In a recent post—“A new way to approach the New Year…”—I talk about exercising kindness to self by managing my health. Along that vein (pun intended), I donated my blood to science (okay, not exactly) and learned that I share a familial gene mutation. Although my heart sunk when I viewed my results, I did not awaken one day with this disorder; as with my heart defect (BAV), I’ve lived with Factor 5 Leiden every day for 50 <cough cough> something years. I just didn’t expect to see the big fat “F,” so to speak, glaring at me from the online healthcare portal. In non-doctor speak, the diagnosis simply means I may be prone to developing blood clots. But the funny thing: I’m grateful. I am able to arm myself with knowledge about my genetic makeup which, in turn, allows me to exercise better care for my health. Ignorance might be bliss, but it will not save my life.

How do you exercise kindness to self?