In order to exhale, we must first inhale whole-heartedly.
In order to share in passion or creativity we must first embody how these feel for ourselves, in our own felt sense. In order to exchange in energetic reserve, we must first be in an open place ourselves to receive and expand.
On my course recently I learnt that when we are in a state of distress or emotional turmoil; what we may often refer to as ‘heart-ache’, our coronary arteries to the heart muscles literally close and tighten, meaning our heart cannot beat to it’s full potential. WOW!! Feel free to read that over and over (like I did) till it sinks in! You know that moment when we hear something sad and we hold our hands to our heart?! What we define as an emotional concept in the mind, is actually a real, tangible physiological affect on our heart, in the centre of our bodies.
“When we are present with sensation, we are not focused on the past.” – Judith Hanson-Lasater
Tightness and tension is something we are probably all familiar with feeling at some point, whether often or not. How do you experience this personally? How do you feel it? Where in your body? What do you notice? It’s interesting to get familiar with felt sensations and how we identify with them. Awareness of sensation is one of our first tools in conversation with our bodies and in beginning to release deep holdings.
My buddhist meditation teacher said when we are faced with a sensation, we have a choice in that moment. We can choose to pay ‘inappropriate attention to it’ or we can instead simply choose Joy.
Sounds so simple (she says it so nonchalantly too, in that way that Buddhists embody so well). I know, it is difficult and there can be deep level work to be done to begin to connect with embodied feeling. But it is interesting isn’t it to think of it being that simple? And when you feel into joy, how may that resonate in your body? Where do you feel it? What sensations do you notice? Open, free, expansive, spacious…..Are you familiar with these sensations? Can you right now, try bringing them into your minds eye and in to your physical body, with a smile on your face, and notice the effect it has in your heart…Now, how does that feel?
So my friends, here’s to inviting Joy into our hearts as much as possible, I’ll be practicing this right alongside you!