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Simple Heart Relaxation Practice


There’s so much going on right now in our country, on our planet, and in our collective psyche. Whether you follow the news or not, we are all interconnected and we are all affected. Your personal life may be challenging as well. You may be feeling overwhelmed with it all. Perhaps you notice signs of stress in your body, your dreams, your emotions, or thoughts. Your whole system is affected. You may feel a tightness in your gut, your heart, or find your breathing is shallow. Perhaps you feel an underlying discomfort, agitation, or edginess that you might call anxiety. Maybe thoughts or feelings keep you from sleeping well. 


The wisdom of ancient Chinese sages teaches that our heart is most susceptible to stress. Makes sense, right? We feel and know this. We all say things like “I’m heartbroken”, “My heart aches”, “My heart goes out to them…”. It’s a natural tendency when experiencing suffering, stress, and ongoing challenges, for the heart to contract. You are keeping yourself safe. Damping down feelings like pain, loss, grief that can be overwhelming. Plus, in our busy society, we are taught to keep a lid on our emotions and just keep pushing through. 


It’s so vital to take time to tend yourself and attend to your feelings with compassion and kindness. When we ignore or push away difficult emotions, like pain, anger, frustration, they simply burrow more deeply in our psyche and can cause difficulty later on. According to Chinese medicine, untended emotions and ongoing stress are the primary cause of illness and disease. For many years now, I’ve read that stress-related ailments account for around 80% or more of visits to primary care physicians. Here’s one article and another discussing that. 


Ideally, we tend and process our thoughts, feelings, sensations as much in the moment as we can so we can keep our heart — the seat of our consciousness and inner spirit — open and receptive to both our inner guidance. This is rarely possible. You may need time to yourself, discussions with friends and family, and perhaps sessions with a professional therapist. This is all totally normal. If you are in ongoing distress or experiencing difficulties please do reach out to a professional therapist. 


But in the moment, you can gently help your heart to relax through awareness and breath. Here is one simple practice that I and many of my clients have found beneficial. This is something you can do for a minute or a few minutes, to reconnect inwardly with your own heart. You can stop periodically throughout your busy day and touch in with your heart. Many people find this to be a calming practice before falling asleep. It can also serve as a centering practice in the morning or as part of your meditation practice.


Simple Heart Relaxation Practice


Gently, bring your awareness to your heart. 

Eyes open or closed.

If you like, place your hand over your heart.

Just allow your breath to flow naturally.


You can ask, “Where is my heart?”


No need to force your breath or make anything happen.

Letting go of your thoughts.

Allowing your energy to be in your heart area.


Gentle awareness of your heart.


No need to do, or fix anything. No need to engage. 

Simply noticing your heart with loving kindness.


You can simply rest like this for a minute, several minutes, or more.

When you’re ready, allow your eyes to open slowly, softly.


Remain with this gentle awareness of your heart.


Quick Daily Version

Throughout your day, simply check in every now and then, “Where is my heart?” as you bring your loving awareness to your heart.


Journaling

You may want to make some notes in your journal or even your day planner about what you notice, anything that arises, and what changes you notice over time with regular practice. You could also create a drawing, collage, painting or other artistic expression that reminds you of something you learned or has meaning to you.


Ready to Dive Deeper?

I offer a longer process if you would like to begin to explore, process, or simply be with what’s arising within you. As soon as I’ve created an audio version of the guided meditation I’ll add the link here for a free download. 


From my heart to yours,

Suzanne


PS I’m creating a course Meditation ABCs: Create Your Practice to Nourish Your Heart. Check back soon for more information.


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