When we stop listening to our hearts, silence gets thick and a sense of arrest floods in. Fear creeps in. We start over thinking, and doubt and inertia take over.
We have learned to tone down our excitement, ignore our desires, distrust our emotions, downplay our heart and instead, have developed resistance towards the very things that make us feel alive.
“Fear is excitement without breath.” Robert Heller
In James Joyce’s Dubliners, most of his characters seem to face this fear based state, paralysis. Feeling trapped, they can’t move forward, and only see the river of life pass them by. Eve in “Eveline,” sits by the window with dust accumulating all around. She is immobilized. Something has frozen deep inside of her and she remains inert, closed, shut down.
Paralysis stems from fear of being seen, swallowed, mistaken, shamed. Stuck in the past with fear of being hurt, of making a mistake or the wrong choice. Tripping on guilt, afraid of change, transformation, metamorphoses, the nature of life. We cut our emotions short. Our malnourished souls are terrified of our own light.
We are a culture of blocked hearts, of paralyzed emotions. Emotions have not been given the wings to fly, space to unfurl, nor the dignity and respect they deserve as avenues of expression. They linger unsavored in the dark recesses of our psyche. Our emotional life lies unresolved, unwelcome, repressed and dammed like the rivers of our natural world, unable to flow in freedom. Clipped wings of a bird that can fly no more.
Paralysis is the inability to move, flow, regenerate. It is stagnation, the arrest of motion and the interruption of life’s movement. We all frieze at one point or another in different areas of our life. So, how do we get out of a state of inner paralysis? How do you awaken flow?
Stir the pot. Revolutionize your space. Get upside down if you can. I loved doing this as a child. Now I practice yoga. Hello inversions: headstands, handstands, forearm stands. What does the world look like upside down? Well, the world seems already upside down so a new healing pattern could emerge from these inversions.
When you stir the pot so to speak, all that was at the bottom of your heart starts rising and for a while downward and upward start swimming together, touching each other and changing each other in the process. They just needed some movement to start flowing again, to find their right place in the order of things. The way it happens when you stir a cup of tea and the leaves dance in the tea water, delicately searching for their place to reveal a new healing picture, state, pattern, vision.
If things are too settled, too solidified or stifled, they leave no room for motion, for small adjustments that increase alignment. Our bodies, minds, hearts, and even creations self adjust if we get out of the way. This is already happening. A miracle unraveling inside your being each time you inhale and exhale. A constellation of particles says yes to life so you can live.
At some point, your shell breaks and you feel all there is to feel. Whatever is underneath will most likely rise to the surface. So just make space for it. Let your breath melt the frozen sea inside you. Your emotions thaw, ice turns into liquid gold. This is alchemy of the heart. Slowly, inertia gives rise to a new sense of momentum and flow.
Trust the wisdom of your body responding to life. Simply trust. Make space for the stillness that allows you to feel this flow of nature, of the universe. Marvel at the flow of the ocean, a bird in flight, the opening leaves of a plant absorbing sunlight, the gentle breeze on your skin, the courage of all life unfurling before your eyes. See with your heart. Walk, dance, meander, taste your freedom. Your whole being infused with it, celebrating life’s movement.
“You were wild once here. Don’t let them tame you.” ~Isadora Duncan
May we all feel excitement flow with breath,
* Amazon River. Photo by Leo Freitas