In light of recent traumatic events, it seems timely to talk about the role of the Heart, and trauma.  How can we care for ourselves and the communities around us?

In Chinese medicine, the Heart has many ‘helpers’ to filter the negative emotions and physical substances away from the organ, so that only the ‘finest’ and ‘most pure’ substances enrich the heart. However, in cases of trauma and severe shock, many of the body’s checks and balances can be bypassed.  These types of stresses deeply affect the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the body. It is during these times that we must stop and begin a conscious process of checking in to prevent further damage to the Heart.

Go Inward, Then Outward

Take the time to check in with yourself. Sit or lie quietly and imagine going into your heart space located in the center of your chest. Begin by deeply breathing into the belly. Bring light and love into that space. Stay with this process for as long as desired. Repeat daily.

You may want to keep a journal of your Heart Space experiences or share the practice with a loved one.

Act with Honesty and Integrity

As you work more closely with the heart space, begin to feel it physically on a daily and moment-to-moment basis. How does my heart space feel around other people? How can I honor what my heart needs in this moment?

These are basic questions we need to ask and act in accordance with their truth. Be honest and be in integrity in your interactions with others. Be open to listening and processing feelings on a conscious level.

It is important to note that emotions are an unconscious expression (anxiety is a big one we see nowadays) whereas feelings are a conscious expression (more on that to come…)

Using Suffering to Enact Conscious Change

When we encounter suffering in ourselves, we need to use this suffering to enact conscious change. This change process is about reaching into the vulnerable aspects of our being, recognizing them and giving them enough space to change in their own time.

It is through reaching out to console that we can finally feel our own pain, our own intimacy and our own comfort.

When wrapped in the guise of insecurity, so tightly wound that we feel nothing but our own pain, ego, and self-suffering, we must acknowledge that this is an attachment to old wounds or unconscious expressions.  By reaching out, we open to release, allowing the light to penetrate into the cracks of being - creating vibrancy, space and vulnerability where once lived encumbered death.

Note: If you are dealing with PTSD or feel as though you need extra support it is highly recommended that you work with a therapist or other licensed healthcare professional that can help guide your process. Sometimes uncomfortable emotions or feelings can arise, that are best dealt with in supervision.