Do you ever collapse into bed at the end of the day feeling just completely drained and disconnected? Ugh, I hate the feeling that something has drawn so much of my attention and energy that Iâ€™ve ended up not just tired but depleted. Iâ€™m being sucked into the undertow and washed away. (Yes, I do lose perspective and become overly dramatic.)
Wouldnâ€™t it be nice to end each day simply tired, peaceful, and satisfied?
The cruel irony is that bedtime itself is whatâ€™s been draining me recently. Weâ€™ve been spending 2-3 messy hours a night on the long road to sleep with our six-year old daughter. Too often by the end of bedtime my voice has been sharp, shoulders hunched, and nerves frayed. I am then grumpy with my partner, spend too much time on Facebook, and drift aimlessly around the house.
In the last two weeks we turned a corner. Now I leave her room feeling calmer. I even have energy for conversation, taking care of business, or play.
Whatâ€™s different is the attention I pay to my heart. When my daughter and I head towards a power struggle, I have new awareness for how my heart shuts down precisely when she needs more love from me. Now I get creative and pull out some new occupational therapy tricks. Yesterday, when I turned a clean-up task into an obstacle course we finished feeling even more energized and connected.
There was certainly a time in my life when I could not have told you whether or not my heart was open. I remember blushing in embarrassment when someone talked about how peoplesâ€™ hearts open over the course of a week-long camp. Too mushy!
Today I see the results of years of practice in attuning to my heart. Itâ€™s getting me unstuck, increasing my sense of connection, and energizing me.
Practice helps us heed the heart.
- Practice listening to your body. All the mindfulness Iâ€™ve brought to my body makes it easier for me to notice when my shoulders are up in my ears.
- Practice being playful and creative. An open heart wants to create and play. Turning tasks into games gently tricks my heart into staying open.
- Practice receiving support from the earth. Having a relationship with the earth under my feet and rivers flowing through my body gives me a bigger sense of support when I am under stress.
- Practice receiving support from the Divine. The heart is a gateway to accessing Divine love and strength.
My daughter practices playing Ode to Joy on the piano everyday. She recently tried playing it while lying down on the piano bench. Even though she was upside down, she did it!
Similarly, strengthening your connection to your heart canÂ help you access energy, connection, and possibility even when your world is upside down.
What is your practice? Iâ€™m curious to hear in the comments. And of you are looking to strengthen your practices, check out two types of practice groups offered by Wisdom Dances.
Beginning May 5, 2015!
Drop-in to any class during the summer
OR Sign-up for the full summer and receive a bonus class
The Hive and the Well is a practice that helps you embody your fullest self through movement and community. We dance to be nourished by nature and by Source. We dance for wellness. We dance to awaken our creative spark and to flourish in life.
This practice celebrates the cultural values of hospitality, mutual support, and reverence for the natural world. The wisdom within the dances of this embodied wisdom tradition from the Balkans gives you the strength of roots. Learn more.
Wednesdays 3:30 â€“ 4:40 at Lake Hiawatha Recreation Center
Spring Forest Qigong is a movement and meditation practice that can help you to heal yourself and to heal others. The slow gentle, slow movements help balance your body. Guided meditations help you build a sense of inner peace. When your body is in balance and connected to love you can heal more quickly and more completely.
Every class includes a brief lesson, gentle exercises, a guided meditation, time for your questions, and a group healing. This groupâ€™s name, Healing Waters honors the lakeâ€™s healing presence. In each session we will include a blessing for Lake Hiawatha. Learn more.