Friday, October 30, 2015

The Heart of the Matter

Years ago I was backpacking, my head in the clouds and my heart heavy.  Happy to be seeing the world, but confused about what it all meant.  My mother had died a few months earlier, I was halfway through chiropractic college, and I was at a crossroads - closing one chapter, soon to begin another. Wandering the world for a few months seemed appropriate. One night in Tiberias, a lovely town in northern Israel, I had a long conversation with someone I had just met.  He was a little older than me, a little more worldly, and while I can't remember his name or even much else about my stay in Tiberias, I remember how candidly he spoke when the subject of therapy came up - "therapy is a luxury - everyone should be lucky enough to be able to go".  I had only thought about therapy as an admission of weakness, it had never occurred to me that claiming this time to speak freely about yourself, to discover yourself, to even confront yourself - that this is brave, important and healthy work that we should honour ourselves with.
Fifteen years later I took the plunge (hey - change doesn't come easy for me, but I'm finally working on it!) and started seeing a therapist. I found a good fit, and I look forward to my sessions as a chance to clear my head, understand myself better and make positive changes in my life. I never want to be in my own way, and speaking with my therapist helps me break bad habits and patterns.
But enough about me - I'll save it for my session :)

Amy Deacon is a clinical social worker.  She joined our clinic this year and has been working with clients to make positive changes in their lives.  She is kind, empathetic and intelligent, and is passionate about her work. If you are interested in exploring any personal issues, I encourage you to meet with Amy personally.  All appointments are strictly confidential, and she may be reached directly: adeacon17 at

Guest Post by Amy Deacon, Clinical Social Worker

We go to physicians to examine our bodies; dentists to inspect our teeth; chiropractors to explore the curvature in our spines – but what about our hearts?  When was the last time your heart had a check up?  When I speak of heart, I'm referring to the centre of you as a person; the space where you express and experience emotion, affection, enthusiasm and spirit.  It’s an important question, as it is only when there is a healthy flow within our hearts that we can truly be at our best.  Let me explain, when our hearts are healthy, we have space for our emotions to flow with ease; energy for the things that matter most; and perspective to appreciate the lives we have.

The flow within our hearts helps determine our ability to be present in relationships, focused at work and responsive to our mental, emotional and physical needs.  However, for many of us, having a healthy flow can be a daily struggle.  Throughout life, we experience betrayal and regret, frustration and anger, sadness and loss – many of which are normal parts of life.  However, when such experiences remain unresolved, we risk creating a ‘build up’, which blocks the flow of our hearts.  As such, genuine feelings of love and happiness are difficult to experience because we're clogged with lingering resentment, anger,guilt and fear.  This lack of flow can stifle our most important relationships with our partners, families, colleagues, and most importantly, ourselves.

If this is something you relate with, please know you are not alone.  All of us experience chapters in our lives in which we feel our hearts are blocked.  And the good news is that there is so much you can do to get your heart flowing as it is meant to.  Connecting with a therapist, joining a support group or spending quality time with those closest to you are great ways of mending your heart. As a therapist, my work is to help individuals safely explore the contents of one’s heart, including both your strengths, as well as those areas that are in need of restoration. Remember – your heart is the most central part of who you are, so do take the time to check in, and give it the attention it so deserves.