The heart is a unique organ. It quite literally beats to its own drum, via the sinoatrial node. It’s the only organ that can be broken and still work perfectly; Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. The heart beats continuously for a lifetime. Even when the brain gets some rest during the hours of sleep, the heart does not. The heart, in all of its glory, even emits its own field of energy due to all of the electrical impulses that occur while sustaining the flow of nutrients and oxygen rich blood. The heart is an energy center, often referred to as the Anahata, or the Heart Chakra. Anahata is associated with compassion, love and joy.
While reflecting on the magnificence of the heart, we realize that we are guilty of protecting and hiding our hearts.
Our world is busy and chaotic, there are many moving parts and we can be swept up into the rat race very, very quickly. Often we can find ourselves trapped in the cynicism of our daily grind and in the fear traps that are constantly plaguing our lives. It can be challenging to let go of the comfort of the calendar, the accomplishments of the to-do lists, and looking forward to what is next. In this busy, chaotic state, we rarely take time for ourselves. Julie Cameron suggests that artists make an “art date” once a month where they observe or attend a creative work of another artist. In reflecting on this, we realize that none of our friends make any such “date” like this with themselves.
Now, we are not talking about an afternoon to-do list of activities that are somewhere in the category of self-care. We are talking about getting out in the world and making a “heart date”. This will most likely look different to all of us. Maybe it is an afternoon of journaling or spending a few hours with a loved one that you just haven’t really had a chance to fully engage with.
Being heart centered requires a level of vulnerability. We often find ourselves protecting our hearts, thinking that if we protect them then they will remain safe, secure, and unharmed. In truth, it is as if we encased them in cheap Tupperware and tucked them into the recesses of the fridge when they should be front and center for the world to see. It is when we are vulnerable that we are able to make the greatest changes in our lives. When we lead from the heart, we expose who we are, we become true to ourselves, we make clearer decisions, we have cleaner interactions, and we have more meaningful relationships.