How was your week? Really, how was it?
This week was tough for me. I came down with a virulent stomach virus without any warning. I had my first thermography mammogram that came out not as well as I wanted. And, seven weeks post-Hurricane Ian, the strain of haggling with the homeowner’s insurance company and the adjuster’s false promises and circular nonsense did me in! Thank goodness I have my tools! But I must admit this week, even they were not enough on my own. I needed help.
On Thursday, I attended a HeartMath group training session in which the speakers opened up the meeting by asking us “If you could receive anything from today’s session, what would it be?” I knew immediately in my heart that I needed to have more faith and courage.
Fear Can Be Crippling
I know what the fear mindset sounds like and feels like. I have felt it more times in my life than I care to admit, and I witness it daily in our world. Fear constricts your heart. It causes you to believe the worst. It is disempowering. It is entrenched in our institutions. It is all over the TV and social media in ads and posts that scare you (if you are susceptible) about everything—viruses and disease, neighbors, enemies, environment, books, people who think differently than you, and on and on. It is particularly apparent during any political season. No matter which way you vote, I am sure, like me, you finally had enough of the ads and emails. We get a reprieve from this fear-inducing bombardment for a while.
Here are other ways fear shows up. We go on medicines out of fear for what will happen to us if we don’t take the medicines. We stay in jobs we don’t like because we fear we won’t be able to find a job that pays us fairly and well and allows us to be happy. We start believing ourselves to be less than in so many ways. Fear Can Be Crippling.
Faith is the Opposite of Fear
The opposite of fear, on the other hand, is faith, courage, and love. It comes from connecting with the heart and with other people’s heart energy. And that is what I did Thursday afternoon. There were so many moments during that meeting that opened up all of our hearts like when a woman talked about how HeartMath helped her husband for fifteen months with his battle with cancer. She is a believer and she needed to share. And how HeartMath helped another woman calm herself down enough when her husband cracked his head open on a hike. The wisdom she received by slowing her breathing down and focusing on gratitude allowed her to calmly take the steps necessary to slow the bleed. He was ok and was sitting there beside her as our speakers.
Thursday afternoon after crying during most of this meeting, my heart instructed me to let go of the fear. I did it in quite a unique way; I spent an hour in my house shouting and screaming at my old self for rearing its ugly head. “GO AWAY FEAR.” I shouted repeatedly. Speaking to the walls and my poor confused dogs, I added “I do not need you to move forward with my past hanging around my neck like a noose. I have worked too hard to let you stay in my body and cause this kind of worry, anxiety, and pain.” The fear did leave my body. I felt calm and hopeful again.
Developing Strength, Resilience and Courage!
World-renowned educator, scientist, author and speaker, Dr. Joe Dispenza, who practices HeartMath, has written extensively about the power of our past conditioning in preventing us from having our best life. He writes about the need to stop living in the past, thinking the same thoughts we had in the past and holding on to the same feelings we felt in the past in order to move forward.
What triggers my old fearful habits rising up is getting sick. Once I am calm enough to understand my trigger, I am usually able to use a powerful HeartMath practice that focuses on gratitude to shift out of energy depletion to resilience, strength, and courage.
A Simple HeartMath Practice to Activate the Grit of Gratitude
To sum up, if you are struggling right now with a chronic condition and feeling low, know that there are paths out of it. I might suggest that in addition to upping whatever supplements and healthy foods you can eat, rest more, and spend some time seeking out your heart’s intelligence. Here is a step-by-step HeartMath process to try.
- Slow down your breathing to a comfortable pace (possibly 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out)
- Direct your breath into your chest or heart center. That is how you activate the 40,000 neurons in your heart, which communicate directly with your higher thinking brain.
- Find the easiest thing to be grateful for first. And breathe that feeling in and out of your heart.
- Then try to appreciate or be grateful for the process or effort you are making to activate gratitude for a minute or two.
- Finally breathe in a feeling of appreciation for how you are being changed by whatever difficulty you are going and growing through.
This practice of applying a gratitude lens to more difficult circumstances was shared by Sheva, as a way to build your capacity. She calls it the “trinity of gratitude”. Try it and let me know if it works for you. If you need help in navigating anxiety, chronic health conditions or gut issues, I am here to help. Reach out.