Conscious Touch and the Hand-Heart Connection
Part of my morning ritual involves some sort of meditation, whether it be seated, breath-based or movement meditation. When I am called to movement I often put on a guided 5 Rhythmssoundtrack and dance out my emotions in the middle of my living room. Yesterday was such a day and I was tuned in to the poetic guidance of teacher, Gabrielle Roth. Her invitation to express with the body encourages a deep excavation of stored emotion. I have listened to her soundtrack countless times, but yesterday a particular line caught my attention. Its truth landed in me in a way that it had never landed before.
"YOUR HANDS ARE THE MESSENGERS OF YOUR HEART".
There is a language that is far more direct than words. It is the language of the body, of our skin, of our nervous system, our soma. It can convey a thousand messages within an instant, and is perceived directly and wholly by the subconscious mind. When we observe closely enough, we can read the emotions of our partner through the subtleties of how they hold themselves and breathe. But even more direct is the communication that takes place during touch. As our bodies come into contact, an intimate dialogue takes place between our skin and most notably through our hands.
Our hands are rich in neuroreceptors, second only to our lips and genitals. The amount of information that flows in and out is extraordinary. And when we touch another being, our intention and emotional state is felt immediately. Think back to times you were touched. You immediately know the difference between touch that is hesitant or confident. We feel unnourished from touch that is careless and insensitive, or violated from touch that is overbearing and needy. We feel most open and surrendered with touch that is intimately tuned into our body. This kind of touch is present, caring, confident, and engaged in ongoing dialogue with us.
What does all of this have to do with the heart? In the Taoist system of energy medicine, there is a meridian that runs directly out of the heart and down through the hands. When we rest consciously in our heart centre, the intention that we hold there becomes manifest in our actions. Our hands are our primary vehicle for converting intention into action. As we walk through the world, we use our hands to give and receive. The presence with which we go about this work ripples into our relationships, thus the more conscious our approach, the deeper connections we make.
How do we touch with consciousness and intention? More importantly, how do we clarify our intention? When we come together erotically, are we clear on what we desire and how to convey that to a partner? Taking a moment to breathe and land in one’s body will provide a starting point. Then we must explore these questions within the soma and approach our lover with open-hearted sincerity. When the container is set, staying present with our heart energy will allow every emotion and intention to flow through our hands, and radically improve the way we connect.
Betty Martin has a wonderful video series that explores questions around intention and quality of touch. I’ll be sharing some highlights of this teaching, as well as other exercises designed to help couples improve their touch at my upcoming workshop at Oasis Aqualounge on March 24, 2018.
In the mean time, I am so thrilled to be featuring some artwork by the lovely and talented Veronica Blanco on my blog this month. These sensuous and evocative paintings capture the essence of chemistry and connection, and are available for purchase through her website. Learn more about Veronica below, and make sure to check out her website for more paintings.
Veronica Blanco is a Toronto based visual artist concentrating in painting and drawing. She received her BFA with Honours in Visual Arts from York University in the spring of 2014. Her work is passionately personal, a visual examination of love and relationships. Inspired by personal moments and the people around her, Veronica explores the intimacy, passion and even struggles between couples. She's intrigued by the power of the human figure to allure us and the messages found in body language.