THE HEART: (Remembering the Body: Remembering Home)

Do I need to understand the intricacies of the heart to appreciate my heart and support its daily functions? Is it necessary that I know the detailed inner-workings of a heart to understand why it matters in my life, day in and day out and even while I sleep? Do I have to know the chambers and arteries and the direction through which blood flows to for me to be able to help it to beat in healthy rhythm?

I think not.

I’ve made it this long knowing very little, and my heart has only become more precious to me.

Sure, I can look up the anatomy and physiology of a heart, and I have, but do I need to have it memorized to know what it feels like to connect to my heart, and to understand feeling energized, in love, in passion, in rage, in resentment? Must I know the scientific language attached to a heart to understand what it feels like to be excited, nervous, scared, and completely alive?!

Of course not.

I can feel my heart beating. I press my hands on my chest, close my eyes, and feel it beat pump and pulse to its rhythm. It’s mine, and yet it’s similar to everyone else’s. The percussion connects us all: the beating of our hearts.

I can feel it. If I slow down or speed up, I become aware of its activity as it adapts to the moment and the movement. If I close my eyes and pay attention, I can tune into the heart even more.

The other day I was sitting on my coach, and my dog plopped down right on top of me, and his chest landed on my hand. I could feel his precious little heart beating. I adopted him about a month ago, and we’ve been working through separation anxiety (and overall anxiety). Over this short time, I’ve become familiar with his breath as it speeds up and slows down depending on his feelings. Observing his breath inspired me to get closer and connect more to this heart. I place my hand on his chest and can feel his heartbeat speeding up and slowing down depending on the moment, feelings, and current activities.

His heart reminds me of my own.

I guess connecting to hearts can cause that to happen. We can discover ourselves in others and remember that a whole life lives with that heart, same with us.

So, what would happen if I connected more to my heart? What about becoming more aware of the paces of my heart? What does it feel like when I rest? When I walk? What about when I run full speed up the street?

It had been years since I sprinted fast, but this dog helped me do it again. Sometimes when we are out for a walk, we will start sprinting full speed. I know he doesn’t go as fast as he can because he is on a leash, and my ass is slowing him down, but it feels like we are booking it. And oh my gosh, it feels so good. How often do many of us open up our stride and book it for the hell of it?! Probably some more than others. For me, It had been too long.

Even without training, I can sprint for longer than I would have thought because it simply feels good to get my heart beating like that (and my lungs pumping!), and when I finally come to a halt, I can hear my heart pounding: BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM. My eardrums vibrate with my beating heart that all too often doesn’t get going like that, at least not any more or not as often as when I was younger.

In our youth, didn’t we swear that we would grow older but never grow up and become the people who live boring routines and drink too much coffee just to feel their heart beating again!?

Is this an awareness that we, or some of we, are disconnected from the heart? Are we allowing the heart to grow stale, stagnant, and stuck in its ways?

Are we so desperate to feel our hearts that we send them into fits of rage over too much Redbull?

What are we longing to feel?

Over the past few years, I’ve talked with women who feel like they want to crack their chest open. Literally crack it open and break it free from whatever keeps it stuck. It feels like a rock or a brick wall; nothing is flowing there anymore, and cracking it open is the solution for freedom. Have you felt this?

It’s frustrating as all hell. I have been this woman too. I would take my knuckles and knock on my chest, hoping to get something moving.

So then I learned to ask:::::

What is the heart calling out for? What needs to flow into and out of the heart? Can we shine a light on the chest and draw attention to what lives there? What stories stew there? And what kind of love do you need and want from yourself and the world? How can you offer that to yourself now? Yes, now.

Not later, but now. The heart is communicating, even if it has reached what seems like a dulled, quiet rhythm, and we can barely hear it. That is communication. Like a friend who has been removing themselves from social situations for a while now. Isn’t their silence another way of communicating?

And speaking of the heart: what about heart disease? Why is it so prevalent in our world? Is it just diet, or are we aching? Are we stagnant, are we angry, or hurt? Maybe we are mad at our parents for not giving us what we needed? Perhaps we are enraged at our rapists for shattering something in our hearts and lives?? Have we carried anger and hurt in our hearts for five years? 10? Maybe 25?

Are we ashamed? Fearful?
Afraid of living, of failing, of shining too bright?
Convinced we aren’t enough? (by the by, we are enough)

Have we been hurt so many times that we put up a shield to protect ourselves and, in the process, shielded our hearts from the good stuff, too: From the love and the living of life?

At the end of the day, how do we possibly forget the heart? Without it, we wouldn’t be here. How could we possibly overlook such a miraculous part of this body? Yes, we move fast, not like sprinting up the street but more like from one chore to the next, often forgetting the heart until there is a sharp pain, an anxiety attack, or something that frightens us.

But is that just the heart communicating with us, saying, “I’m still here, and I am here for you, and we can work together.”

The heart is constantly communicating with us. It wants to beat wild and free. It wants to help pump you full of life. Is it not actively doing so right now, as you read this?

What about letting the love shine in, shine out, shine through the heart like a radiant beam of light?

How about pouring our hearts into our passions like gooey golden honey shining in the sun?

And dare I mention forgiveness? It’s not an easy one, but it’s rooted in freedom for us, for the world, for our hearts and our chests.

Can we try to remember to live like a child again? Maybe take some time to sprint through a field with our dogs or our children or completely alone to remember what it feels like for blood to pulse through our veins and for the love of being alive to satisfy all our needs and desires?

Has the time come for us to crack our hearts open, not with our knuckles (not with our doctor’s hands or tools) but with love, forgiveness, intention, letting go, and play?

Every day, connect to the heart. Thank it for a lifetime of work and the work it continues to do. You’re still here, aren’t you?

Regularly check in with your heart and ask it what it wants, then offer that to your heart (and to you).

Many of us have grown afraid of standing out or looking goofy or delusional for believing in pure love, forgiveness, and play. We have grown busy, tired, and scared, and we need to pay the bills. We must get all the cleaning done.” It won’t take care of itself.”

But you, we, I are children in grown adult bodies aching to be playful and deeply cared for and to be loving and passionate again and again and for the rest of our days. Is life on earth meant for shutting down, quieting up, getting serious, and paying the bills? There has to be more, and there is more! We are it. Our passions and play are it. Our love and connections are it. That’s the more, and the heart is the fuel.

How can we tap into that now?

When I take a moment and pause, I can find my heartbeat in my chest, in my neck, my wrist, my groin, and behind my knee. It’s all working. It’s flowing and connected. Now how can I support this? How can I listen to this more often and cherish it?

Love comes through me via the heart; how can I guide it to all the right places? How can I use it for good, health and healing?

How can I remind my body that I am alive and kicking? Not just alive but hiding, staying small, doing just enough to make ends meet?

So, what is my heart communicating with me, and how can I help it to pump wild and free?

 

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