Are you feeling tired, confused, irritable, or overwhelmed? Have you been burning both ends of the candle? As I sit here on this warm summer night in the South of France, I want to help you understand how to connect to your feelings through your heart. Not connecting to how we are truly feeling can cause all these challenges above and lead to burnout.
Your Heart is connected to Summer & Fire
The heart belongs to Summer and the Fire Element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Your heart is connected energetically, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually to how you are feeling. Donovan, (2021) says the first organ system to develop is the cardiovascular system. Your feeling of life begins very early on and this information begins to be stored in your short and long-term memory via the hippocampus (Zhong et al., 2021).
When we think of the heart we associate it with warmth, laughter, and enthusiasm. Just as the summer season, associated with the Fire element, brings the blossoming of all the seeds sowed in spring and maturing blossoms of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Love is the blossoming of the human heart. It is indeed who we are in full “bloom.” Nowhere is such love felt more deeply than in the Heart. Love is the energy that connects us all as one, reaching into the deepest corners of your mind, body, and spirit with each heartbeat.
Don’t hold back when you truly feel the love!
I remember at 16 in late spring at dusk when walking through some pine trees seeing a guy and feeling like lightning struck me right in my heart. We both realized it however we never truly spoke it out loud to each other. Sometimes we don’t express how we truly feel and then other people and places come in and we just go on living. Years later I heard that this same guy told a long-time friend of his that “Lorrie stole my heart.”
Love at Last
Well the next time I felt those feelings in my chest was when I was dancing with a distiller and knew instanteously this French guy was for me. I spoke up and let my heart guide me. We have been together ever since.
Trust your feelings!
Trusting your feelings is an important part of your life because your heart is the bridge between your physical and intellectual life. According to Leviton (2001) feelings of hostility and lack of trust afflicts the heart, both physically and as the center of our affective life. This affliction then gets projected aggressively outwards onto the world in overly assertive, aggressive, even potentially violent, behavior. It is about a loss of trust in the heart and a lack of open space for the heart, for a sense of vulnerability and emotional exposure. Borrowing a term from traditional Chinese medicine, Kaminski (2001) calls this state yang, meaning, fiery, intense, strong, hard, active, and outward-tending. But it is a state of emotional imbalance. It leads to burnout which is now a medical term.
Burnout can happen.
In 2014, while I was watching a movie with my husband out of nowhere my adrenaline surged through my body and I started scratching my head. I immediately went to see my homeopathic doctor and asked if I could have one week off of work to rest. She said, Lorrie, you are Burned Out and you need three weeks not one because the first week you will just start to settle down, the second you will start to rest and the third week you will be relaxed and restored.
Take time to Rest
Sure enough, she was right and during those three weeks, I decided to give myself a time limit of 6 months to finish up some obligations and then decide if I would continue working in the position I had at that time which was running a company, traveling to other countries to teach aromatherapy and developing new organic skincare products and protocols for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Chinese Spas. Moreover, I had a family to take care of so there wasn’t much time to relax. Also, I used some herbs, essential oils, and flower essences to help overcome Burnout. Now, let’s check the signs of Burnout.
What are the signs of Burnout which stress your heart?
Here they are: feeling/ being
- mental fog
I found myself sleep-deprived and procrastinating things because I was overwhelmed with work. It wasn’t like I had one role in the company, I had many and my traveling schedule was intense; I would go to China for 4 days come home in the afternoon on the fourth day, and go to the office to see how the employees were doing.
How did I overcome Burnout?
First and foremost I took time off whether my business partners liked it or not because I trusted what I was feeling emotionally and physically.
- Rest – When the body gets good sleep it detoxifies properly and builds the blood helping the heart to stay strong and healthy.
2. Flower Essences – During that time I looked at the flower essences that could help me balance my will forces with the feelings from my heart. The one that hit the nail on the head was Aloe Vera flower essence it was perfect for people like me who have the tendency to work too much.
Kamanski et al., (2004) say Aloe Vera’s pattern of imbalance is overuse or misuse of fiery, creative forces, “burned out” and the positive qualities of Aloe Vera is creative activity balanced, and centered in vital life -energy! I took 4 drops under my tongue 4 times daily and sometimes as often as I felt I needed.
3. Herbs: I used a Traditional Chinese Herbal formulation to strengthen and restore my heart meridian. It contains schisandra fruit, biota seed, cistanche stem, cuscuta seed, dong quai root, lycium fruit, ophiopogon root tuber, succinum amber, tang-kuei root, acorus rhizome, astragalus root, dioscorea rhizome, hoelen sclerotium, lotus seed, ginseng root, polygala root, polygonatum rhizome, jujuba seed and rehmannia root tuber. I took two per day the first week. In the second and third weeks, I only took one per day.
4. Essential Oils: I went to a tried and true formulation that I made for a client and that I have used on many more for burnout called Tranquility in my book, Common Scents, A Practical Guide to Aromatherapy on page 161.
6 drops Rose
4 drops Roman chamomile
2 drops Neroli
1 drop Geranium
1 drop Bergamot
1oz. Apricot oil
1oz (30ml) amber bottle
Place the essential oils and apricot oil in the amber bottle. Roll the bottle between your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Apply the blend to your temples, back of neck, chest, and corresponding reflex points on your hands and feet.
Contraindications: Do not use in pregnancy, nursing, or with children under 8 years of age due to the dosage.
This protocol helped me tremendously get my strength back and the time taken off allowed me to see how I wanted to change my life so I wouldn’t do this again. Of course, I completed my obligations and then I quit my job. This is the reason that I have my International School of Aromatherapy. If I ever start back to my old work alcoholic ways I remember how bad I felt and how wonderful it feels to be relaxed, creative, and enjoy life again.
To learn “How to Balance your Heart with Traditional Chinese Herbs and Essential Oils,” join me for a wonderful live workshop on August 2nd at 1 pm EST
Looking forward to you feeling love, joy, and happiness with your healthy heart!
Better Health and Happiness,
PS. Have a Great Laugh and make your heart happy! A favorite song that my children and I have always had great laughs with is ” I love to laugh!”
Donovan MF, Cascella M. Embryology, Weeks 6-8. 2021 Oct 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 33085328. Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33085328/ Accessed July 31st, 2022
Lorrie Hargis, Common Scents, A Practical Guide to Aromatherapy French Kitchen Table Publishing, Bakersfield, California
Patricia Kaminski & Richard Katz, 2004, The Flower Essence Repertory, Flower Essence Society, Nevada City, California
Richard Leviton, 2001 The Healthy Living Space, 70 Practical Ways to Detoxify the Body and Home, Hampton Road Publishing
Zhong S, Ding W, Sun L, Lu Y, Dong H, Fan X, Liu Z, Chen R, Zhang S, Ma Q, Tang F, Wu Q, Wang X. Decoding the development of the human hippocampus. Nature. 2020 Jan;577(7791):531-536. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1917-5. Epub 2020 Jan 15. PMID: 31942070. Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31942070/ Accessed on July 31st, 2022