In Light of the Marathon

April 25, 2013

Greetings, ZuZu Family ~

In light of the recent events at the marathon and following it, we want you to know that we are always here for our community to support your journey – especially the healing aspect of it – whatever that may entail.

Boston is a powerful city; in my experience, no matter where I have traveled, our accent and reputation for being strong-willed has always proceeded us. Our tenacity has been tested many times before, and with this tragedy, tests us once again to dig deep and show those around us and those watching us just what we are made of. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity by reaching out to those who are suffering and supporting them in whatever way we can, because even if they didn’t get physically injured or experience the event first hand, the ripple effect of this event will be felt by thousands for some time. So I’m not talking about changing your Facebook icon to show your support, I’m talking about picking up the phone or making time to visit and check in with those who were there or near there that day. What is needed at this time, more than ever, is for us to open our hearts.

In the digital age, machines have enabled us to stay “in touch” without making a true, energetic connection. While information travels to us faster than ever before, it also allows us the illusion of multi-tasking in our personal lives. I’m sure you all agree with me when I say that an email or a text certainly does not take the place of an actual hug from a friend.

Personally, I worry that as we become more technology-dependent, we are losing an important aspect of emotional connection that feeds our souls on a very deep level, leaving our hearts energetically malnourished. This type of deprivation creates loneliness, sadness, anger and leads to lack of sympathy. The good news? We have all the tools we need to fix this imbalance, and at no cost.

By turning our focus from our minds to our hearts, it enables us to connect with others in a way that was once natural to us. As small children, our hearts were the driving force behind our actions. We followed how we felt, pure and simple. As we progress in our lives, society teaches us to obey it’s rules, to “function” instead of feel; which pushes us to go against our nature, to go along with the others, despite how we feel. Yes, it takes effort to change habits or certain ways of thinking, but the ability is readily available to each and every one of us.

When our thoughts and actions come from a place of true heart-centeredness, there is no question what “feels” right. Here are some practical steps for living from your heart center that you can to begin to incorporate into your life:
1. Learn to detach from fears and emotional triggers that come up throughout the day. Find ways to de-activate those triggers, through meditation, counseling, journaling, or talking with a loved one.
2. Be compassionate to yourself, and to others. When was the last time you really listened to what someone said? When we listen from our heart, we can see more clearly and then respond from a place of compassion instead of reaction.
3. Learn to forgive yourself for your shortcomings, then learn to forgive others for theirs as well. Life can be a struggle; most times people are doing the best with what knowledge they have.
4. Be here now. By living in the past or obsession about the future, we give away the present moment. The present moment is the most powerful gift we are given; instead of making grand plans for the future, make small changes in the NOW.
5. Gratitude. Being in gratitude softens your heart and opens up the possibilities of positive experiences coming in. When you find yourself in a situation that is difficult to find gratitude in, start small – be grateful for the sunset, the rain, a bird singing, an unexpected laugh, or a joyful memory.
These are just a few suggestions, I would love to hear from any of you what helps you live from your heart, especially in challenging times. Have you been on the receiving end of a phone call, greeting card, gesture or visit for no special reason other than to brighten your day, or perhaps for a specific reason, and just when you really needed it? I ask you to share those stories, to help encourage and inspire all of us in the ZuZu’s community with ideas to share the love of living in our heart center. Remember, it takes a village…and we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

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