Matters of the heart

As we approach the summer solstice, we transition into the energy of the fire element.  This element pertains mainly to the heart, although in Chinese Medicine, each element has a yin and a yang partner meridian.  The fire element is the only element that actually governs four of the twelve meridians. (That makes it pretty important!) The two yin meridians are the heart and master heart or pericardium, and the two yang meridians are the small intestine and triple warmer.  Yin is said to pertain to our emotions, while yang pertains to our beliefs and attitudes. 

Each of the five elements has a role within the body, which can be compared to a hierarchy of a kingdom so to speak.  The hearts role is that of the emperor, who rules with clear intention and awareness, by spreading joy.  We’ve all heard the expressions lead with your heart. 

The master heart envelopes or protects the heart, particularly from excessive emotional damage and shock.  When in balance, they govern our ability to feel joy, compassion, the ability to deal with strong emotions, intimacy, and a sense of wholeness and self love.  When out of balance, we can experience mania, restlessness, a feeling of disconnection and depression, heart palpitations, sleeping problems, spontaneous sweating of the palms or feet, anxiety, phobias, a feeling of restriction in the throat, incessant talking or laughing.

The yang aspects pertain to assimilation of ideas, clarity of thought, memory, and nourishment of the body/mind connection.  A disharmony can present as inflammatory reactions, jaw problems, tinnitus, unclear thought processes, lack of energy, increase in colds or fevers or become emotionally cold or shut down.

One of the most beautiful aspects of being human is our vulnerability and the great capacity to love and be loved.  As part of our experience, we will naturally come up against the polarity of this as well. These heartbreaks, seeming failures, illness or traumatic experiences can affect this vital element and can store themselves deeply into the system.

Restoring balance to the heart can be achieved through acupressure and other healing modalities such as sound therapy, flower essences or homeopathy but also by nourishing the Shen* 

This can be likened to our spirit, or presence.  It’s our ability to connect to a higher source, to enjoy life, cultivate awareness, manifestation, our vitality, and our unique expression.  This can often be seen in the eyes. That sparkle or conversely, that emptiness.  Our Shen* is first transmitted to us in utero and it’s said the moms state can effect what is transmitted to the fetus. It can also be cultivated throughout our lives.

Practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga, adopting an attitude of compassion and forgiveness, or simply engaging in activities that feed your soul play an integral role.

In our world of rushing from one responsibility to the next and the disconnect of virtual connections, allow yourself the time this summer to explore what makes your heart sing and experience the joy of the moment. Nourish your spirit with self love and positive thoughts, breathe, and actively replenish your heart center. ♥  The best part your bliss gives those around you the notion or permission to do the same. Shine brightly!

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