable to stick to my goal even though I knew it would benefit my mind and body? I had my mind set on making this change, but had I forgotten to engage the motivation from my heart that may have made the long lasting difference? If I had set a resolution framed from the heart such as: I promise to my body to eat less sugar so I have the energy to enjoy the outdoors, the patience to endure the holiday stress and trust in my good health to look forward to many more years of family, friends and adventure, would I have had the endurance to stick to my resolution?
As I let my mind run with the phrase, I came to this simple summation: feed the heart. In addition to eating what the heart wants, nourishing the heart with good intentions, companions, activities, challenges, feelings, and care will pave the way for positive changes that will last a lifetime. Instead of doing what you think or have been told is good, cool, better, fashionable or trendy, do what you know, feel, believe, trust and hope is going to make a difference in your life.
Lose the last ten pounds not just because you don’t like the way you look but because your body will feel better and have the strength to spend a day hiking with your dog. Grow more of your own food because it will nourish you, your family and the earth, not just because it is what your neighbor is doing. Exercise more to strengthen your heart, prolong your life and increase your energy to do the things you are passionate about, not because the health magazines tell you to. Set goals at work to stretch your mind and challenge your intellect not just for the numbers on your paycheck.
You can eat, sleep, exercise, work, act or change for the mind all day long but without nourishing the heart as well, the best and strongest changes will be hard to hold on to.
As for me, I am going to climb more mountains, not just for the exercise, but for the exhilaration and pure joy I get from being in the outdoors and the confidence I get from knowing I have the health and strength I need to get myself to the top.
Happy New Year to all. May you lead with your heart into a new day, new year and new stage of life.