The legend of St. Valentine and the origin of Valentine’s Day is worth reading. Did you know that Valentine’s Day has unique traditions all around the world? The meaning of Valentine’s Day is different to all of us. I like the tradition of spoiling my family with chocolate goodies and candy hearts along with exchanging a heartfelt card with sweet or loving sentiments. My sweetheart (husband) said he thought I was really into Valentine's Day this year. “I Was?, Was I? More than usual??” This got me thinking about why we save one day a year for this practice of “giving from the heart”.
Get ready, this is like reading one of Laura Numeroff's children’s books (If you give a Moose a Muffin or Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!). One idea just feeds another...
We can take “Expressions of the Heart” much deeper. The heart is the center of our emotions. There are boundless ways to describe how our hearts and minds benefit when positive things happen. We all know the benefits of healthy eating and heart-pumping exercise for cardiovascular health. Yoga helps us with heart health by increasing circulation and blood flow but also with mind-body health (decreasing stress, depression, anxiety and increasing acceptance, compassion and gratitude). “Laughter is good for the heart” is good medicine. There's proof the endorphins released when you laugh help with pain management, releasing tension and vascular function. Positive Thinking Tip: Do something that makes you laugh (touch base with a family member or friend, watch a funny movie, read a book, listen to a podcast, tell a joke, etc.).
Contemplate these heart related idioms:
- Young-at-Heart (youthful out look despite your age)
- A song in one's heart (euphoric feeling of happiness and contentment)
- Wear your heart on your sleeve (showing feeling/emotion rather than hiding them)
- Melt one’s heart (to have love, affection, sympathy for someone)
- From the bottom of my heart (with love and genuine gratefulness)
- Put your heart into it (strive, attempt, go after, try…)
- Cross My Heart (truthfulness and sincerity)
When we slow down long enough to consider how these phrases ultimately came about we might find ourselves fondly thinking of memories, situations or instances that have “captured our heart”. Maybe you are thinking of someone—are they warm hearted (friendly), have a heart of gold (generous), are they good-hearted (kind). When you are with people that bestow these virtues, you find yourself sharing the goodness of your own heart in return.
Smiling is such an easy way to touch another’s heart. Hugs are the best demonstration of a heartfelt gesture! Truly listening to another person is an act that comes from the heart; it shows how deeply you value their story, experience or opinion.
Putting your hand over your heart is a sign of respect, dignity and honor. You have sincere intentions when you gesture this way. Research shows that when we put our hand over our heart we tend to be more honest with others. The gentle pressure and warmth of your hand helps expand your understanding of another’s trials and tribulations.
Take Heart = Have courage.
Courage is the voice of your heart! Promote and invest (time or money) in things that you are passionate about. Demonstrate to others what is near and dear to your heart (your family, your pet, your job, your hobby, a special cause…those in need). This will inspire others to do the same. Remember as long as you put your heart and soul into all actions big and small the world is a better place.
The Bible has countless (800+) mentions of the heart, ultimately referring to “guiding and guarding our heart”. God wants us to know our own hearts. “As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart.” -Proverbs 27:19 God wants you to follow your heart. “May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” -Psalm 20:4
You have purpose when you “follow your heart”. It keeps us connected to each other. For the “heart of the matter” is that we must love, encourage and support each other. It is the essence of our life, our life blood, it is our duty to honor those who grace our lives (known and unknown).
With all my heart I wish you well.