Thoughts on Health… Our Hearts

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“Your task is not to seek for love,

but merely to seek and find all the barriers

within yourself that you have built against it.”

– Rumi


When I sat down to brainstorm how I was going to make an inspirational collage of the heart out of my med school anatomy book, I started by making a list.  A list of all the words that I felt represented the *energy* of the heart.

Truth.

Love.

Joy.

Heartsong.

Re-centering.

Life Force.

Source.

Freedom.

Health.

Gratitude.

Obviously we have a heart to pump blood (and thereby deliver oxygen and nutrition) to every part of our body.  It is absolutely critical to life.

The heart is composed of a mass of similar cells who’s function is to work together to deliver the *energy* of blood to our entire organism.

But what is the one thing your heart needs in order to do all this, in order to function at all?  Flexibility.  It’s strength is it’s flexibility.  If your heart is boxed in, walled up, protected… it’s not flexible at all.  It’s brittle.  It can’t work.  It will eventually self-strangulate.  It absolutely *needs* to have it’s walls broken down, removed, in order to maintain it’s strength.

The heart, caged behind barriers of barbed wire, fencing, brick, wood

This is exactly what happens with our heart physically.  Our blood vessels become coated with plaques… but these plaques, instead of strengthening our vessels, strangulate them.  The more coated, the thicker the walls, the more risk of heart attack.

The heart is pure muscle… power, strength, truth and love… and it uses it’s core strength, which is the strength of flexibility, to deliver it’s heartsong… life, joy, and freedom… to the entire body.  This is the power of the heart, when it is full of love, lubricated by life, flexible, bending and free.

The music of life, that surrounds our hearts.  It’s not gone… it’s still playing… it’s  just muffled by the walls we build.

If your heart is hardened, if you are protecting yourself by building walls, if you are living life defensively, how can your heart spread joy and health freely to your entire body?  Your heart can not feed your body, can not feed your body joy, if it is strangled by the walls you have built.

Lightness, joy, love… these are the emotional vibrations that keep your heart flexible and strong.  These are the antidotes to any hardening of your heart you might be feeling.  These are the ways to break down the immobile walls that we naturally build as we protect ourselves along the path of our life.

Protecting ourselves comes at a price.  Building walls brings a brittleness, a false strength that can suffocate that which you are trying to protect.  With your own flexibility gone, you lose your power.  Far more powerful is the heart that can open fully and contract fully… that can feel fully.

So the first step, find what barriers you have built.  Allow them to soften.  Your ability to yield to life and it’s inevitable pleasures and joy will make you stronger.

If your heart is feeling brittle, limited, stiff, hardened, or empty, nurture your own heart first.  Begin with flexibility.  Allow your thoughts to expand, give yourself the flexibility to allow multiple points of view, the vulnerability to be hurt, and the strength to bounce back even stronger.  Give yourself a little love.  A little softness.  A little forgiveness.  A little flexibility.  Flexibility is what makes your heart strong.  Flexibility is what feeds your entire body.  Flexibility is what makes *you* strong.

This piece of art is a visual interpretation of what happens to our hearts as they age.

Next week, I will show you the the flip side of the heart… the heights we can soar to.  The joy it allows us to feel.  Come back next Monday for a look at the spiritual power of our hearts.  xoxo