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?
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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