lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub…ahhhh…the precious sound of the Empress/Emperor who sits majestically on the thrown in the centre of ourchest. According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the Heart is likened to the ruler of a kingdom. It is the central hub of a person’s being. I have come to have an enormous respect for the heart after having experienced heartfailure a few days after giving birth to my beautiful son. Weeks in the hospital facing uncertainty over my life made me value the incredible job this organ performs every second of our precious life.
In many cultures the heart has long been a symbol representing love, togetherness, affection and the source of our emotions, courage and wisdom. It is also called ‘heartmind’ because the heart is considered to be closely related to our mental and emotional life. The eyes are considered the sprouts of the Heart reflecting our spirit and impulse to live and the tongue is the off shot of the heart reflected in the words we use to communicate.
Lao Tsu (Taoist philosopher) explains that it is the emptiness of the cup that renders it useful. It is believed that the emptiness at the center of our heart is the space where our spirit/consciousness resides. This is not so far fetched when you think that the heart is the one organ most effected by the emotional changes in our body. When we are happy, stressed, anxious or angry our heart beats differently. Modern medicine is just beginning to recognize that the heart is more than just a pump but that it is a highly complex processing centre. Negative emotions affect our hearts rhythm and has a direct effect on our nervous system. According to The World Health Organization depression and heart disease are fast becoming the leading cause of disability and death worldwide. As a society we must be willingto live more from our hearts and less from our minds to evolve this planet into the peaceful loving place we want it to be.
In TCM the Heart is paired with the Small Intestine, associated with the season of summer and related to the element of Fire. Fire relates to the sun, light, warmth and heat. Fire ignites all of life. Fire brings people together for warmth and comfort. When it is raging out of control or near extinction it doesn’t provide the same enjoyment. The fire energy inside us needs to be tempered so it can spark us to come alive rather than burn ourselves out.
The heart sets our rhythm in life. When we are resistant to life’s movements or when our feet and our heart carry us in opposite directions it is easy for us to feel lost and lonely. When we take the time to listen to our hearts it makes living life more joyful and abundant. We can extend our warmth and radiance to all those around us.