I saw a client for a Reiki treatment recently, who had been having heart palpitations. She ended up in A&E two days in a row. Fortunately they were not able to find anything wrong.

During the Reiki treatment, I was expecting to sense more in the heart area. I was initially surprised to feel tension in the solar plexus instead. Then I realised that the solar plexus is the seat for self esteem, self love, self care, valuing oneself. It felt as if her heart was longing for her to take better care of herself. Understandably not easy for a working mother of five year old twins, a nurse, to make time for her own needs!

In that moment I remembered Hawayo Takata’s teaching – to treat the solar plexus for heart issues. It felt as if I could understand why the solar plexus would need attention to relieve pressure on the heart.

It seems as if we learn to live with what gradually builds up within us, ignoring what we can bear to be with. To be fair, it’s not easy to figure out how to take better care of ourselves. Usually it is only when we are faced with an aggravation of symptoms – I like to think of it as the body starting to shout to get attention – that we start to think of seeking help, or doing something different to take better care of ourselves.

I cannot help wondering how life would be if I start to listen to my body on a regular basis – perhaps asking it every day “What do you need today, in this moment? How can I take good care of you?”

The body is the home for the soul. One of the ways the soul communicates is through the body. As I listen to the body, I am listening to the soul. As I listen to the soul (atma is the Hindi word for the soul), I am listening to the Spirit, Source, Divine – Paramatma – the Hindi word for the Supreme Being.

I need the body to function well to be able to relax and feel at ease with being in the body. Hopefully this sense of ease can help keep dis-ease away. I have to take care of myself to be able to do all that I need to do.

When I am listening to my body, asking the question “What do you need?”, I find it helpful to be still, silent and focussed on the breath. Rather than seeking an answer, I find it is better to wait patiently, and allow the answer to come to me. Being patient is not easy though, sometimes it can feel like waiting for a fruit to ripen!