Healthy Tahoe: A heart filled with a strong sense of purpose |

Healthy Tahoe: A heart filled with a strong sense of purpose

Nancy Laurenson

February is National Heart Health Month, and what better way to start the year than to align your life with a strong sense of purpose: by living with a heart that is full, open to all that life offers, seeking clarity, and filled with strength and the courage to be authentic.

Current research supports the practice that positive emotions directly impact our lives and influence overall health and well-being.

Developing a sense of purpose in life is considered a basic psychological need, it can be defined as having a sense of meaning and direction in one’s life, which gives the feeling that life is worth living.

The seat of our emotions are most closely associated with our heart.

When we think of love, healing or inner strength, images of our heart emerge.

In caring for our hearts, we can align self-care with living our lives in alignment, the cornerstone for living our lives with purpose.

Our four-chambered heart has an enormous capacity to heal and allow us to develop into the unique person we were designed to be, to embrace the gifts that have been bestowed to us.

So, how do we guide our hearts to heal, to bring our talents and gifts forward, and bring us into living our best lives filled with purpose?

Be full hearted and embrace life fully, versus half-heartedly.

A heart that is full brings our best self forward and helps us recognize when we are not aligned or we are inconsistent with our words or actions.

It demands that we say what we mean, do what we say, and say so when it is so.

An open heart allows us to experience new possibilities and states of being.

It is impossible to give gratitude with a closed heart.

When we harbor resentments, grudges and mistrust we shut down our heart.

An open heart invites healing, however, an individual must be mindful and present in order for healing to take place.

A clear heart creates safety. When we are not clear-hearted, we carry confusion and doubt. This is the heart’s chamber of discernment, and it requires patience.

In this state, too often we keep those we love at arm’s length, which fosters distrust in ourselves and others.

When our hearts are cloudy we tend to normalize the abnormal.

By choosing clarity we align with ‘right action.’

A strong heart is the place of courage, to be all of who we are in life. Strength is witnessed as being willing to take risks, move out of our comfort zone, and live adventurously.

When we are weak-hearted, we are not challenged, and we avoid risks because we are afraid to fail.

This is the place where we settle and avoid conflict.

Where are you willing to take a risk? Like a tree, we can grow and strengthen our hearts by fully nourishing our roots and keeping our branches wide open. By trusting your heart, you

will experience new levels of creativity, passion and the sheer joy of being fully alive in a purpose-filled life.

Nancy Laurenson, MSc, NBC-HWC is a Wellness Navigator and Health Coach with Barton Health and is leading the Ignite Your Life’s Purpose workshop on Feb. 8. from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. Visit to learn more and register.

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