Sunday, April 17, 2011

heart melting

Forgive me again, dear friends, for disappearing for more than a few days. Seems that my lot in life at the moment is to test drive all of the new viruses and bacteria on the market (I assure you that I didn't apply for this job...). Been flirting with a mysterious fever and fatigue for more than a week now, two rounds of antibiotics down and we're certain it's a virus. So...there's that.  Whaddyagonnado.

What I really want to write about in this post is something called 'melting your heart' or 'heart melting'. Most of us have used or heart the saying 'that melted my heart' in reference to something really sweet, or genuine, kind, beautiful, touching, moving....the list goes on and on. There is also a physical manifestation of this idea in Anusara Yoga, which is a very heart-oriented practice (in more ways than the physical). In a nutshell, this means to, first Open to Grace (say YES to the inside and the outside, be accepting and open to the divine) both soften and engage (always engage!) the muscles between the shoulder blades on the upper back, drawing arm bones back and shoulder blades onto the back body (representative of those that came before),  or as we say 'behind the heart'.  This motion is nearly always employed in back bending and inversions (Opening to Grace is the first step to EVERYTHING- there's something to chew on, eh? I've been gnawing on that one for years) and allows the body and mind to correctly align for the pose. Though important for the correct alignment of the body, this idea is also important for the alignment of the self with the divine- right from the heart and radically accepting of all.  Your heart is literally melting out of your body into the universe.  Essentially, to me at least, the idea of having my heart melted means that I am feeling such strong gratitude and love (because really, the two are firmly connected) that my heart is flowing out of my body and into the universe.  That I am firmly engaged, no aligned with, the gratitude and love I am, or intend to be, sending into the world and finding in the divine.

This week particularly has been a physical and spiritual lesson in melting my heart. First, and mostly because it's a short explanation of a long journey, the physical heart melting:

This motion has, by far, been the most difficult for me to bring back into my practice with serious intention (not just jamming my boobs toward the floor and squashing my shoulders up). The reason? Melting the heart is exceptionally painful, and nearly physically impossible, with a port in your chest. With a port in, your motion is restricted across the muscles of the chest (the damn thing felt like it was either going to pop out or rip my flesh). Not having done this for nearly five months, coupled with the drastic muscle loss I experienced, has made this one of my greatest projects in the rebuilding of my practice. Of course, there is more to yoga than the physical, no? A touch more on that later.

Secondly, and by no means is this actually second in importance (in fact, it's certainly first), the spiritual heart melting:

This past Tuesday, the incomparable faculty, staff, students, parents, community members of the district I work in, and grew up a student in, put on an amazing, generous, MIND BLOWING benefit concert in my honor and for the Life Organ Donor Association. Though I was not able to attend ('member that fever? no bueno around the little ones...or anyone for that matter), my friends in the music department filled me in on their plans in the months leading up to the event and then I waited with bated breath for P to come home that night and tell me all about it. All he could say was it was "A-MAZ-ING". Then the audio clips came...then the pictures...then the video which aired on the local access channel this weekend. OH. MY. GOD. There are no words. The only ones that I can come up with are love and gratitude(for this community and faculty,and especially students) and of course, humility. That this community came together for the assistance of P and I and our families and for the Life Organ Donor Association is AMAZING. In every sense of that word. I cried while listening to the audio of the kids, some of my students (current and past) lent their voices, all of the elementary school music faculty lent their teaching talents (and my god are they talented), the ensembles- jazz, strings and wind and their directors (again, incredible talent and generosity).  Listening to the stunning performances and knowing how much hard work went into teaching and learning those pieces, organizing the rehearsals, running rehearsals, coordinating transportation, setting up, not to mention the hard work on the part of the students, I was so filled with....I don't know what...the intense warm and fuzzies might start to explain it. Seeing their concentration and joy, hearing the comments by my colleagues and member of the administration, especially by one faculty member who donated his kidney to his sister...well, to say that I feel blessed would be a grande understatement. And oh, the tears when I spotted my kiddos, great job guys, I can't wait to singing with you in just a few short months. I miss you so, so much.

SO, I say thank you

Thank you to those who attended and donated, you have helped us ENORMOUSLY.

Thank you to those who planned and arranged and rehearsed and lent their efforts in so many ways to this event. Your selflessness and dedication is awe-inspiring. 

Thank you to the Administration for being so supportive of a program that is capable of such great things.

Thank you to the students (though I hope none of you are reading this blog...). You used your music, for many of you, your own hearts, to help another. I hope that you all have long, fulfilling and music-filled careers and happy, healthy lives. 

My heart truly melted this week. During my (admittedly limited- yoga can get swirly with a fever) practice this week, I struggled still with melting my heart. Then I thought about Tuesday night and it was like the thing just dripped out of me. Perfect? Nope. Dunno if it ever will be. BUT it was an honest and intention-filled motion and THAT felt like I was really connected. Sending out my gooey, warm love to every soul there that night. While practicing harmonium, which is an instrument that is exceptionally easy to get swept up in, I thought of them, humbled myself and melted. 

I am blessed to know and be part of a community in the district and public that has such a generous and loving spirit, both in my hometown and in my kula. Thank you.

So much love. So much. 

P.S. Today would have been Olivia's 13th birthday (I posted about her a little while ago).   You've been on my mind and heart today, as has your family. Bet you're enjoying the best red velvet cake ever right now:) Happy Birthday, sweet girl.


  1. You've melted my heart


  2. So much ooey gooey love to you my friend. Love love love this post and love love you. Besos.

  3. and Laura through your description I get another hit of it, like a taste of my own experience. Loving you so much this week, harmonium together soon! love love

  4. Laura -

    I'm so disappointed I missed the concert - I didn't even know about it until 2 days after the fact. Had I known, I would have volunteered for every second of it.

    Hope that fever is diminishing and the virus is slowly working its way out. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

  5. Sounds like you missed a great concert. So sorry you weren't feeling well enough to join in on all the fun! I love your description of the melting heart. Hope yours is smiling :) You make my heart smile! I sent Livvie three pink balloons on Sunday. I know she was celebrating and having that red velvet cake! Thanks for thinking of her. xoxo CAL

  6. I saw a link about this on Liz's Facebook profile page and I was astonished at the good fortune of others...I know I don't need to point this out because you are well aware, but look how many people LOVE you!

    I hope that all is going well with you! You are still in my thoughts and prayers! :)

  7. You are LOVED by many my friend:) thinking of you MISS U xoxo C