As a healing artist, I start sessions by asking “How does your heart feel?” For the past few months, universally, the answer has been “heavy.” Unhappy. Full of grief. Blocked.
And justifiably so.
This year has called us to step outside of our norms and create new ones. As we do this, it’s healthy that we experience a range of emotions and think about how we can better take care of ourselves. Doing this inherently makes us more capable of taking care of each other, which leads to our collective healing and growth.
And though sometimes it can feel really time-consuming or expensive to take care of ourselves, there are a variety of healing art modalities that are free or low-cost, taking only 30 seconds to do, and can truly relieve a heavy heart and transform it to a joyful one.
It’s foundational for each of us to identify which of our senses brings us closer to ourselves and our healing. For some people it’s touch. For others it’s taste. For some they’ve just never thought about it and don’t know where to start. Regardless of where you’re at, here’s a starting place for you to tap into your senses and start identifying for yourself. Knowing which senses nourish your healing and growth allows you to truly tap into your uniqueness.
Healing is not linear and it’s not the same for every person, and that’s where the beauty lies.
Set an intention —
A great place to start is to think about what a heavy heart means for you or how your heart feels in the moment. In this moment you might set an intention for yourself. This could be what you’d like your heart to feel. A safe space for you to imagine everything you want. (Perhaps it’s something you write down and come back to whenever you need it.)
Spark the heart chakra —
Once you’ve sat with how your heart feels, you can start tapping into your heart. A way to do this is through sparking the heart chakra (its energy center). When balanced, the heart chakra promotes openness, harmony, and easiness of breath. And when unbalanced it feels like emotions are weighing us down, like we’re lacking connection or touch, and like we’re unable to flow openly.
Air is the element associated with the heart chakra and the color green, and by adding green to your diet and decor, connecting to others, and engaging your sense of touch, you can balance the chakra.
Add veggies and herbs —
Mindfully adding green family vegetables and herbs means including things like spinach, cabbage, asparagus, arugula, avocado, green apple, kiwi, pear, green onion, celery, cucumber, peas, green tea, matcha, basil, spirulina, parsley, cilantro, thyme, fennel, mint, sage, lemongrass. As you do this, listen to what comes up as you eat it and how your body responds to the food.
Access acupressure points —
The more you listen to your body, the more connected you will feel to your body. A way to continue connecting is through your sense of touch. Think of your hands as an extension of your heart. By accessing acupressure points you can directly stimulate your heart and release heavy emotions. You can access the following three points on either hand as often as you need. (It’s recommended to touch at 30 second intervals.)
- Gently massage the space in-between your ring finger and pinky at the bottom of the pinky bone.
- Follow the curve of your palm on either side until you locate the space next to your wrist bone.
- Make a fist with your hand and notice the point where your middle finger reaches your palm.
Flush your heart meridian —
If you find that you enjoy accessing points along your body to stimulate your heart, another way to do this is by flushing your heart meridian and releasing anything that may be blocked.
Place your right hand in your opposite armpit and gently and slowly rub your arm until you reach the tip of your pinky. Feel if anything comes up for you before switching to the other side, repeating as needed.
These are just a few of the techniques I’ve learned throughout my training in acupressure, herbalism, qi gong, and guided meditation. I hope that through these you can find a rhythm that feels right for you. They don’t have to be done in any particular order and I suggest that you find a way to moderately add at least one of them to your routine when your heart feels heavy.
Catalina Cipri is a healing artist and the founder of Reciprocate Healing. Find her on Instagram at @reciprocatehealing or on her website at reciprocatehealing.com.