Where’s my heartbeat?

She Never Told Her Love – George Eastman House Collection

Being a Saturday morning, I was pretty impressed with myself for making it to the 11:30 am yoga class.  Seeing as I haven’t practiced yoga in over a month.  But there I was settling into my seated posture, hands on my thighs, eyes closed, breathing ready to begin a session that I was sure would cure me of all my ills.  The teacher’s voice was soft and soothing.  She led us through a guided meditation, drawing our attention to the sensations in our body.  Encouraging us to listen to the sounds of our internal rhythm. What does your breath sound like? Then listen for your heartbeat. 

I relaxed my shoulders down from ear, felt my belly relax moving in and out with my breath.  Check and check. I mentally moved to my heartbeat, waiting to feel the slow thump, thump pulsing in my chest.

I didn’t feel anything. Okay, strange I thought, I must not be concentrating.  Try again.  Nope, gah where’s my heartbeat?!  I’m such a hypochondriac I did then try to check my pulse, and make sure my heart hadn’t just decided to take  a little break after the beating it took over the holidays. Pulse, check. I settled in, tried to hear it again.  Nope. Nothing. I couldn’t sense my own heartbeat in my chest.

Not being able to feel my own heartbeat caught me completely off guard.  It brought me a moment of clarity too.  I asked myself what my body was trying to tell me? The answer – I’d hidden my heart away behind layers and layers of crud.  I’d sidestepped so many feelings, thoughts, and emotions, sweeping them under the rug over the holidays, I didn’t realize they’d piled up on top of my heart.  Ignoring feelings, pleasing others, putting aside my own wants needs and desires, I’d buried my own heart deep in my body.  All of the sudden it was quite obvious why it was so hard to hear my heart beating in my body.  I’m glad I still had  a pulse. 

I was now an asana or two behind, but grateful for my little wake up call to move back to an open-hearted life.  One where I live close to my true self each and every day.  At the very least I’m writing about it again.  I’ll take that as a promising start.

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