I’ve written many times about the power of orienting awareness to heart perception and intelligence. This is because the resonating quality of the heart automatically orients us to a sense of connection with the world around us. The qualities we embody as we move through our daily lives have an impact not only on our internal quality of experience but also have a noticeable impact on the places where we find ourselves and on those we encounter along the way.
I find that, when I’m in an irritable mood, I seem to “bump up against” life in so many unexpected and irritating ways. When it dawns on me that I’m resonating with the frequency of irritation, and that this is the quality that currently characterizes my experience, I’m now able to take a moment, ground myself, and shift into my heart space, doing a couple of heart breaths similar to what HeartMath suggests. This shift changes my focus of attention and I am then able to resonate with a more positive and connected quality of being and experience. I’ve found over time that this kind of shift also changes my external experience and I tend to stop bumping up against what comes my way.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to play with where you focus your attention, quality-wise. Be sure to include the ongoing self-talk that accompanies any mood or quality of internal experience that we may be in tune with in a given moment. There’s no question that a negative quality of experience is going to support negative thinking, so it’s always useful to become aware of the internal self-hypnosis you’re giving yourself as you move through your daily life. It can also be quite illuminating to see how closely your self-talk matches whatever mood you happen to be in.
This doesn’t mean to avoid negative feelings or to avoid noticing that you’re in a snarky mood. Instead, it offers choices along the way. There are times when it’s very important to pay attention to where you find yourself so that you can do whatever inner work, or outer changes, may be needed to deal with what you’re feeling. What can help is to remember that this is an aspect of experience rather than the whole picture, and that you can acknowledge and deal with negative feelings while also feeling the reality of your wholeness. Orienting to the heart can help with this.
I have always had a deep commitment to wholeness, so none of these practices are ever intended to suggest that we not embrace what we become aware of within ourselves. Rather, these practices seek to offer support and options to draw on when dealing with challenging feelings and situations. It helps when we don’t feel we have to disown what is part of our natural, human wholeness because we’ve been told that certain feelings or ways of being are unacceptable. Instead, these practices are intended to help you not become stuck in states of body-mind being that don’t support a nourishing and positive internal sense of yourself.
As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion. It is a frequency, a state, that opens towardexperience, awareness, and new understanding, and is a powerful and useful ally in life’s journey. Also, it’s very helpful, as I’ve mentioned so many times before, to develop a relationship with self-judgment that allows you pat judgments gently on the head and allow them to move on through as they spontaneously arise, which they inevitably will. As Jack Kornfield, the Buddhist teacher and psychologist, says—we can’t really stop judgments. Instead, we can change our relationship to them and patting them gently on the head, allowing them to move on by, is one way to do that.