Your heart has a spirit. Are you listening?
What does your heart spirit feel to you?
Some cultures identify the heart as:
Hindu – The Golden Sheath that houses the self.
Christian – The ruling center of all people
Judaism– Where we feel and think thoughts and make choices.
Islam – The origin of intention activities and cause behind intuition.
Native American – The heartline symbol, an arrow
from mouth to heart, represents life force.
Heart Chakra – Anahata means unhurt.
Taoism – The heart is the center of human cognition.
Aztec – The seat of the individual. A fragment of the sun.
WOW!!! That is some pretty heavy stuff. A western physician records unhealthy heart function by the measure heart rate and pressure whereas, ancient medicine considers uncontrolled thoughts and feelings in the diagnosis. A healthy heart functions low, slow, and at ease, but an unhealthy heart beats erratically and is impaired and fragile. The heart spirit feels peace, calm, and patience in health, but is filled with anger, sorrow, and fear when unhealthy. Modern medicine has only just begun to study the effects of stress on your heart. Eastern philosophy has long held the heart spirit as the manager of stress. Less stress means less mess. Your heart's spirit is talking to you. Are you listening to it?
Heart spirit disease feels like emotions out of our control. Reactions to everyday life events are heightened compared to the reality of the situation. Little things trigger the flight/fight/freeze response. Physically, our pulse becomes rapid, blood pressure goes up, and the brain fires thoughts like fireworks. Emotionally, this feels like excessive anger, being overly anxious, or emotionally out of control. Think of a toddler having a temper tantrum. This physiologic stress function is for a life-saving emergency. However, daily stress reactions to finance, family and funk can develop into a chronic disease. If you feel frenzied and frustrated at usually insignificant things, or you react with stress rather than acting with intent, you may have heart spirit disease.
A healthy heart spirit can handle crises. Thoughts and feelings are settled, situationally related, and in control. Specifically, your actions are conscious – meaning you evaluate, contemplate and then respond. The current finance, family, or funk stressing you out is not usually life-threatening enough to need over-reaction. But, it can feel like it! A healthy heart spirit means that you will still experience anger, sorrow, and fear. However, you can reasonably and respectfully deal with the circumstance. Calm consciousness keeps your blood pressure and heart rate low. Thoughts then work toward resolution rather than indecision or rumination. In other words, you won't throw temper tantrums.
To heal the heart spirit is to spend time listening to it. Taoism has a practice of fasting of the heart, a state of stillness – not thinking, not moving, not reacting to any external or internal stimuli.
It is essentially dopamine fast that asks you to remove all things that bring pleasure. The idea of fasting of the heart goes beyond meditation. The benefit comes from letting go of our desires. A wanting heart starts the toddler temper tantrum. To sit still and not react IS the practice. Fasting gives us power over thoughts and can heal the heart spirit. Stillness can teach you intentional control over stress. Put the toddler to bed. Listen to your heart's spirit and give it some attention. Learn to live with a calm center of cognition and mature origin of intention.
Are you looking for some heart spirit health? Try the Hopeful Healing Mindful Monday class beginning March 7, 2022, every Monday at 6:00 pm EST. Meditation may be just the way to bring your heart spirit back to health.