Updated: Jan 28, 2020
We tend to always think of what we want from this life — a prestigious degree, a successful career, a luxury car, a perfect partner to spend the rest of our lives with. But how many of us have thought outside the schematic of the white picket fence and the typical ideal life we think we need? It's only a matter of perspective: have you ever thought of what this life wants from you? There must be an answer, and it lies deep within. So, sit in silence and listen carefully. Let go of the mental noise disguised as thinking and overthinking. Free yourself from worries and expectations that keep you hostage to stagnancy. Most of all, be accepting of what you're about to hear, for what the heart has to offer you will never find in the mind. It may seem like a journey to a foreign land at first, but that's only part of the process of self-discovery. So, trust the process.
Countless researches have focused on unlocking the mystery of the heart, proving that its responses precede those of the brain. In the realm of space and time, religions and spiritual traditions often analogize the soul to the heart. This is no coincidence. The heart is not just a vital organ, and there is always more than what meets the eye. There is a reason why the heart is located where it is, between the brain and the rest of the body. This central position allows the heart to be the mediator of energy, and when mind, body, and soul are favorably aligned, we are able to feel love, gratitude, and tenderness. In yoga, the heart is one's internal guide and is treated with reverence and care. It is not the intelligence of the mind, but that of the heart which is the primary tool that illuminates our Truth — the path to fulfilling our purpose.
This is all easier said than done. However, what's important is to be willing. So, how does one connect to their heart? First and foremost: Realization. Be aware that your heart is, in fact, your literal essence. Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered who you really are? Your "true identity" didn't seem to match your reflection staring back at you. The misconception of one's identity is so common because humans tend to define themselves through material things only to later realize there's an expiry date. The truth is we oftentimes spend our lives searching for something meaningful — be it fulfillment or happiness — in every corner of every place to no avail, when where we forgot to look was right under our noses all along... Within ourselves. And the mystery is solved. Your True Self will reveal itself once you give your heart a listen. Subsequently, your sense of direction will strengthen, and the path will be more transparent. Your heart is where creativity is born and re-born, where insight is found, and intuition originates. All the answers lie within you. So, reflect.. and listen. It is your heart that forms the channel between you and all of Creation, not to mention the Creator himself, God.
Look back.. but only a mindful glance, don't you linger. You are exactly where you need to be right now. Look back, and realize you've made major progress. Be grateful, and live in abundance.
Some hearts are more open than others, and that is why a critical concept to grasp is that each and every one of us is at their own pace. What may take two days for you could very well take two years of someone else's effort and capability, and vice versa.
That brings us to a critical point, which is acceptance. Acceptance of one's heart for what it is, with no judgment whatsoever. Listen to what it tells you and never run away from what you feel. I guarantee you that suppressed emotions will never leave you alone until you come to peace with them. So, take your fears, look them dead in the eye.. and become best friends with them. Otherwise, you will live a dull life and your true colors won't ever show.
Being out of touch with your heart ultimately causes instability. What else would being your own stranger result to? Ignoring your inner voice is destructive and the consequences can get out of hand. Please face whatever it is you may be running away from. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to love. Re-connect to your heart in silence. Listen to the silence echoing within you and gather the courage to believe that everything is going to be okay.
Heart cells function in syncytium, or in common terms, in unison. These cells have an intrinsic capability of beating, indicating that the heart is autonomous and does not wait for a signal from the brain in order to function. It is this precise autonomy, the invisible energy of the Universe that unites all living things. Taoists refer to it as chi, Hindus know it as prana, and there is nothing more powerful than it.
From within yourself, the organic process of self-growth and development unwinds such that you been to manifest things, and you see past your limitations and doubts. It is where you genuinely hear your calling, which in actuality is the totality of your raw instincts. All of that is your heart working its magic, and throughout the wonder of it all, you will witness a grounding sensation, the Wisdom of the heart. What's a challenging crossword puzzle to the mind is quite often a piece of cake for the heart. For what lies in the heart is divine intelligence, as God is everywhere.. within you, too. All you have to do is trust yourself.
Devote time to yourself. In our day-to-day lives, we get caught up with all that's happening on the outside, while forgetting to acknowledge how we're feeling on the inside. Just the same, we get absorbed into all the thoughts, doubts and worries that get thrown to and fro. Bit by bit, we lose that spark of divine energy. How often do you take a step back, zoom out and just breathe? We need more headspace in order to release the blockage on our hearts and that's it — achieve heart space. That's why meditation is a great practice to take up. The baggage accumulates, and one can only handle so much... your inner child starts acting up, you lose your center, things are imbalanced and before you know it, you explode. It's inevitable. You can never go wrong listening to your heart.
Choose to actively live in the now, using all of your senses. Be engaged and never resent that you are one with the Universe, which is always present even if you happen not to be. The root of internal conflict is one's deafening upon their heart's screams and becoming imprisoned to the whirlpool of doubts, so much so that the mind convinces you something is when it's not. You are your biggest deceiver. So it takes a conscious choice to put an end to the mental noise and warmly welcome back your heart, the seat of your soul.
People always emphasize on having an open mind, and that it's the key to really enjoying life. While that is a good approach it doesn't suffice, so I say... Live with an open heart, too. The moment you do, you will step into a universe full of possibility and no limits like those which the mind tends to set. I say rather than living with an open mind, focus on living mindfully instead. That means instead of reacting to your thoughts, sit with them, be aware and understand where these thoughts are coming from. Ask yourself questions, you might get surprised by the answers. However, do not expect anything instantaneously. Your patience is going to be tested. Master this non-judgmental awareness for it is the first step to change. Living in the now is what sets you free and you must savor the present moment as much as possible.
The heart's optimal state of functioning is synonymous with coherence in its beating. Such unification is then displayed throughout all systems of the body, ensuring a healthy mental state, stronger immunity, healthy blood pressure and more. A coherent rhythm isn't achieved by thinking, but by feeling. One must feel love and compassion and not merely think of them. So, when you connect to your heart and live in the now, you harness all the power you'll ever need. The simplest things help connect you to your heart, whether it's through your favorite hobby or getting absorbed into the narrative of a good book. Well, known methods involve playing with animals and becoming one with nature, so go outside and witness the beauty of the sky and the birds in the trees and feel the soft touch of sunlight on your skin. Connecting to your heart really means embracing your inner child once more. While this is all an individualized process, connecting to your heart actually leads to global unity because love is what binds you with others. Love is the answer.
In times where you don't know what to do, or how to handle a situation, do nothing. It's simple. Just don't do anything and sit in silence. You just might hear the sound of your heart.