How is your heart? It’s a question I’ve been asking more during the pandemic, and it’s one that I’ve come to really appreciate. Because unlike “how are you?”, the question “how is your heart?” brings us out of the head and into the body. It asks us to actually check in and explore what is happening in our internal landscape.
This information is incredibly valuable, particularly when so much of our lives are being lived online. All of the time spent on screens can aggravate Vata dosha, which is in charge of our nervous system. Vata dosha gets out of balance because screens are visually stimulating and because our virtual world is divorced from the physical realm around us.
Many of us are paid for our intellectual contributions. And so we learn to highly value our minds. But if we become all brain without body, we are not in balance. We spiral into worry, future, fear, anxiety, or nostalgia.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says “For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.” (ch 6 vs 6).
Notice: does your mind help you create more connection, joy, and love, or does it generate anxiety, anger, or jealousy?
Ironically enough, one of the best ways to conquer the mind is to get more connected to the body. And this brings us back to the question “how is your heart?” Because that question provides a physical anchor to help the mind understand and process our emotional experience.
The result is that we take stock of THIS present moment. We explore what is actually true in this moment, rather than being caught in all that was or can be.
Here’s a practice I often do with my clients. If someone is experiencing a particular swell of emotion or I can see that there’s overloaded Vata at work…we pause. We close our eyes. We notice the sensations of the body. We allow ourselves the time to feel and experience the emotions of this moment.
Inevitably, the energy shifts. And it’s not that all is made well, or we’ve just wiped away the worry. Instead, we’ve created space to witness that worry. In the witnessing, we can glean new insights from that emotion. We’re no longer held captive by the abstract mind.
Ask yourself: “how’s my heart?” Allow yourself to actually tune in and notice the sensations that are present. It just takes 30 seconds. What you find might astound you. And it might just be the key to unsticking you from the patterns that have made the mind into an enemy, not a friend.
I’d love to hear from you. Comment below and let me know how your heart is on this day.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,