My heart lifted as the plane began to glide down the tarmac; my mouth couldn’t help but form a smile. Home! I’m headed home.
Whenever I find myself on a plan about to take off, I can’t help but think of my dad: “Take-off’s the best, the whoosh and wheeeeeeeeeee.” Hence my involuntary smile, the lifting of my heart as the thought of Dad coincided with the prospect of seeing him in just a few short hours. And not just Dad, but my mother and sister and nieces and grandparents and old friends. My heart needed this.
And doesn’t it? As a yoga instructor/ aspiring health and wellness coach, I spend a lot of time thinking about the health of my body and mind. I aim to exercise 5-6 times a week, eat a whole-food, plant-based diet, and am currently studying the basics of sports nutrition. I know how much the health of my body impacts my overall happiness, as much as the stimulation of my mind impacts my overall mental wellbeing. Heart health in a physical sense is definitely important. But arguably just as important? The health of the emotional heart.
I am fortunate to have a bounty of love in my life. My family is close-knit and supportive, and I have several friends from throughout various stages of my life with whom I have managed to build sustainable, meaningful relationships. I don’t get to see these individuals as often as I’d like. Everyone has their separate paths to follow, trekking their way through different jobs, different living situations, different states or even countries. The older I get the easier it seems to get used to these changes, to adjust to the fact that we cannot always be close to the ones we are close to. It’s as much a part of life as “leaving the nest” has always been, for creatures the earth over.
Still, this separation is what makes eventual reunion so sweet. As much as I try to keep in touch from afar, a Facebook conversation brooks no comparison to sitting face-to-face across a cup of coffee in your “usual” cafe meet-up. Or sitting down to dinner in the same kitchen of your childhood.
I could feel the plane begin to descend; if I craned my head to see out the right window, I was sure I’d be able to spot Lake Michigan. More importantly, every inch lower to the earth brought me one inch closer to home, family, love. It was time to serve my heart as well as I’d been serving my body and mind. Time to fill my cup.