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Posts from the ‘Emotions’ Category

Balancing the Emotions Part 3: Decluttering the Mind & Heart

Yin Yang 2When we think of clutter, we think of our garages, attics, basements, spare rooms, closets, and desks. Rarely are we aware of all the clutter in our minds, all the past and future plans, and in our hearts, all the emotional baggage we carry from past injuries and future fears. We forget that all that clutter takes up residence in our bodies, manifesting in pain and illnesses. Creating space between ourselves and this clutter is another aspect of using the Finger holds to balance our emotions and soothe our overwhelming or default feelings.

In my own practice of this exercise I find there are fingers I tend to gravitate toward. These are “my feelings”, and like a scratch on an old vinyl record, it’s easy to get stuck in one or more of them. Occasionally I find that my hand is gripping a particular finger, even though my breath is deep and even. That’s a clue that I am more emotionally invested in a particular train of thought than I expected. It’s part of being aware of my body, mind, and emotions. It’s all part of letting go, and as I do, my jaw releases a little, my chest opens a bit more,, and my body relaxes…..

This is the awareness part of the exercise, watching myself as I breathe, gently holding each finger, moving from finger to finger, and finishing palm to palm.  I try to do both hands, or even just one hand, because the palm to palm is so important. See below.

One last thing, some viewers wanted to know if there were positive aspects to these meridians on the fingers.  So…here is more information about the gifts of each hand meridian as well as it’s challenges.

The Movement of the Metal Element:
Taking in what we need and letting go of what no longer serves us, helps us create healthy boundaries.

  • Thumb  Lung Meridian – Breathing deeply unlocks the diaphragm, whose motion massages our organs and intestines.
  • Index Finger  Large Intestine – takes in water, lets go of waste

The Gates to the Fire element:
The boundaries in our chest, neck, and shoulders can either be membranes or steel vaults.

  • Middle Finger   Pericardium,  Heart protector
  • Ring Finger   Triple Heater, Guardian of our metabolism and the movement of water

The Movement of Fire:
Learning to trust our hearts and guts can give us a reliable road-map to move through the world.

Pinky Finger

  • Heart – The place in our chest where our Shen /Awareness resides; our compassion, our kindnesses
  • Small Intestine – That which helps us assimilate our nourishment, our experiences

Our CenterOur ability to step back and observe, creating some space between our thoughts, feelings, and events in our lives.

  • The Palm – That which grounds us, the place of meditation and reflection

Below is the finger holds video, in case you need to review.

Thanks for watching..

Balancing the Emotions Part 2: Cultivating Peace

I’ve gotten some feedback from clients which has been both interesting and inspiring for this second blog. Using the Finger Holds exercise to go to sleep is an excellent way to use this technique, and  is very helpful for  working with one or more emotions or meridians. It really helps to soothe insomnia.

In my own practice, I find that doing this practice in the morning upon waking serves as my morning meditation. Especially if I take a minute for each finger and ground with the palm to palm, then do the other hand. This allows me to move the energy through each meridian, creating a smoother flow between the emotions or feelings. And the palm to palm allows me to center myself, creating a space between me and my emotions.

Yet there are times when I sense no emotion, just random thoughts or memories which if I allow to come and go, gives me a degree of separation so I can let go and see myself and my actions more clearly. Zen poets say it’s like watching the river, or the  ocean.

Some people wait for a pulsing sensation before moving to the next finger. And that can be a more traditional way of doing this technique. But if time is short, I believe this technique will work in the simpler version mentioned above.

Remembering to breathe during this exercise, no matter what thoughts or emotions arise, can break the habitual pattern of holding our breath during difficult times of crisis or stress. Holding our breath or continual shallow breathing during those waves of strong feelings around old injuries or losses, can lock those emotions or memories into the cells, tissues, and meridians of our bodies. These locked cells, tissues, muscles, often prevent the body from self-regulating, causing physical pain and illness.

Focusing on the breath and allowing our thoughts and feelings to come and go as we move from finger to finger, helps to unlock old patterns and rewires the brain as well as the connections [meridians] of our bodies, minds, emotional landscape, and self-awareness; creating and cultivating peace and health.

Feel free to let me know how this practice is going for you.