Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Heart & Soul of a Thing

The trip TO Europe from Atlanta-home is during the night so I try to sleep, glad if I can get 2-4 hours (out of the 8+). By the time we land, it's already mid-morning the next day. The trip FROM Europe to home, as in this past Friday, is always the stay-awake trip when I can catch up on my reading. I love it. I got through the entire current issue of Spirituality & Health and 3/4 through Mental Floss. That's a good trip for me.

The S&H issue this time was almost entirely about opening up our heart and getting out of our head (obviously written with ME in mind!). The heart can actually act like the head/mind because 60% of heart cells are neural cells, functioning similarly to those in the brain, says Stephen Buhner. But "What people perceive when they live from the heart is quite different from what they perceive when they live from the head." There is a state of "heart coherence" during which the heart's rhythm sets the beat for the entire body, giving greater depth and power--conveying meaning without language.

So, the exercise that helps us get there is to focus on an object's sensory aspects to get out of your head. Then ask questions of the object like "What does this feel like?" Watch as your breathing slows and your body relaxes for heart-centered perception. Then feel yourself caring for it as its energy starts flowing to you. This is what Geroge Washington Carver did to deepen his understanding of food plants like the peanut. "Anything will give up its secrets," he said, "if you love it enough."

Willing to try anything once, I decided to try this on the apple I had brought with me from Hannover to eat in Paris while waiting for my plane to D.C. YES, I went through all the above steps and really centered in on its qualities: the colors, shape, bumps, top, bottom. As I bit into it and saw the juiciness bubble to the surface of every bite, I thanked it for being so delightfully delicious.

Then suddenly I remembered something from the recesses of my heart's mind: there's a star in there at the very soul of the apple. See if you can find it.

There it was! Tenderly, carefully, soulfully, I uncovered her core. And then in total amazement, I snapped away on my camera (not caring if anyone thought I was crazy!). There it was--my heart captured the fresh and just-opened star of the apple.

I then tucked it away in safe-keeping till I got home and took yet another photo of it dried up but still talking to me. It was as though she was so proud of me for finding her. I actually think she was saluting me and telling me "Well done, Miss Ginnie, for seeing me with your heart!"

They say that every atom in the human body was once inside a star. Apparently all the elements for everything are made in the centers of stars.

Does it follow, I wonder, that there just might be a star in the middle of everything made from the center of stars? There certainly was inside of me when I moved from my head to my heart. There certainly was inside of this apple!


  1. Ginnie, Ginnie, Ginnie - you are just the coolest! I can't wait for you to get back to Europe!

  2. Wow that is like the coolest thing I ever seen. So amazing! Really... I've never thought or seen a person able to do such a thing, let alone even think about doing that....

  3. Ginnie, you're amazing. And how you applied what you were reading and then photographed that application so you could share that experience more fully with us. You're definitely a cool person.

    I also loved the quote from George Washington Carver, "Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough." There's certainly a lot of truth in that. Love works miracles and brings out the best.

  4. Well, yes, I was just going to say what Tim said - can Ginnie get any more amazing? How on earth do you think of these things and connect them all together?

    Come back soooooon! :-)

  5. Cool and amazing--everyone took my words already.

    Ginnie, you are totally awesome. I love the last picture. To me, the star looks like she's strutting around...

  6. That is really cool, Ginnie. I would have never thought of that. So much soul in your posts. Just love it!

  7. Dixie: Wait! I just got home :) But I'll be back right after Easter, 4/18!

    Expat: It wasn't hard to do at all. Try it :) I just had never thought about doing it until I read that article!

    Tim: I loved that GW Carver quote, too.

    Christina: You would have thought up the same thing if you had read the same article! I know you. And I WILL be back soon and will get to see you again. YAAAY!

    Mr. Fab: Stars do have a way of strutting, don't they!

    CS: Always a sweetheart!

    James: Thank you.

    Now STOP IT, all of you!! My head is getting too big now and that's exactly what I was trying to do--GET OUT OF MY HEAD! What sweethearts you all are, though. You've all made my day!!! Thank you. As always, I'm very touched and humbled by your kind words.

  8. It's funny how the apple is rotting and decomposing, yet looks so proud, as you say! I just love it's face- can you see it's eye twinkling???

    For some reason, I am thinking Starfish- was this apple a starfish in another life?

    It's just adorable! Talk about living in the moment- you have turned this apple's moment into an eternity! We'll never forget it!

  9. I just love the way you seem to get so much out of every second of every day!! You are constantly finding new ways of seeing and thinking.

    I take great delight in the possibility that "every atom in the human body was once inside a star". I feel eternal.

  10. Rachel: Sometimes the simplest of discoveries are the greatest of joys!

    DW: Well, sometimes "every second" is too much! I usually need to slow down!!! But I agree about taking delight in that "atom" statement. Makes me really feel connected to the Universe.

  11. I just LOVE it!
    What you had just find in that apple is your self, and the self of everything. You had a spiritual or mystic experiment that I think we can call unification. And the fact that you find a star, the symbol of the origin of all in the universe is very beautiful.

    I just red what Tim Rice said and something very cool pass in my mind. The fact that you just make your experience to a visual concept, to be able to show us something of it, probably because of your blog and the picture you put in it. And maybe because you are thoughtful of us. (Hope you understand what I'm trying to say, this is very, very difficult for me.)

    Hey everybody, Ginnie is wright, we can all do that. Something similar happens to me five years ago. I was going to eat a raisin bun with a coffee at my bookshop. And because I usually eat too fast, I said to myself that I should take some deep breath before and try to taste every bit of it. So I just did a little relaxation exercices, eyes closed, slowly breathing, and then I began to eat.

    Well something happens that I never thought it was possible. Me and the bun became just ONE. For an indefinite moment, I was the bun and the bun was me. And I was able to be connected with all things that made that bun, from the sun that made the plants grow to make the flour, to the baker who made it with all is love. My God that was great!

    Since that moment, I now that the feeling we have of being all separate things, is not an absolute. And that's probably why you could find that star in that apple.

  12. Clo, you are priceless! What else can I say!! Thank you.

  13. There's nothing left to say, it's all been said. But I have to join in in total agreement! You're brilliant.

  14. Ruth, thanks. We both fell from the same tree, didn't we!

  15. Wow, you've got me thinking...
    I love this post. And now I'm going to have to try the same. Can I borrow the George Washington Carver quote for my blog? I'm very moved by it.

  16. Yes, Lisa--try it. You'll be amazed, as I was. And of course on the quote!!! I have no dibs on it :)