THE ABCs OF LISTENING TO YOUR HEART
Since the scientific revolution, humankind as a civilization has placed a premium on using the logic of the rational mind or brain to solve our problems and make sense of our world. This emphasis on the mind, which has brought us tremendous material progress, has however made us forget our connection with our hearts.
Looking at how the world is today, perhaps it is time for us to reconnect with our hearts to put more balance back into the way we solve our problems. The heart has intelligence, which unlike the hard factual approach of the mind, is based on a kind of fuzzy ‘logic’ which is just as valid. We exist within a dualistic (some would say digital) reality which requires the heart to function together with the mind as partners rather than adversaries. The’ king’ cannot rule alone and must have its queen.
How many bad choices have you made in your life? Why is it that with all the brain logic you have in your arsenal, you still make bad choices in your life? What’s missing? Personally, I have had my share of trip-ups with money, career and relationships. For me, what was missing was my heart. Having found my re-connection, I now make better decisions. Perhaps you too, can do with a little heart “logic” yourself.
Reconnecting with your heart starts with listening to your heart and here is the ABCS to it.
- A – ATTEND TO YOUR HEART
Paying attention to your heart center is the first step. Simply focus on the area of your physical heart. This activates your heart center and forms the connection from your brain to your heart.
Whilst focusing, feel the sensations it gives out. This is your heart communicating with you. First listen to the beat of your physical heart and thereafter, focus beyond the physical heartbeat to the “rhythm” of your inner heart. By doing this, you begin to form a connection, like tuning in to a radio, with your inner heart’s frequency.
Spend 7 minutes daily on this exercise for 21 days in a stretch until you are totally in tune with your heart’s frequency. If you forget to do it for even a day, you have to start Day 1 all over again, until you can do it without a break for 21 days straight.
- B – BREATHE TO ENERGIZE
Breathing energizes the heart as the air passes through the lungs near to the heart area. Be sure to do deep breathing (also known as ‘belly breathing’) where you breathe all the way down into the abdomen.
Like what physical exercise does for the body, energizing the heart (not the physical heart but the inner heart) allows more qi or prana (vital life force) to flow through. This makes it stronger and more responsive.
Breathe slowly and mindfully, drawing each breath fully through your nose into your abdomen, holding it in the abdomen for a couple of seconds, and releasing the breath fully through your nose.
Do this for 7 cycles, each cycle comprising an in-breath, the hold and the corresponding out-breath. Done properly, you should feel very comfortable and relaxed. Do this exercise daily for 21 days until it becomes a habit every time you connect with your heart.
- C- CALM YOUR EMOTIONS
The calmer your emotions, the better you listen to your heart’s response to your enquiry as there will be less “noise” to drown its message. Unsettled emotions are like a turbulent sea, so your heart’s message can easily get lost in such turbulence.
Calming your emotions is a simple matter of not emotionally reacting to people or events that trigger you, be it “good” or “bad” emotions. This requires being observant or mindful of your inner emotions so that they don’t get the better of you.
Observe within yourself the welling up of emotions such as anger for instance, then consciously and willfully choose not to speak or act on such occasions. Note that anger doesn’t just “happen”, there is always a phase when the emotion starts to form and build up – this is the critical phase at which you should “nip the emotion in the bud” before it grows into something that you can’t control.
- SHHH!…BE QUIET, AND LISTEN
The heart is subtle and speaks almost in a whisper. So you must be quiet if you are to hear your heart’s voice. Your heart does not compete for attention not does it demand attention. It leaves you with free will to choose to listen to it or not.
The first three steps (A, B and C) of listening to your heart set you up to be quiet within so that you can listen to your heart with more clarity. A quiet space will amplify the softest whispers of the heart. Then, all you need to do is to simply ask the question and listen attentively to your heart for the answer which always comes instantly.
Food for thought (for those who finished reading the article):
Notice how the above article seems to appeal to your brain with its logical attempt. Would you have continued reading the article if it was otherwise? Would you have just “listened to your heart” and continued reading the article if it wasn’t “reasoned” out the way it was? “Think” about this…and when you do, would you be doing the “thinking” with your brain or your heart…or both?