I am a great believer in the knowledge and insight in quotes, proverbs and sayings. One of my favourite quotes is: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”, which is commonly attributed to Buddhist wisdom, but the actual source is vague. Regardless of the origin, what it means to me is this:
When I am ready to learn a new message/belief/truth/skill, the right teacher is placed before me.
Each of the therapists I’ve had was the right teacher at the right time.
Dr. Dan, the current psychologist, eloquently blends my physical self with my spiritual self.
In one session, after a teary “why me?” rant about unworthy men, he talked about putting myself first and getting in touch with me. Finding peace within myself and connecting to God. He got out his computer to wire me via a usb connected ear clip to a program by HeartMath institute. The reason? To test my heart coherence. What is coherence?
Heart coherence is a state which balances the cardiovascular system, the nervous system as well as the other systems is our bodies like the respiratory, endocrine and immune system. When we are stressed, these systems are said to be out of sync. When we can regulate them, we are said to be in coherence – a rhythmic heart rate variability (HRV) that balances the nervous system.
Dr. Dan asked me to remove one earring so he could attach the ear clip. I reached for left earring and laughed! My right earring had fallen out in my sleep and I forgot to put it back in this morning. God had already chosen which ear would be hooked up. Dr. Dan told me to relax and breathe deeply. After 5 minutes we took a look at the reading which showed I did pretty good! Good heart rate, regular breathing … better than most women (huh?) The second program is like a video game you control with your heart coherence, synchronizing breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. The more coherent your state, the farther you progress the graph, which in this case was a cute rainbow and pot of gold.
Never before seen in his office, I achieved 100% coherence.
He was stunned! How did I do it? Well, I didn’t just breathe. I closed my eyes and went to the place where I go to talk to my God. It is my inner peace. It’s a place of love.
Cultures call this many names – bliss, inner peace, Zen. We try to get there through many different techniques – scientific stress reduction breathing techniques, Buddha meditation, Hindu yoga, Christian prayer. It’s a shame to me that those religions – science included – see the differences vs the similarities, and choose to divide.
If you read up on this technology, you will find that they measure the heart’s electromagnetic force several feet out from the body, which is scientifically proven. What’s interesting is when the electromagnetic fields of two or more hearts meet …
I make take a bit of a leap of faith here – because my all-time favourite University class was the Theory of Chaos and the butterfly effect – What if those electromagnetic waves continue to ripple out and bump up against other electromagnetic waves? (Did you say “AHA!” and remember my previous post Night & Day?) And what if this mode of communication was how we communicated with God? The Bible does tell us “God is love”.
The good news is that “good” waves seem to stabilize “bad” waves.
Do our pets not do that for us? Is it not proven that petting your dog reduces your stress? It’s more than just enjoying their presence. We feel them. The study below is about horses and well worth the listen. I believe most, if not all, applies to our dogs. We feel them … and they feel us. We influence them … and they influence us.
Yesterday I spoke of the language I taught my reactive dog, Annie, to use when she is over-threshold. I also believe that I influence her by being a calm, balanced, coherent dog-parent.
Is it so hard to believe that emotions have a physical manifestation? And our physical world can shape our emotions. I do believe that love – which we equate with our heart – is a language. A language we use to speak to our family, our pets, our God.
1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
If you recall my video by Amy Cuddy “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”, she also has a horse video with a slant in her field of expertise. Rebuilding the broken spirit of a horse by teaching him the body language of a proud horse. More mind:body connection!
What if love really is the answer? Do everything in faith and love
As I end this post, I am thrilled that it is appropriately written on the day I attend a fund-raiser for Horses Help Canada run by my dear friend Jane Saundercook. Horses Help Canada use equine therapy with at risk youth, and achieve amazing results.
I would like to make a comment on therapy. It’s a shame more people don’t take advantage of it because I think everyone needs to care and feed their mental health just as we take care of our physical health. I had never been to a therapist until my relationship with my ex was ending – in hindsight I might not have been in the situation or exited sooner if I had gone earlier – but hindsight is 20/20 and I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I remember feeling fearful and shameful – what if someone found out?! – when first reaching out, and hope that anyone who struggling in any facet will seek help. You are worth it.
I am fortunate to have a job which provides me with free access or 90% coverage to therapy.
Since that time – about seven years ago – I’ve made it a habit to check in when I feel like I need some mental spring cleaning. You can only get so far with self help … and I admire anyone who continues to evolve and challenge their current state.
If you are not so fortunate to have funded therapy, there are many wonderful free organizations to start with. I give great credit to Catholic Family Services in Durham for their 12 week program for Abused Women – it helped set me free.
I have a wonderful life … one for which I say thanks every day. But it’s far from perfect. While anyone can appear to have a perfect life, I don’t know anyone who has one. Everyone has a story.
Be in love,