Dr. Meggie Smith
By Visiting Author:
Bridget Boland is a writer, shamanic energy medicine practitioner, doula and Forrest Yoga instructor. Learn more about her and her offerings at www.bridgetboland.com and www.thedoulanovel.com.
Poet David Whyte reflects that as humans we spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to avoid getting our hearts broken, yet that is exactly what our careers, our partners, and all the other myriad circumstances of our lives are designed to do: break our hearts wide open, allow us to feel and experience more deeply. The central conversation of our existence shouldn’t be how do I avoid heartache? but rather, as the Irish say, how will I make myself able for that which cracks me wide open? Courage doesn’t mean bravery so much as the ability to be wholeheartedly engaged in life despite the certainty of disappointment, disillusionment, and heartache.
With today’s technology it’s easy to be “connected” to others 24/7/365. Yet how much of the time are we deeply connected to our own selves, not just to our thoughts and ideas, but to the emotional storehouse of our hearts, the place which holds our deepest longings and yearnings?
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Valentine’s Day follows so closely after New Year’s. We set all sorts of “resolutions” – goals for self-improvement, agendas for what we want to create or manifest – at the beginning of the new year. Six weeks later, we’re offered the opportunity to test the depth of our intentions. Are those resolutions deeply held heart’s desires or just the brain’s attempts to dictate what our egos think we should want? Valentine’s Day offers more than just an opportunity to tell others we love them; it gives us a chance to break our own hearts wide open and live from that courageous place of owning our longings and desires.
A great way to get in touch with your heart energy is to lie down or sit quietly in meditation. Place one hand on the center of your chest over your heart chakra or energy portal. You might wish to imagine a vibrant green energy flowing through this part of your body, nourishing your heart. Place your other hand an inch below your navel.
Breathing deeply, feel the steady , reassuring beat of your heart – the way it pumps blood continuously without you ever once having to think about it or will it. Inhale and nourish your heart with your breath. Exhale and send your heart energy through your entire core, down to the hand on your belly, visualizing your heartbeat and your breath calming your adrenal glands and your fight-or-flight mechanism.
After 5-10 minutes of heart breathing, ask your heart how it feels. What does it need from you for optimal health and well-being? What messages does it hold for you around decisions you are contemplating? How can you cultivate courage – that ability to live wholeheartedly in the face of heart ache and heart break? Ask each question, then be still and wait for your heart to respond.
Once you’ve listened to your heart’s desires, gather up your courage, move back out into your life, and do something heartfelt. Take an action that stems from that vital and vibrant connection to your longings and desires. You may get your heart broken wide open along the way to creating your dreams, but isn’t that really the point?
Want more tips on how to live wholeheartedly? Join Bridget Boland, Dr. Margaret Smith and Isabelle Libman for an open house dedicated to the heart, Friday January 31, 2014 from 4-7 pm. February is American Heart Month so what better time than now to learn some holistic ways to take care of it?
The event is free but please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or to 847-869-1313.