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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Heart-Centered Living

Jan 31, 2024 06:00AM ● By Sharon Bruckman

As my mind kicked in to write this letter introducing our Heart Health issue, I struggled to find a topic. But then, I had an aha moment when I realized that I needed to shift from my mind to my heart before putting pen to paper—just as I do so often during daily activities.

It has been said that the longest journey you will ever make is from your head to your heart. We seem to be continually thinking, judging or mentally processing our way through life. For many of us, living in thought is our safety zone; it’s what we know. Once we realize that we are more than our thoughts, a gateway to a deeper sense of peace, freedom and joy emerges. The ability to witness without judgment allows us to respond from the heart and gain clarity. Meditation is one of the best tools to achieve this important change in perspective.

I recently attended a conference where Rollin McCraty, vice president and director of research of the HeartMath Institute (HMI), spoke about his 30-year study of how the heart influences our perceptions, emotions, intuition and health. Having used some of the HMI tools over the years, I can attest that steering shepherding our lives into what they term “heart coherence” helps to bring our breathing, heart, brain and hormone functions in sync. Visit to learn more about the science of the heart’s electromagnetic field. 

I often use heart-focused breathing during my day. The idea is to inhale for about five seconds and exhale for another five seconds while keeping your focus on the area of the heart. This 10-second cycle is an optimal pace that allows our systems to find balance and coherence. Sometimes I sit and radiate love towards someone I care about or a situation that is in trouble. I do this not only to maximize my own health physically, mentally and emotionally, but also to connect with humanity as one family, one heart. 

Living a heart-centered life is simply a way to approach life from the heart rather than the head, to focus on feeling more and thinking less. Now more than ever, I feel that people everywhere—humanity itself—must wake up heart space and live from this center for our very survival. When we trust our intuition and inner guidance, we become more peaceful, loving and connected. It feels so good, too!  

From my heart to yours,

Sharon Bruckman