Living from the Heart

Our hearts are certainly complex and capable of opening and embracing the most unexpected dualities and differences. The heart will feel what it feels even when it is not convenient and doesn’t look good on paper.  It can inspire us to become better human beings when we dig deep and have the capacity to forgive what is seen as unforgivable. It has the capacity to heal us by opening up even after it has been broken or start over when it seems that all has been lost.  It can find a path through adversity where our thinking mind would be rendered useless.  Love, compassion and empathy can flow freely through the heart where the mind would be calculating and planning to see what makes the most sense.  

The best way is to make use of both the mind and the heart.    Most of us are skewed and rely heavily on our rational, logical thinking and don’t balance it with the wisdom  and perspective that is available to us from our hearts. Bowing the head to the heart in a symbolic act of surrender to love and openness can feel like a leap of faith. It might even  feel scary and foreign in certain situations.  What do you have to loose?  You can put your boundary back in place if need be but how often do you consciously take the walls down and open up?  Try approaching something with kindness instead of judgement or criticism and see how it works.  I have witnessed kindness, openness and love completely disarm and transform the most difficult and complex situations.   

Without being open and loving to ourselves first it is not possible to offer this to others. We can only be open and loving to others to the extent that we have offered this to ourselves.

Collectively we are being called to go deeper into our hearts and learn how to live from its center.  It is our only hope if we are to overcome the division that is currently so common place in the world.  Meeting life with the mind connected to the heart begins as an inner journey and extends beyond our personal lives touching all who we come into contact with.  

Signs of the times

I’m driving and suddenly I notice lots of lawn signs popping up everywhere lining the streets in front of Mc Donald’s and by office buildings.  Empathy, compassion, love, healing , thank you.  Do we need to be reminded?  Have we forgotten or lost touch with our true nature because life has just been too chaotic?  Have worries, Amazon, smart phones, work and the political environment numbed us out?  Has it overshadowed the essential truth that all human beings want and need the same things?  We must need reminding.    

These are qualities that should flow freely in a person that isn’t stressed out, fearful or feeling compromised in some way.  We are so caught up that we are not able to focus on what connects us all.  

It seems that compassion and a loving presence don’t just emanate from us effortlessly especially right now.  We can, however, consciously decide  the kind of presence we wish to be in the world and choose it over and over again. It will become hardwired into our very psyche and nervous system as we  unplug from what we have grown accustomed to.  Remembering the true qualities that we all share can awaken their power as we consciously lean into them over and over again.  It is the brave heart, the warrior heart that will choose this path.   

Remembering that there is power in right action and fall in love with this state without expectations and conditions because life doesn’t work that way.  The universe works in mysterious ways that we will never fully comprehend.  It’s  a letting go, a surrender, a falling into the abyss and trusting a power greater than ourselves brought all this into existence.  Letting go of the need to arm ourselves against life and instead trust life.   The source of life has your back and will be there with the power of the universe behind it.  It’s time to be the change we wish to see in the world.  It’s time to remember who we really are.

Resist or let go?

Resistance, tensing up, saying “no” to what is or “no” to what is unfolding in the present moment.  We do it all the time when we don’t like, can’t deal or don’t want to face what is happening now.   I’m sure you know what I mean.

Sometimes we don’t know we are resisting but checking in with the body can reveal that tension is building. I guarantee it is playing out somewhere in your body.   Is the jaw or shoulders tight or painful?    How about your abdominal muscles or low back?   These are some very popular places where the body holds or braces itself against something undesirable.

We are taught that feeling good is more desirable than feeling bad but lets face it that isn’t how life works.  Everything will come at you; the good, the bad and the ugly and our job is to stay as clear as we can in the midst of it all.  

It’s good to keep in mind that resistance doesn’t actually do anything in the world. It doesn’t actually stop anything from happening.  What it does do is cause suffering.  The present moment will persist whether or not we resist it or flow with it. 

I love the spiritual teacher Michael Singer who wrote the book The Untethered Soul.  In it he says that you can become adept at noticing when the process of resistance kicks in.  He says, when you feel the body tense up make a conscious attempt to relax it.  Take a breath and let go and allow all the feelings to move through you.  When you do this the energy doesn’t build up in the body and cause physical or emotional suffering.  When you allow it you express it and feel it fully.  Then when it’s done it’s done instead of adding to the accumulated energy you are releasing it.  

Here is a quote from the The Untethered Soul:

“The Stuff that holds you down periodically rears its head.  When it does, let it go.  You simply permit the pain to come up into your heart and pass through.   If you do that, it will pass.  If you are sincerely seeing truth, you’ll let go every time.  This is the beginning and the end of the entire path – you surrender yourself to the process of emptying yourself.   When you work with this, you start to learn the subtler laws of the process of letting go.”

The part that takes some practice is noticing when you are beginning to resist because often we are caught in habitual behavior and initially it’s easy to miss.    Gradually you begin the process of freeing yourself and after a while you’ll notice that the body isn’t holding in the same old ways. 

What isn’t talked about a lot is that our accumulated baggage can weigh us down so much that we can’t see the world as it is, rather, we see the world as we are.  This can be a problem when life throws you a curve ball or tests come your way.   When you are consciously letting go you will just feel better in every way.   Just a small bonus for all your time and attention!  

The old saying what you resists persists should really say what you resist causes suffering in your body and mind…but it doesn’t have to!