The Hearts Medicine
This passage is an excerpt from the ebook- 'Journeying with tinnitus as companion'- though it is relevant to us all.
The role of the head and heart are very different. Let us better understand the heart as a source of power and intelligence that can be tapped into, to help us better navigate life’s challenges.
The power of the mind is immense! The centre where sensory input is translated into experience. Our thoughts and perceptions have a powerful role in creating our reality, as do our unconscious memories, beliefs and conditioning. Our mind is like a muscle, its structure can be altered by becoming more present, conscious and discerning about the responses we make. It can constantly learn and make new connections, but without the heart working by its side, its power is limited. The mind can get stuck in patterns of thinking which are not always fruitful. It can decide what it is open to while closing itself to useful information and new possibilities, as it likes to think it knows. This has a particularly negative effect when we are faced with changes in life, and we need to seek new perspectives and solutions. And change, at this time which we are alive, is inevitable.
The mind mostly works in the way it has been conditioned to respond, unless we are in a state of conscious presence. The heart, meanwhile, works in a more open and intuitive way. It seeks clarity and understanding, whilst holding a space of acceptance and optimism. The heart seeks new perspectives and possibilities with an openness to life when faced with challenge. Engaging with our heart actually makes our thinking more rational, as there is less fear. The heart has many special innate, life giving and energising qualities like love, care, compassion, gratitude, joy, patience and forgiveness.
For example, our mind may feel conditioned to respond to tinnitus with fear. This creates a cascade of reactions within the body that create a loss of balance and depletion of energy. Through the practice of presence and connecting in with our heart, we may find faith that it will get better, patience and the wisdom to take some deep breaths and make some self-caring decisions in our life such as giving ourselves a bit more space to relax, increasing our boundaries, or listening to what our inner voice says that we need. We may build compassion for all beings through experiencing bodily and mental afflictions, for this is something which affects us all. The energy coming from these heart based perspectives will envelope our body in the power of love, energising and balancing our cells and bring healing to our being.
Disconnection from our heart is disconnection from ourselves and our true nature. Our true nature is to be connected to our hearts, for love is our nature, our essence. When we are connected to our heart, we are not lost. Our heart is our personal guide through life and together with our gut, the source of our intuition and inspiration and it knows our true needs. It is a big part of our internal guidance system. Our heart has the power to change our perspective into one of deeper truth. Our connection to heart and feeling body is relative to our spiritual connection. Through our heart, we can find that even in the darkest moments, there is light.
The heart plays such a crucial role in healing, it contains the deepest medicine. It is the heart that will uplift us into new ways of being and living. The upliftment, joy and elated feelings that come from its openness are so powerful and the sweetest medicine for the body. These feelings send a strong charge of energy to all of our cells, that send the message of ‘All is well, you may relax, let down your guard and your tensions. Take this time to soak in the life force.’ And believe me, the body responds to this message! Healing is a co-creation between us and universal energies. It is not about waiting around for something outside of ourselves to help us, it is about finding your power within to shape the way towards nurturing energy.
Tapping into the hearts perspectives of appreciation, joy, care, compassion, non-judgement, forgiveness and love increases our energy levels giving us more energy reserves to bring into our lives. These qualities are not just good for our emotional well being, but also have a positive effect on our physical and mental well being, and they motivate us to act in ways which help us to nurture ourselves and others. When we see through heart centred perspectives, the quality of our thoughts, inspiration and feelings increase. This opens doors into new states of being and experience and expands our range of possible action. Our energy levels and immune system also increases so our physical health becomes more balanced and improves! Our entire reality can shift through the power of the heart!
The more in balance, embodied and aligned with the truth of our being that we become, the more clarity, energy and joy we will experience. This is the result of love. Loves medicine is vaster and deeper than we can imagine, until we really get to know it. I am only just beginning to see its power.
To be balanced and utilising our range of intelligence, the mind and heart work in partnership. Our heart is in communication with our brain, so it has a large influence on our thinking. The heart can communicate in four different ways:
The heart and brain both emit an electromagnetic field which can be read by an electrocardiogram (heart) and electroencephalogram (brain). This machine produces a wave like signal for us to observe the state of the energy field.
The heart produces the largest electromagnetic field in the whole body, it’s signals are much stronger than the brains. Studies have shown that the waves recorded with the electrocardiogram are influenced by how a person is feeling at the time. Good emotions create a harmonious rhythm. As this field envelopes the whole body, the information contained within the field, which includes your emotions, is communicated to, and thus influence your whole body. Studies have shown that the heart actually responds to external stimulus before the brain does!
This research has been carried out by the Heartmath Institute. They have studied the effects of emotions on the hearts electromagnetic field, the effects of stress on the body, and ways of alleviating anxiety. They speak about the concept of coherence, which is an optimum state of being. In quantum physics coherence refers to particles/waves cooperating with each other, so apply that to your bodies components. It is when our thoughts, feelings and actions are in alignment with each other. It is when our heart and mind work together as partners.
When our hearts intelligence is engaged, the uplifting energy that is created helps the bodies components work together influenced by the harmonious electrocardiogram rhythm. Our autonomic nervous system works with increased harmony and the body becomes more energy efficient and balanced.
Uplifting feelings are medicine that assist our mental and physical healing. They indicate alignment in your life, but they also massively help to create alignment and internal balance. So it is not about waiting around for these feelings to appear, but actively engaging in cultivating them through focus and choice of perspective and beliefs. Of course, it is very important to do this alongside feeling and processing the more difficult feelings as well.
Incoherence is caused by the hormones that are released through the stress response, which triggered over a long period significantly depletes the body and energy we have. During a stress response, the body redirects energy from growth and repair, to immediate use. This ‘fight or flight’ type response causes the mind to switch from the area where conscious thinking takes place (neocortex) to the more primal area of the brain where we respond from instinct and emotions. This isn’t ideal for optimal brain functioning. Therefore, coherence allows the mind to work with most awareness. Next time you are feeling tense and fearful, observe how open and rational your mind is in this state.
When we consciously choose a heart centred feeling over a low feeling, we counteract the effects of stress hormones that are produced during anxiety or distress. We enter a different realm of thought which further uplifts us and reduces the build up of fearful energy resulting from reactive or fearful thoughts, which can weaken our energy system over time.
With the understanding of how emotions affect us physically, we can focus on cultivating heart feelings as a type of medicine. This can be helpful in preventing or reversing energy drains and creating momentum in shifting towards a more positive reality. This is about what we bring into our lives now. What energies are we building with?
This isn’t about repressing negative emotions for they are very necessary and have their own purpose in what they show us and how they encourage us to enact change. We can meet challenging feelings through our hearts intelligence so we do not lock ourselves into repressive states of being. We can meet ourselves with love during despair. We can see deeply into what is being shown to us, and know we have the tools to nurture our situation rather than hitting the self destruct button. This way we can learn to navigate our feelings rather than be ruled by them. We can become more familiar with the raw quality of the feeling and simply be with it, listen, and then let it move. This makes things so much simpler than when we get lost in our judgements or mental response to feelings. We will see lightness emerge sooner when we keep our hearts relentlessly open.
Perception influences the way we feel, and so can influence the type of rhythm the heart emits to your whole body and environment. Perception influences the messages every one of your cells receives from signals from the heart and the brain and influences the behaviour of your cells. That is how powerful your perception is. It is significantly beneficial for us to seek positive perspectives for positive realities to be birthed, and this is achieved through tuning into our hearts intelligence.
You can instantly increase the coherence of the heart by becoming present in the body, focusing and breathing deeply into the space around the heart. Place your hand onto the heart if this helps, or focus your mind on something you love or that makes you feel peaceful. This will help to regulate the heart rate, reduce anxiety and counteract stress hormones. Connect with the feeling the heart brings. Does it feel open, heavy, weary, or numb? Acknowledge how it feels. If it feels weary, numb or painful do some deep breathing while focusing on the heart, allow for release or send it light. If you feel warmth, you can spread the feeling all around your body by moving it with your concentration. Finding this abundant source of warmth and sending this loving energy all through your body will help to bring deep relaxation. Tension and discomfort can be dissolved in this warmth.
The heart is an immense source of power, endeavour to nurture this connection. It keeps us moving forward gracefully, with dignity and helps us to find meaning. With less judgement reality becomes clearer, less clouded in inaccurate mental responses. In openheartedness it is easier to be with what is in peace and acceptance, with a view of the bigger picture. Our care gives us fire to nurture change. The heart sees opportunity and possibility, and moves us beyond fear towards light and healing. We can love the one who is scared, forgive the self where there is regret and have patience and faith when things feel stuck. Cultivating uplifting energy will be amplified by the world around you and create uplifting ripples through space.
Some experiences hold us hostage, until we find the keys to unlocking the doors leading to the beyond. There are always keys to be found, at every level. May the Heart seek, see and bring the keys into our daily experience, with joy, at this added expression of love in our lives. Knowing that they are the gifts inherent in our experience.
For these feelings to have real influence, we need to be consistent and sincere in our intention in seeking these sources of light. Connection to these feelings will activate the bodies regeneration process and help you feel mentally and emotionally recharged. Heart activation will also make it easier to keep applying other self care methods. Love nurtures growth, fear creates contraction. Some of these aspects of our innate intelligence are described below.
The Hearts Medicine
Appreciation brings a lighter energy and uplifts you from feelings of heaviness. It focuses on abundance rather than lack. Reflecting upon what you appreciate every day has a profound effect on your life. Treating life as though everything is a gift helps us to keep a positive outlook and reminds us that our challenges are strengthening. Not losing sight of the wonders that surround you helps to keep you open to the light.
Treat yourself with the same kindness you would your most cherished friend. Meet your suffering with the understanding that you are human, and the experience of suffering is shared by billions. Be gentle and soothing towards your suffering and challenges. Compassion is openness to what is, it has no demand, nature has space for and can hold it all.
Non-judgement allows you to open up towards what is, in acceptance. It seeks to understand the bigger picture. It looks at things through the heart rather than the mind. This helps us to really be with what is, as it helps us to see beyond our limited perceptions and mental constructs of reality. It can help to have a neutral perspective where we are not overly attached to or identified with what is going on. This allows us to become less emotionally charged. When we judge ourselves, our feelings or our situation, we often create extra layers of unnecessary suffering. This type of suffering I find is usually due to our mentally created constructs of how we and reality are or should be, rather than truth.
Care brings a nurturing and regenerating energy. It is a motivator for movement towards health, healing and facing life head on. That which we care about we give our focus and attention to which gives of our energy. Our heart and will power are activated towards that which we care about.
Forgiveness helps you to be completely present with what is, rather than weighed down by negative emotions and thoughts of the past. The present becomes more open and spacious and there is a freedom created in the mind and energetically. It is a shift in attitude to move forward with courage and less blame towards yourself or others.
Patience lightens the pressure you place upon yourself and allows life to unfold as it will through trust and surrender. Patience lets go of results and lets you be with things as they are with openness. Patience is the ability to be present without the pushing and pulling of that desired outcomes creates. When we can be fully present, our focus or our power to enact change or create is actually strongest.
Faith is saying ‘Okay life, take me by the hand, I trust you to take me to where I need to go.’ It is saying, ‘All is as it should be’. It helps us to keep motivated and gives us the energy to keep going with openness, knowing that everything is part of a bigger picture. Things may make more sense in time, for now we just need to be with what is. Life challenges us to keep this attitude throughout. Faith helps us to keep our heart relentlessly open.
Joy is alike the golden juice of the sun, vital life force. Its home is within every one of our hearts. It is very balancing and healing for the body.