Practices to Heal a Heart

Practices to Heal a Heart

Grandma age2 Jennifer Moore1


We call it broken and in the naming create even more pain for ourselves. It isn’t called broken because it doesn’t work anymore, it is called broken because it needs to heal. We need to heal. And we aren’t ready to feel again until we do.

In our bodies we get subtle messages, discomfort and dull pain—or the occasional sharp pain. If we refuse to pay attention to the subtle messages and pain, the voice grows louder and the pain escalates to a scream. When we ignore the scream something in our body goes wrong… it breaks.

Our heart is the same. We get messages; sometimes we just refuse to listen. We want to believe in love (in the dream), and why not? We chose to love and now our needs aren’t being met or our boundaries have been leveled. We stay because we care… sometimes. But fear is also there. And shame and so many other emotions and conditions that we lay on ourselves to further complicate this difficult experience. We doubt, we waver and we wait.

We break our own hearts… because we are attached.

Sometimes it is not the object of love we are attached to but an idea, a mirage or a ghost from the past. We don’t only break our heart over lovers. We fall in love with many things: people, jobs, situations, objects. All different shades of love.

But how can we love without attachment?

It is not a question of loving without care. It is a decision to love in the present moment through all the change. And sometimes love requires us to walk away. Knowing what action to take comes from within. We need to listen… and feel.

Practice One: Feel.

Stand at the shore of emotion, with toes on the line between wet and dry.
Be tall and strong as the wave crashes.
Watch as it retreats, gathering energy, attempting to pull us in.
Don’t lose grounding. Exhale. Fortify the foundation.
Slip toes and heels into the sand. Lean slightly back.
Throw the arms wide open.
Lift the chest and heart full of gratitude to the sky.
Embrace the wave as it returns again. Again. And again.
Fall in love with the waves of this life.
And let each wave go—let it return to the sea.

No longer call it a broken heart. We are alive.

To heal we need to love more—unconditionally.

We are not broken. We are alive. We feel. We are made for love.

My first bike had training wheels. They helped me balance so I could focus on pedaling and moving forward. Getting leverage and coordinating the leg movement came quickly, with guidance from my very patient parents. And then the training wheels came off.

My first time without the extra support, I fell and scraped up my leg. I got on the bike again. Next time I was going so fast I couldn’t stop and choose to crash-land on the lawn to end the ride. I had forgotten all about the brakes.

I got on the bike again. And again.

One day, without realizing it, I became a bike rider. Occasionally I’d wipe out. Once I slipped forward and crotched myself on the crossbar. But most of the time I was upright with a huge smile on my face, flying around the neighborhood.

Healing happens when we believe in ourselves, in our ability to fly, and never give up—no matter how many times we get scraped (or crotched).

I used to believe that unconditional love was something parents had for children; and that other love was different. Love is unconditional. Love is a conscious act and we have a choice.

Practice Two: Love more.

Perform random acts of kindness.
Discover new gestures of love.
Engage in selfless service.
Find ways throughout the day to express love.
Love without needing (expecting, requiring, desiring) anything in return.
Love unconditionally.
Make it a habit.

Forge ahead with the intention to love unconditionally and mindfully from a place of deep awareness.

And never give up.

“Every morning, I look in the mirror and have my first laugh of the day.”

This is a quote from my grandmother (may she rest in peace). In her later years, she would often repeat phases she had been known to say all my life; the quote above is my favorite.

I remember the night I discovered she had dentures. I was nine. I spent the night at her house and got up to use the bathroom in the night. In the dim light, I saw her teeth floating in a glass of water next to the sink. I was horrified; I had never seen teeth outside the mouth before. Stunned, I went to bed.

In the morning, Grandma made oatmeal and I sat watching her. I stared at her hands, her long fingers and blue veins bulging beneath thin skin. And her belly and shoulders round (I now understand, from carrying eight children). She was beautiful. What I remember most was her calm, comfortable presence. She was self-aware; she loved herself. This is why she was so good at loving me, even on my most challenging days.

We all need to honor our imperfect perfection and be filled with joy at the sight (thought) of ourselves. We are alive! Living from a place of complete acceptance and understanding, knowing our needs and taking an honest look at our faults (those parts of us that still need work) allows us to love unconditionally.

Forge ahead with the intention to love unconditionally and mindfully from a place of deep awareness… and never give up.

To remain safe and protected we need to know our boundaries, our needs and our triggers. If we don’t know ourselves it is very challenging to accept others as they are; instead all we see are their faults and how they challenge us. When we better understand ourselves, we know that the faults we choose to cling on to and obsess over in others are really reflections of parts of us.

The practice of self-discovery is not a selfish one; on the contrary, it serves all those we come into contact with. The more we understand ourselves (the ways we think, react and respond) the better able we are to make changes to improve our lives and those around us.

No one else is going to do that work for us. We are here to grow, evolve and become expansive expressions of love. Not everyone believes this and that is okay. We only need to focus on ourselves.

Practice Three: Commit to a journey of self-discovery.

Set a clear intention. It is very calming to remind ourselves why we are here (wherever here is at the moment).
Set aside time each day for self-care. When we are healthy, grounded and present we can better serve others.
Seek a teacher or spiritual leader to guide us, if needed, on a path to better know ourselves.
Connect with positive people who inspire us to awesomeness.
Watch/ read/ listen intently to what we take in through our senses—and choose mindfully.

What motivates us to change? To grow? Often it is pain, trauma or tragedy. But inspiration can motivate us, too. And love. And intention.

Yoga is an excellent path to discover our true nature and learn to deeply appreciate the self. There are other paths, but this is the one I know. Choose a path and stick to it.

Commit to the journey, embrace the adventure and each morning get up and have a good laugh (whether or not your teeth are in a jar).

JenniferAbout Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is driven to communicate through movement, words and images. She is a certified yoga teacher, communication consultant and writer. Jennifer’s young son is her inspiration and parenting him reminds her daily that beauty exists everywhere. Jennifer can be found on Facebook at Breathe Peace. Follow her blog Daily Breath.


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