Unlock Love - How to Protect Your Heart

Huh, well that's a funny title for a post by a relationship expert hell bent on opening every heart she sees! Yet, what about when your heart really does need a little bit of armor? Or maybe just a rest? Like this week, when it feels as if they world is at its darkest hour.

You see, it isn't just hyper personal events that affect us, but world events can break our hearts as well. Between the mass shooting in Las Vegas, multiple catastrophic hurricanes, and earthquakes, I felt as if I needed about three years in a dark cave to recover from the actual physiological pain I was feeling.

So what do you do when you can't quite accommodate a three year long sabbatical? You protect your heart. Here are the three steps I practice:

- Detox - No, not a juice fast, a negativity detox. Step away from social media for a bit, get away from the 24 hour news cycle, and avoid people in your life that catastrophize events. This isn't putting your head in the sand in ignorance, this is self preservation. When you feel that you've reached your max (or preferably sooner), it's time to detox. Even a temporary time of peace (24 hours?) can be enough to reset your system.

- Connect - Wait, didn't I just tell you to disconnect?! Yes! However, while disconnected from negative sources, make the effort to connect with those that fill your soul. I have three friends on speed dial that lift me up in any situation (in fact i *just* got off the phone with one). Surround yourself with the nurturers in your life, and be willing to receive. Let your cup refill.

- Live with Intention - Anyone that knows me, or has worked with me knows I am passionate about living life intentionally. In times where you feel your heart hurting or your stress level rising, it is especially important to set intentions. How do you want to feel? How do you want to react? Recite mantras, write out your intentions upon waking, and catch yourself when you step back into the tornado. Mantras could include: I am protected, I am ok, I am loved, or my heart is full.

- Rest - It's so basic, that it almost doesn't warrant mentioning, yet I personally know so many that respond to stress with more stressors on their body (raising my hand here!). When your mind and heart move into overdrive, it becomes even more imperative to get those 7-9 hours of sleep, and avoid pushing your nervous system to the brink. Go to sleep early, steal moments throughout your day, and don't forget the importance of your breath.

Remember, everything is temporary. Nothing is permanent. And you have way more power than you realize in living a life that feels peaceful and positive.

Sending you so much love! Rachel