The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.
— EDITH SÖDERGRAN
Although the energy field of the heart has been proven to be quite powerful, in our culture today the voice of the heart is often muted or ignored altogether. When our heart’s intelligence isn’t activated, we can easily feel confused, or we may listen only to the voice of the head telling us what we should do. The inspiration of our deepest heart’s knowing is then lost to us.
There is a distinct feeling when we drop into our heart and let it open up. When we share from our heart, there is an authenticity and vulnerability that create a feeling of connection and intimacy if the listener is open and receptive.
There is also a distinct feeling when we are not connected to our heart. This could manifest as “coldheartedness,” which might be experienced as a chill in the room or a conversation killer, and it will create a block to genuine intimacy.
Another feeling occurs when we are in our heart in an overly sympathetic manner. These kinds of interchanges often feel cloying, sometimes suffocating, and frequently invasive.
Yet another experience occurs when our heart resonates with another person’s heart. A warmth in meeting, ease of connection, feeling deeply seen and heard — these are the empathetic connections that may become lifelong relationships or enduring imprints on our heart.
The Heart Is The Wellspring Of Our Inspiration For Life
What is the quality of energy that our hearts generate? The heart expresses warmth, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, loving-kindness, and most of all inspiration. A full-hearted person is a happy person.
The characteristic wisdom of the heart is in how it inspires us to live more deeply and fully and to create from our gifts. The energy of love resides throughout the entire body. It is the foundational energy upon which our creative inspirations are born.
In Chinese medicine, the element of the heart is fire, and there is a distinct sensation when this element is balanced. We feel excited, creative, and “on fire” for life. The heart is the birthplace of our deepest inspirations, so when it has been suppressed or exhausted, we may have a flat, muted experience. Burnout approaches when our creative fire has gone out.
Here are things we say about our hearts and their characteristic wisdom or knowing:
* My heart goes out to you.
* Have a heart!
* My heart sank!
* She is hard-hearted.
* Eat your heart out!
* My heart was in my throat!
* Can you find it in your heart?
* His heart was racing.
* My heart swells with pride.
* I feel lighthearted.
* My heart is filled with love for you.
* My heart is just not in it anymore.
* He gave it a half-hearted attempt.
* That gives my heart pause.
* From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
* That touched my heart.
Priming the Deep Well of the Heart
The heart is the home of compassion. When I work with someone in the helping professions, especially healthcare providers, their genuine concern for others is apparent. Their warmth and caring is frequently the original inspiration that moved them toward their profession.
However, when I sit with them long enough, I often discover that they are much better at giving than receiving. The front of a caregiver’s heart — the part that they radiate love from — feels warm and wide open.
However, often they have much less awareness of the back of their heart, the heart space of self-love and nurturing. I think of this as the deep well that feeds the rest of the heart. Like any well, when it is not primed and replenished, it runs dry and burnout starts to take hold. The front of the heart — the part shared with the world — needs connection to the deeper well of the heart in order to survive and thrive.
This well is the place of self-love — not selfishness, nor self-centeredness, but of the care and keeping of the soul. This well needs to be primed and regularly drawn from with true acts of self-love. This well is then the resource for all other acts of love we offer to the world — feeding the front of the heart and sustaining all the loving and sharing we do for those around us. In fact, when the deep heart is open, primed, and connected, the love we extend to the world has an effortless quality — and in our giving, we are touched as deeply as the receiver.
This means self-care is mandatory, not optional. The airlines truly do have it right. You must “put your own oxygen mask on first” before helping those in need around you. What the flight attendant doesn’t say is that if you fail to care for yourself first, unconsciousness or even death may result.
Yet many of us have been taught to ignore our own needs as we focus on caring for those around us.
We were not taught how to truly love ourselves in deep, nurturing ways. We don’t realize the power of feeling into every corner in our heart. We have lost the fact that the heart needs to be honored throughout its entirety, not just the front part that we share. Taking that a step further, many caring individuals have grown into the people they are by learning to pay attention outside of themselves to the needs of others, often to the detriment of what is happening inside.
This is a sure recipe for disaster. Now is the time to turn this paradigm around and treat our own heart as a primary resource that is to be treasured and deeply valued.
The heart is the home of our deepest inspiration and the well of our love for life. Having respect for the wisdom of the heart and living from its rich depths is essential.
©2017 by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of New World Library.
www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom
by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana.
Many of us have learned to ignore, deny, or even mistrust the wise messages our bodies give us. The result is that when trauma strikes, a time when we need every aspect of our beings to master the challenge, we may find ourselves disconnected from our greatest strengths.
About the Author
Suzanne Scurlock-Durana, CMT, CST-D, has taught about conscious awareness and its relationship to the healing process for more than twenty-five years. She is passionate about teaching people practical skills that allow them to feel the joy of being present in each moment of their lives, without burning out. Suzanne's Healing from the Core curriculum, combined with CranioSacral therapy and other bodywork modalities, creates a complete, body-centered guide to awareness, healing, and joy. She is also the author of Full Body Presence. You can learn more at HealingFromTheCore.com.