Encouragement for August: Listen to Your Heart


Ever get an idea to do something, that keeps coming back?

No, not that one about mailing a birthday card to that person whose birthday was two weeks ago… Though you do need to do that.

I’m talking about the idea you had as you were falling asleep last night, that tugs on your heart every once in a while even as you go about your work during the day. The one that tells you you should reach out to that person you haven’t talked to in a while; that says you should start that support group your community really needs; teach that lonely kid down the street how to fix a bike; or start volunteering at the senior center.

Maybe it’s something small, maybe it’s something big. Maybe you feel equipped to do it, maybe you don’t.

You don’t know what could happen until you take action.

The idea came to me a couple months ago when I realized that some of the people at my church wanted to get healthier and I might be able to help them. I wasn’t sure if it was just a passing thought, so I waited a couple weeks, during which the idea continued coming to mind. I finally decided to email my pastor, not sure of what he would say. A little while later he replied that he thought I had something to offer and he gave me the go-ahead to start planning a seminar.

Great! There must’ve been a reason I had the idea. The only problem was, well, there were a few issues. One: I had no plan. I had never done anything like this before. All I knew was that there was a need for information on healthy nutrition and holistic healing, and with my experiences and knowledge I could provide something useful. Two: I felt overwhelmed. There was a lot of information I could cover. But what should I focus on? Each topic seemed dependent on at least three others and I didn’t want to leave anything out. Three: It was a big responsibility and I was afraid of messing up.

Well, after reminding myself that the idea was legitimate and there must’ve been a reason I had the chance to see it through, I got to work. I managed to put together an outline, a PowerPoint and even record interviews with a couple friends who used nutrition and other complementary methods to heal from chronic illness holistically.

I had a chance for a practice seminar and it went surprisingly well. There were great conversations that came up and people began making healthier decisions even before they walked out the door. I made some changes to the presentation to make it better and went in for the real deal. As in the first, the second presentation had strong points and weak points but this time there wasn’t the same natural flow of conversation as in the last one, and I didn’t feel like I answered the audience members’ questions as well as before. I was disappointed in myself and wondered, “Did I actually help anyone? Did I do the right thing by doing the seminar?”

While it didn’t go as well as planned, I had to remind myself to stay positive and that there was a reason I had the chance to do the seminar. Yes, I actually did provide helpful information that people are using to make decisions that may provide short- and long-term health benefits; I did my best, and I’ll keep learning and improving to make the next one better. In fact, because of both presentations I had the chance to see that there are actually many people who are interested in learning how to live healthier lifestyles, and I’m excited to say that in a few weeks I’ll be following my heart to lead another health seminar with another audience.

So, if there’s something you’ve been thinking a lot about lately, there’s probably a good reason for it. You may have to step out of your comfort zone and you may not know where it will lead, but chances are it’ll be worth it. It just might change someone’s life! Plus, it'll silence that little voice you keep hearing.

Speak up. Ask. Do. Take a chance.

Listen to your heart.

P.S. My next Healthy Living Seminar will be at The Organic Teaching Kitchen in Croton-On-Hudson, NY on Saturday, August 22 from 10-11:30am! Call to reserve your spot, space is limited: 917-426-2845 or 914-582-9574. Cost: $15.

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"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates

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