“The heart is not a knee that can be bent.”

“The heart is not a knee that can be bent.”

—Senegalese proverb

Image from Unsplash by Willian de Oliveira

We live in two fifty-five and older senior communities — one in Pennsylvania, one in Florida. For many of us, the added trips around the sun come with various maladies — including conditions related to the wear and tear on hips, shoulders, and — given today’s quote — knees.

Some of the people I know have experienced many of these conditions on multiple occasions. What always inspires me are their courageous hearts, which have them face their challenges and continue to take each step to live as fully and meaningfully as possible.

EXERCISE:

How does your own courageous heart help you stand tall and steady when life tries to bend you over and knock you down?

Be careful not to let the noise in your mind overpower the whispers of your heart

“Be careful not to let the noise in your mind overpower the whispers of your heart.”

Cory Muscara, international speaker and teacher on mindfulness and positive psychology

Image from Unsplash by Nick Fewings

As a child I was fearful of going to the doctor. The unfamiliar surroundings, the strange smells, and the anticipation of getting a shot from the scary nurse was something to dread.

Doctor Wiederman was always kind and gentle, with a reassuring voice. On one visit, he let me use his stethoscope to listen to my heartbeat. This pulsing sound seemed to let me know that everything was OK and that he and his staff were only there to keep me healthy.

As I’ve gotten older, my perspective on my heart has expanded from a blood pumping organ to the source of my soul. Taking the time to be quiet and listening to its messages is something we can all practice daily.

EXERCISE:

Where and when do you take the time to listen to the whispers of your heart?

How can you quiet the noisy voices of your mind to embrace this inner wisdom?

The heart is very much like a miraculous balloon. Its lightness comes from

“The heart is very much like a miraculous balloon. Its lightness comes from staying full. Meeting the days with our heart prevents collapse.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Ali Goldstein

Last year around this time my daughter and grandson — who was then 2½ — came to spend part of the holidays with Wendy and me in Michigan. Since little Weston had a far more limited selection of toys at grand-mom’s and pop-pop’s house, we did our best to entertain him.

Among his favorite diversions that week was a small happy birthday balloon we had kept on our window sill, still fully inflated from the previous year’s celebration.

It was a miracle that a two-dollar balloon could fill this little boy’s heart with such joy for the entire time. His engagement with this shiny orb and lots of heartfelt attention filled us all with lightness and the joy of being together.

EXERCISE:

What balloons do you intend to fill this holiday season? What heartfelt activities will you bring to the days with those you love to keep things light?

“Don’t set your heart on so many things.”

“Don’t set your heart on so many things.”

—Epictetus, ancient Greek Philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Luis Villasmil

Our hearts can be a bit like our hands — they can only grasp and hold so much.

The media keeps telling us the lie, “You Can Have it All!”

Many who pursue the never-ending journey of MORE eventually consume their lives in a frantic race, rarely feeling extended periods of satisfaction, contentment, and peace of mind.

I love the idea that the best things in life are not things. Traveling lighter with what fills our hearts and nurtures our souls seems far wiser council.

EXERCISE:

If your heart is a bit heavy these days or if what you have is not fully satisfying, try a bit of physical, mental, and emotional uncluttering. Please reply to this post to let me know what you discover about your heart’s true desires.

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.”

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.”

Alfred Adler, 20th Century Austrian MD & Psychotherapist

Image from bbc.com

As a child, The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies. Given its length and the fact that you had to watch it live with no way to record it, my mom would let us eat dinner carefully on those tacky plastic trays in the living room, gathered around our only TV.

As Dorothy traveled the yellow brick road with her little dog Toto, she teamed up with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion — they were hoping the Wonderful Wizard would give them a brain, a heart, and courage, respectively.

EXERCISE:

Where is your life calling on you to follow your heart and use all of your brains to courageously pursue your dreams and find your way home?

 

“Follow your heart. Purpose will reveal itself to you only while walking your own path.”

“Follow your heart. Purpose will reveal itself to you only while walking your own path.”

—Brendon Burchard, New York Times best-selling author

Image from Unsplash by Lucas George Wendt

These days, many people are feeling a bit lost.

The proverbial bread crumbs they placed along their life paths have been blown, washed, or burned away by the events and challenges facing us all.

Taking time to look around at reality—and within our hearts—to revisit or discover our foundational values and core life principles is a good place to start.

Doing so will likely reveal various paths you can take and what direction to head. In these moments, it can be enough to step forward in ways that express these values.

Trust your heart that purpose and meaning will meet you on the way.

EXERCISE:

Consider completing the Life Vision Exercise to see what your heart has to say, and pack a few snacks for your purposeful journey.

Friday Review of posts on Heart

FRIDAY REVIEW: HEART

They say ya gotta have heart… Here are a few heart-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

 

“You don’t protect your heart by acting like you don’t have one.”

 

 

 

“It is a rare person who can take care of hearts while also taking care of business.”

 

 

 

“Fame has only the span of a day, they say. But to live in the hearts of the people – that is worth something.”

 

 

 

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”

—H. Jackson Browne, Jr., Author of Life’s Little Instruction Book

Image of a blue barn door with a large red heart painted on it

Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson

The human heart is an extraordinary organ. Weighing about ten ounces, this fist-sized miracle pumps life-giving oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout our bodies, without missing a beat.

The heart, like our brain, generates a powerful electromagnetic field. The electrocardiogram (ECG) has a field more than 60 times greater (based on amplitude) than brain waves generate in an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Some researchers believe that this electromagnetic field can code and connect individuals beyond our five senses, potentially transmitting and exchanging both positive and negative energies.

EXERCISE:

How would viewing life from a more heartfelt perspective help you see more of the invisible wonders of life?

You may wish to explore the work of the Heart Math Institute to see what they have been working on for over 25 years.

The Heart of Any Good Business

“At the heart of any good business is a chief executive officer with one.”

—Malcolm Forbes, late publisher of Forbes Magazine

Image of Malcolm Forbes - heart quote

Image from Adweek

The unemployment rate is at the lowest level in decades, and the search for talent is more competitive than any time most of us can remember.

With over 70 million Baby Boomers having exited or in the process of leaving the workforce, the prospect of attracting and retaining top talent to compete successfully in the global economy is not likely to get any easier.

Beyond all the benefits, perks, and bonuses, many leaders are finding it difficult to attract and retain the best and brightest.

EXERCISE:

What heart-based or heart-felt behaviors and cultural efforts can you initiate and sustain throughout your organization? What needs to happen – especially within the leadership ranks – to be one of the Good to Great and Built to Last organizations we so admire?

 

Fame has only the span of a day

“Fame has only the span of a day, they say. But to live in the hearts of the people – that is worth something.”

—Ouida, pseudonym of the 19th Century English novelist, Maria Louise Ramé

Image of the red carpet

Image from rcinet.ca

In the program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

Today, with our celebrity culture and social media mania, it seems a good percent of the world’s population seeks a day, 15 minutes, or even 15 seconds of fame.

Perhaps the short-lived nature of fame is that it tends to be self-centered, where people are much more focused on being interesting to others than being interested in others.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can and will you strive to be a person of significance versus merely a success? Where and how can you become more endearing in the hearts of the people around you?