In a world that is moving faster than ever before, the demands on our lives have also grown. If we don’t check our text messages, a vast array of social media comments, and our multiple email accounts in a timely fashion, a friend, customer or family member will likely feel abandoned. Such high expectations can pressure us to constantly be thinking during every waking moment. It often feels like Modern Society demands that we reside in our heads and forsake our hearts.
The simpler life of my great grandparents is now just a romantic memory for me. They passed away years ago, but I had the rare opportunity to grow up with Grandma and Pop Kennedy. Many weekends I spent making forts and playing “store” in the house of my great grandparents with my cousin Christy. My great grandparents were from a slower time, when people stopped to talk on the streets instead of sending each other snippets of conversation through a touch screen. It was in the house of my grandparents that I learned what love felt like. In fact, they taught our whole family how to love each other.
Their house smelled like fresh brewed coffee. In the background, you could always hear the ticking of the cuckoo clock which cooed every half hour. The Williamsburg Bank across the street had a clock tower that chimed in time with the cuckoo clock. Even with the abundance of clock sounds, time seemed to pass more slowly in the home of my grandparents. That safe refuge allowed me to settle into my heart, to feel it without a demanding and chaotic world interrupting it.
In my work as a healer, much of my job is to recreate that warm and welcoming space that my great grandparents provided for me. That calming slowness invites people to release their worrisome thoughts. It facilitates their conscious awareness to move from their busy brains down to the center of their chest. Our hearts are waiting for us to feel them, but without the external prompt to return to our hearts, we often stay in the bustling pace of our lives. A busy life prioritizes doing over feeling.
But it’s more than the distracting pace of our lives that prevents us from feeling our hearts. Many of us hesitate to feel the stored up emotions that we’ve never acknowledged. Our hearts carry our most emotional memories and these memories wait for us to feel them. This can be a memory of when we first met our partner which brings us a warm, pleasant feeling that reminds us why we fell in love with them. It can also be the remembrance of a funeral or memorial that holds grief for the people who we miss. We hesitate to feel these things because we’re scared of being emotionally overwhelmed. So when we come home after an exhausting day of work, we’d rather binge watch a favorite TV show than to feel what is going on in our hearts.
But giving your heart your attention is a way of valuing your feelings. Making heart time a priority not only benefits you, but it also inspires others to be in their hearts as well. A family that has several members who are present in their hearts will be more affectionate, caring, and empathetic to each other. Why carry a lonely heart? At the end of the day put your hand on your heart and feel the warmth inside of it. Then ask someone for a hug. Sharing that warmth helps everyone.