Saturday, January 7, 2023

Into the Magic Shop: The Alphabet of the Heart

I recently listened to a video on Tulane Medical School website on Compassion given by Dr. James Doty. I really enjoyed the way he shared his magical life story and then his daily pneumonic that helps him start the day and whenever he gets stressed he repeats it. I was able to type a google search and found his Alphabet of the Heart that he shared. Here is an excerpt from his book Into the Magic Shop. I look forward to using this great resource!

Excerpted from Chapter 11: The Alphabet of the Heart

by Dr. James Doty

Just as I had made a list of my goals so many years before, I made another list of ten. A list of the ten things that open the heart.

I sat with it. I read it over and over, and then I suddenly saw it as a mnemonic, CDEFGHIJKL. It was a way to remember each aspect of what I had learned. The alphabet of the heart. While I continued the components of the meditation practice that I was taught in the back of the magic shop so many years before, I began a new practice each morning of reciting this new alphabet. After relaxing my body and calming my mind, I would recite this alphabet and set one quality from the list of ten as my intention for the day. I said them in my head over and over again. I found that it centered me, not only as a physician but also as a human being. It allowed me to start my day with a powerful intention. 


C: Compassion is the recognition of the suffering of another with a desire to alleviate that suffering. Yet to be compassionate to another, you must be compassionate to yourself. Many people beat themselves up by being hypercritical, not allowing themselves to enjoy the same kindness that they would offer to others. And until one is truly kind to oneself, giving love and kindness to others is often impossible.

D: Dignity is something innate in every person. It deserves to be acknowledged and recognized. So often we make judgments about someone because of how they look, or talk, or behave. And many times such judgments are negative and wrong. We have to look at another person and think, "They are just like me. They want what I want -- to be happy." When we look at others and see ourselves, we want to connect and help.

E: Equanimity is to have an evenness of temperament even during difficult times. Equanimity is for the good times and the bad times because even during good times there is a tendency to try to maintain or hold that feeling of elation. But trying to hold on to the good distracts us from being present in the moment just as trying to flee from the bad does. Grasping at that feeling of elation is not realistic, not possible, and only leads to disappointment. All such ups and downs are transient. Keeping an evenness of temperament allows for clarity of mind and intention.

F: Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts one can give to another. It is also one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves. Many have used the analogy that holding anger or hostility against another you feel has wronged you is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person. It doesn't work. It poisons you. It poisons your interactions with others. It poisons your outlook on the world. Ultimately, it makes you the prisoner in a jail where you hold the key yet won't unlock the door. The reality is that each of us in our lives has wronged others. We are frail, fragile beings who at various times in our lives have not lived up to our ideal and have injured or hurt another.

G: Gratitude is the recognition of the blessing that your life is -- even with all its pain and suffering. It takes little effort to see how so many in the world are suffering and in pain. People whose circumstances allow little hope of a better life. Too often, especially in Western society, we look at each other and feel jealous or envious. Simply taking a few moments to have gratitude has a huge effect on your mental attitude. . . . You suddenly recognize how blessed you are.

H: Humility is an attribute that for many is hard to practice. We have pride about who we are or what we have accomplished. We want to tell and show others how important we are. How much better we are than someone else. The reality is that such feelings are actually a statement of our own insecurity. We are searching for acknowledgment of worth outside of ourselves. Yet doing so separates us from others. It's like being put in solitary confinement, and it's a lonely place to be. It is only when we recognize that, like us, every person has positive and negative attributes, and only when we look at one another as equals, that we can truly connect. It is that connection of common humanity that frees us to open our heart and care unconditionally. To look at another as an equal.

I: Integrity requires intention. It requires defining those values that are most important to you. It means consistently practicing those values in regard to your interaction with others. Our values can easily disintegrate, and the disintegration can at first be imperceptible. If we compromise our integrity once, it becomes that much easier to do it again. Few start out with such intent. Be vigilant and diligent.

J: Justice is a recognition that within each of us there lives a desire to see that right be done. It is easier when we have resources and privilege to have justice. Yet, we need to guard justice for the weak and the vulnerable. It is our responsibility to seek justice for the vulnerable, to care for the weak, to give to the poor. That is what defines our society and our humanity and gives meaning to one's life.

K: Kindness is a concern for others and is often thought of as the active component of compassion. A desire to see others cared for with no desire for personal benefit or recognition. The extraordinary thing is that research is now finding that your act of kindness not only benefits those who receive your kindness but benefits you as well. The act of kindness ripples out and makes it more likely that your friends and those around you will be kinder. It is a social contagion that puts our society right. And ultimately kindness returns back to us, in the good feelings it generates and in how others treat us . . . with kindness.

L: Love when given freely changes everyone and everything. It is love that contains all virtues. It is love that heals all wounds. Ultimately, it is not our technology or our medicine but our love that heals. And it is love that holds our humanity.

. . .

This mnemonic connects me to my heart and allows it to open. It allows me to begin each day with intention and purpose. And throughout the day, when I am stressed or feel vulnerable, it centers me in the place I wish to be. It is the language of my intention. It is the language of the heart.

Excerpted from "Into the Magic Shop"
Copyright © 2017 James R. Doty.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

James Doty, MD is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, where he also serves as director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). Dr. Doty is also an inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He serves as Chairman of the Board at the Dalai Lama Foundation, Vice-Chair of the Charter for Compassion International, and is on the International Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Dr. Doty authored the New York Times bestseller Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.

Friday, October 29, 2021

NIV Radiant Virtues Bible Book Review

Wow is what I have to say about this Bible, I felt a peace and enjoyment to look through this and search and understand the Bible in a new way. My favorite verse in the Bible is about Faith, Hope, and Love from 1 Corinthians 13 and the back cover just so happens to have that as the start of their description. There are so many lovely verses and graphic designs and I will share a few in this post. I love getting the opportunity to review such beautiful bibles and this NIV Radiant Virtues Bible was recently sent to me.  Thank you to Bible Gateway Blogger Grid! 

I received this Bible for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid #BibleGatewayPartner.

Here is a link to the FaithGateway Store (

This Bible makes it easy to capture your favorite graphic designs and the beautiful verses allowed me to quickly send them to my family after I took my photos.  The bible is highlighted in areas with different colors as the scriptures relate to faith, hope, and love.  By doing this they have given more meaning and significance to the scriptures.  I also found the sections that offer prayers and a review of the particular chapter or story of the bible a great resource as well.

Do you ever get an impulse to give something away?  I feel like I was told to give this Bible to my friend but I haven't yet.  I'm enjoying the gift that I was given and soon I will pass it along.

WIth much love,

Monday, February 8, 2021

NIV, Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls and Beautiful Word Bible Journal Review

I was delighted to be able to review these two beautiful works of art.  It just so happened to be my daughter's birthday month and the Coloring Bible and the Word Bible Journal came a week before we celebrated.  They have found their home on our art studio table amongst the many art brushes, colorful pens, and acrylic paints.  There are so many ways we can color the bible together or look at the way the artist designed the lettering on the pages to give us inspiration. 

  • NIV, Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls Pencil/Sticker Gift Set, Updated, Leathersoft over Board, Teal, Comfort Print: 600+ Verses to Color
  • NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Gospel of Mark, Comfort Print                                      


NIV Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Comfort Print, Mark

Find these at the FaithGateway Store ( and/or or other online retail location for these Bibles.

I received this Bible for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid for my honest review. #BibleGatewayPartner


I've taken a few photos of the Book case, the cover, and the inside pretty designed verses.  Looking forward to coloring in the Bible soon.

The front of the box for the Coloring Bible

The pretty floral designed cover for the Bible Journal

So many flower designs and great inspiration for when my daughter and I want to draw something different than the typical sunflower.

A great verse from the Bible, ready for coloring.  "I will look on you with favor & make you fruitful and increase in numbers." Leviticus 26:9

I'm always a fan of hearts. <3 Another great verse - "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

I really liked the full pages that we can color throughout the bible.  I know it's a girls bible coloring book but I think a little mom/daughter coloring time is perfect.  Even though my daughter is now 15, maybe she'll entertain me!  So this is the last verse I selected with the pretty artist design.  "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no laws." - Galatians 5:22-23

I hope you find this review helpful when you decide to get a sweet gift for your daughter or grandchild.  I'm sure any child or adult would really enjoy it if they love art and scriptures.  

WIth much love,

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  With the holidays in full swing and it being Christmas Eve I wanted to post this blog with an article from our latest contributor Yvette Sechrist McGlasson.  

Remember You are the Present: Managing Holiday Stress

For many of us, the holidays mean tradition.  A season of endless parties, friends and family gathering to enjoy tables laden with food and the excuse that this year, we will honor our resolutions.  With all the celebration, we somehow find unwelcome guests at the door and this year with COVID-19, it adds a whole new dimension.  Our perception of not being "enough" ushers in worries and fears that keep us engaged with "future stress," things that may never even happen and they keep us from being present.  It's like driving to a restaurant and not remembering how you got there.  What was to be a "merry and bright" season, has now become one with an incredible amount of pressure to perform.  It's that combination of pressure that results in stress, worry, anxiety and possibly even depression.

Think of a typical holiday movie.  Home Alone where they are in a rush to leave, the kid was left behind.  The Family Stone featuring a conservative girlfriend brought home to meet a liberal family.  If you've ever felt like an outsider, even at your own dinner table, this movie is for you.  Christmas Vacation, a mixed bag of everything dysfunctional, sprinkled with failed expectations, wrapped up in a card that reads perfection!

Here are some tips to put the joy back into the season!

  1. Take care of yourself.  That means putting YOU at the top of your "to do" list.  Give yourself 15-30 minutes of "me time" daily.
  2. Honor your feelings.  Do not sweep them under the carpet.  Suppressed feelings build like a volcano until one day the smallest thing causes and explosion.  Cry, scream, give yourself a time out...but feel!
  3. Embrace imperfection.  Set realistic expectations.  Cookies burn, fine.  Ornaments break, replace them.  Do your best and let everything else go.
  4. Repeat after me, "No, thank you."  We have this idea that we have to "do it all, be it all, solve it all, buy it all, wrap it all."  We don't.  We are not required to attend every party we are invited to.  This leads me to...
  5. Delegate.  I like to call it sharing, as in sharing the load.  Ask for help.  Make the meal a pot luck where everyone uses their own recipe.
  6. Manage Family & Friends.  This is actually more about managing how you are with them.  You can't change someone's behavior you can only change how you are with it.  If you get embarrassed when Uncle Joe gets obnoxious after he's had to many eggnogs, instead of completely avoiding him, catch up with him pre-eggnog.
  7. Stick to your budget.  You will thank yourself when the January bills come due.  Consider quality over quantity.  I've always loved Maya Angelou's quote"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
  8. Follow the 80/20 Rule.  Eat until you are 80% full.  Your waistline will thank you.
  9. Have fun!  Do something silly.  Laughter releases happy endorphins!
  10. Give Back.  There is nothing better than doing for those in need.  Back in the day, I loved per-paying someone's toll when driving across the Alley.  Doing for a stranger can open your heart to receiving a wealth of gratitude.  

If you find your seasonal sadness has moved into serious depression, seek professional help.  There are plenty of trained professionals who are available to listen.

*This information contained in this article is not intended to replace a diagnosis made by your healthcare provider.

Yvette Sechrist McGlasson, FMCHC*
Wholistic Wellness Coach
For Individuals/Groups Seeking Personal Growth in Health & Wellness, Lifestyle Transformation, Maximizing Peak Performance
Phone: 615.739.7264
Website / Blog:
Book Your Session:
*FMCHC:  Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach

WIth much love,

Monday, November 16, 2020

Heartbeat Magazine October 2020 Issue 72



Be sure to view last months issue if you missed it: 

Heartbeat Magazine September 2020 Issue 71

Heartfelt stories about Travel, Featured Foundation, Kitchen Corner, Heart of Home & Family, Fashion, and so much more!  On page 3, Heart of Fashion, So Many Skirts! Heart of Home & Family on page 4 is Happy Fall - Have a Safe & Spooky Halloween then Heart of Beauty on page 5 Aromatherapy - Minding My Mood.  Cover girl, Bonnie Jean - Life Happens story is on page 6.


Be a contributor or advertise with us---visit our website or send us an email at!


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Heartbeat Magazine September 2020 Issue 71

In this issue:  Heartfelt stories about Travel, Featured Foundation, Kitchen Corner, Heart of Home & Family, Fashion, and so much more!  On page 3, Heart of Fashion, So Many Skirts! Heart of Home & Family on page 4 is Happy Fall - Have a Safe & Spooky Halloween then Heart of Beauty on page 5 Aromatherapy - Minding My Mood.  Cover girl, Bonnie Jean - Life Happens story is on page 6.

Heart of Health, How to Help a Child Struggling with Anxiety is on page 7.  Austin Ervin, What's Austin been doing lately?  Is on page 8.  Kitchen Corner on page 9, Jack-O-Lantern Mac & Cheese and Halloween Veggie Tray.  The Pillars of Wellness by Yvette Lyn Sechrist McGlasson on page 10.  Heart of Travel is on page 11 discussing ways to Put Family Genealogy Roots Travel on Your Bucket List.  Tech Tips & Apps is on page 12 with Special Holidays by Beth Gatrell, and September Apps by  Featured Foundation on page 13 is The Mustard Seed Ranch of Florida.  Our Featured Artist - Naples Art Glass - Artist Rick Wobbe highlighted on the back cover.  

To view the magazine online

Catch up on last month's issue -

Be a contributor or advertise with us---visit our website or send us an email at!


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Heartbeat Magazine August 2020 Issue 70

Heartbeat Magazine August 2020 Issue 70 is out today!

In this issue: Heartfelt stories about Travel, Featured Foundation, Kitchen Corner, Heart of Home & Family, Fashion, and so much more! 

On page 3, Heart of Fashion, Leggings the Official WFH Uniform

Heart of Home & Family on page 4 is Your 1st College Apartment then Heart of Beauty on page 5 Restore Moisture to Dry Skin with Physioge

Melinda Nagy Photography's story is on page 6. This month our cover girl, Melinda Nagy Otero, has sent in some of her favorite photos for a collage photo cover.  She was our cover girl in October 2013, Issue 33.  

Heart of Health, Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels on page 7. Austin Ervin, What's Austin been doing lately? is on page 8. Kitchen Corner on page 9, Setting up your College Kitchen, Getting Ready to Cook. 

Heart of Travel is on page 11 discussing Staying Close to Home is Safer. Tech Tips & Apps is on page 12 with Back to School by Beth Gatrell, and August Apps by Featured Foundation on page 13 is


Read on Issuu:

Or on


Catch up with last months issuu, you can take some time today to enjoy:

On page 3, Heart of Fashion, From the Waist Up – Zoom Meeting from Heart of Home & Family on page 4 is 2020 – Not Your Usual School Year Endings and Graduations then Heart of Beauty on page 5 Replacing your in-store shopping with online shopping at

Graduation 2020 – Alyssa Teeters Graduation story is on page 6. Heart of Health, Benefits of Art Therapy on page 7. Austin Ervin, What's Austin been doing lately? is on page 8. 

Kitchen Corner on page 9 has the delicious Summer Fruit Pie recipe. Heart of Travel is on page 10 discussing SpaceX Launches Crew Dragon Demo 1. 

Tech Tips & Apps is on page 12 Vacation Smart with Your Tech by Beth Gatrell with and July Apps by The Featured Foundation on page 13 is And learn more about Clay More Ceramics & Empty Bowls Project on page 14. The Giveaway for this month is from Heart of Avon.

View issue online: or at

Be a contributor or advertise with us---visit our website or send us an email at!


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