FAST WISDOM™ NEWSLETTER
by Lonner Holden
THE HEART: Weak Alone, Invincible in Community
Love . Connection . Reciprocity . Interdependence
Recently I have been in the company of newborns. Their purity of spirit has an effect on me like no other. “Radiance of timeless being” comes as close as I can get.
Holding a newborn is dangerous to my linear habits and commitments. I better not need to be anywhere soon. I become very still, muscles relax, heart and breath calm into a slow cadence. My mind empties and a soft, warm feeling flows through me. Free of all effort in my mind, heart and body, I involuntarily smile. Practical concerns fall away.
I feel connected to a vast grace which comes simultaneously from both the faint sparkle of the most distant galaxy and a pearl at the bottom of the sea. Being Love emanates from this tiny, new person resting in my arms. I seem as helpless as them - unable to resist the deep state of receptivity and connection that is inspired by their great innocence.
The human heart is as equally powerful as it is weak.
Approximately 7% of our body weight is blood. If you weigh 150 pounds, your heart is constantly pumping about ten pounds of this complex red, viscous, life-giving fluid about 70 times per minute through thousands of miles of blood vessels.
How can this fist-sized muscle persevere with such diligence? Truth is, the heart cannot perform without the astonishing support of its community of surrounding vital organs. From the Eastern Medicine perspective, the heart is the only organ in the body that is energetically connected directly to all other organs that receive and assimilate life energy and function. In community, the heart is invincible.
This understanding perceives human physiology is an interdependent and interrelated system. Symptoms appear when there is a disruption in the system. So symptoms are not the problem, they are alarms announcing some degree of disintegration in the system. Once the cause of the disintegration is discerned and resolved, the symptoms naturally dissipate.
Heart difficulties are then usually seen not as a problem with the heart itself. Heart symptoms are usually seen as alarms of disintegration in the broad system that supports the heart and which the heart is dependent upon - which includes the eyes and the brain. Yes, how you see and think of yourself in relation to others can be reflected in the health of your physical heart.
Where do you find yourself over-efforting? Your heart has to work harder. Overexertion of any kind produces disturbances in the greater system that sustains us. This can be physical overexertion as well as social overexertion such as pretense, or trying to hard to overcompensate for feelings of inadequacy. Perfectionism, competition and overwork all encourage this isolating process and life becomes more effortful.
Dr. Dean Ornish demonstrated that lifestyle changes do have a profound effect on reversing heart disease. At the heart (sorry) of these changes is connection with others. In addressing the greatest contributor to illness he says, “...there isn’t any other factor in medicine... that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness and premature death from all causes than loneliness and isolation.” Alone, the heart is weak.
Love comes from feeling connected, of giving and receiving the honesty, trust, forgiveness and generosity of others. And what feels more natural to your heart than to share the warmth in your eyes, a kind word, a listening ear, your smile, forgiveness, honesty, trust and acts of kindness.
In effortless connection with others we can relax into holding our own “radiance of timeless being” in our arms and know, as T.S. Eliot once put it, “Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.” How would your life be different if you lived each day including each person you encounter in compassionate reciprocity?
- How do I feel when I generously offer support to others?
- How do I feel when receiving the support of others?
- How am expressing generosity and well-being to others by accepting their support?
- How do I sacrifice deeper connection when I feel I have to do everything myself?
- Where and when does life feel timeless to me?
- When you feel fatigue, is it because you pile on too much to do in a day?
- Do you believe that you have to hold yourself together?
- Notice where and when you feel poorly understood.
- Inventory how much you connect with others in relaxing ways.
- Do you feel self-conscious around others; put on a “happy face” when feeling sad or stressed? Do you pay a price for this?
- Make eye contact with someone you do not know.
- Express appreciation to someone who adds value to your life whom you have never acknowledged this to. Notice how expressing gratitude feels in your heart.
- Challenge yourself. Listen to someone you usually do not like listening to. Breathe and come back to a calm place inside yourself. How does this feel?
Like connecting with a newborn, each time we connect within ourselves and with another, consider the blessing this offers. Does it feel powerful, vulnerable, sacred?
- JIN SHIN JYUTSU® HEALING HANDS SELF-CARE:
- Give yourself a hug. Reach across your chest with both arms so that your right fingertips touch the outside of your left shoulder blade where the left arm meets the torso and your left fingertips touch the outside of your right shoulder blade. Sustain for 36 consecutive, relaxed breaths. Relaxes all physiological functions and calms all emotions.
- Touch the fingertips of each hand to the center of the other hand at the same time. You will be making a small cave of your hands with your fingers. Awakens awareness of simplicity and relaxes the heart.
More Info »
RESTORATIVE NATURE PRACTICE™:
- Spend sustained time (at least ten minutes) with your attention gently focused on a singular point of interest in your natural environment. It might be one shadow, the sound of the rain on your roof, one bird sitting in a tree, a worm. Avoiding the temptation of all distractions, keep your relaxed attention on only this one thing in an inquiring state of mind - just wonder about it free of expectation or goal.
- Begin with a single point of interest in nature and follow the connectivity thread from it. Observe what it is most specifically and immediately connected to, and what that is immediately connected to, etc. See how long you can follow this “trail” of connection before you lose it. Are you included along this thread at any point? ( Exclude “air” and “ground” as connectivity elements, keep it more specific.)
More Info »
NEXT MONTH: Spring Equinox: Migration and Digestion as Equatorial Balance
- Red food and dark food is generally good for the heart and blood (but not red-dyed licorice and sweets that contribute to inflammation and organ function stress).
- Salmon, red meat, black beans, blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed (ground), red bell peppers, papaya, red grapes, apricots, dark chocolate (raw), spinach, broccoli, red chard, prunes, dates, black olives.
PICKS OF THE MONTH:
* Yoga Retreat with Jacqueline Gerson, Haramara, Mexico April, 2015
* Tracking and Nature Connection Spring Workshop with Scott Davidson and John Broussard
- Healing Hands Self-Care Course Evening Series, San Rafael: February 3 - March 10 (6 Tuesdays)
- Healing Hands Self-Care Course Morning Series, Mill Valley: April 9 - 23 (3 Thursdays)
- Healing Hands Self-Care Course Evening Series, San Francisco: April 28 - June 2 (6 Tuesdays)
- Restorative Nature Practice™, Marin County: February 21, March 21, April 18
- Marin County Tracking Club, Point Reyes: February 22, March 29, April 26, May 31
See events on calendar »
* October: Into the Wild Journey: Grand Canyon (http://intothewildjourneys.com)
Fast Wisdom™ is the newsletter of my Holden Healing Studio practice. Each issue explores a theme of living approached in the context of healing. Included is a simple Jin Shin Juytsu® Healing Hands Self-Care exercise, as well as a Restorative Nature Practice™ activity to practice which relate to the newsletter theme of the month. Nutrition and health tips too, so you can live a happier and more vital life infused with well-being, improved health and more effective and empowered recovery.
© 2015 Lonner Holden