The ancient Irish poet-shamans (Filidh) understood that we had energy centers inside us, which help support the health of our body, emotions and mind. They saw these centers as containers or cauldrons. The heart center was understood to be particularly sensitive and could move and tip with strong emotional states.
They believed that when we are born, this center is it’s on its side, kind of like a satellite dish, but as we get older our capacity to process emotions and express them creatively enables the cauldron to turn upright and therefore contain more emotional energy. The shamans believed that the greater the capacity to process emotions, the greater the ability to channel Spirit by way of creative expression.
Like many of us, I have had a life rich with great sorrows and great joys, and so my heart has been tipped and turned. I lived through a period, where I turned my heart container upside down to not feel any of it, before stumbling onto the healing path where these emotions were transmuted and alchemicalized into the gold of gifts that are presently expressed in my life today.
Certainly after the birth of my daughter, my heart exploded and my capacity to hold and feel more joy, sorrow, love, and compassion increased. At the same time however, it seemed to become more sensitive! It seemed that many of things I could handle before, like world disasters and war, just couldn’t be contained or processed without feeling profound helplessness and sadness. So, almost a decade ago, I stopped watching and reading the news. (A decision that I still think is wise.) Sure, I have held healing and journey circles for world disasters, and while doing the work have had strong intention and engagement with Spirit to help. But on another level, my heart still remained guarded and vulnerable, believing that to completely engage would be too much.
Well, on Monday my heart was caught unawares in my yoga class with teacher, Andrew Colyn at Kula Yoga in Port Moody.
At the end of class, Andrew asked us to think about what was abundant in our lives, to visualize this. Love immediately came pouring into my heart as I recognized that my life is abundant with it. I saw and experienced the love of my beautiful daughter, my husband, my parents and siblings, my nieces and nephews and extended family. I saw myself hugging my friends, and giving and receiving love with my home, and the spirits of place here. I saw and experienced the love of my ancestors and my Helping Spirits. In that moment, I felt bliss and my heart cauldron was overflowing with gratitude.sun-hands
Andrew then asked us to transform this abundance into a ball of light, and then into a beautiful seed that we held in the palms of our hands. As I did this, I saw the light and love of Spirit enter into that seed and my heart softened and stretched even more.
And then, as I was in this wonderful state of bliss, Andrew asked us to take a breath and blow this seed across the ocean to the people of Japan who are suffering. In that instant, I felt that familiar fear, sadness, and helplessness that I so often avoid about these situations coming rushing in. For a split second, I wanted to disengage to protect my heart. But I didn’t, I held strong and allowed the process because I could feel that sadness and helplessness melting into the love, and alchemicalizing into compassion and hope.
In that moment, I completely experienced the power of interconnectedness we so often talk about on the shamanic path. I knew without a doubt that my own microcosmic process was being carried on luminous fibers into the macrocosm of Japan’s situation.
I thank Andrew for sharing his wisdom and intention of healing for those suffering in Japan, and I en-courage (en: meaning to put in, courage: meaning inner strength) those of you who perceive your hearts as fragile with catastrophic matters, to try this process of taking that which is abundant in your life, and sharing it with those in need.