As loving and spiritually centered people, we follow our hearts' desires to manifest our dreams and live a life of harmony and vitality.
There are countless programs, podcasts, books, etc., all about following your desires and creating the relationship, business, and life you love by following your heart.
I know I teach these types of courses! I love this work. My heart's desire is to share with you practices that bring harmony to your life.
And yet this little piece wants to be shared today. Sometimes in the spiritual community, I notice the tendency to spiritualize things that might not actually be healthy.
Hear me out. What I mean is:
A healthy heart is a safe heart! A safe heart is a protected heart! A safe heart can open to love!
Over and over, I hear people say, I'm feeling everyones' emotions. I can feel what they are feeling. I want to lay down all my shields, all my armor. I want to open my heart even more to feel everything that is here!
Of course, context is everything, and I, too, embody empathy as a core value. But there is healthy empathy and extreme empathy, and that is what I'm referring to. What I'm about to share is not the only Truth with a capital T. It is from my personal perspective and a shared Qigong perspective. That's why I want to introduce you to the pericardium.
In Chinese Medicine and Qigong theory, the pericardium is known as the heart proctor.
The physical pericardium is a membrane or sac that surrounds your heart. It holds the heart in place, and since the heart is always beating, the pericardium helps keep the heart cool so it can work properly. The energetic qualities of the pericardium are to support the heart to be healthy.
Think of the pericardium as the gate of a castle, and the heart is the castle. You want the gate to be strong and to keep out negative energy and invaders. You do not want your fortress to be breached!
We do not have control over most of life, which is a good thing! The vast majority of our bodily actions are involuntary, such as your heart beating, digestion, and your immune system. The intelligence of your body knows how to protect itself.
Another way to think about pericardium energy is your emotional immune system.
Just as you don't think twice about boosting your immune system, take herbs to fight an infection and eat healthy to stay healthy. Those same principles apply to your emotional immune system.
When we wear our hearts on our sleeve and don't have clear energetic boundaries about where we end, and the other person begins, then we are at risk of a very unstable and turbulent emotional experience.
When our emotional fortress is being breached and our pericardium is depleted, we easily pick up other people's energy. We are easily emotionally impacted and cry over every little thing. Quick to agitation and often anxious.
photo credit: Villagewellness.net
From a Qigong perspective, when or if the pericardium is energetically damaged and the fortress is breached, that's when the energy affects the heart, and that is called trauma. People with PTSD, Bipolar, schizophrenia, and other unstable conditions have had their pericardium damaged.
When people have too much pericardium energy, they tend to block people off and are not able to connect with others or relate to how they are feeling.
So, as with everything we are doing in Qigong, we are cultivating the harmonious balance of being in right relation with self and others. We are in a relational field of knowing what's mine and what's there's and what is the space between us in which we can connect.
In Qigong, we have many practices to help us create, maintain and repair our healthy boundaries. We are not building walls or armor but points of connection between self and others.
We also have practices to help us recognize when we have gone beyond our own healthy boundaries and breached our own fortress by grasping for what our heart wants but is not receiving.
Notice I said want and not desire.
Want means don't have or a sense of lack.
Desire is related to the word destiny, which means written in the stars. Whatever your heart desires is being shown to you as a pathway to follow, not because you don't have it but because you are it.
Want is the feeling of lack and leads to desperate grasping and clinging to what you don't have and is not available to you.
Once we realize the difference between want and desire, healthy boundaries and armor, then we realize how to return to our center, and simply by being ourselves, we magnetize what we desire to us without losing our integrity and taking on other people's energy.
Qigong offers us a somatic experience of empowering self-love in the form of healthy boundaries so we can safely and lovingly open our hearts and generously express ourselves in a way that is not emotionally unstable or dumping on someone.
This type of work is rewiring our nervous system so we can learn to respond in our relationships in a healthy and emotionally mature way.
I just wanted to share this practical aspect of Qigong with you so you can know what type of work we are up to in our transformational journeys. The guided journeys I offer are not simply a collection of movements and mediations to feel good at the moment. They are to live harmoniously and in right relationship with yourself and others for the rest of your life.