Summer is related to the Fire Element and the Heart organ is most active during Summer so its energy is now on the rise.

The Heart performs many energy functions that are vital to the health of your entire body, mind, and spirit. In fact it’s impossible to have true health without a peaceful Heart, for it is the Heart that brings the body to its natural state. It coordinates all activity in the body – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Your Heart is the master message coordinator for all our organs, receiving and relaying the countless messages continually sent back and forth between them. This means that if your Heart is not peaceful, its function will be affected, which, in turn, will impact all the other organs.

There are many things we can do to keep the Heart healthy. From what we eat, to how we exercise, as well as to how we express ourselves honestly and openly, living in accordance with our true natures, which all feed and nourish the Heart.

The pure emotion of the Heart is joy. When we experience this wonderful emotion honestly, we are feeding our Hearts. So everytime you laugh or feel true joy for yourself or others, you energize the Heart.  But when there is a lack of joy in our lives, the Heart is the most affected. When Heart energy is depleted, we can suffer physically and emotionally. On a physical level, many of us may suffer from insomnia and dream disturbed sleep, an inability to think clearly, forgetfulness, concentration problems and poor memory; on an emotional level, many of us may feel deep insecurities come up such as feelings of failure or not being good enough, or we may feel feelings of abandonment arise.

Living a joyful life and expressing our emotions freely is an excellent way to keep the Heart’s energy full and the body healthy. This can often be achieved through both giving and forgiving.

The true spirit of giving is to give freely with no expectation of gain. The Dalai Lama says, “You have to start giving first and expect absolutely nothing. Giving material goods is one form of generosity. But being kind, attentive, and honest in dealing with others, offering praise where it is due, giving comfort and advice where they are needed, and simply sharing one’s time with someone – all these are forms of generosity, and they do not require any level of material wealth”.

One way to get into a giving consciousness is to let go of all your unforgiving thoughts.  Dwelling on how people have treated us in the past can impact our well-being. This is one kind of unforgiving thought that we can work on releasing.  TCM philosophy also reinforces that holding onto anger, rather than forgiving, directly affects the liver, heart and spleen. By dwelling on how people have behaved towards us in the past, and not letting go, we are likely to experience insomnia or even depression, which is a manifestation of the Heart spirit being disturbed by the inability to forgive. When we forgive someone, we are able to restore a healthy balance and regain peace within ourselves. Your experience of someone who has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more than a thought or feeling. Thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will dis-empower you if you continue to let these thoughts occupy space in your head. If you could release them, you would know more peace.

In Chinese medicine theory the Heart is at the center of self awareness and the ability to connect with others, forgiving, and living a fulfilling, happy life. The path to joy is living with wisdom and purpose, seeking truth in all things and having meaningful connections to ourselves, others and the planet.

Dr Wayne Dyer has an enlightening book in which he shares his tips for how to forgive. I wanted to include some of his ideas here in this post.

*Don’t allow past hurts from others to muddy your present moments; Don’t go to sleep angry – you’ll wake up a free agent.

*Shift your mental energy to allowing yourself to be with whatever you’re feeling — let the experience be as it may, without blaming others for your feelings. Don’t blame yourself either! Just allow the experience to unfold and tell yourself that no one has the power to make you uneasy without your consent, and that you’re unwilling to grant that authority to this person right now.

*Rather than attempting to dominate with your forcefulness, be like water. Soften your hard edges by being more tolerant of contrary opinions. Picture yourself as having the same qualities as water. Allow your soft, weak, yielding, fluid self to enter places where you previously were excluded because of your inclination to be solid and hard. Flow softly into the lives of those with whom you feel conflicted. This is the art of forgiveness.

*Resentments don’t come from the conduct of the other party in an altercation—no, they survive and thrive because you’re unwilling to end that altercation with an offering of kindness, love, and authentic forgiveness. As Lao-Tzu says: Someone must risk returning injury with kindness, or hostility will never turn to goodwill.

*In the midst of arguments or disagreements, practice giving rather than taking. Giving involves leaving the ego behind. While it wants to win and show its superiority by being contrary and disrespectful, your Tao nature wants to be at peace and live in harmony.

Acupuncture can address these symptoms directly and help us move beyond the emotional insults and mental conflicts so we can regain the flow of Qi. Acupuncture has the ability to help us tap into our deepest resources, thus helping us to connect to our true nature, which is relaxed and generous.

Remember our spirit wants to give naturally and not receive. Our Qi gets restored through giving so free up your own Qi and let the love back in. Your Heart will thank you and when your Heart is open, both giving and forgiving are natural. Nothing is forced.