Consider this your personal valentine. One from the
heart, for your heart.
Rather than being limited to a day for those who have
a one special "valentine," "heart day" can be a day for
love in all its forms.
Today is a good day to take a quiet moment and to
listen to your heart. Take a few moments to appreciate
your heart, and thank your heart for its guidance,
wisdom and steady presence in your life.
Today can also be a day of appreciation, where you
express your love to each of the people you love in
your life. Appreciation can make someone's day. Too
often we hear criticisms, judgments and what we
haven't done right or still need to do. What a
wonderful counterpoint to hear how who we are, what
we have done or both have touched another person's
Today is also a wonderful day to take
heartfull action to make the world a better place. If you
see an issue in your own life, the life of your family,
your community or the world at large, what is one
small step you can take to make things better? What if
we all took one small step to address something we
cared about every single day? Would that not
Heart of the Matter Discussion Session
I am gathering together a small group of people who
all live with heart issues: atrial fibrillation, cardiac
arrhythmia, atrial tachycardia, past heart attack, and
other heart conditions, for a discussion exploring
people's experiences with conventional medical
treatment (medications, procedures), mind-body
approaches for heart issues and observations about
the relationship between emotional states, stress and
their heart health. This group will set up one meeting.
If you or anyone you know is interested, e-mail
Articles in this issue include: "Hurry Up and Slow
Down," reflecting on how stopping and going
slowly may get us where we want to be faster,
"The Importance of Respect: Honoring the
Heart," exploring the empowering effects of
respect, and the toxic impact of disrespect on our
and "Community Voices,"an opportunity to
post notices by members of our community.
Your comments and feedback are always welcome!
Hurry Up and Slow Down:
If You Want to Get Somewhere Quickly, Go Slowly
To live from my heart in this world, I need to come from
a very quiet, centered, peaceful space. I need quiet
and silence so I can hear the voice of my heart. I need
time and space to breathe, to reflect, and to embrace
my own heart's guidance and to integrate my heart's
desires with the wants, needs, desires and timelines of
those I care about.
Yet, to live in this world, I can't just sit in my writer's
cave and meditate all day. My son needs to leave for
school at 7:45 am, so I need to start my day at 6:30
am. I need to balance clients, going to the gym for
self-care, writing, teaching, keeping connected with
friends, cooking, cleaning, caring for pets....The
demands modern life puts on each of us could keep
us running from early morning til late at night. Life can
feel like a perpetual treadmill. How do
we slow down and grab ourselves some personal
One kind of personal space that is essential is the quiet
space that comes when we are able to turn off the
chattering mind. It's hard to be present in any moment, if
the mind is always listing what needs to be done, judging
what isn't perfect, or running through what's happened so
far and what is next on the docket.
While it is easy to feel pressure internally and
externally to work harder and longer, to go faster, and
to push ourselves to the brink of exhaustion, ultimately
going faster will actually slow us down. And
paradoxically, slowing down will actually help us get
Slowing down helps us ground ourselves in our
bodies, in the moment, in our breathing, in
sensation....and all of these palpable experiences
help quiet the active mind. It is the literal experience
of "losing our minds and coming to our senses."
I'll never forget when a
colleague commented, "I don't understand these
people who wonder what it would be like to have an
'out of body' experience. Living out of my body has
become a way of life. I actually wouldn't know what it
would feel like to have an 'in the body experience.'"
A personal trainer I know commented, "I can my hands
on someone's shoulders, feel the knots of tension they
are living with, and ask them how their shoulders are
feeling. The response might be 'fine' or "'he way they
always feel.' I've come to realize that they don't feel
their tension because they are so used to carrying it,
they don't know any other way of being. How do you
tell someone they aren't really living in their body?"
If we truly live in our bodies, we discover we have
physical and emotional limits that really matter. While
life may be pressuring us to speed up and go faster,
our bodies and hearts will be gently trying to coax us
to slow down. While our minds run quickly and hold
on to details, our bodies, our hearts and our breath will
remind us to let go and be still. Stillness allows us to
turn our focus inward, to start mining the depths of our
Yet, for many people it is really scary to think of
stopping motion and slowing down. "What would I do
with myself if I stopped?" reflected a woman I know. "If
I stopped, I might never get up and start again."
I have also heard people say they don't want to slow
down and be still, because they are afraid of what is
inside of them in the quiet and in the dark. There are
painful feelings, personal fears, anger, loss, grief
lurking just under the surface. And it gets too quiet for
too long, there is no way to hold these feelings at bay.
So, fear of feeling keeps us running and spinning at a
dizzying clip. Perhaps this is what it means "to get
When I teach people to take a mindful moment and
slow down, I ask them to get comfortable on a chair or
on the floor. I have them get in a position where their
feet can be parallel to one another and flat on the
floor, and where their tailbone can have the sense of
"rooting down" into their chair or the ground. As they
breath in, I invite them to feel the connection with the
ground under their feet and the chair or ground under
their tailbone...and to breathe in this connection with
the ground. And as they exhale, to imagine a
puppetmaster is holding their head by an invisible
string, that invites them to straighten their posture,
soften their spine, and make the space in their chest
for theirs and their breath. As they inhale they can feel
their back softening and the chest opening. And they
can still feel the sense of rootedness with the tailbone
on the chair and their feet flat on the ground.
As I invite them to take a few quiet moments just to
focus on the sensation of their body rooting into the
chair and the ground, and the space they are creating
for their breath and their heart, the room often
becomes very quiet and still. By feeling their body at a
sensory level, and feeling the support of the chair or
the ground, there is more for their energy to circulate
through all of their body, rather than being caught in
chatter in the mind. There is also space to breathe out
what needs to be released, and breathe in what is
new or what is next.
I invite them to notice how they are feeling in their body
and heart, and also what they are noticing in their mind.
Most often, the response is a sense of relaxation, a
resetting or a recharging, and a very quiet brain. In fact,
sometimes, things get so quiet, the brain is silent.
If there are deeper feelings, by grounding our feet and
tailbone on the chair and ground, by grounding our
emotional experience in the body, in the moment and
in the breath, there is more space for them to flow,
pass through and be heard. By taking a mindful
moment, or perhaps, even more accurately, a heartfull
mindful moment, we are inviting ourselves to slow
down, to be still. And if we accept the invitation, our
whole physiology can soften, quiet, feel grounded,
and let us BE in the present moment.
It is in this slower, quieter space, that we can connect
most deeply with our heart's desires, what what is right
for us in any moment, and to act on what we feel and
most deeply know. This kind of slow, conscious action
is actually the most efficient way I know to work and
live. It allows us to be centered and make our priority
list from a centered place. It allows us to slow down
and be in the moment, which allows creativity,
inspiration, wisdom and brilliance to be accessable for
I learned long ago that slow is the most efficient way to
go. And therefore, going slowly means getting there
the fastest. Fewer obstacles, road blocks or
uncertainties from within. More resources, resilience
and capacity to face whatever comes my way on the
outside. Taking the time to be still, to feel the
sensations in my body, to breathe deeply and fully,
and to just appreciate the moment allows me to feel
alive, authentic, and often grateful. And from this
grounded stance, however I set forth in the world, it
will be with clarity, compassion, power and focus.
I guess we need to hurry up and learn to slow down!
©2009 Linda Marks
Please share your thoughts...
The Importance of Respect
Honoring the Heart
I have had quite a few opportunities to reflect on the
importance of respect for heartpower and wellbeing.
As I have observed both the toxic effects lack of
respect or disrespect has had on those I love, and the
empowering effect of true respect, I have come to
believe that respect is an essential experience for
heart health and well-being.
Most human beings seek to be known, seen and
heard for who they are. When we are unknown,
unseen and unheard, we feel invisible, that we do not
matter. And that hurts the heart. Even worse, when
another person with whom we have a connection or
who is in a position of power or influence in our lives,
creates a negative image of us that doesn't accurately
represent who we are, our energy and our hearts
become diminuished. Being disrepected or unfairly
judged hurts us, exhausts us, and takes a toll on the
Respect brings with it a power--a clean power.
Respect empowers both the respectee and the
relationship between the respectee and the respector.
Respect is truly love in one of its many forms.
Respect offers a warming mirror for the heart. This is
true when another person's words and actions reflect
respect. However, it is particularly palpable in EKP
when I place my hands on someone's body, including
By asking permission before I place my hands on the
person, I demonstrate respect.
By listening to their "real" answer, which might be
deeper or different than their words, I demonstrate
By honoring their "yes" or their "no," I demonstrate
If they say it is okay to put my hearts on their heart or
other body part, by asking exactly where they would
like the hand, and exactly what quality of contact feels
right to them, I offer respect.
By giving the person the time and space to tune the
hand so it feels just right, and even having permission
to experiment with options, since it is not an everyday
occurrence for someone to offer to place a hand on
our heart or body in a way that feels just right to us, I
By having my hand be there quietly and presently, so
that the person can feel my support with no strings, I
By feeling my presence, my attention, my desire to
support and tune my energy, the person who I am
responding to feels my respect.
And true respect when attended to in a slow, mindful
way, can penetrate us emotionally, physically and
spiritually in a very deep and profound way.
Deep respect is very validating. We breathe easier.
We relax the tension we carry in our bodies. It is
easier to feel safe and to go inside and listen to our
bodies and hearts. It is easier to speak our truth and
know we will be heard.
As the present hand holds and opens a space for a
person to take in deep respect, the person's heart
energy begins to blossom and grow. The hand
becomes like a "tea cozy"--keeping the warm heart
Taking the care to make sure a person is safe and
complete for the moment before removing a hand is
also part of respect. Honoring that touch and
presence open an emotional door, it is important to be
sure that the emotional house is in good order for the
moment before we walk out and close the door.
The safety and completion cycle allows us to ask,
"what does your heart need right now?" and for the
person who is being asked to go inside, listen and
speak honestly about what they find. If we could
support someone in being safe and complete for the
moment, they will take with them the seeds of a longer
lasting sense of respect. Safe closure anchors the
exprience of respect.
©2009 Linda Marks
Share your thoughts on this article...
The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group has
openings for a couple new members. An interview
and one EKP session are required to apply. Contact
Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com
February 21, is the next Healing the
Traumatized Heart Workshop, from 1 - 5 pm in
Newton. Join us for an afternoon of heartful healing
There will also be a Healing the Traumatized
Heart Workshop on Sunday, March 15 from 1 - 5
pm in Bedford. We are bringing the heartwork into the
living room of someone who is unable to gain access
to most of our regular venues.
Linda Marks and Alan Krentzel offered
a Stress Management workshop at
Beacon Hill Athletic Club in West Newton, MA
on Wednesday, February 11, and are working to
arrange an ongoing Stress Management Class there.
If you would like to participate, e-mail
Linda and Alan are also offering a Stress
Management workshop at Wayland Wellness
in Wayland, MA on Wednesday, March 11 from 7 -
On Sunday, March 22, Dan Cohen and Linda
Marks will be leading another Healing the
Integenerational Heartworkshop. This workshop
Hellinger Family Constellations work with EKP to
provide an incredibly powerful opportunity to heal
integenerational enegy doing soul work and oversoul
Sunday, March 1 Linda will be leading
Body Psychotherapy and the Heart for Health
Professionals at the New England School for
EKP opportunities in Newton include:
- Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
- On-going Thursday night EKP Body
Psychotherapy Group (which currently has room
couple new members)
- On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process
Group (which also has room for a couple new
If you would like a Healing the
workshop near you, or have a group of people
who you would like to bring EKP to, please
To find out more....
"Strength of heart comes from knowing that the pain
that we each must bear is part of the greater pain
shared by all that lives. It is not just 'our' pain but 'the'
pain, and realizing this awakens our universal
- Jack Kornfield in "A Path With Heart"
"Mankind will survive if there are no great scientific or
philosophical or artistic or technological achievements
during the next hundred years. But this survival
becomes doubtful if the egotism of individuals and
groups remain undiminished; if it is not transcended
by a creative love... as a dynamic force effectively
transfiguring individuals, ennobling social institutions,
inspiring culture, and making the whole world a warm,
friendly, and beautiful cosmos."
"Some live by 'Love thy neighbor as they self.'
Others by first do no harm, or take no more
than you need.
What if the mightiest word is love, love be-
yond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a
widening pool of light. Love with no need to
I welcome your thoughts....