In a society full of have to’s, should’s, and must’s, we are drowning with exhaustion, stress, depression, and burnout. Yet we keep repeating “just follow your heart”. But what does that heart want?
Tum tum tum. Can you hear your heartbeat? Tum tum. Like a drum, calling the rhythm of life, bursting with lust for life and always on fire- if only we can hear it.
A healthy heart is a gateway, open for love to come in and out. Connected to all, attached to nothing. To get to this blissful state we are not only to listen to the heart, but to also trust it, and follow it.
Heart vs Mind
The thing is, there’s something going on between the mind and the heart.
The mind is full of wants, and it creates confusion; it doesn’t know what it wants because it wants everything. It lives in FOMO.
It can also go to the other extreme: the mind can seem to have clarity about the direction to take but in a very rigid, goal-oriented, and stressful way. Full of plans, checklists, and inflexibility, it lacks joy for the process. Even worse, as soon as the mind gets what it said it wanted, it wants something else. And so we get tired and burn out for our hearts were never in there.
The mind has a thing for forcing things through.
The heart, on the other hand, has longings. Longings. The word itself already brings very particular energy, doesn’t it? There’s grace in it.
The heart carries a special kind of clarity, a clarity that comes with gentleness, for the heart knows its longings, and it goes for them with joy and pleasure. Whole-heartedly.
For the heart, it’s not about eating up a chocolate cake, it is about savoring each and every bite. Joy. Allow ourselves to rejoice. Allow ourselves to love life.
To live from the heart and rejoice in our longings takes more than listening to our hearts.
It takes courage to acknowledge our longings and go for them, with no shame, and no self-judgment. Shame and self-judgment are cages, and the main reasons why we don’t follow our hearts.
Following our hearts is no reward for good behavior after doing what our minds told us to.
It is about how we do everything in life: putting our hearts into everything we do.
Heart vs Emotions
Much is said about listening to our hearts instead of being so mental. Still, a big reason why we don’t listen to the heart is because of the amount of fear we carry within.
Our hearts expose us, and make us vulnerable. This fear doesn’t necessarily come from our minds as much as from the emotional body, which is connected to the solar plexus.
Can you feel the fear in your guts, in your stomach? Yes, that’s where it is.
Energetically speaking, our digestive system processes not only food but our emotions, and all energies. That’s why we can feel so much here — and that is why in spirituality the Manipur chakra, also known as the solar plexus, is key to awakening. This is it. This is where much energetic transmutation happens.
Our emotional bodies hijack our hearts all the time, loading us with fear, sending signals to the brain to take proper measures.
And then the mind creates a bunch of stories on top of that first fear current, making it all ten times bigger.
Fear, and an easily triggered emotional body, are blockers of the subtle voices of the heart and intuition, which are in themselves the voices of our soul.
An unstable emotional body leads us to overreact. Our intuition might tell us to be careful and watch out as we walk down the street alone at night, but then our emotions start a drama and get us panicking — instead of just looking behind our backs here and there as our intuition intended.
If living in a mental society wasn’t enough, we also live in a society with extremely low emotional intelligence, which brings an even greater disconnection to our hearts.
The emotional body makes us worry sick when there’s only something to take a look at and care about. Even worse, a mind that doesn’t know how to stay still puts wood in the fire of the emotions and starts a volcano eruption.
Let’s get practical: How to listen to the heart
To listen to our hearts we can have two approaches.
The first one is to reduce the volume of the mind and the emotional body. This way, we could naturally be more attuned to the voice of the heart. We can meditate, do therapy, and many other techniques for healing our imbalance. What is important to understand, however, is that these voices can never be completely quiet. The mind and emotions have important roles to play. We can nurture and heal them, but not pretend they don’t exist.
The second approach to listen to our hearts is to put more energy and attention into the frequency of the heart. Tuning into the heart, as if it was a radio station. Let’s go deeper into this.
Connect to Your Heart
Go Deeper: Watch Masterclass
45 minutes full of exercises and wisdom for you to improve your heart connection
We all have multiple voices within us, our instincts, emotional body, heart, mind, intuition. Here is the thing: all these different voices speak in different frequencies, and with different volumes. Some of them, like the mind and instincts, are pretty good at shouting. Others, like the heart, are more like whispers.
The mind shouts, the heart whispers.
Use your consciousness as a radio station, actively choosing between these radio frequencies, and listening to their song. Most of us are over-connected to one or two stations, always listening to the same voices, such as the mind and emotions.
This exercise requires you to take a step back, recognize you have other voices within, and make space for them. This means: ask these different voices what we have to say — and listen to them.
What makes someone a good listener? What are the qualities you have to nurture to listen to yourself, fully?
To be a better listener you have to be quieter, and more attentive. You can’t hear your heart when you don’t make space for it. Bring your awareness to yourself by doing less and being in silence with yourself.
This is not easy, and there is no shortcut here. To become a good listener is to develop a new skill, and for that we need to practice.
A good listener is patient, caring, attentive and not waiting for her turn to speak or longing to go do something else. A good listener is compassionate and present.
I am sure you are a good listener when you are with your loved ones, so can you also be a good listener to different aspects of yourself?
If it sounds weird for you to talk with different voices within yourself, think about it: we all are multi-conscious beings. Multi-faceted, we carry multiple voices within.
Ultimately, your heart is a central part of you. By training your inner ear you are in fact being patient, caring, and attentive toward yourself and recognizing the wholeness of your being.
Try it. As a practice, in stillness on your own, you can make questions to your heart and give it space for it to answer. It might sound silly to some, but an answer will come — if you dare to listen.
It might take a few minutes of silence before your heart sends you any message. Also, you might pretend you didn’t hear because you didn’t like the answer you get. It’s not unusual for things to be very clear and simple to our hearts, yet be disruptive to the believes of our minds and personal fears.
Listening to the heart does require courage. So, dare. Dare to stay there, in ease, with your heart, with yourself. Not reading, not watching TV, not wishing to be somewhere else. The work is to stay loving and open, and not run away from this moment.
The trickiest part…
Listening to our hearts is not as hard as what comes next: trust your heart and act on what you hear.
That’s why I say we can all hear our hearts: we just don’t trust it or don’t like what we hear. A healthy heart has wings, and doesn’t mind leaving all behind.
Maybe your heart requires life changes that you are scared of, for your heart is ready to fly, even when you are emotionally and mentally attached to situations.
The thing is, if you hear your heart but don’t act on it, the voice that you are ignoring will get weaker and weaker, and so you will hear it less and less — and have to work more and more to hear it again.
On the other hand, if you trust it and act on it, your heart gets stronger and stronger, louder and louder, as you finetune your inner ear.
When you don’t trust or act on your heart, you are cutting its wings and putting your heart in a cage. The more you trust and follow your heart, the stronger your wings get, and the higher you get to fly.