The Bliss Blog

As February wanes away, I woke up to a lovely surprise this morning. A segment for which I was interviewed, on the Philadelphia affiliate of NBC 10 aired. The focus was Heart Month; a time to shine the light on educating people about cardiac care.  I had spoken at a meeting of The Women’s Business forum in my hometown area of Doylestown, PA. As a heart attack thriver (going beyond survivorship), I had promised a nurse in the wee hours of the morning when she woke me up to be sure I was still alive and take vital signs, that when I recovered, I would educate women in particular about the ways they can prevent what happened to me from happening to them and those they love. I kept my word and rested first before allowing my raging workaholic to begin spreading the word in anything but a casual way initially. Literally, I had to catch my breath. For the first few weeks following the cardiac event, it was all I could do to walk more than a few steps at a time without feeling winded. When I attended cardiac rehab, I would talk while on the bicycle, treadmill and elliptical and the therapists would encourage me to refrain. I told them, “You don’t understand. I’m a professional speaker who needs to be able to walk and talk at the same time. This is part of my therapy.” They got it. Within a month or so, I had mastered that art and regained my ability.

In the interceding year and a half (my second cardiaversary is coming up on June 12, 2016), I have continued to spread the word about heart health that goes beyond the pumping muscle that keeps us all alive. Yes, a healthy diet, exercise program, medications, taking naps and reducing stress were all factors in my healing. Something even bigger was the internal, psycho-spiritual process that I continue to move through. It had much to do with saying no when I would have felt obligated to say yes to requests made of me. It was about honoring my own heart as I did those of others; being increasingly self loving. It brought me huge revelations about what was and was not healthy for me in terms of my relationships. I grieved losses. I gave myself permission to be genuine as I peeled off the layers of pseudo-protection. I stretched beyond pre-determined comfort zones and am far more daring in my approach to life. I let tears flow that once I held back, attempting to be strong and immovable. These days, I move. These days I sob. Tears are cleansing. These days, I risk feeling discomfort. These days I realize that I don’t want to miss a thing. So I don’t.

Facing death will have that effect.Each day, I face life and embrace it wholeheartedly.

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