What do you think of when you hear the word heart? I think of a big red heart shape, I think of love, I think of happiness, also the heart in my physical Being that pumps blood and sustains me and keeps me living. I remember hearing, especially in my youth, the phrase, “think with your brain and not with your heart.” It has taken me many years, experiences and life lessons to tell you I had it all backwards, and so did so many others and still do. If you’re reading this, you’re like me: you want to live a healthier, happier, more purposeful, fulfilled life, a life filled with meaning and that is not always rational. You are seeking a life that blissfully beats your heart from the deepest depths of your very being.
So many times we are so far from our heart because our mind has taken over, and not in good ways. As an Awakened Living Mentor and Health Coach, I listen daily to those who are so tired, frustrated with their jobs, living with health issues, trying to keep families together and relationships going. It seems to me that so many of us have lost our way, our ideals, our life purpose and what truly matters to us as an INDIVIDUAL. This is a mindless type of living. The answer to every question, to every desire, to every impulse is within your heart. Your energetic, vibrant beating heart is so vast it can hold the entire universe. But how do you access the power, clarity, insight, love, and peace of heart-full living? Let’s journey together, shall we?
Deepak Chopra says, “Only the heart knows the correct answer to life.” Most people think the heart is mushy and sentimental. But it’s not. The heart is incredibly intuitive, at times it may not even seem rational, but the heart has a computing ability that is far more accurate and far more precise than anything within the limits of rational thought. The heart is powerful and you have experienced living from the heart already.
What does Living and Breathing from the heart feel like? While taking my morning walk, I will see something in nature that, as soon as my eyes connect with it, it takes my breath away. I will feel this sensation in my heart first, then it moves to my mind, and I give gratitude. I will see a dear friend’s number on my cell phone and get that butterfly feeling in my tummy. When my daughter comes home and I see her pull in the drive way, the emotion beats loud from my heart. I realize a few moments later in my brain that all my woohoo’s, dancing hugs and kisses have embarrassed her, especially if she has brought home a friend. Emotions like these examples are breathing and living from the heart.
I also feel emotional sadness many times in my heart first. I can hear a siren from an emergency responder, and I will feel a gulp in my throat. I then will respond with my mind and drop back into my heart with a Metta Blessing of well being for whatever situation is happening. I remember a short time ago receiving a call from my college girlfriend concerning an illness she was suffering with, and as we talked I could feel my heart drop. I can hear someone I have never met before share their difficulties, and I will choke back tears so I can keep open to best serve them.
Our heart is emotion driven, but that is important to living and breathing in incredible profound truth, OUR truth, not someone else’s or what society dictates, but OUR own unique individual heart breath that lives within each of us. There are three simple practices that when applied to daily life can assist in the process of clearing habitual patterns by bringing energetic harmony and balance to our heart first, then body and mind. I love calling this, “breathing life into a living heart.”
Self-love is living and making choices following the impulses of your inner-heart. This allows you to be guided by your inner wisdom rather than seeking fulfillment externally from need or emptiness or trying to please others or live up to their expectations. It is not a selfish or self-indulgent practice; however, it is a way of living that allows you to develop a connection with your true being or essence. Self-love encompasses loving and caring for yourself. It entails looking within for what you seek rather than relying on the world and others for love, acceptance and recognition.
Meditation – The Gentle Heart Breath
Meditation is a very beneficial tool; however, mystique and confusion surround it as there are so many conflicting and complex ways in which we are supposed to do it, so we think. However, the gentle heart breath mediation is a very simple technique that takes away this mystery. It simply consists of breathing gently.
Meditating three times a day for ten or fifteen minutes upon waking, at lunchtime and before bed is sufficient to bring about beneficial changes. This practice can be done when walking, taking a relaxing bath, by closing your eyes in a comfy chair or while lying down. The gentle heart breath mediation will give you a feeling of equanimity, clarity, calmness and gentleness within the body allowing you to connect to your truest self and essence. In truth, the gentle heart breath meditation reconnects you to your inner heart.
Stillness and Gentleness
At the end of meditation, you will be in a centered state of stillness and gentleness. The key is to gently go about your day and take that stillness with you. When you feel you are becoming uncentered, simply return to the gentle heart breath. You will learn with time it will become easier and more natural to you. Simply focus on the gentle breath and observe yourself, and you will become aware of how quickly you are able to drop back into your heart. Gentleness is the bridge we can use to take us from chaos into love or stillness. Gentleness is achieved through the practice of staying centered.
Now that you know that somewhere inside yourself you have the answers to living your life with joy, love, far less stress, clarity and the ability to live from your heart, it takes practice. It takes daily practice and gentle commitment. When making any kind of lifestyle change, allow yourself time to adjust. Practice makes progress, not perfection. Now, go take a gentle HEART BREATH.