Somatic Experiencing Practice: The Hand and Heart Meditation

Welcome to the Hand and Heart Somatic Experiencing Meditation. Hands are intricately connected to the heart. For example, your hands express the love that is in your heart. They welcome, comfort, hold, and assist. Alternately, hands protect the heart. They block, guide, and circumnavigate whatever is or can be harmful to you. 

This hand and heart somatic experiencing meditation practice invites you to heal and release what is unwanted or causing you pain in your heart. This exercise will make more space for the love and gratitude you deserve. At the end of this video, you’ll learn more about somatic practices, but first, let’s try this hand and heart somatic experience together.

Find a comfortable seated position with your spine straight and both feet on the floor. Closing your eyes allows you to focus on the sensations in your body. Take a moment to tune in and get a snapshot of how you are feeling. 

Start the Somatic Meditation:

Begin by connecting your right and left hand in front of your breastbone.

Breathe in.

Imagine your breath coming through your lungs, down your arms, and arriving where your hands are touching. Keeping awareness on your palms, press each hand to the other exploring, experimenting, and coming to a center line with equal, gentle pressure. Tune into whatever sensation that may arise. No need to worry, judge, or do anything. Just notice them. 

Twist your hands and bring the right hand to circle the thumb of the left hand. Pause. Again, tune in to what this feels like in your left thumb, in your right hand, and in the rest of your body.

Now move to the pointer finger and do the same.

Somatic experiencing is…

…the practice of pausing to check in if any emotions, thoughts, sensations, or feelings arise. If so, simply be present and observe them with a gentle, loving attitude until the intensity subsides or releases fully. 

Now, clasp the fingers of your right hand over your left middle finger.

There’s no need to try to release. The act of witnessing without judgment will allow the release to happen without any work on your part. Feel free to move your fingers around the finger slightly to explore different finger arrangements. You are not rubbing or massaging, you are merely shifting the position.

When there is nothing left to release, move to the ring finger.

Each finger may feel the same or different. That’s okay. We carry different emotions in different parts of our bodies. Even though each finger is connected to the body and participates in the body’s lived experiences, they also have their own independent lived experiences. It may have gotten a paper cut last year or stitches when you were seven. You may not even remember but these micro-injuries are often held in the tissues. 

Now the pinky finger.

You can take your time with the somatic experiencing exercise.

When you try this again on your own, feel free to pause as long or short as feels right. Let your hands and heart tell you what they need. 

Next, do your right hand

Now use your left-hand fingers to encircle your right thumb. And again, tune into your body.

When you are ready, move on to the right pointer.

You are opening the channels between your mind and body. Your body knows how to heal, but sometimes your mind gets in the way but garnering all the attention. 

Then the middle finger.

With some fingers, you may feel a spark, connection, or shift in your heart, or even in your toes. Each finger is a new inquiry. 

Then the ring finger.

And last but not least, the pinky.

It’s time to move your hands over each other, feeling the sensation of your fingers touching different areas of your hands.

Spend some time now, touching your arms, your shoulders, under your arms, and your collarbone. Feel the connectedness between your hands and your heart via your arms, shoulders, and chest.

(*You may be tempted to start massaging, but commit that you will do that for yourself later! For now, you are merely touching: to acknowledge, connect, witness, release, and appreciate. 

What is somatic experiencing?

Somatic experiencing is an empowering and healing self-care practice that uses the mind-body connection to survey your internal self. During somatic exercises, you learn to listen to the signals of your body regarding pain, heaviness, or discomfort. Somatic practices allow your body to release stored tension, stress, and trauma, helping you feel clearer, stronger, and more connected.

Somatics are powerful tools that support your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. 

Before you move on with the rest of your day, pause silently to check if you notice any difference, between now and how you felt at the beginning of this hand and heart somatic experiencing meditation.

And lastly, smile at yourself and express gratitude that you gifted yourself time to do this somatic experiencing practice. 

Another grounding somatic meditation to try

Step 1: Grounding (1 minute)

Close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so, or simply soften your gaze. Take a few deep breaths in and out, allowing your body to relax with each exhale. Feel the weight of your body on the chair or cushion beneath you, grounding you to the present moment.

Step 2: Focus on Your Hands (1 minute)

Shift your attention to your hands. Begin to notice any sensations in your hands. Maybe you feel warmth or tingling. Perhaps there’s a sense of pressure or lightness. Simply observe these sensations without judgment.

Step 3: Cultivate Awareness of Your Heart (1 minute)

Now, shift your awareness to your heart center, located in the center of your chest. Imagine a warm, gentle light radiating from your heart. With each breath, let this light grow brighter and more expansive, filling your chest with comforting and soothing energy.

Step 4: Connect Hands and Heart (1 minute)

As you continue to breathe, see if you can connect the sensations in your hands with the warmth and light in your heart. Imagine a flow of energy between your hands and your heart center. Feel this connection, as if your hands and heart are communicating in a harmonious dance of sensations and light.

Step 5: Gratitude and Love (1 minute)

In this state of connection, take a moment to express gratitude for your hands, which allow you to touch and interact with the world, and for your heart, which beats tirelessly, sustaining your life. Send feelings of love and appreciation to yourself, your hands, and your heart.

Step 6: Complete and Close Today’s Practice

Slowly bring your awareness back to your breath. Take a few deep breaths, feeling the rise and fall of your chest. When you’re ready, gently open your eyes if they were closed. Carry this sense of presence and connection with you as you go about your day, knowing that you can return to this meditation whenever you need to center yourself.

Thank you for joining me in this Somatic Meditation. May you carry the peace and connection you’ve cultivated with you throughout your day.

2 thoughts on “Somatic Experiencing Practice: The Hand and Heart Meditation”

  1. Hi – I suffer everyday from chronic anxiety and depression. I was wondering if this podcast will help me,
    Dee Cusati

    1. Definitely. It is interesting that you ask, because when we are suffering, it feels like our suffering is unique and so treatment wouldn’t work for us. Perhaps in the past, it didn’t work for you. Unfortunately, that supports that narrative that you are different. You are not different. Life is intense and you are suffering but if people can heal, you can heal. I’m not promising that you will, but that you can. There are many factors that go into healing, not all of them are in your power but many are (and often belief and choices positively affect those that are not). Watch my new video about self compassion, which is a good place to start.

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