Ten Ways To Live With Heart
To Live With Heart means living with feeling. Everyone has feelings. When we are aware of how we feel, we are in touch with a basic part of ourselves. Living with heart means we live with all our feelings, accepting all, even the painful ones. Many of us choose to accept the happy ones and deny those that don’t feel so good. Why do we do this? We would rather ignore them than face them.
We don’t know how to handle them, how to express them or how to heal the pain. In reality feelings are a mysterious force in our lives when are not aware of them. Heart helps clear up the mystery so that feelings of pain can be healed and feelings of happiness and pleasure can flourish.
Notice: Become aware of what you're feeling. Observe and listen, without judgment, to feelings that are an everyday part of your life. From first waking up to when you put your head on the pillow at night you experience a constant flow of feelings – changing from minute to minute. We move through our days not being fully aware of feelings moving through us. Let them float through your awareness – just listen as they pass by. For many of us, this is a new experience. Noticing is the first step. If we don't notice what we're feeling – then the rest of these steps are meaningless. It's like we are sleep walking through life – going through the motions of living without really fully experiencing either the joy or the sorrow of it. Life contains both and that's what makes it so rich.
Noticing is about change. When we are flying through life on the busy track there is little time to stop and evaluate feelings. For many, taking time to notice is something we avoid because we might find a feeling that is so strong that we cannot ignore it. A change might be necessary - a change of relationship, occupation, location, life style - and we may be reluctant to face such a change. If noticing is a new experience for you – start slow and easy, patient and kind – but begin to pay attention to what you're feeling in your everyday world. Feel: Allow yourself to feel. I repeat – allow yourself to feel. Be honest about any joy, boredom, doubt, hope or excitement you may feel. Simply ask yourself, "How do I feel about this?" This can be a quick five-second check or if we have time we can take a few minutes to evaluate. If more time is needed, find a quiet place and let the feelings bubble to the surface, just to feel them.
Once we decide to allow feelings to surface be aware that they can come bouncing out when we least expect. It's as if the gates have been opened, feelings have been pinned in the corral for a long time and they are finally free -- so out they come to play. Play with them, laugh with them, cry with them, be with them – they are part of you. When we know what we feel, then we can choose how we want to handle those feelings. If we don't know, we are walking around in a blind spot to our future – just as there is a blind spot in the side mirror as we are driving down the highway. Understand: By honestly questioning of ourselves, we can come to understand the source or motivation behind our feelings. Compassionate understanding is a gigantic step to healing. Instead of beating up on yourself for being upset or sad, treat yourself like you would your best friend. Seek to question, listen and understand. Ask yourself about these feelings.
"What am I feeling and why? Have I felt his way before? Does this pattern repeat itself? What am I afraid of? Why am I hiding from with these feelings? Why am I reluctant to be honest about how I feel?" In answering these questions, we begin to understand ourselves.
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