heart of april

April 5, 2016 - Daily Notes

For five days now, I have been using the mind in my chest. I had forgotten, for awhile, how it feels. Then, like a funny April Fool's joke on Friday the sensation re-appeared, thrumming from the inside. It coaxed me to listen; to stop thinking so that I can know.

Listening with your heart is a return, a drop down into the space, the organ, as it beats. It is feeling the soft pressure of each pulse, the way it moves against the inside of your body. Thoughts here are wordless. Feeling, sensation, instinct rules.

Returning to the heart, I am that lioness again. I embody what is most wild about her as I realize lionesses do not have thoughts made of words like we do. They think with their entire bodies. They must. When resting on her rock in the savannah, a lioness can feel her heart beating. She can feel her entire world with it. She perceives what is true not by mental analysis, but pure sensation.

Thinking too much does not give me answers. Listening does. Heart feels strong and receptive to what is true.

It is April now, and the pace of life is quickening. I get nervous about growing Lucia, all of the ideas I have and how will I have time to bring them to life? Brain becomes busy and wants to drive the bus, organize the things, boss body around.

But every morning and every night I have been pausing to place my hand on my heart. I close my eyes. I breathe into those thoughts and coax them down, down, down into heart. Sometimes, if I stay still like this long enough, I can even feel my heart pulsing on two sides. Wow, is there tenderness. Maybe this is what it is like to know truth. Sometimes tears come. Brain gets excited and wants to explain them, cure them, make them into something that can be fixed.

"Hush," heart says, somehow. "Listen. You know."

Welcome, April.



"work with me" says heart

January 14, 2016 - Daily Notes

"So basically you are doing two full-time jobs plus another part-time job," said my primary care physician.

It was my annual visit and she is thorough. This came at the end of a series of questions designed to get at the possible underlying cause of the edgy feeling I've had for two weeks. My blood pressure is perfectly calm. Pulse strong and vibrant. Lungs working beautifully. Nothing a doctor can measure is imbalanced. My body is healthy. 

This tense anxious feeling? Apparently it does not originate in my heart. I started to explain where exactly I feel it. In my head. The vibration travels down my spinal column before it branches to my limbs. My ears constantly hear it, a high-pitched ring.

"Let's keep an eye on it, if it doesn't resolve in a couple of weeks then give me a call," she smiled. "I think it's stress. See if you can reduce it."

Today and tomorrow I hope to write the marketing and business plan for the launch of Issue Two of Lucia. I am beyond excited. I don't know exactly how it will get done, though. The likelihood is I will spend Saturday and Sunday working on Lucia because today I have PR clients to attend to. Media to pitch. Research to do. Calls to make. A living to procure for myself. Or at least, February's rent. Then there are taxes. Bills to pay. Emails to answer. And it's my night to teach yoga at the women's shelter, one of my favorite things. I know you know. We all have things.

The independent magazine business is wholly different than I envisioned it being one year ago today, when Lucia was an idea beginning to take form. I am still finding my feet. This struggle to be creative during the week while needing to manage the practical, the organizational, the tangible, the everyday work--I am not alone in it. I find comfort in my artist friends who tell me their experience is similar. "Managing" time requires headspace. "Creative" time requires heart space. One must be like a ninja during the week if she is to jump between to the two and not lose her footing.

This morning I looked at the watercolors I've been painting since August. When I painted them, I was not in my head at all, I was painting from a deeper place. I put my hand on my heart, closed my eyes, and listened. 

"Work with me," heart said. "I am here for you."

The exquisite tool that is my brain has been trying to run the show for the past two weeks. Gathering momentum, the juggling act of plans, schedules, ideas, does so much. It's quite an instrument, but it can not work alone. It needs heart to ground, shelter, feel, and guide. Heart is what can make everything brain imagines into real.

I am teaching the two to work in tandem. It is a practice.

How do you do it?