Heart To Heart: A Practice In Cultivating Connection
Only a week has passed since my last update, but it feels like so much more!
At this moment I am in Monrovia, Liberia, and in the last week we have been in 4 different countries on 3 different continents. Our West Africa Project is underway and has been an incredible journey so far.
One of the things that has struck me so far on this journey is a feeling of connection. Often when I travel I am reminded at how small the world is and how connected we all are, and this trip that reminder has been like a constant billboard everywhere we turn.
Part of why the feeling of connection is so heightened on this trip is because in both Liberia and Ghana we are staying with friends and family that I have not seen or spent time with in many years.
In Ghana we are staying with my friends that I saw 8 years ago when I traveled with my friend, mentor and colleague, Nii Armah Sowah. His family welcomed us into their home and my experience there was transformative and a huge part of my life. I still sing some of the songs I learned back then with my current students and think of the delicious food often!
Seeing my friends in Ghana was a joyous reunion. The 8 years felt like maybe 1 or 2. Although, the owner of Christ Family Academy, Sister KK, has a son, Isaac, who was 12 the last time I saw him and he turned 20 the day we arrived and is now a head taller than me! Otherwise, it was as if very little had passed.
Then in Liberia we are staying with my cousin, Catherine, and her family. The first time I spent time with Catherine I was 7 years old and she was a teenager! I remember looking up to her and thinking she was the most beautiful woman I ever saw and wanting to be just like her. The only other time I saw her was about 2 years ago for a brief lunch in NYC. She was just as stunning as I remembered but now she looked up to me!
My connection with Catherine began the West Africa Project as she was connected to More Than Me, the school in Liberia, and my connection to Nii Armah expanded the project to Ghana.
All of this backstory is to simply say:
Heart to heart connection makes anything possible and has no boundaries of space and time. (Click to Tweet.)
Today's activity is an In Depth Brain Gym practice that cultivates this connection.
Unconditional Love Integrated Movement
Sit across from someone you love - or in front of a mirror to connect with yourself! - on the floor with the bottoms of your feet together about a foot in front of your hips, knees relaxed towards the floor (a relaxed butterfly position).
Bring one hand to your heart and the other outstretched to the person across from you.
Switch hands back and forth with a deep HA sound. The movement will feel like you are giving and receiving heart to heart. The purpose of the sound is to activate the sensation of belly laughter (often this activity turns into laughter on its own!).
- End when you feel complete - or when you're laughing so hard you can't continue!
Warning: As much as this practice brings laughter it also tends to bring tears as connecting from heart to heart and allowing ourselves to not just give, but also receive, is something we don't always allow ourselves to do.
Be gentle with yourself and let me know how it goes in the comments below.
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So much love,