I recently was struck by Jean Shinoda Bolen’s words, which she paraphrased from Don Juan’s teachings to his apprentice, Carlos Castaneda:
There are many paths to choose from, and none of them go anywhere. If you choose a path with heart, it may be difficult, but there is joy along this path, and as you travel, you grow and become one with it. If you choose a path out of fear, anxiety travels with you, and no matter how much power, prestige and possessions you acquire, you will be diminished by it. The adage is true: it is the journey, not that destination that matters.*
Here’s what stirred in me when I read Bolen’s interpretation:
When we listen to our heart – our true knowing – and then take action from that knowing, we move forward in agreement with our highest good. It doesn’t mean that the path will not be rocky or circuitous, but when we “know that we know,” the journey takes on a greater purpose, our steps feel more secure, and we can hold our awareness to the present moment experiences because we confidently have chosen this communion with our heart. And “outcome” is simply an “outpouring” of the richness of the experiences we have along the way.
How do you listen to your heart?
- Take time away from the noise and chatter, find a quiet space/place to simply Be.
- Give yourself 10 minutes of closed-eyed silence – use a timer if you must.
- Breathe deeply into your heart area and, with the out breath, imagine releasing the tension from your mind and body.
- Continue to breathe into the heart area until your breath feels easy and even.
- Now ~ Listen.
- What do you hear? What do you feel? What do you see in your mind’s eye?
- Let yourself engage with whatever comes up for you.
- When you feel ready (even if the timer hasn’t gone off) write in a journal (or on a piece of paper) whatever impresses you as important from that engagement.
You might receive a distinct directive, if so be courageous and act on it! You might discover some insight about a situation that requires more reflection and another “listen.” Or, you might simply feel more peaceful and clear-headed. There is no right or wrong result. What you receive “is what it is” for you at this moment.
Like journaling, the benefits of heart listening increase with practice. The more regularly you do it, the easier it is to hear. And the combination of listening and then journaling creates a powerful tool for reflection, change and growth.
What is your heart telling you today? Take some time and … Listen.
* From Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen
Note: Consider reading Doc Childre’s work on the HeartMath Solution