How to keep your heart from stopping

heart clip art

Tonight we went to see The Shack. There were many things I liked about the film, and some things I didn’t care for—but this is not a movie review.

I’ve been working the Heart Math techniques I mentioned in my last post pretty regularly lately, and it feels like the space in my heart is getting larger. But one of the things I am also realizing is that my heart has always been a bit oversized. I think somewhere around upper high school I figured out how to shut it down a bit so life didn’t hurt quite so much. Books, people, bullies, war, starvation—it all used to devastate me.

It isn’t something I did consciously—it was just too painful to try going through each day seeing so much heartbreak both around me and in the world. It feels a little how a photographer would close a lens if it was letting too much light in. I have a shutter in my heart, and I narrowed the filter to let in less.

I’d like to think that we can be “open-hearted” without personal emotional injury. The heart math book doesn’t talk much about that—except that we should recognize the difference between caring and overcaring.

At one point during the movie tonight I was sitting between my husband and my sister who recently lost her husband. The movie had some tough emotional movements. I was already holding Milt’s hand, but I reached out and took my sister’s hand. She and I are only about a year apart so we’ve always been as close as twins. We feel each other’s insides. It felt good to hold her hand. At some point I felt the pulse points begin to beat with one rhythm. I realized that perhaps this is the only way we can continue to be open-hearted and to survive—if we hold on to one another in a good way.

There is a real benefit to once again allowing the lens of my heart to open. It may hurt more, but I’m also feeling more gratitude, appreciation, and love.  I’m not sure you can have it one way or the other. Either close your heart and be safe (and empty) or open your heart and feel all of it.

I choose to keep widening that lens.  Going for more.

The other movie thing I’ve been binging on is Call the Midwife.  I’ve watched the series once and am plucking my way through it again. The other night I had another “heart aha.” If you don’t know the series there are a bunch of nurse midwifes working side by side with a bunch of nuns. All are serving the community—especially the moms. My “aha” was that if I had not been so slammed by my early church experiences, I may actually have chosen a life of service. It would have suited me in many ways to spend my days serving others, serving the creator, and serving the heart. No regrets, mind you. I love having children and grandchildren and would not have it any other way.  I also love having found a soul mate and sharing a life with him. But sometimes I long for solitude and reflection in massive doses. It kind of makes me smile a bit—my mother would have loved it if I had become a nun instead of a hippie.

The one thing that offers a bit of protection to my oversized heart is perspective. It may sound strange, but I’ve come to see the human race as just another species–here for an eon or two and then gone again just as fast. Our beautiful Mother Earth will endure beyond us. This helps me keep some distance—that and a good sense of humor.

So, what is your “heart aha?” How do you “compost” all that the world throws at you and still stay standing? It is a real question, and I’d love to hear your answer.

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I Could Kiss Myself

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Yesterday I was watching small streams of water flow into small lakes beneath the snow.  I walked across a parking lot at full stride, a sign that my injured feet were returning to full strength.  I was thinking of putting small tomato seeds and pepper seeds into warm soil and watching nature’s magic unfold.

Tonight, 40 mile an hour winds and 4-5 inches of snow blowing with it.

We think seasons come with regularity and in phases, but they really come and go each and every day.

A human life has seasons, too.  (We are a part of nature after all.) This has been a good winter to review the seasons of my life.

When I was in my twenties and had found the path I would follow for the next 40 years; I was so fresh and on fire.  I beat the beast of my own shyness and learned to speak in front of people.  I scaled mountains I thought impossible, and then made it safely down the other side.  Crazy fun scary wild energy that.

I’m 63 now and re-evaluating.  I’m wiser now (I hope).  And tamed.  And still there is some fun, wild, scary, crazy energy inside of me that still wants to learn and grow and move.

I don’t know what this season will bring. I don’t want the same things I wanted in my twenties, but it is up to me to shape and define what it is that I do want. I still love working with people to see what destiny and purpose have in mind for them. I love my house. I love building and growing and will do that until I drop. And, as you can tell, I’ve not been doing a lot of writing lately but am thinking of re-engaging my goal to finish some books.

Last Sunday we went to see a storyteller named Anne Dunn, and she said that stories have spirit and that they come to us like a blessing. When I think back to how I was when I was following some elusive character through a hundred or two blank pages—that was the magic for me. I think I got sidetracked by trying to “be a writer” instead of following the story spirit. Maybe it is time I went back to see what those little spirits have in mind for me. I can imagine spending this golden season of my life tracking sprites through mystical lands.

I’ve been studying a wonderful book called Heart Math Solutions and have found a lot of my own techniques made into quick and effective little plug-ins. I’m enamored with the idea of running the rest of my seasons through my heart and not my head. The heart energy is a powerful force in the world—much more powerful than we give it credit for. And it is not hard to slide away from the negativity of the mind and into the loving pulse of the heart.

People are feeding on darkness everywhere I go. I find it so sad that we seem unable to take back our power. One study in the book said that a single recalled angry event (just even letting it come fully to mind) will take your immune system down by half for the next six hours.

One recalled injustice, or slight, or bad attitude. Just one.

Really?  I should give away that kind of power?

So, I want to share just one of the techniques for you to try.  It is called the Freeze Frame.  (Don’t be fooled by its simplicity).

  1. Consider a situation in your life that is causing you trouble or pain.
  2. Freeze an image of that situation (like a still photograph instead of full cinema)
  3. Move your attention to the area of your heart and hold it there for 10 seconds at least, breathing your energy through that area.
  4. Now surround yourself with an image of a moment of great happiness or compassion (bliss, joy, serenity) and bring that image very close to you as though you were there again.
  5. Now, return to the area of the heart and re-consider the difficult situation and ask your heart, “What would be the most efficient way to deal with this situation?
  6. And then wait for a response. (It may come later, it may come just as a sensation, but something comes.)

That’s it. And become aware of every time your mind strays and repeat the exercise again and again until the mind and heart come into a nice working relationship instead of fighting each other.

It feels good to be back with you again, and back to this page. Today I posted on Facebook, “I’m feeling so fine.  I could kiss myself I’m so pretty.” Just saying the words in my head again makes me smile.

And a smile is a powerful thing.

Peace, and do say hello to your absent writing friend in a comment.  Let me know if you try the technique and how it worked for you.

Note:  I was reading through the comments and remembered Rita’s great comment.  I had asked her if I could post it, and it seems very appropriate for tonight’s post. Thanks for the smile Rita. Her comment came from this earlier post.

I’m not sinking; I’m thinking. I’m thinking about not sinking. If I sink, I won’t be doing any good thinking. And when I’m thinking, I’m usually not sinking–unless I’m thinking about things that make me want to sink. I’d rather not. So I don’t think about sinking . . . and then I usually don’t sink. Thinking is good–it’s so much better than sinking. See, I’m thinking right now and you can see I’m not sinking. At least I hope I’m not. Uh oh, just saying that means I’m doing a little sinking. Or, oh no, it means I’m actually thinking about thinking and sinking, so I’m thinking and not sinking. Yay!

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Hold Fast to Dreams . . . or not

Snow person with a big hat

I remember when I was in 10th grade we were assigned an English project to create a poetry book of our favorite poems.  I’ve never really been into poetry—but I like words and some words come together in a cool way.  This was one of the poems by Langston Hughes that I selected.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

I’ve been wondering about long-held dreams lately. This past year my dreams have been pushed around a bit by fate and circumstances.  I was on a mission to complete unfinished books that were holing up in my computer.  I got the first four done when I had a terrible car accident that knocked the feet out from under me—literally.  I was also dreaming about turning my workshop, Life by Design into something much bigger.

But suddenly I was forced to reconsider some things.

These moments are always a choice point. When face with unexpected challenges, we can curl into ourselves and wonder, “Why me?” or we can push out and upward and wonder, “Why me, why now?”

That has been the source of my strange silence these many months. I’ve been caught in introspection and inquiry.

Since my early twenties I’ve worked so hard to dream big and see myself as both a published author and a person who can influence others on the world stage.  I’m a person of high ideas and ideals–and a serious student of both.

To tell you the truth, neither of my dreams have reached the heights I had aspired to. I’m not sure why. The best “excuse” I can think of is that I am, in truth, an introvert. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like self-promotion.I don’t like Twitter.

So, do I let those dreams die? And what will happen to that broken-winged bird who cannot fly?

Well, I’m learning a lot of new things about myself from contemplating these questions.

This past August, after a sad and frustrating summer of being unable to navigate in my usual non-stop, on the move gardening self, I did experience a time of depression.  Then (thank God) Milt heard about this medical device that stimulates circulation at the level of the capillary bed from his brother, John.  We tried it mid-August and by the end of the month, I sat in the garden.  We bought a “Bemer” in early September and by the middle of the month my feet had healed to the point where I could seriously go back to the garden.  I had a delightful time jerking the grass and weeds from my badly neglected gardens.

But then I realized something even more important. Not only were my feet getting better, but my thinking was clearer, and my energy felt fresh and new again.

And I just didn’t feel like jumping back into chasing my old goals (finishing old manuscripts and doing level one workshops) that seemed to not be growing into anything. Because Milt and I were both having such a good result from this device, we decided to work to build a business distributing the Bemer Therapy device.

Some cool things have been happening around this—and lots of new learning.  Here is the short list of what I’ve been learning the past four months.

  • There are a lot of people struggling to be well and have the energy they need for life.
  • It is easier for me to talk to people about a device that enhances life energy then it is to talk about one of my books or workshops.
  • Milt and I finally have a common project again instead of “his work” and “my work.” We like building together.
  • The company has a great plan to help distributors build a substantial income just sharing the technology with others so they can feel better. (As co-creators, we’ve never had substantial or even regular income.)
  • All those skills that I have been building to help others realize their goals and dreams, I can now plug right into using with my distributors so they can grow and expand.
  • And all the energy that I had to create a substantial business structure I can now plug into building this business. And finally,
  • No book, workshop, coach, counselor, therapist, constellation, or degree program is going to help me be more of who I want to be if I lack life’s most essential energy at the cellular level. Take care of the body first.
  • So, sometimes old dreams have to shrivel a bit just like the plants in my garden. They have a great season and then curl up and sink into the earth to make room for the life that is coming in the new season.

We shall see how this evolves for us.  For now I’m in the romance period of starting a new project with Milt telling people about an innovative new way to gain health and energy by laying on a mat two times a day for 8 minutes.  (Almost sounds too good to be true.)

I’m putting my workshops, writing, and other pursuits on a low back burner until I see how things unfold. I love that I am again reading, studying, learning, meeting new people, and working with them on creating new frames to move into. So, if you don’t hear from me again for six months—well, no worries. I am not a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.  I’m just flying in some new skies for a while.

I hope you are entering this New Year filled of your own dreams and enticing goals. Be totally in love with what you are doing and who you are doing it with. If you aren’t, let that garden go fallow and start a new one.

Life is so short—we can’t afford to waste any time.

PS—If you decide to Google Bemer Therapy, realize that there is another company out there that is doing bad business practice. Our company has issued a cease and desist on certain claims put out by IMRS. Contact me personally if you want to know more about it, and I’ll share some materials with you.

PPSS—My favorite creative outlet has been drawing crazy little snow people and putting them on face book. You can see them all on my FB page. And yes, you can still order some of my books and have a good read. Silver is my favorite of the four new books followed by One Drum, a close second. But don’t leave Sulee out of the mix either.  And of course, if you have never read Washaka The Bear Dreamer—well, that is simply a must read. You can order any of these books at  

A final PS.  We are heading to Rapid City next week with multiple events.  Get in touch if you want info on where and when.

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