I've decided to start by writing about nourishing the heart, a theme which appears frequently in the readings I am doing at the moment. For me, nourishing the heart is both connected to and at the same time distinct from feeding the spirit, and its purpose is so that we learn to receive from the source, from love its self.
When my heart is fed, I can feel warmth spreading through my chest, I can clearly feel my heart opening and my physical posture changing as that warmth spreads through my arms and I want to embrace the world and all that’s in it! Needless to say, it is not always appropriate to act on that, but I notice it.
The first time I experienced this it took me by surprise. I had been away from home for a few days and, on my return the first being I saw was one of our young cats mooching about by the bins! The spontaneous action of opening within my chest told me what my mind did not know, which was that my mind, which thinks it knows, was unaware of the love this being could awaken in me. It was a turning point in my awareness of what, when, who, where and how love could be if we are willing.
The purpose of nourishing the heart is to learn how to receive love from the source, from love itself. I grew up with the idea that love is separate from us and needs to come from another. Some people have the experience of being deeply loved within the family and some do not. If we have not had that loving experience from early life it can be an area of great pain as we struggle with the giving and receiving of love in our close relationships. If we can develop the ability (and everybody can) to receive love from Source, this can increase our joy in simply being alive and ultimately, significantly improve our relationship with our self and others.
This is a huge topic and I will be writing much more on this, however, for now, I suggest an exercise. NOTICING! As you go about your daily life, notice when your heart feels most relaxed, for example, when you feel most accepting of others, when you are least critical, what makes you feel spontaneously kind and giving. Just noticing those moments is a step towards building a relationship with love.
If you don’t know how your heart is, take some time to ask yourself, literally, how am I today? how does my heart feel now ? Some people do this through keeping a journal, I do it out loud when Im alone at home, and then I listen for the answer, which I also say out loud. This simple exercise has helped me through many challenging times.
There is no shortage of love if we only know how to receive it. More on this next time.
All love, Bell.