heart beat

I just realized something.

I have been getting scared when I feel my heart beating at rest.

I’m not talking about A-fib or an arrhythmia. That’s not so good and if that happens I need to get myself to the ER.

So not that. No worries.

When I exercise fairly vigorously of course I feel my heart beat. I’m not talking about that. That’s good. Yay heart. You are working. You are healing. You make me happy.

Heart Renewal by my friend Sue Wolfe Patterson.

Heart Renewal by my friend Sue Wolfe Patterson.

There’s a practice I’ve been doing lately. I sit (cross-legged in my case, it’s most comfortable for me), gently cross my hands over my heart, and I visualize light energy moving from hands to heart. Someone explained to me that this was an energizing practice. It is.

Sometimes when people do this, they find themselves rocking back and forth gently. Okay.

winter rain

winter rain

Some people incorporate this into their meditation, if they meditate. Some use this to help generate awareness of loving-kindness, healing, peace. I liked the way someone put it: “peace in the midst of chaos.” Sometimes I really need that because my head can become a chaotic place. This is a cool practice that I often begin halfway through my own meditation.

Sometime during the summer I realized I felt my heart beating when I did this exercise and it began to freak me out. The last time I did this I felt my heart beating and it freaked me out. Seems whenever I do this I feel my heart and I freak out.

I never even thought about it — why am I feeling my heart? Instead I reacted. I’d back out of the exercise.

Funny. I go to the gym or I walk or hike and feel my heart pounding. I expect that. That’s good. That’s health.

But in a practice known to energize I freak out. I feel my heart when I don’t really expect to and freak out.

Maybe that’s okay. After all, we need to take care of our hearts. I need to be aware of my heart and what it’s doing, sure.

Regularly, three or four times a year, now maybe only twice a year (we’ll see this July, in fact) I have to have pictures taken of my heart and then talk about them with my doctor. I have to protect my heart.


Here’s something I just realized. I’m over-protecting my heart.

My doctor says the best things. In fact, he told me if I want to run, I can run. The only reason I walk and don’t run is because of other things, not my heart. Maybe I’ll run. If I lived where there was pavement I’d ride a bike, for sure. I’d ride it a lot.


So. What the heck?

I used to not protect my heart. Not at all. That would be the heart of hearts, the emotional heart. I was reckless and too trusting. I got hurt. Really hurt. That heart is healing too.

But now I’m over-protecting my physical heart.

I think I need to get to a place where I know deeply I’m strong enough emotionally and physically to feel my heart beat and not freak out. To open up (protectively) and not freak out.

My physical heart reacted to its trauma four years ago by enlarging. It’s beginning to contract back to whatever its new normal will be.

My emotional heart contracted three years ago in response to its trauma and I have to let it expand.


Protect. Contract. Expand.

Let your heart beat.

It’s all good.

multicolor heart

About rainshadowfarm

I teach anthropology, am an archaeologist, a drylands agroecologist, community educator, and a single mother of eight grown kids. I currently own and operate an educational and research farm in the southern Mojave Desert, Rainshadow Farm. I'm 100% West Virginia hillbilly. Not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in disability, gratitude, gray divorce, Life changes, resilience and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to heart beat

  1. garden98110 says:

    Whether we visualize our hearts as the antechamber of eternal life, the repository of our emotional records, or the pump that rarely misses a beat throughout our lives, our heart has a wisdom of its own. As an organ it predates the reptilian brain. As an image of the source of our compassion we find it everywhere. Everywhen. These hearts of ours speak to us. We are all learning to listen. — The Healing Garden gardener

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