Cardiac Exercise Revisited

Try this exercise: Find a time and a place that is somewhat quiet and free from distraction. Now, relax the muscles in your chest. Notice the energy and emotion coming from your heart and take a few moments to really experience that. What does it feel like? Next, envision your happy place, the people, place, or circumstance that makes you feel peaceful and joyful.   What happens to your heart energy?

Next, imagine taking the quality of this energy to another person. Would this energy change the quality of the interaction compared to bringing tight chest muscles? If so, in what way?

Now imagine a scenario that is scary, hurtful or frustrating, or where you’re feeling attacked. Now what happens to your heart energy? How would that energy impact the people you interact with?

Like many of you, I’m relatively new to this concept of energy and its impact on others. I’ve learned that having awareness and some ability to manage and tap into that resource has made me a more effective and peaceful person.

That quality of my energy affects how I feel. I can either feel closed to the world and the reality of others, or I can feel open and receptive to others’ reality, new ideas and the beauty around me.   When closed, I’m more likely to be in denial about the impact I have on other people, focused on my own problems and thoughts, and indifferent to the world around me.   When open, I’m more likely to be present and in the moment and feeling gratitude or appreciation for my extraordinary life.

I know that people notice and are impacted, even on an unconscious level, by the quality of my heart energy. I also know that I have the ability to determine the quality of my energy, as you may have just learned from this exercise. Though getting an unexpected text from a loved one or witnessing an act of love or kindness can open me up, mostly my openness is my decision and within my control. Literally opening the chest allows me to feel and share love and a sense of connection. Additionally, research shows that this kind of connection is good for our health.

So brush your teeth, exercise, eat your fruits and veggies, and relax your chest muscles! You’ll love the results.

Your Inner Light

This may not come as a surprise to you right-brain types but we left-brain types are pretty clueless. Things you take for granted that are as tangible as this keyboard are a mystery to us.   So please forgive me as I once again write about something I’m clueless about.

Honestly, I thought that inner light stuff was just a saying or a euphemism, but it’s a real thing. You know: “let your inner light shine”.   Your inner light has to do with your energy (I know. More metaphysical BS) and what you do with it. Your energy comes from your emotions and intentions. For example, if you are feeling inspired and loving to mankind, your energy and light will be obvious to others. If you are feeling resentful and vengeful, that too will be sensed. It’s not something that is seen necessarily, but rather something that is sensed.

Sensitive and empathic folk pick up on this energy in a heartbeat. You do not have to say or do a thing for them to just know. While having a conversation with two empathic people who were facing away from me, my emotions changed in response to the conversation. I did not move even a bit.  Yet they literally both stopped, turned and looked at me when that happened. My energy and emotions changed and they could just sense it.

You see, we emotional luddites are fairly clueless to this except for maybe at the ends of the spectrum. For some, this is a fine radar picking up emotional microparticulates; for me it pretty much has to smack me in the face. Thus my doddering and nerdy charm.

Emotionally-disabled though I am, I can still cultivate and share my light with others by actively feeling, expressing, and acting on positive emotions and intentions.   In other words, I may foster my light, but I can also guard it so that only the most perceptive can detect it. Or I can cultivate it, nurture it, share it with others in an active way. Actively feeling that emotion and intention and allowing it to broadcast to others permits your light to shine.

When I shine my light, I have a much more pleasant expression and body language. I am more approachable. People smile at me. Children stare. Dogs come visit. Conversation with others is easy and natural.

If I’m carrying around emotional garbage, then that light is dimmer and harder to find. Things tend to not go as smoothly and interactions tend to be stiffer.  Emotional Neanderthal that I am, I’m not always aware of that garbage lurking beneath the surface, but I’m getting better at it.

I’m really just a rookie at this, so I’d love to hear from the light-whisperers and light-seekers out there to shed more light (pardon the pun) on the subject. After all, growing light is one small way to make your corner of the world just a bit brighter.

Energize Your Life


These days I feel like I have unlimited energy.  This is a huge 180 compared to where I was 5 years ago, suffering from fibromyalgia, a chronic condition characterized by fatigue and muscle pain.   Granted, the change may be purely medical – I discovered I was profoundly Vitamin D deficient and I went to physical therapy.  It could also be stress-related:  after the separation I felt so much better.

But I feel like it’s much more than that.  I attribute the energy increase to following my heart.  In other words, I spent most of my life pursuing the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ instead of trying to feed my spirit and soul.

At the time of the separation, I was so entrenched in should/must that I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.  The silver lining of a trauma is that it’s like the reset button on your life and you no longer take old assumptions as facts any longer.  What ensued was post-traumatic growth as I started to explore my self-conception, this time starting with a blank slate.  I experimented, I tried, I questioned, I reflected.  Most of all I was curious, open, and non-judgmental about myself and others.

The things that brought me joy or energy, I pursued.  Those that didn’t, I released.  I followed the energy and joy trail until I discovered what fed my passions. Doing the things  that I love to do and that I’m good at makes best use of my strengths, so that I’m working efficiently and at my best.  I’m doing what is authentic and natural to me, which is energizing and satisfying rather than depleting and frustrating.

The best part of this process was that I didn’t have to start my life over from scratch.  Likely most people can make small changes at work or at home to accommodate their pursuit of energy and interests, at least until a transition plan can be created and enacted.

Having energy is one of the most satisfying aspects of my life now.  I am, by nature, a zesty person and not having the physical resources to do what I wanted to do (and I was exercising frequently before, by the way) was frustrating and felt unnatural to me.  I credit my ability to do well in the full-time graduate program while working full-time to my energy and passion for what I love to do.

So pay attention to your energy meter during the day.  What charges your batteries and what depletes you?  How can you do more of the energizing activities?  What activities and which people do you need to avoid or limit to keep from draining your battery?  What would you aim to do if you had 20% more energy?

Dream it, then do it.