Seven hearts

By Lynda Shadbolt

I was having a “terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day” (have you ever read the children’s book by Judith Viorst – it is a good one!). It was early September and I was working on moving my business online. My daughter had made me a beautiful new website and I couldn’t figure out how to update it. I was doing research on Zoom, Google Meets etc. and trying to find the right online platform to teach on. I was trying to figure out what headphones and sound system I needed. I was grumpy.

At one point, on this particular day, I lost everything I had been inputting onto the website and I picked up my computer and tossed it (OK, kind of threw it) onto the couch and said to myself, “that’s it, I’m done. I’m not teaching yoga anymore. I can’t do this, I don’t want to do it. It isn’t for me.” I kind of stomped around for a few minutes and then started to laugh at myself and could see the humour in the situation. I immediately asked myself, “is this what yoga is about? Does any of this technology matter?” In that moment I went back to my old website and updated it, sent a note to a friend who has a successful online teaching business and asked for help. And then I went and did some yoga and reminded myself why I love the practice, and why I love to teach.

I really resisted all that was being required for me to figure out about the online stuff. And I just kept offering kindness and compassion to the resistance. I knew it would pass at some point. A couple of hours later I went to the post office. I was surprised to find that I had a large package, that I hadn’t ordered. I got it home, opened it and was shocked to find a beautiful painting of a flower garden with hearts woven throughout. My friend, and student, from Alberta had painted it for me to thank me for the meditations I had led in the spring. The seven hearts represented an idea that I had taught that is from the Ayurvedic system of health in India that is thousands of years old. They talk about each of us having seven hearts in our bodies. Two hearts in the soles of our feet that are called earth hearts. They connect to the earth and receive nourishment and support from the earth.

Next are two service hearts in the palms of the hands and these are the hearts that we give and receive with. Below the navel is a creative heart that inspires us to create in our lives. In between the two eyebrows is the mind, thinking heart and finally the seventh heart is located where the physical heart rests in our body. The six hearts are connected to the beating physical heart. And the image is that we are full of love, compassion, connection and wisdom. I had used this image all spring, and my friend painted the picture to thank me. What a gift to receive on my terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day.

It was the perfect reminder of why I do what I do. It made me smile and inspired me to push through all the resistance I was experiencing. All thoughtful gestures make a difference, especially these days. We need the support and connection to stay strong. A kind phone call, a message, some homemade cookies, a cup of tea by the fire or even a card in the mail. We all make a difference, we all need connection and support. From my seven hearts to yours, peace and love.