As we navigate our way through the disruptions that the Covid19 virus has created in our day to day living, many of us are experiencing moments of overwhelm. We may be overwhelmed by the sudden changes to our daily routines as we undertake shelter at home precautions. We may be overwhelmed from concern about loved ones and we may be overwhelmed by seeing quiet, ghost town streets when we do venture out. Most of all, many of us are overwhelmed by emotions as we watch the news and scroll through social media. We are witnessing so much suffering and hardship from around our world and we are not able to process and integrate it all. It overwhelms our hearts and it overwhelms our spirits.
In these times we are in, it can be wise for us to remember that we are wired to be compassionate beings. We have physical and sensory reactions when we see and witness other beings hurting and suffering. There is a common phrase that many of us use in response to hearing stories of hardship, I know I use it often and it sounds something like this, “Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to them.”
This instinct of our heart wanting to go out and comfort those who are hurting is innate to us. Yet, when we are bombarded with news of suffering, our hearts can begin to lose their elasticity from going out to others so much. We don’t have enough recovery time to tend to our hearts before the next wave of stories washes over us. Our hearts can become heavy laden with so much empathy surging through us all day.
In many articles that I have read, it has been recommended to limit the amount of news and social media that we are taking in right now. We are advised to set a time frame to watch, read and listen so that we stay informed, but not to inundate ourselves with the stories that are pouring out from around the world. We also need to create a plan for self-care. A plan in which we might listen to music, read a heart-warming story, exercise and laugh, or simply open a window and listen to the birds sing in the morning. It is important that we have these ways of tending to our hearts so that they keep their resiliency.
One way that I have been tending to my heart is to do a brief meditation each day in which I call all my energy back home to my body. I breathe my heart back home to myself and allow it to rest for a while. I place my hand over my heart in a gesture of self-compassion. These moments of heart tending help me replenish my inner resources in order to ride these waves of change.
I have recorded a simple version of this Heart Tending meditation and offer it to you here.
Heart Tending Meditation
In these days of change and transition, may you remember to take time to tend to your compassionate heart.