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“My Heart is Pounding Just Thinking About Kindergarten!” How Our Feelings Affect Our Body’s Natural Rhythms


IMG_20160901_172112My daughter just started kindergarten!! It’s so bittersweet for us all. After her school bus came and she sat in her seat wiping tears from her eyes, my husband darted off to cry in private and our preschooler promptly hugged my leg like a vine on a tree. He hasn’t let go. This is day 3.

It’s been hardest on my daughter. We are all witnesses to the swing of emotions that has taken over her little body for the last week. One minute she’s excited to tell us everything, the next she’s bursting into tears saying she doesn’t want to go back. And her nervous tummy has been a regular topic of conversation at meal times. Poor little thing is freaking out and loving it at the same time.

When I stop to think about it, no matter how much I’ve prepared I ALWAYS feel a surge of panic just before stepping into something new. The “fight or flight” instinct kicks in and all of a sudden I want to run away. There’s no reasoning behind this feeling I get, just a surge of emotion accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, shaky hands, and the thought that this was a horrible idea and I’m totally going to blow it. Even right now, as I write this, I can feel my heart rate speeding up and there’s a sense of dread washing over me. Should I really post this blog? No one cares. No one’s going to read it. This is a total waste of time…

Humans are strange creatures. We have these involuntary thoughts and emotions that come and go minute by minute, day by day. Like reaching the crest of a wave we feel this surge of fear, or regret, or joy. And then we make choices. We can choose to soak in the feeling till we’re saturated; or we can let it wash over us and disappear into calm again.

Learning how to regulate our emotions is an important part of being human and navigating through the world. When my daughter complains of a nervous tummy my advice is to pause and take deep breaths. She breathes in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts, lingering for a beat in between. When she exhales her heart rates come down and she imagines blowing all the butterflies in her tummy away.

yogaYour heartbeat is the rhythm of your life. This is true. Your heartbeat is a constant, rhythmic surge of energy pulsing through your veins. All. The. Time. You are a drum with a rhythm that changes throughout your day, week, month, and year, based on the way you FEEL at any given time. Whatever you are feeling right now is being drummed into the world through your heartbeat and it is sending subtle sound waves into the air, like water droplets on the surface of a lake. 

Whatever you put out, comes back to you. By learning to regulate our heartbeats we can make conscious choices about the energy we put out in the world, and that will directly affect what is attracted into our lives. Good or bad. When I walk around grumpy all day, griping about this and that, more things to grump about will emerge and the cycle will feed itself. If I notice that I’m feeling grumpy and I pause, take a breath, think of something that makes me feel better, and then keep moving throughout my day; more things to feel good about will emerge.

This concept might be a little above my daughter’s head. But I intend on teaching her this at some point when she is older. For now, I’m going to tell her that her heartbeat is the rhythm of her life. And I’m going to teach her how to take deep breaths to blow the butterflies away.

Now I’m going to take a breath for myself, hit “PUBLISH” on this blog, and release the fear that no one will read it…