One of my dear ones, my friend Linda, shared a brilliant, ancient, Anglo-Saxon word with me recently…and I love it: 

BREÓST-HORD

This new word? It literally means ‘breast treasure’ according to Mental Floss.  One lyrical word used to describe the blending of heart, mind, and soul – the ethereal pixie dust which renders each of us unique and marvelous, while providing fuel and navigation as we journey through life.

After Linda shared, I did a little sleuthing and learned that many Old English words have been sidelined across the years, along with an abandonment of once common letters like þ (known as “thorn”), ƿ (“wynn”) and ð (eth or thæt).  I had no idea!

Like many others, the power of Ancestry.com has driven me to explore family history and the discoveries are delightful, puzzling and revealing.  Linda’s known for years that her mother was a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from the UK – a war bride – and her affinity for Anglo history, coupled with travels to visit distant cousins?  It adds heft to her bread crumb trail of ‘who am I?

Me?  I picked up chunks of intel about family lineage and roots in Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales – thanks to nuggets strung together from recollections and oral history from my parents.  But – so much of what I heard was so lightly and gingerly strung together, it was hard to make sense of it all…yet I couldn’t ignore the feelings (my own BREÓST-HORD?) that permeated.  A push, a pull, a tug? I can’t quite describe it, but my body told me, from the first time I traveled through London, that the UK was ‘homeland’.

I’ve learned over the past few years that my blogging friend,  Esoterica’s, recent reference to ‘ancestral knowledge’ is no joke:

“Lately, I’ve been thinking about ancestral memory, the idea that memories of our heritage live in our genes, in our blood, and in our bones, but it also lives in our minds, our cultures, our communities and in our unconscious, intuitive drives.

Without “knowing” I’d navigated my life with deference toward my cloaked history – including the name we chose for our daughter (turns out it was a family surname…going back three hundred years) and my love of ‘old stone’ and Gaelic swirls?  More than just artistic admiration. 

Another example? Almost five years ago, before the ancestry.com confirmation data dump and a bit on a whim, my dear one Linda and I took the leap to get ‘sister’ tattoos.  She’s not my blood relation, but in all the ways that matter, she surely is.  We were on a work trip – presenting at a conference – and decided (okay, with substantial prodding on my part) 😊 that it was time to bond with a swirl of ink, tattoo-style:

 

Whether our matching tats are symbols of ‘new beginnings’ or ‘strength’?  It didn’t matter but the significance of the Gaelic swirl, on each of our right wrists?  A reminder that we both relish knowing where we came from…while treasuring the bond we’ve had for decades. 

So I say…if that’s not an example of ‘heart, mind & soul’ in motion, in beautiful, BREÓST-HORD fashion, I don’t know what is.

Ready to take a break from reading and tune into more?  😊 Hop over to the brand-new Sharing the Heart of the Matter podcast with my friend Wynne Leon…all about ‘heart stories’…or BREÓST-HORD! ❤ 

Smiles and hugs,

Vicki ❤

30 thoughts on “Heart, Mind & Soul

  1. Oh, Vicki, I love that dipped your toes into the topic of ancestral memory with this post. And BREÓST-HORD is new to me but I’m a huge nerd for etymology, so I think I’ll need to go explore some Old English words. Thanks for this, my friend! 😊 I also checked out the podcast this morning, and it was so wonderful to hear yours and Wynne’s voices… it felt like we were all gathered around for tea and a Brene Brown book club meeting. It was fantastic, and I can’t wait to hear more! (I don’t have any kind of recording setup, but perhaps one day I’ll join the conversation 😉)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love that you listened to the podcast already — thank you! And…just so you know…you needn’t have any special set-up…just your computer! 😉 I can explain more– feel free to email me anytime – or Wynne. We’d love to have you join us. AND! I can’t believe you, too — you’d never heard this magical word! Thank you for your post last week about ancestral memories…it’s conjured all sorts of good stuff for me. Appreciate you! 🥰

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love your line and tattoo as “A reminder that we both relish knowing where we came from…while treasuring the bond we’ve had for decades. ” The swirl of connection and knowing – beautiful!

    And I love all the connections you make in this post including introducing me to a new word BREÓST-HORD – wonderful!! XOXO

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know — and this part – the connection, perhaps, to the origin of your name: …”once common letters like þ (known as “thorn”), ƿ (“wynn”)”. I hadn’t thought about the origin of your name, but it popped up when I read about BREÓST-HORD! Fascinating, Wynne Leon! 🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was just fixing to comment on ƿ (“wynn”). How COOL is that?! And loved the whole thing, Vicki. I’d been hoping you’d write about your ancestral story after reading your comment on Erin’s post – and of course, it was amazing. Love, love it! ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Very nice post, Vicki. Many Indigenous cultures believe fully that memories of our ancestors live on in our minds as well as our genes. Hence the strength of their storytelling, passing that knowledge and culture to the succeeding generations.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Jane — yes, I think I need to learn more about the cultural traditions related to indigenous people and storytelling, sharing knowledge. It warms me to think about it…so much untapped history and love to claim. Thank you for reading, Jane, and for the encouragement! 😉😉😉

      Liked by 3 people

  4. My journey through generational trauma certainly ties in well with this bigger leap into ancestral memory Vicki. Especially the evidence found in our genes through our heritage. Humans are so much more than we realize, or perhaps in some cases want to know or believe, but I’m seeing so many connections that make me believe body memory is as lasting and just as powerful as what we store cognitively. Some things/experiences/places just feel right even if we don’t grasp why that is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Deb. Yes — you said that so well. We may not fully grasp the feelings or the rationale behind some of it, but I believe memories of another sort (not cognitive, as you said) are still powerful…despite feeling intangible. Appreciate your comment, Deb! 🤍

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  5. I’m seeing a lot of videos from the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and it’s fascinating to watch as they trace family trees and tell stories that have lied dormant. I love that you’ve tried to trace your family’s origins. I think I have to do some now too. I get the feeling of ancestral memory. I’d love to be able to sift through what is real and what is “stuff” that’s been added over time. Such an interesting topic. Thanks for the great read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ancestral memory sounds like a fascinating concept. I’ve never thought about anything like that being possible, but why not? It would explain how you can suddenly become interested in something that seems on the surface to be outside your wheelhouse, but is instantly normal to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh….oh….oh! Another soul sister! Thanks for reading and for your sweet comment, Betsy. I love picking up tidbits about family history…but it’s just as much fun to meet new friends who hail from similar places! Cheers to that! 🙂❤️🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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