Heartfelt wishes

BHARAT SAVUR | Updated on February 03, 2011



May love… and health find place in your heart this Valentine's Day.

If more and more people are getting heart attacks in the morning, shouldn't we be listening to what our heart is telling us? Maybe it's saying, “Wake up in a healing space of calm and joy.” That is, enter the new day gently… gently… Our tendency is to flood our mind with all the things we've got to do, the challenges we'll face in the next few hours.

In this mental mindset, the restful sleep hormone melatonin drops way too quickly; adrenalin, cortisol and other such excitable hormones zoom up instantly, the blood pressure rises rapidly, the heart rate gallops… It does not mean a cardiac arrest is imminent, but it's possible.

And the odds of it happening hinges on our overall response to life. Is our response one of rage and fear or acceptance and calmness? Herein lies the key to our heart's health. Is it a heart that wants to open itself out to a new day or does it want to close itself and shut the day out?

If what you've just read has touched a chord, hopefully you are already looking at your life with new eyes. Are you making it live-able? Look at the processes you've set off — loans, EMIs and other such commitments. Are they weighing you down? If yes, dismantle some — especially the ones that cater to greed, not need. I strongly recommend simplifying life because I've seen two neighbours greatly agitated in these past six months — one suffered a stroke, the other left his body. Worry and depression can overpower an already burdened heart. Please lighten it in every way possible.

The heart loves rhythm; it is at its surest and strongest when it beats slowly, rhythmically. So whenever you feel overcome by dread, here's what you do: inhale and exhale deeply, slowly, rhythmically, relaxing completely with each exhalation. Do this several times. You'll feel your heart quieten, your mind settle down.

Let dread dissolve. Give your mind a new, higher perspective. See these processes, these problems as small, even minuscule. You are an awesome atma (self) playing with a tiny atom, an elephant playing with a ping-pong ball. Dread precipitates disease.

Let the dread dissolve in a beautiful contemplative affirmation like: ‘May my heart stay open and loving in all situations. May I include all in love's vast embrace. May my heart remain pure and kind amid the details of life. May virtue and serenity flow in all, including my adversaries and competitors. May my heart open further to greater compassion.' Write this affirmation before sleeping and on waking up. When you talk to your heart, when you pay attention to your heart, it steadies like a ship given ballast.

Dismantle dislikes. Such therapeutic contemplations re-construct your mind towards positivity. Constantly dismantle your dislikes that darken the mind and light it with lamps of enchantments. Contemplate on your connectedness to others, the kindnesses they've showered upon you, their beauty and sweetness. To dismantle anger and impatience, contemplate on patience, acceptance, tolerance, by seeing people as children. Contemplate on detachment (“I'm free of expectations”) to dismantle obsession for things, prestige, approval.

Visualise Shangri-La. Use your imagination to put you in positive places amidst love-filled surroundings. Visualise a huge, tranquil hall full of positive vibrations. You're standing in it, clothed in shimmering white, arms spread out, radiating shining silver rays of confidence and goodwill to all. Filling your mind with celestial scenes is an ancient practice to inspire us to re-create a Shangri-La on earth.

Relax… relax… Practise being relaxed in your relationships — contemplate on ways to make others happy. Observe how envy, ambition, greed imprison you and see yourself being liberated from them.

Practise being relaxed in your surroundings — clear out clutter. If that's not possible, see yourself as a skilled navigator gently navigating your undulating way through the healing streams of living.

Practise being relaxed in your body. Cycle for an hour and stretch for another half-hour to feel its joy in rhythmic movement, its relief in soothing stretches. Eat warm, moist foods (without being picky and finicky) and experience the well-being spread through you. Add: fruits, jowar, gourds, flaxseeds, soya to your diet to make it heart-friendly. Develop great tolerance. Example: If the fan suddenly stops working, don't waste even one bit of energy in anger. Move to another room. Get the fan repaired the next day or buy a new one.

Practise being relaxed… more relaxed… to open yourself to life's beautiful, natural processes and stop being influenced by the noise in your mind. If you decide to be healthy and not helpless, then it is simple to stop negativities. Stop trying to project power, prestige, property, position, just be as you are — relaxed. The more you relax, the more you will come alive to life's magical nature, the more you will look forward to waking up in the morning. Wake up with a simple, sweet “Thank you sun, for one more day full of promise” on your lips and feel your heart dance in the light.

The writer is co-author of the book ‘Fitness for Life'.

Published on February 03, 2011

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