I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I need to be.– Douglas Adams
Healing. Such a powerful word. It implies endless possibilities. Heal the body. Heal the mind. Heal the soul. Heal the world.
I love to be in conversation about healing, whether it be physical, emotional, individual, or global. It’s a conversation I have engaged in just about my whole life and perhaps you have to.
Heal the body, mind, and soul? Heal the world? You know it’s all possible. So why do we find ourselves, and the world, sometimes stuck in a less than desirable place for years, decades, and even centuries?
Healing is about hope, love, forgiveness, compassion, and everything else that is good in the world. Healing is within reach for us all, as it truly begins with a change of heart.
It Takes Heart, a series of articles, will focus on healing emotionally, physically, and spiritually, individually and globally.
In part one of this series about healing, let’s focus on our emotional well-being. So many of us have endured a trauma of some kind, possibly during our childhood. For some, it was the loss of a parent, for others a sibling, or it was abuse, negligence, or abandonment. It’s all pain at our very core and unfortunately, for many of us, we carry that pain throughout our lifetimes.
I know that kind of pain well as my mother passed away when I was eleven years old. She was just thirty-nine when she died of stomach cancer, leaving a loving husband and four children behind. She was my champion and I felt absolutely lost without her.
It took me decades to be able to talk about her without crying. I might get a little teary-eyed still today, however, I feel joy, rather than pain, when I think of her now. I no longer think of myself as a ‘motherless daughter.’ Instead, I think of myself as a daughter who had the most wonderful, loving, and supportive mother for eleven years. By doing so, I live from wholeness, abundance, and joy rather than victimhood, unrest, and lacking.
I can also see that many of my strengths that supported me during my career and as a mother, came from the journey I’ve endured without her. Whether its pain or sorrow, guilt, resentment, or anxiety, we can shift the source, the hurt, the pain, to peace, and even to joy.
Here’s an exercise that I think will help you get started and demonstrate how quickly you can enter the optimal state of heart coherence, the state of inner balance and inner strength that heals body, mind, and spirit and connects us to the realm of infinite possibility and our greatest potential.
Think about a situation in your life right now that is bringing you pain, sadness, frustration, or worry. Perhaps Covid-19, financial or family concerns, social injustice, a health or relationship issue. Write that down.
Then under that, write down your feelings about this situation. “I’m really scared about losing my job.” “I’m so anxious about life right now.” “I am furious (s)he (said)did that.” “I feel like I will never get over this.”
Now put your pen or pencil down and shift your attention to your heart area. You might put your hand(s) over your heart to bring your full attention there.
Take a few slow breaths and a little deeper than normal, and as you breathe, feel the breath coming in and out of your heart area. You might close your eyes to help keep your attention on your heart and breath. Feel the breath coming in and out of the heart.
Now feel a regenerative feeling, like care or appreciation for someone, a pet, or a place (like the sunshine, ocean, mountains, or garden), as you continue to breathe in and out of your heart. Take a few more breaths in and out of the heart, as you feel care or appreciation.
Now ask yourself: what would be a more effective or efficient attitude or solution? No need to say anything out loud. As you continue to breathe in and out of your heart, it is the stillness that we are striving for. The heart speaks quietly so we must quiet the mind to hear it. Now quietly sense any change in perception and sustain it as long as you can.
Take a moment and write down your response to the situation you wrote down earlier. Then compare your first response (the stress response) to the second (a heart coherent) response. Notice a difference? You can continue this technique several times and each time you will go deeper, perhaps see something new, something positive, a new course to follow, and something to feel good about. That is how healing begins.
See why we say a change of heart changes everything?
Jean Houston said it beautifully, “where there is hurt, there is healing, divine therapy, and profound support.” It is our challenges, our hurt, and our pains, that provide our pathway, not only to healing but also to our greatest life. It is this process, moving from pain to inner stillness, inner balance, and inner strength, that we become the person we were meant to be, capable of taking on the role we are meant to live. And as we live from the heart’s intelligence, we live confidently and assuredly that all is well. We have what we need, and our heart knows the way, the way out, and the way forward.
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Laura Di Franco, MPT is an intuitive writing strategist, holistic physical therapist, published author, poet and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She teaches transformational tools and powerful strategy for nourishing and inspiring your fiercely alive whole self. Learn more about Laura on her website.