“The Heart holds the office of the lord and sovereign. The radiance of the spirits stems from it.” - Nei Jing Su Wen Chapter 8
Recognizing the Shen
The intangible moment of looking into someone’s eyes. It is that twinkle, that connection. This is the Spirit of the Heart. The Heart Shen. Inherently the heart is a special home, holding this spiritual space responsible for regulating the rhythm of an organism - animating its life force by circulating blood - rich in nutrients and oxygen.
The Heart Shen can be damaged easily by relationship dysfunction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or chronic illness. The eyes begin to look as though the twinkle has evaporated. Left the building. In that moment of looking into someone’s eyes and it's as though the lights have gone out. This is when the heart no longer holds it’s Shen. There is a disconnect between the cosmos and the human organism that the Shen enables in a healthy bodily relationship. It is the Shen that animates this beautiful life force with vibrancy and radiance.
We learn to heal the Shen in these 3 aspects of understanding
Find Growth in Discomfort
Think of soil, rich in dead and broken plants and waste. It is from this nourishment that the most beautiful flowers grow. When we are at our lowest, after grief, trauma, broken relationships, this is the space that we must occupy in order to heal and grow further. It is a time to go inwards, recognize the dark and begin to move towards the light. Notice these moments and begin the process of healing the Heart Shen through relationships with those around who love you. Start small. Reconnect with friends, loved ones, and the natural world around you.
Know Your Heart’s Offerings
We often put so much attention on the other person in a relationship, either as the source of joy, disappointment, anger, blame, shame, expectation, devotion that we easily forget our Self. We forget the beautiful vulnerability and resilience we have to offer both our ‘other’ and our relationship with the greater world. Rather than building codependency, a space of stagnation and mutual destruction, move in a direction that honors the Shen. It is about a conscious awakening, an expression of Love moving upward and outward together, a mystical dance with the cosmos.
Heal the Shen in Love
Healing is a process. It can be long or momentary, but have faith that if you know your Heart’s Offerings, your Shen will lead you in the right direction. It is not luck that some find love around them, it is a practice, a skill to serve the greater world with compassion, awareness, and consciousness. Act in love. Be in love. Honor the radiance of the Shen.