Succumb to the warmth
In the heart
Where divine fire glows.
Axioms for Wildness, John O’Donohue
If someone were to say to you–where are you? Think about how you would respond. The most likely simple response would be almost unconscious: I am here. And very likely, we might move a hand to our hearts. I am here. In many respects, the middle of the chest, the place where our actual heart resides, is also a place that we most often identify as “home,” as “here.”
We know that the neurons that allow us to think with our brains show up in other parts of our bodies, too. There are also neurons in our heart and in our gut. In addition to that newer understanding of ourselves, we know that there is an electrical coherence between the brain and the heart. We know that strong emotions can have a negative effect on the heart (e.g. extreme anger and deep grief) and that other strong emotions can have a positive effect on the heart (e.g. joy and contentment).
When we allow our conscious awareness to sink down into our heartspace with intention, that coherence between brain and heart strengthens. Our heart rates slow down. Our breathing deepens and lengthens. Past worries and future anxieties fade away, and we find ourselves here, now, present.
John O’Donohue invites us to lavish this powerful gift on ourselves–today, often. We can find moments all over the busi-ness of our day to pause, drop down into heart space. Bring a hand to the heart to help that process. Breathe. Stay there just long enough to notice the shift in your breathing. Stay there a moment longer if you can. Enjoy your return to here and now. Enjoy the warmth of your own heart. Offer a word of gratitude.