January 2008 
 HealingHeartPower Newsletter
 Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
In This Issue

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Happy New Year!

I find great meaning and value in rituals. Having the opportunity to send you this newsletter on the first day of every month, fresh with new articles, resources and ideas, has become a very special ritual for me.

I hope receiving it and reading it is becoming a meaningful ritual for many of you.

This past month, thanks to the coaxing invitations of friends and colleagues, I have been delving more into on-line communities.

Thanks to Ode magazine, I learned about Zaadz, which includes people interested in making a difference in the world. And through a Zaadz friend from CA named Arthur, I found my way to the wonderful work of Robert Masters and Diane Bardwell. Their message about Transformation Through Intimacy spoke so deeply to me, that I decided to bring them to Boston March 1 - 2, 2008,to share their gifts with those in my immediate community. I sent out a flyer about this workshop on December 30. And there's a blurb about the workshop in this newsletter too.

Through Facebook, a writer colleague of mine named Elaine Williams from New York state found me, and introduced me to ezinearticles.com. This is the premier site for online articles, based on what I have researched, and I am delighted to be one of their Platinum-level expert authors. Glad to have another way to reach people in our internet age!

My ultimate goal is still to bring people together face- to-face. There is no replacement for a loving glance, a caring touch or a heartfelt conversation between two human beings.

Participating in EKP events, at whatever level is right for you, can provide a space of community, healing, self-care and connection with like-minded others. There are many ways to participate:

The EKP Student Clinic has gotten underway. We are seeking clients for the EKP Student Clinic beginning in April. If you would like to experience free or low cost EKP sessions, with third year apprentices, let me know.

I am still gathering people who are interested in apprenticing in EKP. Once we have a critical mass, the new 2008 apprentice group will begin their training. If you are interested in studying EKP, please let me know. The format will involve one weekend per month.

There are a few spaces left in the January 26, Healing the Traumatized Heart Workshop in Newton. This workshop can provide a great introduction to EKP for a friend or loved one, or a chance to tap in to the power of the heart to replenish yourself.

On February 24, I'll be bringing an EKP workshop to Circles of Wisdom Bookstore in Andover, MA. You can check the calendar at www.healingheartpower.com for details and also visit www.circles of wisdom.org.

Articles in this issue include an offering from the more personal of world, Healing Frozen Pain,and a look at a societal trend, Man's Part-Time Best Friend: Hooking Up With A Dog. And from the EKP community, I am delighted to share Lisa Wexler's Beach Hearts work.

Your comments and contributions are welcome, as always.

Heartfully, Linda

 Healing Frozen Pain
 Touching the Heart of Our Hurt

Earlier this year, one of my apprentices gave me a very interesting article by Gabriella Tal called "The Nature of Hurt." Gabriela experienced a serious car accident that left her paralyzed.

Her healing journey led her to the work of Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, who helped her realize the power of the moment before the car hit her.

Looking back at that moment, Gabriela told Peter, "I should have run into the forest! I wish I had run."

"Run now!" Peter told her.

So, internally, Gabriela ran and ran. And in doing so transformed the internal pain that came with the grief and loss of the accident, and "the build-up of energy" in her body from wishing she had run.

While emotional healing did not change her physical paralysis, it lifted the burden of her emotional pain. "Hurt is impact. Pain is reaction to the impact," writes Gabriela.

"Hurt is a moment. Pain is an impressioned lifetime and beyond. Hurt is transcendable. Pain clutches us and holds us, even as--particularly as--we purify our lives and m ove into more healthy choices. Hurt may be physical or of the mind. Pain is always of the mind."

The distinction Gabriela makes here between "hurt" and "pain" is a very powerful one. So often, in the face of hurt, we freeze, we shut down. We become a deer in the headlights of the magnitude of the impact. The hurt becomes an emotional trauma. And when left alone with the hurt and the impact of the hurt, we become the bearers of frozen pain.

I have experienced this myself countless times. The loss of a loved one creates heart-wrenching pain. And to have to bear this hurt alone creates a downward spiral of pain. My heart feels like a knife is stabbing me on the inside and outside.

And even clutching a pillow close to my chest, where the pain is, cannot comfort or contain the stabbing feeling. I find myself unable to sleep, unable to relax, unable to do much more than curl up into a ball and breathe, trying to survive the hurt and pain.

Though I have a deep heart, and a strong body and spirit, there are times the sense of loss or grief can overload my circuitry, and what results is frozen pain.

What a difference it makes when I have a caring friend or loved one there who can open their arms and hold me. In the safety of their embrace, I can cry, I can scream, I can writhe, and I can release the pain.

In EKP, we provide a safe place to find, to access and to melt through frozen pain. Beginning with the stabbing feeling in the chest or the shortness of breath that provides a protective layer over the stabbing pain, we can provide support for the front and back of the heart, and create the space to connect with the memory and the experience of hurt that led to the pain.

The hands on the front and back of the chest, can provide the message, "you are not alone," and in receiving that message, we gain the access to the hurt, to the tears, to the frozen pain.

As the hands safely hold the front and back of the heart, the tears can flow, the sobbing can go deep, and with the tears and the sounds that come with them, the pain can melt and evaporate.

The comforting message of the hands--of support, of connection, of care--replaces the isolation, the aloneness that led to the burden of the frozen pain. And emotional healing can begin.

In an ideal world, it would be great to catch the hurt and release it before it gets stuck as it lingers, becoming frozen pain. The greater our emotional literacy, the more we can become "magical strangers" to each other, recognizing the power of a safe and caring embrace to release the hurt in the moment, and prevent the lingering pain.

This kind of embrace illustrates the importance of face- to-face relating in our increasingly virtual world. An understanding friend in cyberspace can help release some of the tears. Yet, a chain of e-mails is not nearly as sensorily complete and a physical embrace.

So, it is a great wonder of being human that throught the wisdom of the heart and body we can still gain access to a moment of past hurt--whether the past was just a matter of moments or a matter of years. And once accessed, grounded and supported, a long-held burden can truly melt away.

Share your thoughts: 

 "Man's Part-Time Best Friend"
 Hooking Up With a Dog

In our crazybusy, "no time for a committed relationship" culture, the need to draw time and emotional boundaries has extended into our relationships with even man's best friend. An article in the December 17 Boston Globe featured a story about a new company "that plans to rent dogs to Bostonians willing to pay steep fees for a canine friend without worry of a commitment."

Consider this a "canine escort service," where the increasingly self-centered professional pays for a "time share" in some doggie's schedule. A weekend doggie date, if you will, for long-walks along the beach, and some cuddly companionship on the sofa or in the bedroom.

While FlexPetz, the dog rental service, bills itself as 'an unique alternative to full-time pet ownership," some local animal rights groups and animal behaviorists beg to disagree. In our disposable society, now even our four-legged companions become disposable. Dogs, just like people, do far better in a stable, committed environment than a revolving door of narcissistic part-time animal "lovers."

I remember when people used to say, "skip the boyfriend or girlfriend...get a dog," when the fear of emotional involvement, time or commitment reared its ugly head. Now it's, "skip the long-term relationship...go casual" even on the animal frontier.

FlexPetz's president and CEO reported, "the dogs often come from shelters and are specially selected for temperaments that can withstand the weekly uprooting." Is this akin to saying foster children are specially selected from temperaments that allow them to adapt when moved from home to home?

Having seen "The Kite Runner," I can surely see the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable ability to survive and even work with even the most adversive living conditions. But why contribute to that environment? Why pitch in to the cultural disconnect that makes all things relational commodified, expendable, something to pick up and discard at whim?

I would rather see the dog-hungry urban professional visiting Buddy Dog or the MSPCA and taking their charges for a Saturday stroll. Why make a profit on something that could be done as community service, with just as much emotional reward? And donate the foregone rental fee to pay for dog food?

Or better yet, put some time into human relationships, and find a friend or two with whom you can "share" the responsibilities of caring for a canine? or feline? It takes a village for most anything these days. Can we resurrect a bit of the village in place of the commercial structures that take the village's place?

I sit reflecting my thoughts, with Flora, our Birman cat, perched on my left shoulder, Querido, our Siamese kitten stretching on my printer, and Toss, our former feral Buddy Dog rescue cat sacked out on a nearby chair. Golden our English lab is crying, reminding me that instead of writing about dogs, it is time to take him outside for his turn! Better heed the hound!

Please share your vision and your thoughts on the HeartSpaceCafe Blog website... 

 Beach Hearts
 by Lisa Wexler

Beach Heart I have loved the ocean and beaches for many years. Like many people, I like to walk along the shores of beaches and find treasures. These treasures are usually in the form of shells and/or stone.

Around 2002, when a relationship had ended, I started creating little hearts out of clay. This led to putting some of these hearts out into sand on beaches as a ritual of letting go of the person I was involved with. It was also a way of healing and opening up my heart again.

What messages do I want to give others with my hearts? That healing is a real and necessary thing. That we need to find ways to express what is in our hearts and to feel what is in our hearts. That we need to find rituals and forms of expression to grow and to heal. That we can use touch stones/hearts, and other three-dimensional objects to speak to us and for us to hold almost like transitional objects...that can be inspirational.

I like the fact that when I work with clay, I begin with the heart. It may end up being formed into something else, but I like to begin with what, to me, is the most important part of us, the heart.

The heart speaks to us all of the time, and we need to listen to our hearts and to the hearts of others. I like how in being rooted in the heart, that this is the foundation and basis for everything.

What we feel gives us information that we need to grow and navigate our lives. The symbol of the heart says so much.

You can contact Lisa at lwexler@casparinc.org.

P.S. from Linda: I am very grateful that Lisa gifted me with one of her beautiful beach hearts, and we are now using it as a talking object in EKP groups!

To see the schedule for upcoming EKP Programs... 

 Upcoming Groups, Workshops and Programs

Linda will be leading a workshop at First Event in Andover, MA the weekend of January 18 - 20.

January 26: Healing the Traumatized Heart Introductory Workshop in Newton. 1- 4 pm.

February 24: Healing the Traumatized Heart Workshop at Circles of Wisdom Bookstore in Andover, MA. 1 - 4 pm.

March 1 - 2 is the Transformation Through Intimacy Workshop with Robert Masters and Diane Bardwell in Newton, MA.

If you are interested in doing core level healing and growth work to deep your most important relationships and/or attract a truly sustainable relationship into your life, please consider being part of this very special, one time event.

The workshop is limited to 14 participants. The fee is usually $700 for this program, but because I have donated the workshop space and room and board for Robert and Diane, the fee is $475. I wanted to make this amazing work more accessible to those in my community.

Write to me at LSMHEART@aol.com if you are interested in being part of this program.

EKP opportunities in Newton include:
  • Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
  • Apprenticing in EKP
  • On-going Thursday night EKP Body Psychotherapy Group
  • On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process Group

To find out more.... 

 About Linda

Me and Flora Linda Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than two decades. Author of LIVING WITH VISION and HEALING THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENDERS, she co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers and is the founder of the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network. She holds degrees from Yale and MIT, and has a vital 11-year-old son.

To find out more about Linda... 

The Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network programs for the 2007-2008 season are posted on www.sexspirit.net.