Creating a heart-centered life in a changing world
This article was first published in the Otis Observer.
2 min 35 sec reading time
Most of us didn’t anticipate 2020 to turn out the way it did. We didn’t expect a small virus would turn our world upside down and pull our lives apart. 2020 affected us all one way or the other.
I’ve heard the above sentiment about a million times, yet it still has its grips. We lived through this “quake,” and the aftershocks followed up with us in different forms. We are now in a new phase, similar to a grieving process. We’ve been moving through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
Many of us are now challenged to find the best ways to put the shattered pieces together and create a “new normal.” I personally don’t believe in a “new normal,” I’d instead gain strength and empowerment from a new, renewing life image. What that image is going to be is up to each of us. Will that be normal? I’ll let you answer that.
I went to HomeGoods the other day because I wanted to buy storage baskets. I touched many different items as I looked, and the excessive smell of the natural woven baskets was tickling my nose. I was standing in the checkout line, battling my itching nose, trying to avoid sneezing in the store. I am one of those loud-sneezers, and I could not hold it anymore—I had to let it out. Dead silence. Long seconds of no movement. Then the cashier broke the spell, shouted: “Bless you!” I thanked her.
I had noticed on several occasions since 2020 that when I had to sneeze or cough around others, my mind and body collapsed into worry, and I became anxious. As if it was a sign of sickness, a plague, something to hide so I won’t be burnt. In truth, it is our body’s intelligence to sneeze and cough away particles that don’t belong there. It’s a healthy response. Besides my sneezing, the stress response was also triggered that day.
Therefore, as we craft and gingerly build the new life image, we consider a few things.
Crafting a New Life Image
Firstly, the “quake” had left us with an increased level of stress. Some of those factors seem almost insignificant, like sneezing in the store. On the other hand, some are more life-altering, like relationship issues or financial hardship. But there is one thing in common: they deplete our energy resources regardless of their size. The depletion of our energy can lead to mental and medical imbalances, especially when it is unnoticed. Our energy matters! I emphasize the significance of self-awareness often in my Facebook Live Inspirations and my coaching work.
Secondly, learning to cope with stress and the changing world is super important. However, I feel that ‘coping with something’ barely keeps my head above the water, just enough not to drown. I would want more than that! To develop strategies that help me rise above it all, not by ignorance but by consciously creating a new way of being.
And finally, there are tools and strategies that we can acquire to strengthen our ability to rise and expand into a new life image. Recent studies show that the heart is way more than a blood-pumping engine. The heart has its own intelligence that, when in harmony, can energize other systems in the body and beyond. The HeartMath Institute has done research on the subject since 1991. One of their techniques, called heart-focused breathing, is about “focusing your attention in the heart area. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Find an easy rhythm that’s comfortable.”
It’s an easy-to-use practice, yet its effects in stopping the impact of stress on your body are measurable. It eliminates energy drains and helps us build a heart-centered life in this changing world.
Q: How do you create the life you long for in this changing world? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.