“The heart is an organ of fire.” ~Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
The limbic brain, the seat of our emotions and learning as human beings, can be destroyed by unhealed trauma. Ancient Christian mystics, often called the desert fathers and desert mothers, referred to this brain as the heart brain. Our emotional world, governed by the limbic brain, can feel like a fire that is raging out of control. Some trauma survivors are affected oppositely—they become shut off to feeling altogether. Often we shut ourselves off from emotion by choice, afraid of what feeling them might do to us.
Our emotional world and other matters of the heart are much like a fireplace that keeps a cabin warm. If the fire rages, it can burn the cabin down. If the fire dies, the cabin goes cold. Recovery teaches us how to keep the fire in balance—properly tended to create for us a beautiful warmth.
Invitation: Interlace your hands together and place them over your heart. If directly touching your body feels too activating, you may hover this cross-fingered gesture a few inches away from your heart. Spend 3-5 minutes in this position and listen to what messages your heart—and the emotional world it represents—may be giving you today.
Prayer or Intention: May the emotional fire of my heart create warmth—not destruction—today and on the path ahead.
Excerpt from the forthcoming, Trauma and the 12 Steps Daily Meditation Reader, releasing on September 30, 2020 from Creative Mindfulness Media
Photograph & Meme by Dr. Jamie Marich
Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity
Please direct all inquiries to:
© Mindful Ohio & The Institute for Creative Mindfulness, 2021
Dancing Mindfulness/The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an organizational member of the International Association of Expressive Arts Therapists, the Dance First Association, and NALGAP: The Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Addiction Professionals and Their Allies; Dancing Mindfulness proudly partners with The Breathe Network and Y12SR: The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery in our shared missions.