February is Heart Health Month, and more than any time in my life I am aware of my heart. Every day I notice whether my heart is in normal sinus rhythm or not and adapt my activities accordingly. (I will do this until I have a surgical procedure in March.) The doctors tell me atrial fibrillation is a part of the aging process and may also be caused by a genetic defect. This may be true but I am also exploring the role my body, emotions, mind, spirituality and lifestyle may have played in this current health challenge.
I believe our physical symptoms contain messages that lead us toward greater healing, happiness and inner peace. I expect the internal dialogue I am having with my heart (my inner core) will reveal what I can do to improve my health and life. My body has my attention, and I am working with it to turn another wake-up call into a call to action.
The leading question is this: “What is my “broken” heart trying to tell me?” The answers I received from the five questions listed below give me a holistic overview of my illness and are specific to me. However, the questions and process can be applied to anyone who wants to get to the underlying truth of a challenge, especially an illness or accident.
Physical – Is there anything I am eating, drinking or doing that may have contributed to this challenge?
Months before this happened to me, I was pushing my body in a fitness class and getting my heart rate in the danger range on the treadmill. I ignored the warning because I was not sweating or having shortness of breath. Perhaps my heart is telling me that I cannot push my body as though it is 40 years old. I am beginning to accept that I have some physical limitations in my golden years. I am also looking into my physical chemistry through detailed tests to assess any imbalances in my hormones and minerals.
Emotional – Are there unresolved negative emotions that may be affecting my heart?
My “broken” heart seems to be connected to the grief of losing my beloved father and mother a few years ago as well as a career disappointment and a few other stressors this past year. For the most part, my emotions are positive, and I feel very blessed by my life.
Mental – Is there a negative or limiting belief causing me inner turmoil?
My unrealistic expectations about how much I can do to promote my business keeps me striving to accomplish more and feeling inadequate and frustrated. I have accomplished a great deal in my lifetime. I have decided it is time to reap the rewards by keeping my focus on service and less on proving myself to a critical ego.
Spiritual – Am I living in alignment with my inner truth?
Life appears to be asking me to surrender more and control less. I am committed to living in the flow instead of having my hands tightly gripping the steering wheel. My golden years are the perfect time to live my core values and trust that life is unfolding in divine order. My job is to pay attention to road signs and act accordingly.
Lifestyle – Do I need to change something about my life to experience less stress and more pleasure?
I must stop running my business as though I am in my forties. I am taking more time for me to get enjoyment from each day. When doing something, I ask myself: Are you doing this with joy instead of striving? Although I love working, I am letting go of the activities that feel too stressful. I can easily do this with little impact to my current lifestyle.
When you ask yourself questions such as these and take action based on what you hear, you are becoming your own wellness detective. With any new health or life challenge, you have an opportunity to grow in love, power, wisdom and peace. As you make wise choices, your life will reflect what you do want. You will feel more alive throughout your life span. You may even become a source of wisdom and model of courage for those who want to follow in your footsteps.
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