Empowering Yourself: Why You Should Focus On Being In Your Heart And Not Your Head
Wherever you are in your life, believe that there is immense strength in you.
Today one of my clients called me in tears. Complaining of another episode of her partner being verbally abusive to her. We had a 40-minute talk calming her inaudible words down, getting into the body, breathing and smelling some heart-healing Lime oil. Thankfully, she came out of this practice with a bit more clarity, not being as much in her head.
Now you may think, why all the bodywork when she may have needed rational advice?
What Mindfulness Truly Is
The reason is that mindfulness teaches us to look for answers in your body and heart. In some of the Asian languages, being mindful means being heartful. The word mindful has nothing do with mind, as in your head, but rather ‘minding’ how you feel.
Interestingly enough, the Western culture often brings kids up saying things like ‘Use your head’ or ‘You should think with your head’, ‘Get it in your head’, ‘Get your head around it’, ‘Hold your head up high’, ‘Don’t mess with my head’ and ‘Headfirst’. But the truth is, it is our ‘narrating’ self, not our ‘being’ self (the one checking with how it feels), who listens to the head. The narrating self is the one who wants to have a nice story to tell and pictures on Facebook to post, no matter how much pain there is behind it. With my client, it meant every day screaming tantrums of her partner. She would be on her ‘best behavior’, as she says, and yet she would be blamed for something every single day.
And it is her narrating self, her head, who wants to be with this successful guy, to be presentable, to share a household. These are all the things we see in movies or what our mom wants for us and tells her friends about.
What the Heart Wants
The funny thing is, your heart doesn’t actually want you to play it safe. And it definitely doesn’t want you to play it so that it gets hurt and overlooked.
It doesn’t approach life with rational logic. Your heart wants to move boldly into the unknown. It wants you to have the most amazing, awe-inspiring, enlivening life possible, and that means doing things that totally freak you out sometimes, like leaving your partner or your job. Your heart wants to do things that excite, thrill, and empower you. What is more, if you work with your heart, it will help you find the support you need in order to do it all.
I never really paid much attention to my heart until I woke up one day and realized I was totally miserable. I’d done everything I thought I was supposed to do — be in a relationship, have a job, cook nice dinners, go on holidays. But I was unsatisfied with life, often overeating, flushing it down with martinis. I was exhausted and in a relationship where we did not talk anymore and I had constant fights with my body image. I knew something needed to change, but I was scared. I thought that if I actually unleashed my true desires all hell would break loose. The stability of my life would crumble. But my heart kept on tapping my shoulder, saying “Does it have to be like this? Is this all there is to life?” My rational mind couldn’t wrap itself around these dreams. “Will I make enough money if I leave him? Where will I live? Will our families think I lost it walking away from the ‘good thing’?”
But guess what? Once I took the leap (and a leap not a step it was, as I had 16 big garbage bags packed rather than one suitcase when leaving), it wasn’t easy, but my life changed all around. It started by me picking another job, hanging out with people who actually inspired me and taking me through the path or knowledge all the way to mindfulness, being happy most of my days. Do you relate to any of this? So why don’t you ‘Use your heart’, ‘Think with your heart’, ‘Get it in your heart’, ‘Get your heart around it’, ‘Hold your heart up high’, ‘Don’t mess with your heart’, and put your ‘Heart first’?
Give your heart a voice. Wake it up, let it decide and get the courage to follow it. It will pay you back. Trust me.
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