“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”–Brian Andreas
Several years ago, I had the privilege of taking classes in order to become a certified yoga teacher. YTT, as it is often referred, was a year-long process that involved much reading, studying, and, of course, yoga practice. One of the more fascinating facts that I learned during this process was that each person has a unique heartbeat. It is a point of awe for which I find myself contemplating at times when I am in need of self-comfort/reassurance.
Driving home recently on a golden fall lit afternoon with gilded leaves swirling and whirling in a dance down to Mother Earth, I thought of our Creator and the unique gifts of creation all around. Ahead of me were the rolling hills of southern Ohio and beneath my road was a ribbon of river, sunlight glinting off its glassy flow. Cracking the window and turning off the radio, I inhaled the crisp fall air as it glided through the car’s interior embracing me like an old friend. Instinctively, one hand went to the heartspace of my chest, and in the moment, I felt the pulse of gratitude and sighed with peace.
Now, to be honest, it was also a sigh of relief. I was more than happy to have the challenging work week behind me! However, that simple moment of gratitude and relief served as a reminder of the uniqueness of my heartbeat, and hence, the uniqueness of my own life. Which led to my mind’s meanderings of the singularity of each individual life.
It turns out that national agencies, such as NASA and The Pentagon (at the request of US Special Forces) , as well as private technology companies, such as Bionym, a Toronto based company, recently acquired by Inominds out of San Jose, have been researching and harnessing the technology around the unique heartbeats of individuals. According to Andrew D’Souza, the one time president of Bionym, the original maker of Nymi, a wearable device that the uses an ECG to identify the wearer, each one of us has a unique heartbeat that is based upon the size and shape of our hearts as well as the orientation of our heart valves and our unique physiology. This individualized rhythm can slightly change with age, about every five years, and can also be altered if a person suffers a major cardiac event, such as a heart attack. Nonetheless, even with age or a cardiac event, our heartbeat remains unique to each person. Even when our heart rate is elevated from exercise, stress, or anxiety, D’Souza explains that electrically speaking, our heart waves still look the same.
Without going into further scientific depth my rabbit-hole deep dive produced, an overall message kept emerging, each person’s heartbeat is definitively different and unquestionably unique to each individual. The power of this knowledge brought me back to that sense of awe and wonder that I felt on the autumnal afternoon drive home. Even after an exhausting week in which I felt like one lone worker ant in a colony of ants, each with our own humble roles, knowing that my heartbeat was not like that of anyone else was a comforting reminder that I am, indeed, a uniquely Divine creation. And so are you Dear Reader!
In a world where divisiveness and partisan language seeks to divide, separate, and categorize us into opposing factions, it is worth remembering that each one of us is a unique creation, a child of our Creator. Our individual heartbeats can serve as a reminder that we are here to, as the saying goes, march to the beat of a different drummer and not necessarily to conform to any one group or one way of being. We were not created to be the same. Indeed, each one of us is unparalleled, designed to offer our special gifts and talents to the world. No one else can be me, and no one else can be you!
Therefore, on days when you’re feeling out of sorts, overlooked, or overwhelmed, place your hand on your heart center. Feel the one-of-a-kind rhythm of your own heart. Allow its individualized cadence to serve as a reminder that you do matter. No one else can be you. You, and you alone, were created to follow your own beat, and offer your own rhythms to the world.
Your heartbeat demonstrates that you are special, and YOU ARE. Know it. Believe it. Act on it in a positive way by caring for yourself and your heart, so in turn, you can walk to the beat of your own drumming heart, blessing the world in the unique ways in which only can do.