My first heartbeat meditation happened in a room full of 200 people in Portland Oregon at a conference of conscious business leaders. Somatic psychologist, Dr. Loren Hadassah, invited us to shut our eyes, slow our breath, and drop into the awareness of feeling your own heartbeat. The energy in the room shifted to a crackling intensity as we all searched our body sensation to find the low rhythm ka-thump ka-thump ka-thump. We all know what it's supposed to sound like but how on earth are you supposed to find the stillness of body and mind to detect such a subtle signal? I felt challenged. I like a challenge. She offered that if you can't find your heartbeat, place your hand over your heart for as long as you need to. The important bit is that you connect into the constancy of your primal life force.
Your heart will always attend to you. At times of extreme stress you'll hear it drum in your ears, reminding you how very alive you are. In times of falling madly in love, it's flutter will redden your face with the blush of infatuation. Even the noise of all the rest of the life drowns out its rhythm such that you can't hear it, still it silently beats, never protesting or demanding thanks for its lifelong service.
It never takes a day off because it's mad at you. You are at home and your body. The more you should love the more your intuition will guide you. The more space you make by clearing the internal chatter, the astonishing guidance your heart will whisper to you.
My wish for you - always cherish your heart,. My hope for you, that you did never even for a second think you would rather be in someone else's place - that you were someone else living in another body.
Your body knows when you hate it. It knows the places you don't touch lovingly out of shame or disappointment. Send love from your heart to all of the places that don't meet culture’s beauty standards.
Your heart knows when you don't trust it. If it sends you messages you habitually ignore, it will whisper even more softly. You'll miss the gentle guidance which leads to life's greatest joy and deep satisfaction. What remains is a life of scarcity - how little am I willing to accept? How crappy a relationship, job or friendship will I put up with? Your heart doesn't want any of that icky, sticky, rotted, heavy, self-defeating nonsense. Your heart can be can get behind a “hell yes” or even that “hell no,” it's the watery “maybes” with a side salad at guilt and shame with a double shot of self-doubt that it can't of abide.
You’re not on this planet to lead a lowest common denominator life. The wildest ass adventures start from the things your heart aches for — and I am talking about a literal ache. As different situations come up, note all of the different physical sensations of your heart. You’ll find a geography spread out. For me grief feels like a 1-inch steel ball bearing right in the middle of my sternum, the muscles clenched down around it. Pure, unconditional love feels like my heart is beaming a foot wide and lighting up everything it touches. Longing begins as a warmth in my heart that radiates out in waves that vibrate my bone ache. Each emotion has it’s own signature, even two different instances of sadness might bring up a slightly different constellations of sensation. That’s when you know you’re getting real good. It might seem like a lot, but when you know where to look it’s easy as knowing if you need to go to the bathroom. You’re simply reading what’s there. The heart maps the path forward.