... Or "How The Heart Is The Center of Healing
I wrote last time about the Heart and the Heart Protector (Pericardium), and how I see them function in healing. The Heart provides access to our center, to our essence, and the Pericardium protects us. It is a sweet union, but one that is profoundly affected by pain... specifically the pain of feeling heart-broken.
Even though the Heart collects some pretty intense pain, it also holds the path to healing. The electro-magnetic fields of the Heart are a great beacon, a shining light, for a return to happiness and vitality. I'm not saying it's an easy road, that it's all skipping and giggles, but I am saying that it's where I often begin... with myself and with clients. Because it's powerful.
The electromagnetic field of the heart is created by the flow of the electrical signals from the top to the bottom of the heart. This flow of electrical potential creates a donut shaped electromagnetic field around the heart organ. The "donut shape" is known as a torus. This is measurable and well known. I didn't make this up.
But see... the beauty lies in the fact that the heart is not alone! The heart has an electromagnetic field... but so does the whole body (I'd argue details with the image below that I got from the HeartMath website... but the gist of it is true). Thus, the heart field is nested within the Whole Body Field... and ultimately, the earth has this same magnetic field, so we are each nested within it.
The point is that when we connect with the Heart Field, we can notice how the Heart Field is nested within the Whole Body Field, which is, in turn, nested within the Earth Field. We can then invite into this dynamic, other fields in our bodies.
For instance, red blood cells have this same toroidal shape... and when we invite them into resonance with the Heart Field (and the others) the blood cells shift into a supported and robust form, and carry more oxygen (this is where Western Medicine does not follow me... but I still know it to be true).
In fact, each chakra, each organ, each cell... when invited into resonance with the Heart Field, are able to step a little more into their essence and their full expression of well-being and vitality.
Don't believe me. Try it. Sit quietly. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Bring your attention softly to your body. Gather yourself and your energy to you. Relax your shoulders, your neck, your back. Release the tension in your fingers. Notice that you are in relationship with earth... simply because you press down on her surface. Notice that she sends energy back up through you. Breathe into alignment with that energy source. Notice that you are also in relation with spirit... as inspiration and life force bathe you. These energies mingle inside of you, at your heart. It is your sense of center, of essence, of Who You Are, and a sense that your essence is supported, safe, nourished.
The Heart beats softly. Allow the sensation of the energy field of the heart to come into your awareness. It is flowing, regular, steady. This sensation sends the message to the body that all is well. There are measurable physical benefits to this sensation... we can get into that some other time. For now, just know this place.
For practice, you can invite your mind to awareness of your red blood cells, circulating through the body... through the heart. As they flow through the heart send the intention to bring them into alignment with the energy field of the Heart. Feel the desire for deep belly breaths. Give in.
This alignment between Heart Field and Red Blood Cell Fields brings up oxygen in the body. You might experience it as a light tingling... or you may not have a physical sensation of it. Inviting it to your brain will increase clarity, certainty, and alertness. Inviting blood flow to a tense place can begin to unravel the anaerobic conditions created by chronic tightness. It probably won't relieve it completely, as there's a pattern holding tension there... but it can make it bearable for a time.
Play with this... where else could you invite oxygen? What other fields could you invite to resonate with the heart? What is possible when we get to know ourselves so intimately?
The heart is sometimes considered the center of our being. I can see how that’s true, although I’m not sure it’s always true. The essence feels clearest in the heart, as if there’s less translation between Who You Are and the expression of the heart.
Heart energy gets to the core of things (“the heart of the matter”). Because the heart appears to be a relatively clear channel for the expression of one’s essence, it is also a generally reliable reference for one’s truth. I don’t mean universal (or shared) truth, but what we know to be true for us that may or may not be true for others.
The heart is also a secret keeper. It holds tensions and pains deeply, and is generally committed to the pain once the heart agrees to the story that we are broken, unlovable, or lack value. The agreements with these stories are where we have the power to repair our own broken-heartedness. It is not by denying that our past is what it is, but by rewriting the story.
I rarely work directly with the heart, but when I sense tension here we begin to work on the tension itself, beginning somewhere else in the body or in the subtle realms. When I do invoke the heart it is through its ability to serve as a compelling energy center, and so I am always calling on what the heart does well as a place to begin.
The heart is protected by the pericardium, a tissue that surrounds the heart. It protects the heart muscle from infection, physical trauma, prevents friction as the heart beats, and it keeps the moving heart in place. Between the two layers of pericardial tissue is pericardial fluid, which acts as a further buffer against external insult.
In the work that I do, the pericardium has two main functions. First, as above, it is protective. Second, I perceive that the whole body can be mapped onto the pericardium in much the same way that reflexology maps the body onto the feet or hands, and acupuncture maps the body to the ears.
In practice I find that the pericardium can hold a pattern in place that has otherwise been released from the body… or that a pattern will refuse to leave until the map onto the pericardium is addressed. Generally, that means that the pattern has some kind of protective power for the client and that either needs to be released or redirected to a more appropriate place in order to release the pattern.
The prescription of the pericardium is connection. There is a deep longing that can get held within the pericardium for deep and meaningful relationships with others. Being on the outside of important relationship can be held in the pericardium as tension which in turn can affect the heart muscle itself.
Our social atmosphere is far more important than we give it credit for. A nourishing social environment can map itself onto the pericardium as well as a traumatic one. In my opinion, our most radical form of self-care is choosing carefully who we spend our time with... and what we do in that time.
What could the world be like if we considered all of our interactions with others to be a form of self-care?
Has someone ever given you a compliment and you brushed it off? Do people tell you that you are beautiful? That you are good at what you do? That you are a most excellent friend? That you are wise and wonderful?
And then do you feel super squirmy and uncomfortable?
And then do you walk away promptly forgetting that someone sees you as beautiful / wise / successful?
And later, do you find yourself thinking that everything would be great if you just got more acknowledgement or approval?
So yeah... that happened to me this morning. An amazingly wise and helpful friend admitted that knowing that I didn't hear when she told me about my own amazingness... that hurt her... that I didn't receive her verbal gift.
So... I'm making it up to her and the others that I realized I didn't hear. I went back through my memories and remembered their gifts of love, friendship, adoration, and attraction. I wrote a few of them on pieces of paper... and then I rolled around in them.
Yup... I really did that.
I realized that my inability to receive compliments has been life long. It was a learned behavior... and I've worked hard as an adult to break free of self-deprecating bullshit.
Today... I realized that I have come a long way, I can receive compliments on my appearance about 80% of the time... and about 50% of the time I can accept compliments about who I am.
So, pat on the back... this are much better stats than I had at 20. Or 30. And... I still have a ways to go.
Rolling around on the floor in paper shreds of compliments and acknowledgement is memorable... so I hope it will keep me listening (ahh... that again... seems like it's listening week).
What does it feel like when you receive acknowledgement or compliments?
And how much of your time do you spend wishing for compliments and acknowledgement?
Just curious ;)
I’m still knocking around with the effects of our pilgrimage back to Flagstaff where I set down the unfinished PhD I’d been carrying in my emotional baggage for years.
And here’s what’s happening now that I’m home.
I’m shedding… not just skin… not just layers… but a whole way of relating to the world.
I often think of myself in relation to nature, and I understand this relationship in terms of totem animals. I’ve been aware for more than a decade (no, it’s been almost 2 decades!) that I’ve been walking with Turtle. She has been a lovely companion providing me with safety, slowness, processing, and the ability to take my internal journey to my soul. I’ve been in and out of my shell for a loooonnnnggg time.
But, now it’s time for her to move into a secondary role. She has happily taken up residence in the north of my medicine wheel where she can be part of the foundation of truth, safety, and support for the gems I received on that interior journey.
I shed my shell… my too-tight jacket… in ritual with sisters recently. I am trusting that the tools that I have learned to protect my heart (that don’t involve shells) are working for me. I now have a capacity that once I did not. And that is empowering.
Turtle has joined, eagle in the east, coyote in the south, and spider in the west, to support me for the time being as a council. I don’t have a primary totem anymore, and not sure if I will get another or not. I’m learning how to take what I’ve learned on my interior journey and to apply it to my relationships with others. I’m learning how to speak my truth, my way of seeing and being in the world, and sharing it.
May each of you travel gently with your guides, may they support you in your journeys. May you find trust and help with them when you are struggling to see where to place your feet. The forest taught me that once upon a time… that you must trust from your heart that your steps are the right ones… and then go. Adjust later if you need to… but take that step.
And, if you want to take those steps with others, join us for the July Body Wisdom Healing Circle call (Sunday morning at 9am Pacific) where we’ll talk more about relating to others from your heart. You can sign up for the call number here.
I'm so glad you came to visit. I'm settling in to this work from my heart... embracing the work that I do... and it's a bit tender to release it out into the world. I've just come to know that it's time... and I'm following the growth curve of spring to fruition in the summer.
Winter was a long road back to my center. It almost always is. Winter is my home season, I think. When the energy slows, and more focus gets put on home and family... we spend more time in contemplation... adjust ourselves to our own rhythms... realign with our truths... that's my time. It's where my heart resides. And if there's anything that is a truth in my life, it's that everything always comes back to my heart. I guess you could say that I'm a walking, talking heart-healing experiment.
I'm happy to announce that my heart feels full and vibrant... and I am so looking forward to my journey forward. Thank you for being here at the beginning of Luminous Muse Healing! Over time the website will be filled with healing tools and thoughts... some free gifts as food for awareness... and this blog is a place for me to share what I am up to.
Blessings from the heart,
I'm an explorer of inner realms, a pattern observer, and an invitation maker. I believe that healing the world starts within.
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