The term mindfulness is not unfamiliar to our ears. We hear it in the workplace, in the schoolyard, in the home, and even at the doctor\’s office. As the term becomes widely accepted, it is essential to acknowledge the profound gifts from such an activity and not lose the meaning of being mindful.
Mindfulness is a powerful exercise that shapes our brain and draws us to engage with our present experience proactively. To be fully engaged, connected, aware, and in direct contact with our living experience is transformative. “But” I hear you ask, “what if my life is unbearable right now?” even then at that moment, is when you especially turn to mindfulness, as its true mystery is counterintuitive. This profoundness is why I would like to introduce to you another aspect, and that is Heartfulness.
Heartfulness is a term emerging in the mainstream (though well known for ages). Its meaning and practice seem a little less defined compared to that of mindfulness. Heartfulness sits more in the body and sensed keenly as a feeling weighted with higher aligned intention. It is less like having an attitude toward something or someone and more of holding a consciousness of who I am being. The subtle shift is one of noticing what I am experiencing to one of seeing what I am creating.
Head vs. Heart
I don\’t know why it is, but the divide between head and heart seems to wage war. The great abyss stems from the challenge of hierarchy when deciding which is the more superior. Is it the mind, the control network and executive functions that facilitate analysis, decision, rationale, systemize, categorize, emotional memory, induction, and deduction processes to operate? Or the heart, where the long-held association with high-quality emotions such as love, care and empathy, wisdom, intuition, purpose, and divine connection originate?
In the recent past, science demonstrated the importance of exercise as being vital for our state of health. To think you could sit on the couch eating potato chips would not cause heart disease or obesity was destroyed. Today, we are well educated around the principles of nutrition and exercise especially concerning our physical health. It won\’t be too long in the future to regard mindfulness and heartfulness in the same way, salient, to the state of our mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
The Mind Muscle
When the mind\’s muscle is contracted, thinking is rigid, and inability to see a way out of the problem or situation. You become lost in the dark, so to speak.
When the heart muscle is contracted, you feel stuck in a rut, feel a loss of confidence, and have the felt sense of being unable to move forward. It is stationary and unmotivated. You may hear yourself say something like, “my heart\’s not in it,” and this leads to defeatism.
When the mind\’s muscle is open, you gain access to insight, see a way forward, are perceptive to options and choices so you can discern where to focus giving you a sense of direction.
The Heart Muscle
When the heart muscle is open, you gain a sense of freedom. The heart wants you to move past trauma and wants you to feel ready to live again. When the heart is open, there is a feeling of relief and a real sense of knowing. You may not precisely know how or where you are going, but you\’re moving again, and you’ll work it out as you go.
The blueprint of our very humanness is no accident. Head and heart are designed to work together. They are equal in their differences, harmonious in their collaboration, and happy in their union.
To continue to expand your mind and expand your heart, practice The Quick Coherence Technique from HeartMath.
Step 1. Focus your attention in the area of your heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.
Suggestion: Inhale for five seconds and exhale for five seconds, or use whatever rhythm is comfortable.
Step 2. Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
Suggestion: Try to re-experience the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, etc., or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.
Quick Coherence Steps:
- Heart-Focused Breathing
- Activate a positive or renewing feeling.
Heart-based emotions such as appreciation, gratitude, kindness, care, love, compassion, tolerance, patience, courage, honor, dignity, confidence, enthusiasm, and joy, create neurochemicals that regenerate your system and offset the energy drain.
Everyone should carefully observe which way their heart draws them, and then choose that way with all your strength.
When the head and heart are in harmony, there is great strength and stability within the body\’s frame. As you practice Heart Coherence Technique, visualize what you would like to achieve, pull down that image into your body, take brave action, stay centered and authentic to your heart intention. When you begin to work this way, you will come to see something more significant than you first imagined. You will achieve something so fulfilling that it will take your breath away and leave you in complete amazement at this unique world in which we live and the boundless potential within yourself when you align your heart and mind.
Connect with Kathleen Jerin and be sure to read Chapter 13 in The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools to Achieve Anything available on Amazon June 22nd.
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Kathy Jerin is a Registered Senior meditation teacher and HeartMath Trainer. Believing meditation is an integral part of life, especially when it comes to reversing the effects of stress, Kathy teaches emotional self-regulation techniques for the purpose of health promotion.