by Kerrie Loya
This month - 28 ways to open your heart - one for each day of February!
Put a Little Love in Your Heart!
Have you ever watched “Scrooged” with Bill Murray? At the end of the movie, Scrooge has found his heart, the little boy who couldn’t talk finds his voice, and the entire cast sings “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” I cry every time. That song just tugs at my …...heart.
What is it about heart? Athletes are told “you have heart”. At weddings, “our hearts are full of joy”. To lovers we say “I love you with all my heart.” With Valentine’s Day this month, why not take it to another level by celebrating a month of love, a month of opening up our hearts? Following are my suggestions for 28 days of love.
1. Since 1943, 127 songs with “love” in the title ended the year at the top of the Billboard music charts. From Benny Goodman’s “Taking a Chance on Love” (1943) to the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1962), we have loved these songs all the way to the top. Pick out your favorites and make a playlist or CD for someone you love.
2. Add the top 15 heart healthy foods into your diet. At Eating Well, you can also learn the reason why these foods are so good for your heart: yogurt, raisins, whole grains, beans, salmon, nuts, chocolate, tomatoes, apples, berries, pomegranates, bananas, popcorn, green tea, and wine.
3. Breakfast for your heart. Make a parfait of plain yogurt, berries, bananas and chopped green apple. You’ve just added four of the top 15!
4. Lunch for your heart. Make a salad of arugula with tomatoes and sundried tomatoes topped with grilled salmon. Hmm, three more!!
5. Dinner for your heart. Well, I am totally happy with dark chocolate and wine, but some may want something more substantial. Try beans and rice in a whole grain tortilla with some homemade salsa. Another four!
6. Pick a loving affirmation. What is an affirmation? It is a simple, declarative sentence voicing a deep wish. You pick a quiet time, preferably in the morning, sit calmly and say the affirmation a few times. Here are some of my favorites:
7. I live a life full of love for myself and others.
8. I make my decisions based on love.
9. I forgive those who need forgiving for not being what I want them to be.
10. My heart is full of joy and thankfulness.
11. Open your heart chakra, one of your body’s centers of energy, by surrounding yourself with nature. Hmm, this is easy here on the Gulf Coast with our amazing trees, waterways and sky.
Well, Well, Well
13. Wear rose quartz, renowned for its heart opening power.
14. Hug often and long. Check out “Hugs Have Healing Power.” That loving feeling you get from a hug can have reparative antiaging benefits because oxytocin, the “love hormone” is released. Hug until you feel that release, that “ahhhhh”.
15. Create a fairy garden. Why?? Because it will enchant everyone who sees it, bring smiles, laughs and happiness.
16. Give a gift to someone who always gives so much. You know at least one of these people, those amazing men and women that give so much of themselves! So give something back, something small, handmade, a flower from your garden, just a token of thanks for their generosity.
17. Give a random compliment to a stranger. I love to do this!! Sometimes I see someone who I think is so beautiful, or so sweet, or so polite, I have to tell them! The look on their faces is priceless.
18. The following three loving ideas were inspired by an article in Elephant Journal. Be open to receiving all the gifts the universe offers. What does this mean? To me, I work to keep my heart open to nature, to new people in my life, to new opportunities that are presented to me. I am thankful for all the lovely things and people in my life.
19. Live the life you dream of having. If you don’t love your life, make changes now that move you closer to that life. It’s amazing when things fall into place as soon as you begin to live your dream life.
20. Enjoy a massage. The power of a healing touch is worth every penny.
21. Instead of giving the traditional rose bouquet, give a rose bush! I love this idea from Nature Moms.
22. Start a love journal. Write about what you love about your daily life, what made you smile, who you hugged. Record only positive and loving thoughts, please.
23. Wear pink. The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. Pink combines red, representing the need for action, with white, the color that helps achieve success and insight. The deeper the pink, the more passion and energy exhibited.
25. Try a heart opening yoga pose such as Camel or Side Bending Mountain. These would be great to do after you say an affirmation! See our sidebar for photos and instructions!
26. Try a yoga pose to get you in the mood. If your partner is game, do this one together.
27. Say I love you! Receiving a text of “I love you” is just not the same as telling someone how much they mean to you. While phone calls might not be the norm these days, take a tip from Stevie Wonder and call “to say I love you”.
28. Kiss often and passionately! We all know kissing feels good, but there are actually health benefits to a nice, long kiss. Kissing might help you lose weight because a really passionate kiss burns two calories a minute -- twice your normal metabolic rate.
I lift my glass of rose champagne and toast all of you, dear readers. I love you!