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  • Writer's pictureLorri Palko

Monitoring the Rhythm of Life

So far my month of August has been filled with tests, wires, sore skin, and more than enough speculation to clutter a medical journal. After a few dizzy spells and a fainting episode, it was time to seek medical attention. If you can believe, a heart monitor attached to four colored wires glued to my chest has replaced my cell phone.

I was stopped in my tracks. Sure the month started with Google searches and diagnoses from caring friends, but as I have become better acquainted with my monitor, it has become not only my friend but also my teacher.

No matter what I learn about my physical heart - - that it is too slow, too fast, irregular, blocked - - I have taken the opportunity to examine how I am living life.

If my heart rate is too slow, I ask myself, “Where do I need to accelerate something I want more of in my life?” Am I sleep walking through the day or am I jumping out of bed in anticipation? In the past staying the slow and steady course has been my prescription for controlling the outcome and knowing what to expect. Now I realize control has disallowed the magic of synchronicity to play out in my life.

If the answer is my heart rate is too fast, I know my Mom, out of love of course, will retort, “You have too many irons in the fire!” And my question now is, “Where do I need to slow down in my life?” Previously, staying busy made me feel I had value. Now I find it to be avoidance for not cultivating what I truly want. Refining my calendar to incorporate the essentials while deciding to create space feeds my soul.

I could find out I have an irregular heart beat. “What would make my heart skip a beat?” Normally I would associate such a feeling with seeing that someone special with whom I am romantically involved. While I’ve been in this relationship with the monitor, there appear to be many aspects of life that make my heart flutter. As my appreciation for all that surrounds me grows and I pause to marvel at the wonders provided each day, I am more acutely aware of the many loves of my life; family, friends, community, nature.

What if the answer is a heart blockage? The natural question to ponder is, “Where am I closing off the flow to my heart?” When I am judgmental or critical of others I have not only closed my heart but I have also closed my mind and closed out of my life those who are on the other side of that blockage. In the past, any choice to close my heart was a prescription for needing to be right. With an open heart, I honor my desire to expand my perspective and therefore my world.

At the end of the month of August, the monitor may not reveal any answers about the rhythm of my heart. But then again, maybe the answer is in contemplating the questions.

After all the rhythm of my life is up to me.

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