“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller
Last week I began a new meditation called, the Heart Rhythm Meditation which involves placing your hand over your heart while you’re in meditation. I am amazed at the difference that simple act has made in my heart. I have felt, really felt for the first time in what seems like ages.
When I began yoga several years ago, I remember feeling connected to others in a way that is hard to describe. Kara, my teacher, had a way of reaching inside her students and drawing out hidden pieces that were normally held tightly to their hearts, or perhaps it just felt that way to me. I also have a good friend who expresses all of her emotions in the form of tears. She cries when she’s happy, sad, or many other emotions. I sometimes envy her ability to feel and to cry as a way to release her emotions.
I tend to keep things hidden in my heart that I don’t allow many others to see. Because I keep “a lid” on my feelings, at times I feel as if I am made of stone and unable to feel, even when I desperately want to connect with others or even with my inner self. I am able to gain access to that to that inner part of me when I spend quality time with others, sharing in a similar passion (such as yoga retreats) but the time it takes to tear down the walls seems so small compared to the time that I’m in the world building them.
Interestingly, by becoming more in tune and open with my heart, I have felt a full-range of emotion this week. Not only did I feel empathy, joy, and nostalgia, I also felt anger and irritation. I remember being shocked that I was feeling irritated by seemingly stupid incidents, but quickly realized that I have no control over the emotions that live in my heart – good feelings along with the not-so-good, arrive together when I open my heart.
I also found myself in deep philosophical contemplation, sparked by a few of my favorite songs. Over the last several years, I have drifted from my connection with music. I have typically always been able to “check-in” through well-written songs that hit me like an arrow, but of late, I have struggled to find any connection to any song. Philosophical meanderings began to float into my mind and sparked my creative juices to put my feelings down in written form.
My stifled emotions have also stunted my writing. I haven’t written consistently in over a year, not from a lack of desire but from a lack of emotion to attach to a blog post. Some writers can write through a block, but since I write from a place of feeling, my writing has been a barren desert in the same way I have been.
In some ways, my mind wants to take back the safety of being a stone instead of feeling all of my human emotion. Part of me knows, however that real, raw emotions will eventually rear their heads, whether or not I seek them; life events will bring tragedy, joy and all the other emotions in between at a time that is unexpected and much more painful to experience. Perhaps shutting those emotions down are a natural defense and outgrowth of the aging process, but I yearn for the days when I could open myself freely and share from a place of honesty.
My challenge really then is to connect with my full emotional self without the pressures of the world dictating my emotions for me, and the Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM) seems to be the perfect tool to achieve that emotional connection for me.
It’s definitely early on to say with certitude that HRM was the reason for my emotional responses, revelations and philosophical questioning this week but I am encouraged. I plan to continue the practice of spending several minutes in meditation, checking in with God and my heart. I want to connect with Him, with others and most of all with my inner, youthful emotions.
Have a great week!