We hear the terms ‘heart-centered living’ and ‘using your heart’ thrown around a lot in conversation and literature these days but how do we practically do this? What wisdom does our heart really have?
“There is no instinct like that of the heart.” ~ Lord Byron
Piercing the Heart Mystery
When I think of using my heart and not my head to gauge situations, it conjures feelings of love (synonymous with our ‘hearts’) and trusting my intuition. However, it still baffles me a bit…well at least up until a recent experience I had (I promise to divulge all the juicy bits further on in this article).
In my experience, heart wisdom has got as much to do with our physical heart organ as mind has to do with our physical brain.
The process of working with your heart guidance is better likened to a hunk of awareness that clusters in the area of your heart. You drop into that space, which is the center of your being — your core — and you try to sense your inborn intelligence…something called the innate.
This is how I see it, or rather, how I feel it.
The Moving Around of Consciousness
When we are thinking and talking, our consciousness is usually felt in the head. See if you can feel your consciousness right now. Does it feel like it’s all sitting up in your noggin?
Now see if you can drop that sense of conscious awareness into your heart center (which is actually your heart chakra — in the middle of your chest).
I feel it’s all about focusing that consciousness wherever it is needed. Sometimes, we can drop that awareness into our solar plexus to ‘feel’ for our gut instinct. When we are faced with challenges, it’s best to sense our answers from the heart chakra and when we need to take action (after we have processed through the heart), we move our awareness up into our head.
It’s a Combo Deal
We need to get used to using all our bodily ‘brains’ to face the challenges of living in this chaotic and, yet, oh so beautiful world.
“The heart is the chief feature of a functioning mind.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
We have brains in our skull, for sure, but you can also say we have intelligence dotted all over the body — in our gut, in our heart, in our pineal, in our feet and so on. Most of us have just lost the inherent ability to use them all.
Thumbs Up to a Helpful Heart
Okay, so here’s my story about how I finally ‘got’ using the heart guidance:
A couple of days ago I got my thumb slammed in the hinge-side of my car door…and this is where I’m going to introduce you to the South African word (Afrikaans to be precise), ‘Eina!’ Pronounced ‘aye – naa’ and it means PAIN.
After using ice pack after ice pack to numb the pain, I knew it was inevitable that I would have to leave the cold comfort of my plastic glacial crutch and feel the damage.
This is where the head came into play.
My thoughts wandered all over my thumb piercing the excruciating throbbing and feelings of heat and swelling. It was obviously necessary to feel that my appendage was damaged (if we didn’t feel the pain, we wouldn’t be alerted to a problem).
Right, so now that I was alerted to my body’s distress call and felt the busy little repair army coming to do its job, I wondered, ‘so what is the point of still feeling the pain? I know I’m hurt — I’ve done all I can to ‘doctor’ myself…why can’t we just ‘switch off’?’
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart … Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” ~ Carl Jung
Then, by some weird miraculous notion, I started to move my consciousness into my heart center. It was kind of spontaneous and I went with it. I focused all my awareness in the space of my chest and ‘thought’ from there. The pain subsided until it was completely gone and all I was left with was the throb.
I scanned my thumb with my heart mind and was still alert to the pounding (almost as if the body is still reminding you that there is a ‘crisis’ being seen to) but without the pain.
For the next half hour I sat switching from mind (experiencing the pain) to heart (no pain), just to make sure I wasn’t delusional. It worked every time!
Alchemy and the Heart — Turning Our Experiences into Gold!
It’s still early days for me and my new found heart/mind appreciation. I’m not professing to now be in full control of pain but I sure got a glimpse of how our amazing system works, or should work.
Pain is necessary to alert us to something that is out of alignment (this can be taken both physically or mentally/emotionally) but could it be that we don’t have to suffer as a consequence? That using our mind to do all the thinking is actually causing us unnecessary suffering?
It’s something to ponder, or should I say, something we should at least try to explore or sense. within ourselves — shifting from perpetual overthinking to heart-centered awareness.
Could it be that our heart-centers are our own personal Philosophers Stone — alchemizing situations to their most basic core?
I’ve sensed that our hearts are divination tools to the truth. When we drop into our hearts we operate from completeness — from the wholeness of our sacred soul.
“The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.” ~ Charles W. Chestnut
It’s pure bliss to drop into our hearts — when it is done effectively it feels like everything is as it should be and that the only truth is unconditional, unequivocal love.
We are spirit having a corporeal experience therefore it is necessary to be mindful of our thoughts and the physical actions we need to take in order to sustain our material endeavor. However, strive to trust the innate wisdom of the heart and use it as often as possible as a balancing, neutralizing force in our lives.
“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.” ~ Chinese Proverb