How to set my compass
Our experience of life emanates from our bodies. Listening deeply to what is going on in our bodies without analyzing it, rather simply being present to it, puts us in direct connect with that life force that animates us. This calms our nervous system, slows our mind, and allows us to relax. Our perception of events transforms, fear and doubt diminish, and we feel more secure. It all begins with breath.
What a great question. It would seem to me that most humans struggle with this question – especially, all of us sensitive beings, striving to remain open-hearted and as wise as we can be. I am most able to trust my intuition and live more wisely when I find ways to get quiet inside. I have to stop. I unplug, slow down, and have to get really quiet inside (Tara Brach has some great guided meditations online for this). The other key, for me, is self-compassion. When I judge my jabbering mind and my neurosis, I am perpetuating both of them. Being patient and kind with all parts of myself counter-intuitively quiets those parts that are not so useful. This TED talk is very inspiring to me about the benefits of truly practicing self-compassion (Dr. Kristin Neff on Self-Compassion – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4). May you find moments of inner freedom and kindness toward to yourself.
I love the responses so far! I’ve definitely come to my heart through my head. Somehow, I got scared about life when I was little, and I spent so much time being hyper-vigilant. The pattern that was established was feeling that I needed to stay alert and thinking through all the possible scenarios of how things could go wrong. Doing so will keep me safe, my young mind reasoned. I literally left my body and lived in my head.
When I started seeing the power of the heart to meet life’s challenges and conflicts with a wisdom and skillfulness that weren’t available from my head, I became interested in another ay of being. At some point the practice of Stop, Drop & Ask emerged and I started using it more and more frequently. The results were clear, I was navigating my sticky, complex human life with more clarity, effectiveness and ease. I was so delighted that my head, or maybe I should say my reasoning intellect, came right along and supported and articulated what would emerge from my heart. Magically my head also relaxed because it knew I was coming from my most positive intention, and my deepest source of power. The neuroses and whirlwinds of repetitive thinking turned into invitations to drop into my heart and body and feel life. This has been a game changer for me. There are so many people in our boat. We are not alone. Thanks for your wonderful question!