We all have a thought that can slip in and become our one worst enemy. Sometimes it’s “I can’t,” and other times it’s “I tried.” Either way, these simple thoughts can sabotage our best intentions. I see the “I can’t” and “I tried” people in my office often. They start a diet, and fail; begin an exercise program, then quit; make a vow to do something positive for themselves, but get deterred in one way or another and get off course. We all have a little bit of this in us, but the truth is that there is nothing more powerful than knowing exactly who you are, and that includes getting to know those dark little voices in your head.
And where do they come from? Your overactive brain, that’s where. And guess where they don’t stand a chance? Your under-utilized heart.
Is it time to demote your brain as CEO of your life?
As women, multi-tasking and doing it all, we have allowed our brains to take over and run the show. In many ways, this has been necessary to get us where we are today, but at some point, our brains got a little bit power-happy. We’ve got checklists for our checklists. Our phones and other devices are constantly beeping and dinging and vibrating to remind us that we are continuously consumed with obligations and many of us have the idea that we need to take care of everyone and do everything perfectly.
It’s simply not true. It’s also not worth the price.
I see women in their 30s, 40s, 50s — women in the prime of their lives — in my office with symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and dizziness all stemming from the stress hormones released in the body due to overactive perseverating brains that so often can sabotage success and happiness.
After seeing these patterns repeatedly, I decided it was time to share what I’ve learned about how to help women stop living entirely from their heads and remember how to live from their hearts. I want to help women understand their hearts, prioritize their hearts, and know exactly what it means to care for their hearts on every level, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious, from direct physical heart health to managing the emotional repercussions of life in the 21st century. I want you know how your heart works, and how your heart can work for you.
Coming out January 24, 2013, is Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book: Every Women’s Guide to a Heart Healthy Life. With this book, every woman can come into my office and let herself be transformed. Learn what it really means to live from the heart. Here’s an excerpt:
Living from the heart feels much different than living from the head. When you live from your heart, you feel at peace, at ease, and in control of yourself because of a deep inner knowing. You lead with love. You learn how to care for yourself and love yourself. You relax because you know that everything is going to be okay. Living from the heart coaxes your body back into balance. When the heart is in control, your body finds optimum health and starts acting like a well-oiled machine instead of a broken-down car.
We are so used to letting our heads be in charge of our lives that when we start reacting with our hearts instead, it feels like a miracle, like a whole new existence. And it is! The heart is the center of our body’s universe and the center of our feelings. This is as it should be. Your head is way off at the edge of your body. You can’t balance when you are living from there. Your head isn’t grounded in the reality of your body. Let your heart be the center and watch your whole life transform.
When we compartmentalize our lives and forget what matters most to us, we tend to listen to those critical voices in our heads — those nefarious “I can’ts” and “I trieds,” and suddenly we are less than we could be. Every aspect of your life can and will influence your heart, and it is simply a matter of meticulously figuring out exactly who you are.
For example, is “I can’t exercise” true? Or is the truth actually, “I can’t exercise in the morning because I’m not a morning person.” If that’s you, then that’s you — and that’s okay. But there is a way exercise can work in your life. Is “I tried to be an artist but I’ll have to settle for a job I don’t like” the truth? Or is the real truth, “My previous attempts at making a living as an artist didn’t work, but I can still find a way to channel that part of me and call myself an artist”? Both “I can’t” and “I tried” statements are actually indicators of behavior patterns that you can observe and change. When you see them this way, then you can make different choices. When you empower yourself with your own personal handbook for your heart, your own personal Heart Book, then suddenly you have taken over the wheel of your life. You will be the one in the driver’s seat.
Living from the heart means really knowing who you are, knowing what makes you happy, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, knowing what makes you tick, and understanding that while you are not perfect, you can be as perfect as possible. That is my wish and challenge for you: Live truthfully, authentically, and honestly, drawing strength and consolation from work, family, love, and health. Cultivate and nurture those things, not from your head, where logic always rules, but from your heart, where you can feel what is right and real for you. Live that way, and chances are things are going to be just fine.