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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

We Need a Love Fest

Jan 29, 2022 11:50AM ● By Sharon Bruckman

Welcome to our Heart-Centered Living issue and the month that has a big heart sitting in the middle of it on February 14. Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally a time for couples to express their devotion to one another, I like to expand the celebration to other important relationships—spread the love. I fondly remember exchanging tiny Valentine’s cards with childhood classmates, making sure to include everyone. It was amazing to notice how this simple tradition amplified the love frequency in the classroom for days afterwards. Today, we have plenty of research proving that the expression of love doesn’t just feel good, it also has physical benefits to our heart. 

In this month’s feature story, “The Heart-Mind Connection: How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Our Heart Health,” leading researcher and cardiologist Michael Miller, M.D., asserts, “What’s on your mind really does affect your heart,” and, “Our hearts require emotional health in order to maintain cardiovascular health.” (see page 28)

Recovering from the loss of a significant family member years ago, I experienced firsthand the devastating physical effects of grief. My jumbled emotions and profound sadness was so overwhelming it felt as if my heart had literally broken. I experienced tightness, contractions and sharp pain in my chest resembling a cardiac event. Gratefully, I was familiar with and employed many of the healing therapies we cover in this month’s issue, including individual and group healing; yoga, meditation and breathwork, and learning to let go. 

Longtime Naples resident David Perlmutter was a wonderful, healing support to me during that difficult loss in my life, both as a friend and as a physician, helping me to heal my heart and maintain my health. He has been an editorial contributor beginning with my very first Natural Awakenings edition in January 1994. Now a nationally recognized neurologist and bestselling author, we were delighted to catch up with him to discuss his new book, Drop Acid. His fascinating discoveries about the key role of uric acid elevation in metabolic syndrome are worth paying attention to, especially because it affects up to 88 percent of Americans. (see page 22)

The health of our heart reveals a lot about how we live our lives. Do we love ourselves? Do we maintain strong, loving connections to others? Do we honor ourselves by eating a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle? How much joy and gratitude do we have in our hearts? Are we driven by passion and purpose? 

If you scored low in any of those areas, you are in the right place, because there is plenty of love and support sprinkled throughout this month’s issue to assist you in reaching your higher calling to live a life you love. So grab a box of kids’ Valentine’s Day cards and spread the love around. The world needs a big love fest!

In Love and Gratitude,

Sharon Bruckman