Surgeons call it scar tissue – the telltale sign of damage and repair. It is what remains when we have been hurt and healed. It is the something left behind.
My journey began there, about a year ago, with scar tissue that had been carefully woven over time and was sitting heavily across my heart. If I closed my eyes, I could feel the stitches. It was as if I was sitting under that blanket. Everything seemed a little shadowed, a little muffled.
In a moment of serendipity, I had received a red reminderband with the words “Hearts Open No Matter What!” It is the rallying cry of a local yoga instructor, and it was suddenly singing out from my wrist. Heart open. No matter what.
But how does one open a heart? Since this was the mantra of a yoga teacher, I started with a Google search for “yoga poses to open the heart“ and found a number of suggestions I could easily add to my regular yoga practice.
The beauty of these types of internet searches — and these types of journeys — is how one thing leads to another. Like this playlist of heart opening music by yoga instructor Martine Marie Holston.
Say, John Mayer
Don’t Be Shy, Cat Stevens
Love and Happiness, Al Green
Stubborn Love, The Lumineers
California Sunrise, Dirty Gold
Go Outside, Cults
Give Love, MC Yogi
Say Hey (I Love You), All Rebel Rockers
Heartbeats, The Knife
Beauty in the World, Macy Gray
You’ve Got The Love, Florence + The Machine
Happy Pills, Norah Jones
Young Blood, Birdy
This playlist became my soundtrack for months — like chanting almost, rhythmic and repetitive through spring and into the summer of 2014.
“A practice like chanting gradually bestows on us the ability to let go of pain in our hearts.” — Krishna Das
Gradually, there was letting go. Movement. Small things, like the appearance of heart shaped rocks, and the multiple messages from the Universe that spoke of new love and increased joy.
But the watershed moment came in late July with a crescendo of rapid-fire closure: a health scare resolved, the return of lost items, a reconciliation, an apology long overdue. If a window does indeed open for each door closed, that one week saw every window in the house thrown open and every molecule of air replaced.
What came in through those windows was pure abundance: a beautiful reception for my book; a deeper level of connection with loved ones; a freer, easier sense of being in this world; more honest and heart-felt writing; and a new relationship in which I am fully present and fully loved.
I am not sure what one thing set me on this journey a year ago, but I am most grateful for every moment of it. It has been life altering, and heart healing.
Thank you for being its witness.
IMAGE: Heart mixed-media collage, ©Jen Payne.