We, humans, are hard-wired to walk on paths we know. We choose friends, partners jobs, and geographical locations according to familiar patterns deeply ingrained in our past. When lives are so completely turned upside down by a pandemic the emotional stress is, particularly hard on the heart.
The heart is the “seat of the soul”
The heart is not merely an organ of the cardiovascular system that transports nutrients, oxygen, and hormones throughout the body and removes metabolic waste. In the spiritual sense, the heart is described as the “seat of the soul.” It is the first organ that develops in the fetus and is the connection between our physical and non-physical (soul) selves.
Impulses or thoughts flow first from the heart and then to the brain. The brain dissects, rationalizes, and analyzes. The heart is authentic and closest to the true self or soul purpose.
Cardiovascular disease is stress-related
Our body is constantly sending us signals about what we need to hear and work on. The problem is that we are so caught up in the world of distraction that we mostly fail to listen until the body calls a time-out with some illness or malady. It is no surprise that cardiovascular diseases top the list in much of the Western world.
Regaining that connection to the “heart-mind” comes during times of stillness. Becoming still is particularly needed during these times of emotional turmoil fed by the fear monsters.
Toxic emotions, stress, trauma, and procrastination can be transmuted very well with the ancient body arts of tai chi, qi gong, and yoga that were all developed and refined by spiritual masters over many generations. Cutting-edge research from Harvard Medical School supports the long-standing claims that Tai Chi also has a beneficial impact on the health of the heart.
The deep walking experience
Tai Chi is also described as meditation in motion. For me, I have found a combination of Tai Chi and deep walking as particularly beneficial. Many of you might also currently not have the energy to find a good Tai Chi teacher or to attend regular classes. So why not just take a walk in nature. Even if you live in a big city there are places where you can find stillness in green spaces. The green and blue spaces of nature have an immediate positive effect on reducing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Deep walking is not simply a hike for exercise purposes. It is finding a connection with your deeper self while walking. If you want to find out more I really recommend reading my new book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.
Stress starts with a thought
A really simple method of finding a connection to your heart-mind or your intuition is by concentrating on your breathing while you are walking. Stress starts with a thought. That thought is then compounded by follow-up thoughts and you soon find yourself in that stress maelstrom if you don’t consciously put on the brakes. If you find it difficult you can count your in- and out breaths, as you are walking. It is also helpful to focus the mind on a natural sound such as a bird singing or the distant bleating of a sheep.
The events of the past few weeks are teaching us more than ever to look after our mental and physical well-being. It is all about creating resilience and having the energy for the good times that will again come.
Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker
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