This month seems to have an uncanny focus on the heart and matters of it. From the health of the organ itself (it is National Heart Health Month) as well as feelings of passion - or, perhaps, unrequited love - that will be celebrated or avoided on Valentine's Day. It is a short month that seems to slip away in the scheme of the year and I find myself contemplating the complexities of the heart.
In Chinese Medicine, the Heart is considered the Emperor of the body. It is the most revered organ in charge of smoothly flowing our emotional/soul intelligence through our bodies via the blood. No small task when you consider that this means the heart reads a situation and within milliseconds sends information to the respected organ systems that take care of particular tasks (anger the liver, fear the kidneys, grief the lungs, decisions the gallbladder, and so on). Generally there is a combination of organs that receive a good stoking from the fire of the heart. Perhaps this image of the heart housing a fire is where some of the passion we will see expressed comes from. At all costs, we are to make sure the health of the heart is taken care of so much so the pericardium is charged with the task of being the punching bag barrier to the heart. Some practitioners only use heart points in their treatments sparingly as the heart always knows best.
If we are to rely on this knowledge that the heart knows best and is doing all it can to make sure we are taken care of, perhaps we can take a moment to indulge in some tokens of affection lavished upon ourselves? Making some extra time to read that book that feeds our soul, an evening out enjoying something we hadn't tried before like a visual journey with a shaman? Taking a much needed extended hot soak in the tub or shower with an invigorating salt scrub? Maybe it is a meal with friends or loved ones that we don't normally make the time for but makes us feel joyful and happy? Whatever your gift to yourself may be, I do hope you take some time in the following weeks and add yourself to the mix of individuals that love is lavished on.
Your partner in healing,
Taking Care of Your Heart
1. Get Physical: Pay attention to how much time you spend seated, whether at work, in the car, on the couch, etc. You want to cut that time down.
2. Do More of What you Love: Manage your stress in a healthy way, whether it's with meditation, yoga, or just spending time with people you're close to. Talk, laugh, confide, and enjoy each other.
3. Restore Balance: Unplug from electronics, reconnect with forgotten hobbies, seek out friends who nourish your soul and support you.
4. Be Good to Yourself: Managing your blood pressure with feel-good activities is not only fun, but good for your heart. Whether listening to great music, pampering yourself, or cooking a healthy meal, your heart will thank you!