Updated: Jan 19

Choose to love, starting with loving yourself!

Dr. Anhlan P. Nguyen (

It is that time of the year when we feel nostalgia watching all the leaves changing their color to get ready for the fall. Believe it or not, we only have about three months left to finish the year of 2020. A year that is full of surprises, hardship, heart-breaking news, and yet still gives us so much hope by pushing us to think differently, to view life in a different lens and above all, to go deep into our inner self. As we discuss about the topic of “Self-Love” this month, I want to invite you to look deeply into ourselves and appreciate a magnificent gift that life has given us since birth: our own heart, the most sacred organ in our body.

Because of some mystical force in the Universe, out of 400 trillion chances, the Universe loves you enough to give you this heart. It was formed right at the beginning when your force of life was formed in your mother’s womb, way before your brain was developed. It is still a mystery as to where it came from. But it is a unique gift for you. It knows who you are even before you are born. It has the faithful and unconditional love that it gives you for your whole life, from the time you started your first breath to come into this world until the time you have your last breath on this earth. It is always there for you, with you, and loving you without any judgment.

Regardless of how life is treating you, your heart is always there for you and with you. In the past decade, neuroscience, quantum physics and epigenetics have discovered that the heart actually has a little brain of its own. It has 40,000 neurites (neuron transmitters located in the heart) that regulate and control signals to the brain. It can heal your body through the coherence established with the brain to effect chemical changes in your body and eventually your physical health (according to the HearthMath Institute). If we can find a way to connect with our own heart and activate this loving power, then we will be empowered with this incredible life force that can bring you immense inner peace and an incredible loving spirit.

The first step toward connecting to your heart is to practice self-love through gratitude and appreciation of this magnificent heart that we are given from birth. In my upcoming book “Living in GRACE – Living your best life now!”, I will share some simple GRACE breathing techniques to truly anchor on your heart and appreciating its magical power through meditation. It can be a simple exercise to practice self-love by appreciating our own heart.

In the morning, when you get up in the morning, you can spend 5 minutes of this breathing exercise called GRACE breathing routine. You can sit up straight with your right hand placed near your heart on your chest, start slowing down your breathing by counting from 1 to 10 in one breath. Say it out loud “Breathing in, I imagine the oxygen is going through my nose, coming down to my lungs, and then carried to my heart, where the oxygen is pumped by the heart to every organ in my body to create the energy to sustain my body. When each cell receives the oxygen, I imagine carbon dioxide being released and carried back to the lung for my breathing out.” All of these activities happen within those 10 seconds when you breathe in and out. After holding your breath for about 4 or 5 seconds, breathe out and count from 1 to 10 again. While breathing out, you also imagine that you send your loving energy from the heart back to the lungs and out to the world. You send this loving energy to all your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues and even to strangers.

We can do this simple breathing exercise for 2 minutes (six rounds of breathing). Then for the next 2 minutes, still having your hand on your heart, recall a moment in your life for which you are truly grateful for. It can be as simple as a good time you spent with your loved ones, or some accomplishment you achieved after hard work, or simply just a moment of peace you experienced as you witnessed the beauty of nature, whatever you can remember. Then for one minute, imagine yourself living in those moments so that you can feel the joy you experienced at the time. Stay in that feeling of joy and happiness for 60 seconds. Then pick another beautiful experience that you are grateful for and repeat that exercise for another 60 seconds. The key is to truly bring yourself back to those moments and relive them, so that you can savor the positive emotions that you felt at the time. Just by using your imagination, you have boosted your mood with new energy from these blessings that happened in your life.

During the final 60 seconds, imagine that you are interconnected with all other people in this world. Imagine the blessing of being a human being among 8 billion people, and feel that sense of belonging and compassion to send love to everyone around you and sincerely wish them well. This loving thought will activate the power of your heart, which is the emotion that our heart was made for.

This is a very simple ritual of breathing, but if you do it every day either after getting up in the morning or right before you go to bed, it will activate the loving energy from your heart and providing you with the magical loving energy to lift up your spirit. It is a simple 5 minutes of investment in your self-love to honor your heart and your loving self. Please give it a try and let me know how you feel after you practice it. If you want more information about this, come and join me at the virtual Book Signing Event on October 20, 2020 at 11:00am central time, you can sign up on my professional website at

Look forward to hearing from you!

Living in GRACE – Living your best life Now!

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