Flower and Sun Part 1 of 3

In order to do the flower and sun exercise, I’m just giving us a moment first to feel the steadiness and solidness of our nestedness in our surroundings, and in our own body as nest. This is my body nest, on a me first basis, but as an act of generosity.

The marvelous thing about having a nest is that even if we adore each other—and I’m adoring you guys so much—the excitement is not uprooting when there’s a big, spacious nest with lots of nice mud on the bottom, sticking it down.

All right, you might want to put a hand on your chest, and another hand lower down on your body if you like, just so that you have that feeling of body-nest and heart space.

Here in the chest, there is something like a flower—although it may not be much like a flower at the moment, any more than my peonies are. They look more like fists right now. They are these hard, tight fists.

What’s in your flower space could be anything on the flower continuum, from a tight fist, to a nervous bud, to a slightly ragged-petaled sweet little thing, to a perfect rose. It doesn’t matter what shape it’s in. There it is. We begin with the quiet welcoming of “Oh, inside of my chest is flower.”

In East Asian medicine, what we are talking about is something called the Xin Bao Luo, and in Western medicine, it’s the veins. But for now, let’s think of it as a flower in the chest. It is the flower of our healthy, natural desire to be loved completely. Completely! We were born with the desire to be loved completely—and it was not foolishness.

This is an opportunity to remind that flower that was not foolishness—even if the other kids in nursery school pointed and made fun of you. Even if things happened that were discouraging or confusing later on. This is our birthright; this is health: The desire to be loved completely, because that is what allows the flower to blossom completely, and what is life without the opportunity to blossom?

Now, this flower may have been through a few things. Some of them may have been difficult. That’s why we are taking the compassionate time to have a hand there, to have some kindness there, to be able to begin the process of healing. We return to knowing that it was not a foolish dream, even if it didn’t work out, or hasn’t worked out yet. It is a foundation of health, at least inside of our own body, even if it has not manifested fully on the outside. It is a foundation of health in our own body to say, “Yes, of course I desire to be loved completely. Yes, of course I do.”

Thus, the flower begins to heal, and to gentle, and to retrieve its autonomy from some ideas that came upon it from outside. Here in my own body, I will be with the truth of the matter, which is that this is not foolish. This is a foundation of health, to want this, whether or not it is coming my way, at any given minute. It is still not foolish. It is still healthy to wish for it, to consider it normal.

Now, right there in our chest, right there with the flower, is something that’s like the sun—right there in the middle of our chest! It something like the sun, and it also can get a little crunched up sometimes. If you need to move your shoulders, breathe a little more freely, stretch so that your chest can unclamp…

Is there room for the sun in your chest? Check and find out. Because we may need a little bit more opening of the ribcage, and a little more breathing room, in order for something lion-like, something like the sun, to expand and take its full and natural place in our chest.

In East Asian medicine, we’re speaking about the Xin Zhu. In Western medicine, we’re talking about the arteries. This is the sun of our natural healthy desire to give our love completely. Completely—unstintingly, like the sun. The sun doesn’t hold back. It just gives its love completely.

We were made to give our love completely. It feels horrendous to hold that in. We start to drown in unexpressed, ungiven love—there’s a lot of congestive heart failure right along these lines. It’s such an important cardiac reality, no matter how well or ill it has gone thus far in the outside world. That’s not of primary importance for our cardiac health.

For our cardiac health, the most important thing is that we are making room for the freedom of our heart, at the very least inside of our own body, to know that we were born to give our love completely, unstintingly. There may have been times when it was clearly not the right time to mention it, but that doesn’t mean we were unhealthy to feel it inside of our own body: to have that feeling of, “I am the sun, and I love you, and you, and you, and you completely, with my whole heart

This is our basis; this is our foundation: both the flower of our healthy desire to be loved completely, and the sun of our healthy desire to give our love completely, no matter what they have met with outside when we have tried by looking out in the world.

Our flower may have searched the world over for someone to love us completely—and that went however that went. We may have searched for someone who would allow us to love them completely—and that went however it went. Meanwhile the whole time, right here in our own chest, there has been a sun for that flower, and a flower for that sun.

So take this time to turn that flower’s attention away from its desperate search in the outside world. Turn that flower towards the sun. Turn that sun towards the flower, too, because your veins and arteries were made for each other. It’s not an exclusive closed loop. But it is a foundation of health.

I’ve heard it said that you can’t really love someone else unless you first love yourself. I think that’s completely untrue. You can—it’s just a disaster. Thus we re-foundation, with the courtship and the marriage of our inner bridegroom and bride, here in our own chest. Turn that flower towards the sun: “Do you love me? Do you love me completely?” Turn it towards the sun. What a beautiful and honest question.

And turn that sun back towards the flower: “All I want is to give my love completely. I love you completely. What would I do with all of this love, if not for you?”

Flower and sun are re-finding each other after a lifetime of—well, what was it? Many things. Many things, as they turn to each other now and say, “I’ve got you. I love you. You love me. Yes. I love you. You love me. I love you.”

It’s okay if it takes a little while. It’s okay if there’s some shyness there. It’s okay if there’s some awkwardness. It’s okay if they don’t just fall into each other’s arms completely right away. They may have been through some things. Even if they are on opposite sides of the room just looking at each other, taking slow steps towards each other, this is the re-foundationing of healthy relationship between veins and arteries. Entering the heart, exiting the heart, entering the heart, exiting the heart: a holy marriage of veins and arteries

Just stay with it for a moment. Stay with that marriage—maybe a very new marriage—in the chest.

Continue reading, Flower and Sun part 2 of 3.

To learn more, check out my Fire Seasonal Resources, the Whole Heart Connection archive, or join me at one of my upcoming live Whole Heart Connection workshops.

To join the discussion, find us on my Perennial Medicine discussion listserv (all are welcome).

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