Exercise your heart
“Exercise your heart today.” — from a Dove Chocolate wrapper
One year ago today, I wrote a post about the physical demands of sailing, using it as a metaphor for dealing with the challenges of living. It’s not just our bodies that get stronger with exercise, though. Our minds and spirits need it even more.
As part of Jeff’s ongoing campaign to keep me from getting as thin as I think I should be (or maybe because of their documented mood-elevating properties), he often buys me chocolates. Most recently, he gave me a bag of those wonderful Dove dark chocolate hearts that have little sayings inside the wrapper. Now that I’ve used one of the sayings here, I have an excuse to eat more of these candies. Ah, the perks of blogging!
When I saw the message quoted above on one of the wrappers, I really liked it. Depending on how you read it, it can be a very deep concept. Some will think of physical exercise and its cardiac benefits. But I think the best meaning is the figurative one; we need to take time each day to exercise our ability to care, and to show it in useful ways. As with all exercise, it will require intent and some degree of stamina, but will get easier as we go along.
OK, so here’s a challenge: let’s exercise our hearts TODAY by doing some little or big thing we might not have planned to do. Here are some possibilities to get you started:
Send a note or card to someone who might enjoy hearing from you.
Tell a loved one how much you appreciate some VERY SPECIFIC thing that they do or are.
Leave an encouraging comment on someone else’s blog. (NOT counting this one! 🙂 )
Carry a small plastic bag outside and pick up any little bits of trash that might have blown into your neighbors’ yards.
Let cars merge in front of you, or let someone go first in the checkout line at a store.
Listen to someone who just needs to vent.
Give a heartfelt compliment to a stranger who has an adorable baby or pet with them.
Be extra patient with someone who is having a bad day.
If you catch yourself starting to say something negative, try to substitute something positive in your mind, and say that instead.
Your turn! What are some other ways we can exercise our hearts today? Share your ideas here – then let’s all “just do it!”
One year ago today: