Dear ones –
I was blessed to participate in a “Deep Heart Check-In” with Holly Glaser this past week. In the business coaching group of which I am a part, we often say, “Check in with your heart.” “Take a minute to check in with your heart.” “Let’s take a breath and try to check in with our hearts.”
But hello, what does that mean? It can be really frustrating when you can’t really “drop into” a heart-centered space, if you’ve never had that feeling, or even thought before about different ways of knowing.
In my tradition, I teach about the Three Cauldrons, or three ways of knowing. The belly (bodily response), heart (intuition), and head (parsing data). A body scan, as I call it, is one way to learn how your body responds to different kinds of stimuli – your choices, other people’s ways of speaking, your own fears, etc. the head mind benefits from crossword puzzles, good conversation, and reading books.
So what is it, this thing we call, for lack of a better word, the Heart Cauldron? What is knowledge from the heart?
The heart is that part of you that is most deeply connected to intuition. To a sense of things that will lead you past your “ego,” as it were, and into what you most hope for. The Heart Cauldron, is also the Cauldron that is most easily filled by Divine inspiration.
Today, we spent forty-five minutes in Holly’s Deep Heart Check-in engaging in an imaginative journey. One on which we flew a magic carpet, rode an unerring elevator, went slowly down a set of stairs, step by step, further and further into the close and holy darkness of heart knowing.
Throughout the call, Holly guided us, reminded us gently here and there, of what we were doing, the knowledge we were seeking. Sometimes she prayed or chanted in Arabic, and sometimes we just took our magic conveyances deeper into the wilderness that the heart space can be.
After about 35 minutes into the call, I was dizzy and trancey, soft-eyed and quiet, and then I received a gift. “Your heart is trustworthy,” came the knowledge, clear and sure and quiet and gentle.
Your heart is trustworthy. What a lovely gift to have received. The trick, I realize, is GETTING to my heart, through the noise, through what I think I most want or what I think I should most desire, and not only that, but asking the right questions.
Today, I was asking about my upcoming website changes (yay!). I am nervous about them. I want you to like them. I want to like them myself. I want the design, as well as the copy, to express who I am, more clearly and honestly than the green-and-brown of the theme I use now. I mean, it goes beautifully with many photos of rivers and forests, which I love.
But come on, if you’ve met me – and I recognize many of you haven’t… but whether you’ve met me or have never met me, you’ve never seen me wear brown. How do I know? Because there’s not one single piece of brown clothing in my cubbies. Come to that, there’s nothing green either, though long ago, I owned a pair of dark green pants. But I digress.
The point is that I’m afraid to put myself out there, yet again, in an even deeper way that I do every week. I’m afraid that you won’t like me anymore. I’m afraid that if people really knew me, they’d run screaming away.
Taking a page from Rebecca Liston’s most recent email for Las Peregrinas, it feels important to say that the art of my new site is going to make me even more open, vulnerable and visible than my writing and podcasts already do. And also taking another page from Rebecca – sorry, love, you words were just too trenchant not to use – it is sharing vulnerability like my fears about my website that makes The Way of the River stronger. Vulnerability is in the psychic bricks and mortar of the The Way of the River. It is why and how this place has been built. Why and how and with whom? With you.
My heart is trustworthy? My heart is trustworthy? I have things to say that come from the heart that people find useful or at least help them feel connected in the world. It’s hard for me to believe it.
But, it seems like somewhere around 500 people like the freaky, religiously polyglot, spiritually mystical, fat, mentally ill and neurodivergent cis queer woman who’s writing this, or you probably wouldn’t be here. It just feels scary to try to dig as deeply as I can, be as relentlessly truthful as I can about the people I serve and what I have to offer you. It’s just scary to find new ways to be so visible.
Then again, Catharine, isn’t the whole point of a website to help you be visible? You have a point. And hearing, “Your heart is trustworthy” is a big relief. But it reminds me that I have to do the work of finding that heart wisdom as I approach the copy and design of this site I hope to share with you in six weeks, if not before.
There will be more editions of Reflections between now and then, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about my agonizing over this process, if only because I want those of you who are also anxious about being seen to know that you’re not alone. You’re so not alone.
So so so so much love, a thousand times love –
PS – Folks who have worked with me 1:1 and in small groups: You’ll be receiving an important email from me this week, so make sure to check out your inboxes the next time you see a note from me. Blessings to you and to your houses.