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Letter From the Publisher, Maureen Hart Cary
Certain positive psychology experts recommend choosing a personal symbol that, when consciously recognized, triggers a moment of quiet reflection. It could be a feather, rainbow, flower, train whistle, evening insect chorus or the universal symbol of love, a heart. We are free to pick the one that inspires special meaning for us and warms our soul with blissful feelings.
The symbol we choose might be associated with a fond memory of a loved one, a fun family vacation, a light-filled community ritual or other happy times that we felt most at one with ourselves and at peace. Our symbol can change as we grow; we may also elect to have multiple symbols that each bring to mind different kinds of feelings.
My original last name was Hart, so hearts have always held a special place for me. My mom has heart stickers and stamps, and since I think she is one of the few people left that still physically mails cards and notes, I am often a recipient and it always brings me joy to see the connection between the symbol, my family and the love it all stands for.
I am always keeping an eye out for other heart-shaped objects as I go about. Whenever I see a heart symbol, I pause, take a deep relaxing breath and briefly reflect on feelings of warmth, peacefulness and unconditional love, the kind felt deep inside for cherished relationships, including family, friends, children and pets. Let’s not forget to also love ourselves!
Lisa Marshall’s feature article, “Heart of a Woman” on page 22 reminds us that women are uniquely vulnerable to developing heart disease in ways that our male counterparts do not. Between being caregivers, worrying about others and taking inappropriate time for self-care, women are in dangerous territory. Know the risks and warning signs and don’t put yourself last on seeking help.
I am a hugger and come from a family of huggers. Most of my meetings at least end in a hug, if they haven’t started there. I am fortunate to meet with many heart-centered people so it always seems natural. There is an amazing healing power and a sense of peace in a hug as we learn about in “Amazing Embrace” on page 26. Some new friends believe the correct way to hug is heart to heart. Here’s how: Lean to the right. Lead by raising your left arm and dipping your right arm. Bring together left shoulders to come together heart-to-heart, embrace one another, and share heart energy (add a kiss if you desire). When we hug heart to heart, our energy fields expand together.
So, while our instinct when going in for a hug is to do the opposite, taking a second to correct that and really connect with the heart of the other person is quite powerful. Try it and lift up both hearts in the process!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness always,
RI | Natural Awakenings | 401-709-2473