I have a cardiac arrhythmia. It’s a genetic thing and, according to my doctor, I shouldn’t be terrified. It’s simply a “disturbance in rhythm” that makes my heart STOP. And then catchupreallyfast… about a hundred times a day. It feels like a hummingbird caught in my chest, but if I take a deep breath, it goes away. It doesn’t happen when I’m stressed, or when I’ve had too much coffee, or if I overexert myself. In fact, I usually notice it when I am totally calm. Like, lying in bed reading. Or watching the latest episode of Wilfred.
It has something to do with electric signals in the body. I don’t know. But this arrhythmia makes me anxious. (Everything makes me anxious, so this is not surprising.)
I’ve always particularly hated the awareness of my own heartbeat. Listening to my own pulse makes me queasy. I can’t yog because it makes my heart pound, and I hate that. As far as my heartbeat is concerned, no news is good news. So, this is a particularly nerve-wracking disorder I have.
The other day I had a session with my shamanic healer, Cynthia Mellon. She gave me a somatic practice: to take a moment every day — at least a few times — to connect with my heart. Like, put my hand on it, breathe, and feel it.
She had no idea how challenging and also poignant of an exercise this would be for me. I’ve never told her about my arrhythmia or my phobia of my own heartbeat.
But she knows how twitchy I get when I am out of my rhythm in LIFE. So, in a weird way, it all ties together.