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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

A Radical Move Towards Dramatic and Lasting Change

I’ve long found it difficult to fully understand what others mean by, “I can feel it in my gut”. It’s only on rare occasions, when there’s been a deeply disturbing life event, that I’ve felt that type of connection while often witnessing others seeming to experience those feelings readily. These feelings happen in my heart area where I feel joy, and sometimes excruciating pain, fear and sadness or even a warm blanket of yummy heartfelt love.

This month’s feature article by Ronica O’Hara, “The Heart-Mind Connection: How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Our Heart Health,” helps unravel some of the mystery around how our hearts play a much greater role in the way thoughts and emotions impact overall health. O’Hara offers great tips on how we can treat ourselves better to reduce the long-term impact of difficult emotions.

This winter I’ve been learning more about what it really means to treat myself better. Growing up and living in a world that’s largely controlled by the impulses of instant gratification, it has taken countless bumps and bruises to shock me into a deeper level of understanding and commitment to practicing self-care.

Around mid-December 2021, another stint of dieting failure left me questioning nearly everything about my life—not feeling good enough, negative self-talk and an overall feeling of underachievement was plaguing every aspect of life. I was beating myself up for the lifelong habit of procrastination, its negative effects and the toll it takes on my quality of life.

It was around this time I started to consider whether dramatic and lasting radical change within me and my experience was possible. As with most things we think about, it wasn’t long before the Universe started to serve me some tools that would challenge me to consider jumping into radical change.

I’ve never trusted myself enough to commit to making a concerted effort to make and keep a New Year’s resolution so that was off the table. Then I stumbled upon a free mental toughness program called 75 Hard; my self-doubts nearly scared me away until the pain of reflecting on where I am, versus where I want to be, became so great that there was no way I could not explore it further. This would mean consciously acknowledging and accepting the old, I’m not good enough, strong enough, committed enough, blah, blah, blah, story that I’ve allowed to dominate and hold me back from attempting to reach my potential.

On January 2, I retired to bed early telling myself, “I want to wake up at 4 a.m.”. A part of me agreed that if I woke up on time, I was meant to begin the program. Upon waking, I looked at my phone and it was 4 a.m. No time for thinking, I quickly sat up and like ripping off a Band-Aid, I took on the challenge of radical change. Stay tuned for updates.

Have a heart-happy and cozy February.