Heart Whispers – Part 6, Homecoming

 

(to recap: On the evening of May 14, 2007, I had a heart attack while I was teaching my Monday Level 1-2 Yoga Class)

In Part 5 I discussed when I ‘go there’… to the place when I get whiny and ask “why”.

Spoiler alert: it’s NOT a good place

 

…So the cardiologist said I should exercise.

I asked if running woud be a good idea, he said yes – after some recovery time.

I needed to maintain my cardiovascular health. I was one, working-artery, short of a full set and needed to bring some greater ‘fitness’ to the other healthy ones -to take up the slack of the one that quit.

I signed up for a half marathon.

My way of saying  ‘screw you heart attack, you’re not the boss of me…’ I know, real mature… Of course I didn’t just want to run the half, I wanted to run faster than I did 8 years prior.

Once I was off all the medication and the cardiologist said that I didn’t need to keep seeing him, I started training. I started slow and balanced my running with my regular yoga practice and teaching. I use to joke that I ran to support my eating habit (I love food!), but since having a regular practice of yoga it felt as though I was running to make the yoga more juicy. The thing about yoga is you want to FEEL it… You want to squeeze something. You want to find resistance, to press up against it, to find what you are made of. It’s like spelunking/caving… You are afraid to squeeze through those small spaces. It is both exhilarating and terrifying to not know what is on the other side. It’s almost like a re-birth of types. It’s the pushing and shoving, the struggle that makes it so satisfying. Running makes me tight. Muscles feel shorter. Reaching the barriers in my yoga practice, takes less time. Is it ‘cheating’?

It feels damn fine.

While pursuing all of this, (I didn’t know it at the time) I pushed my heart further and further away. I wasn’t really conscious of this, but in the throws of physicality of it all, I had made my heart my slave. I was going to ‘run the show’ from now on.

We do this.

As a massage therapist (and a human being) I witness this all of the time… We push away the pain, not consciously, but we do and with that we feel broken up, un-whole… Like something is missing. It’s not something you can put your finger on. It’s all liquid-y and difficult to grasp.

I had the opportunity, in 2010, to invite my little lost heart back. Back to my mind, back to my body, back to my heart…. It’s perplexing to think of inviting ‘my heart back to my heart‘. As much as I try to express this, I am unable to find the words to do so. It feels all bumbly and awkward.

It’s like trying to explain any feeling… Seems like a bit of a lost cause. We try though. That’s where poetry and connection come from, right? We connect to someone else’s expression of what we are really trying to say. Because of their eloquence we feel like we know them, they ‘get’ us.

I digress….

When I say ‘invite my little lost heart back’, that’s not accurate. My heart never left. I pushed it away. I left it. I was the one who broke up with my heart. I like ‘forgetting’ that all this stuff happened.

Who, me? No, I’m perfectly normal

Heart, Schmeart…

It was a dirty little secret I had to fess-up to on the odd occasion and was embarrassed when I did.

My dear friend encouraged me to get a full body fascial unwinding treatment. This is a way to sort out your body (mind/heart) by ‘undoing’ past trauma. After a brief experience with it at massage school, I was intrigued and a little nervous. I thought It would ‘undo’ an old hang gliding accident I had years ago and fix up my left shoulder and arm. My body had different plans…

Thankfully, there were 3 therapists there to guide me through this amazing (surprising) experience, pressed up in a corner having a ‘conversation’ with my heart, saying all of the things I was unable to express before, ‘forgiving’ it and telling it how sorry I was for disconnecting with it and in the end… I became whole again.

Like the proverbial, prodigal son, I came back to the open arms of my ever waiting, unconditionally-loving heart. A beautiful homecoming…

Oh, happy days!

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I feel so blessed to have this amazing organ in my healthy body.

I look after it.

I’m still working on trusting it… Trust takes time.

It takes time and experience.

In the meantime I’ve become a bit of a ‘heart whisperer’, (according to a friend) I am learning the ‘lingo’ of the heart.

PS. That half marathon…  It took 15 mins longer than the one 8 years before. (I know, big surprise, right?) Yes, I was mad about that… All is forgiven now.