Heart Opening, Literally
There is some literal work I have been doing around my heart lately, which I didn't really put into perspective until this most recent Full Moon Habit came to me.
First, I've been getting acupuncture (5 Element style, from this wonderful lady) for the past 6 weeks. I went to her as one of those obnoxious clients who doesn't really have anything wrong but wants to try it out! With her infinite wisdom, she's been treating me anyway. One line she has been pursuing is strengthening my Fire, especially my Heart Protector, allowing me to open up more.
So I've been thinking about my social-ness, my habits of Introversion, and my interactions with people over the last 2 months and wow! Things have been different! I even had a little party at my house, all by myself! This is very unusual; that is my sanctuary! And it was a wonderful gathering.
Today was busy- Herb Day at Barefoot Garden where I got to be helpful and label some of the herbs for Linda (which allowed me time to find some exciting choices), back to a friend's house to check up on and visit with their pups, then to a tea party in the city to learn to make vegan coconut yogurt (amazing). Yesterday was similar- a workshop where I made my very own worm composting bin, and one of my favorite plant sales of the year, lots of driving and doing.
So this morning I ran the shower on my heart. While I washed my hair, instead of turning off the water as usual, I turned my chest up to the hot water and let it warm and open. I hardly even thought about it, in fact I was already doing it before I recognized the importance. This was another literal interpretation of my moon habit, and it was astonishing.
Usually I only have enough in me for one event over a weekend, especially when I'm dog sitting at a friend's house. This busy weekend should have left me a zombie, yet here I am! Happy, ready for a new week, with new ideas percolating from talking with the cafe's owner today. I'm curious to see if this energy sustains over the next several days.
The point is this: the term "heart opening" is MUCH broader, and more nuanced, that I expected.
And this: we can grow, and expand, and change within ourselves, while still honoring our authentic, fundamental selves. I can't be like my outgoing friends who thrive on time with others, but that time doesn't have to drain me, either. Now that I have had the experience, I can try to mindfully recreate the feeling of opening and filling my heart with warmth and happy anticipation and peace, whenever I need it.
And this: we can get help to reach our goals.
I am my own worst client; I can hardly help myself when I don't feel well. Knowing my challenges helps me empathize with my 'real' clients, and their successes remind me to become someone else's 'real' client too. We can't be subjective (part of our situation) and objective (detached from our situation) at the same time, we can't be client and practitioner, parent and child, teacher and student. One role will always win out, and in my experience it's the one where I've spent more time. (I find it VERY hard to take a pilates class, after being an instructor for almost a decade!)
So we can and should enlist the help of others, even others who are similar to us. I take kickboxing classes when I can at a fitness center near my house, so I can fully immerse in the student role. I know a fair amount about helping people get well, but I need to be treated by others to heal myself. There must be other places in my life where I expect both sides of the coin from myself, and that is a new area of awareness to cultivate.
Opening the heart, allowing others in, allows them to help too. Maybe it's on purpose, like in the case of my acupuncturist, or maybe it's a side benefit, like the feelings of acceptance and pleasure I had at this tea party today. The opposite is true also- being open allows our energy to help others in unintended ways, and there's no such thing as coincidence or unintended! Doesn't our world deserve a little more Heart Energy, also known as Love, anyway?
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Fun Fact: I'm an herbalist and a movement coach. Not a doctor, or a pharmacist, and not pretending to be one on TV.
This is a public space, so my writing reflects my experiences and I try to stay general enough so it might relate to you. This does not constitute medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss concerns with your doctor. Remember, however, that the final say in your wellness decisions are always yours- you have the power to choose, you are the boss of you.
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