Even though it was 12 years ago, I vividly remember it to this day
Doctor Guyton said, Steve it’s as if you have your heart in a box. The deadly disease that has attacked your heart, has caused heavy scaring around your heart. The box your heart is in, called the pericardium, is so scared, your heart cannot beat any longer. The scare tissue surrounding your heart is just like a tight box, confining your heart, and your heart cannot fully beat any longer. He said, “What we have to do is free your heart”. “We have to cut away all the scar tissue around your heart, and set your heart free”. The only problem was removing the box may fail, and the operation would kill me.
I had wrapped my heart in beliefs that were now killing me. Had I changed those beliefs and built new boxes along the way I would not have been in this life or death situation. What were my beliefs that created this box? They were the beliefs of the world I was living in. My heart, and those beliefs in my head were no longer in sync. My heart wanted to take me forward to my true purpose, but I denied it. I kept it surrounded by old beliefs and old boxes of living, what I thought was the way to live. I was living by the boxes of society. Those boxes were now confining me, closing off my spirit, and strangling my heart. They were preventing me from reaching my destiny.
Twelve years later I am still here – healthy, happy and healed. This blog site is about what I have experienced, and learned so far, on my twelve-year quest to find the heart of Tin Man. Tin Man, in the Wizard of Oz, thought he was missing a heart. But, as he learned on his journey with Dorothy, and his companions, he not only had a heart, but it was big and beautiful and held enough love and hope for all he met. And that not only he, but all of us have large and beautiful hearts, and our world would be so very different from we see it, If only we will allow our hearts to come out of the small boxes we hide them in.
The one thing I want to share with you in our blog post today is a three-part belief regimen, I have tried to live by daily, on my path to find the life I thought I had lost.
Our “365 Lifestyle”, balanced living regimen is divided into three, equally necessary parts.
View it as a 3 legged stool. If one leg breaks, the stool, and your life with it collapses.
Leg 1 – Body
Leg 2 – Mind
Leg 3 – Spirit
Scientific studies and research in the last 5 years has taught us that 70% of heart disease, cancer and diabetes in women, men, and now even children, is not caused by our genes, but by our lifestyle.
This means that we as Americans can take control of our health, and reverse the terrible epidemic of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer, autism, and diabetes in America. Cutting edge scientific research shows that a “Vegetarian Diet” is the best way to eat healthy in America today.
As we said our – “365 Lifestyle” is a balanced living lifestyle with three primary and wholly integrated, interconnected components.
- BODY – modified vegetarian diet, daily physical activity – light aerobic and light Strength Activity.
- MIND – Left brain thinking, right brain thinking, thinking outside the box, separating ego from your decisions, creative activities, problem solving.
- SPIRIT – emotional well-being – loving yourself – loving others – forgiving yourself – forgiving others – expecting miracles each day, being with, and interacting with others – having a purpose and positive reason for living – serving others – forgetting the past – living each day to the fullest – meditating – praying – laughing – loving.
The BODY – nutrition part of our lifestyle program is eating a modified vegetarian plant-based diet. A plant-based diet is based on, whole or minimally processed plants, primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. It is the diet humans lived healthy on for millions of years. In my altered version I eat some chicken and cold water fish as it is necessary based on my heart condition and my age. As we get older, we require more protein, and a bit more healthy fat, than I, and my doctors, believe a full vegan diet provides.
My diet minimizes animal-based foods such as pork and red meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as refined foods like bleached white flour, refined sugar and fast food. Recently studies have shown that the biggest contributor to coronary heart disease, is not cholesterol, but inflammation. Inflammation caused by the poor food choices we make.
The A body activity calls for us to have a cardiac activity for at least 45 minutes every day. Cardiac activity would include any activity that sustains your heart rate for 45 minutes at 60% to 65% of your age based maximum heart rate. That would include brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, rowing or treadmill. We also do two days of light weight training for 45 minutes. Use low weight high rep routines.
The MIND must be fully engaged. In western society we rely mainly on left brain thinking. Thinking that seems logical and organized. WE rely less on right brain thinking, which is creative and messy. Today we must use both parts of our minds if we are going to thrive and survive, in this dramatically changed world.
The SPIRIT must be emotionally engaged with people every day, and have a positive purpose in our life. If we are alone or keep to ourselves we are at a higher risk than if we are actively engaged with people and life.
I created this “365 Lifestyle” to rebuild my life. I had a chance to start over, and I wanted to do it using all the parts of that which we call being human. Living as I did before almost killed me. I wanted to use my do over to get it right this go around.
I knew I needed to live in balance and use all three of our forms – Body, Mind, Spirit. I developed this over a five year period, after I survived a 15 hour lie or death operation to remove the outer lining of my heart that was severely infected, heavily scared, strangling my heart and shutting my body down.
Surviving the difficult heart surgery was one of the many blessings, and lessons I have learned the past twelve years, on what sustains life. That particular lesson is this. We cannot live without a healthy physical heart – and – We cannot live without a healthy, open and loving emotional heart as well. We need to have our body – and spirit aligned if we are to thrive in this world.
Being told I had two months to live, was the most fearful day of my life. It also was the best day of my life. For by dying to my old life, I was born to a more amazing and beautiful life. Sometimes we have to be jolted to learn how to live. And to learn what is important, and what is not. We can live here each day on earth in health and happiness. When our body, mind and spirit are aligned we then see clearly the miracles that are all around us. I am one, and you are one as well.
Please share this post with people you care about
Peace be with you always, Steve
Look for our 4th book in our Body, Mind & Spirit series titled,
365 Living to be released this summer.