Installment 4: Heart Listening

Acknowledging the beauty of any object raises your own vibration and enables you to feel a heightened sense of appreciation. When you are feeling emotionally overtaken by an experience or thought, you can distract yourself by finding a beautiful object, idea, or experience on which to focus your attention instead. This distraction will help you get back on the tracks that take you to inspired solutions and better-feeling experiences. It is not a way to bury your head in the sand, but rather to revisit the topic when you are in a better state of mind. When you worry, fret, or fixate about a problem, the solutions that lead to more harmonious results are harder to access and when you allow yourself to think about something else that feels better, these solutions find you more quickly.

Taking the time to take care of your feelings will enable you to get where you want to be in a faster timeframe than if you continue to push your feelings aside and force your way to the perceived finish line. To take care of one’s feelings involves acknowledging them, releasing them in a way that causes harm to none, and then allowing them to be acknowledged and released again if they return. One’s feelings offer an opportunity to learn about oneself – to be curious about one’s sensitivities and awarenesses and to help demonstrate what types of experiences bring about the wide array of emotions that one may feel. When you pay attention to that which feels good and that which doesn’t, you can then better determine what types of experiences you want more of in your life – and further – can then better focus your attention on creating more of what you enjoy.

Negotiating one’s true feelings requires practice as the mind typically has a louder voice than one’s heart. To quiet the mind and give space for the heart’s input to come through can be achieved through a multitude of ways, all of which are enhanced when the individual approaches this goal with intention and a regular practice. The mind can act as a bully and the heart needs to know that it is safe to speak up. Some of the most common ways that individuals practice listening to their hearts include being in a quiet place and doing an activity that brings one joy. Every individual gets to determine what practice works best for them and there are as many options as there are individuals.

Another challenge that listening to one’s heart can pose is that the heart commonly wants to do things in a way that goes against the culturally-perpetuated flow. The heart wants to break free and express itself in all of its breadths and depths and doesn’t want to sit still and fit in a box. Thus, each individual has to navigate following their heart amidst the consistent reinforcement of one’s culture to do otherwise. Pushing against the flow need not come from earth-shattering choices, but can be as simple as prioritizing one’s self care and well-being. 

Managing one’s heart-listening requires a daily practice and a personal commitment to prioritize one’s well-being. It requires that the individual be their own cheerleader and to keep up the good work. The experiences that one draws to themselves when maintaining their daily self-care practices will reflect and reinforce the goal of being well which then gives more energy to maintaining the daily practices. External evidence that one is on the right track will help validate and reinforce one’s daily practice and the individual will begin feeling more at ease as they begin to experience the benefits of their daily well-being practices.

All of this guidance is not new and has been articulated in many ways and by many traditions, however, it still is helpful to have consistent reminders that each person already has the tools they need to guide them in the direction they most want to go. It does not take a miracle nor does it take a special personality trait to able to listen to one’s heart. It truly just takes a desire and the willingness to follow what it has to say. When your heart feels heard, it will begin to speak up more often and that is when you will experience the life that you most enjoy living.

To your aligned vitality,

Photo Credit: “Cosmic Girl” painting by Marjorie Scholl