Love and Peace is Where You Find It

Colored Hearts

I am a HeartMath® provider and Resilient Educator.   The HeartMath® tools resonate at such a deep level with me, and I now realize that I was using the essence of the tools in my work with my students, my children, and my clients in families, schools, and businesses long before I heard of HeartMath.  For me the unique gift of HeartMath® has been to language the tools in a practical and research based format, and I deeply appreciate all the many contributors to the HeartMath® system.

However the most important part of knowing the HeartMath® tools has been my personal incorporation of them into my everyday moments. I used to think that I needed to set aside a special time to pray and meditate, and while I still believe this is very important, I now find myself using the HeartMath tools to stay present and appreciative in everyday moments.  Many faiths acknowledge the importance of gratitude, and I am reminded of a Christian scripture which says “In everything give thanks”.   Many faiths encourage stillness, love, peace, and being present.  But for me the challenge was how do you accomplish this at a heart rather than head level.  How do you stay present in the midst of chaos, grief, highs, lows, or the everyday ‘chop wood and carry water’ experiences?  The practical, easy to learn tools of HeartMath® gave me the answer.  The following is one example:

I arose one very cold and dry morning in Denver, CO, and dragged myself downstairs to cook some oatmeal.  I knew I had a long to do list that was facing me and causing me some anxiety, as I started to boil the water for the oatmeal.  I often start the water to boil and try to get as much done around the kitchen before its time to add the oatmeal.  Instead I decided to stand over the pot of water which was slowly heating up.  I focused in the area of my heart and began the heart breathing of the neutral tool.  As I felt my entire nervous system slow down and align with the present moment, I felt the warm steam on my face, and activated a feeling of appreciation for the warm, wet, steam in my very dry house [the quick coherence tool].  I actually could feel the appreciation in my heart—it was NOT a thought.  Still basking in the moment of stillness and gratitude, I looked down at the water to see if it was time to add the oatmeal.  To my amazement the bubbles had formed little hearts all over the surface to the water.  I realized that if I had been running around trying to accomplish something on my to do list, I would have missed the wonder of the warm steam and the unexpected surprise of the heart bubbles.  As I moved forward into my busy day, I felt grounded in my heart, brain, and body.

Many of us believe that we need to go to a church, a cathedral, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, an ashram to have peace, to practice meditation, to experience the quiet of solitude.  However our hearts can be the church, the cathedral, the synagogue, the mosque, the temple, the ashram wherever we are, whatever we are doing in the moment.  We CAN experience every day, ordinary or challenging experiences peacefully in the heart.  Thank you HeartMath®, for developing these simple, easy to use tools which help me find love and peace wherever I am.  [for further info on how I utilize the HeartMath system with children, parents, schools, businesses, health centers, and communities, please see my pages on therapy, coaching, and workshops]

Sacred Being in All Your Daily Tasks

Chop Wood Carry Water

Even though I have heard many times the wise Buddhist saying:  ‘Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water.  After Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.’  I was puzzled by what it meant.  Maybe you, dear reader, have not been puzzled or confused by that statement, but I have in the course of my life.  In meditation or prayer or at a holy site, I had no trouble feeling sacred energy and being refilled, but how could I bring it into everyday life while I washed dishes, swept the floor, or made the bed, and feel the sacredness of the moment and be refilled in simple, appearing inglorious, tasks when I thought I was taking time from more ‘important’ work. 

The answer that I discovered was to bring my Being into my doing.  The simplest way was through my breath, honoring the moment, and BEing gratitude. 

For example,  while washing the dishes, I chose to become aware of my breathing first, and to focus in the area of my heart.  As I felt myself quiet within, the next item on my to do list receded into the background.  I felt the delicious steam from the hot water on my face as I rinsed the soapy dishes.  Gratitude arose in my heart for the hot water and soap, and I found myself enjoying the pattern of the dishes and the way the soap bubbles reflected the light.  When it was time to go to the next item on my to do list, I felt refreshed.  If I had focused on my to do list while washing those dishes,  I would not have felt that sacred refreshment.  Instead I would have tired myself out living my to do list in my head, AND increasing the stress levels in my body from all that ‘extra doing’.

Try it and find the sacred refreshment in simple daily tasks of ‘chop wood and carry water’. 

Write and let me know how it goes for you.

May your sacred journey be blessed.

In Peace and Love,

Deborah