As with the ocean, it could be said that we are moved by tides. The swell of emotions and feelings as well as the pull of our thoughts are powerful, complex, and intricately intertwined. They are a vital and essential part of our profoundly human lives.
The heart, a source of wisdom, is powerful in its capacity to integrate and mediate.
And so, as support in navigating complex times, please consider these three indispensable allies: the heart, the breath, and awareness. With us, day in and day out, they are loyal friends.
The heart, a source of wisdom, is powerful in its capacity to integrate and mediate. The breath cools and soothes the frazzled fibers of our being and gently grounds us in the moment. And awareness recognizes the moment in which to practice.
Heart Breathing Practice
Adapted from a practice created by author and philosopher Terry Patten during his work with researchers at the Institute of Heartmath, this practice opens us to the power of the heart to “integrate” our intelligences — rational, emotional, and instinctual — and to “intuitively mediate contradictions between them.” You may call on this practice as a means of centering in times of overwhelm or anxiety, when clarity is needed for how to move forward with great fullness of heart, in service of both yourself and the world around you.
- Close your eyes and take a few slow deep breaths.
- Bring attention to your heart, a center of intelligence (rest your hand there, if you’d like).
- Breathe into and out of your heart and the space around your heart.
- If you can, allow a sense of appreciation and care for this moment and for the essential underlying goodness and beauty of yourself and this world to arise.
- Allow this feeling to be felt as a wave of warmth extending to and from your heart.
- Ask: What does this moment ask of my inner goodness?
Please share your experiences with this practice in the reflection area below.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon