How we each find the best ways to live a heart centered life
Language is problematic when speaking about spiritual and healing work. Someone recently said to me (paraphrasing), “I understand that being heart centered is important, but some people have bigger fish to fry on a day to day basis.” I have thought about that statement a lot over the past few days. It prompted so many questions that, because of numerous factors, didn’t get asked. The biggest reason I didn’t try to start a dialogue was because the initial exchange was on social media which, for me, is a problematic platform for experiencing deep, mutually respectful, truly clarifying dialogue. Still, that quick exchange prompted a lot of self-reflection (“Am I missing something?” “Do I need to do better, be clearer, be more….something?”) and provided important clarification for me about how I move forward.
If I’ve learned anything from my experiences on social media these past few years (especially this past week), for me, it is not the place for heart-to-heart, deep, perspective-shifting, expansive dialogue, especially about very sensitive experiences and topics. It’s made even more difficult when we are trying to engage with strangers whose intentions are unclear. Brene Brown, in her 8/15/17 Facebook Live video talked about having a “hypothesis of goodwill” where we start out with the assumption that the people we meet have good intentions. That’s difficult in day-to-day scenarios with people we are acquainted with. Strangers on the internet? It’s not impossible, but from what I’ve witnessed, it’s challenging. Defensiveness and assumptions are often the norm, not the exception.
It can be difficult to be an active listener when talking with others face-to-face and so truly hearing a person with the sole intention of understanding (getting our egos out of the way) through the medium of social media can be particularly challenging for many when the topic is a Big and Important Topic. Yet somehow social media is “the place to be” whenever a tragedy occurs where we “come together.” This is a premise that I personally question.
(First clarifier)…. Which is why I have finally decided to use one platform – this website – to communicate with you and to offer ways to initiate communication and work with me. Despite what every marketing guru says, I’m dropping social media as a platform. This feels right. It feels more authentic. It feels peaceful and expansive. It is surrendering and trusting in a big way. By the end of September, the EHAAT Business social media pages (Facebook* and Instagram) are going away to create time and energy for a different kind of experience that feels more authentic and centering.
My hope is that this website will be a jumping off point – not the end-all be-all of interaction. Let’s meet through video chat, or on the phone. If you’re local, let’s meet at a coffee shop or park. EHAAT is a construct and at the end of the day, it is one woman, me, teaching and learning with you, healing as a witness and in concert with you, coaching, and writing. And if I’m going to share with others what I do, what I offer; if people are going to ask me about what I do, who I am, what I represent, what I stand for, then we need to have a real conversation which is totally possible! And I’m really excited about this.
Another thing occurred to me (second clarifier) as I thought about this past week’s social media communications: In attempting to create easy-to-digest memes and blurbs for social media (social media is all about quick and easily-digestible which, healing work is not), I have done a disservice in using the phrases “heart centeredness,” “healing the heart,” and “living through the heart” without being clear about what that means each time.
What do I mean when I use the phrase, “heart centeredness”? What does healing and living through the heart mean to me?
I talk a lot about heart-centeredness because when my teacher explained the role of the heart to me, my life turned upside down. I walked in a terrified, insecure, people-pleasing, anxiety-ridden person and left with a key to something life changing. Ever since, my life continues to be changed through the explorations and lessons of the Heart. The whole of the subtle anatomy is an important teacher to be sure, and all aspects work together. The Heart is the Leader of the pack – or it can be, when we understand it and its role and how to access and live through it. When we learn to trust everything to it.
The heart, when known experientially, and when deferred to in all areas, changes everything: perception and perspective, judgment, reactions and responses, emotions, thought forms, actions, beliefs, attitude. It changes our relationship to our own responses and internal experiences, as well as to external events and how we respond to them. It changes the way we engage in relationships with other people, how we view our individual places in the world, and how we see ourselves in relationship to each other – it creates a cohesiveness in a shocking, humbling, faith-filled way. The heart can be a diffuser of escalation and a doorway into honest inner examination.
Heart centeredness has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day imagery, or any aspect of a faux spirituality. It is not about always maintaining an attitude of love and light and positivity. It is not about feeling good or happy. In fact, it is often disturbing the waters to show us how we might get out of our own way and experience more peace, able to be more compassionate. It is not all or only about learning to receive and give unconditional love. There is so much to explore before we could ever claim to have experienced that kind of love, that kind of Grace. The heart is about humility, trust, compassion, faith and surrender – experiencing these energies in a tangible, multi-dimensional, knock-us-on-our-ass way and then finding ourselves surprised because we realize we didn’t understand what humility, trust, compassion, faith, and surrender really were either. And this realization happens over and over again. It isn’t theoretical, it is demanding – compassionately demanding.
A person who makes an agreement to engage in the ongoing work of healing their heart by learning about those energies through direct experience of calmness, compassion, faith, surrender, trust, and humility, is doing extremely challenging, illusion-busting work. There is nowhere to hide from the self and all the stories we have created. There is no room for bullshit or lies, denial or blame. There is no room for pride or excuses. There is absolutely no room to hide from our shadows – that which we are embarrassed by or ashamed of or “unaware” of. This healing work is a deep excavation and involves being willing to see our own bullshit and the illusions we playact within our lives. It’s where everything is called into question.
It is also where we find our power and not some mealy mouthed, self aggrandizing faux power.
This isn’t about power over someone or something, this is about a power experienced as a humble warrior that can’t help but empower others to find that same energy within themselves. It breeds freedom within the self and for others. It’s the kind of power that makes it possible to “pick up our cross” and follow Love to the ends of the earth and beyond. This power is limitless and there is enough for all. No one person or entity is doling this out. It is always there, coming from within, and when realized and accessed, is like a battery that never dies. And every time that power is accessed and wielded, it is the most humbling experience. This power is the kind that when accessed and wielded, scares the shit out of the “powers that be.” We have seen heart centered leaders murdered for coming into this self awareness and deigning to spread it far and wide. Why? Because it is truly empowering and who can the ego-maniacal manipulators control if everyone is grounded in their power? Who do they become?
For me, heart-centeredness has to be the underpinning of every aspect of my life. If an area of my life is unhealthy, challenging, scary…. it means I have allowed the underpinning to become weak, or I have not yet examined that aspect of my life through the lens of the heart. This is the kind of work I want to do with others who are also seeking this kind of bone-deep, expansive knowing and power, compassion and grace, peace and surrender.
I don’t know how to stop the mental and emotional barrage, get grounded, and tap into calmness, compassion, faith, surrender and trust, without filtering everything (especially the most challenging experiences life throws at me) through the lens of my heart. In other words, I don’t know how to turn to another person and say, “What’s next? I’ve got your back, let’s go make this world better together.” Or, “What do you have to teach me? Show me what you want me to know,” without being centered in the truth of the heart. Because when the heart is not the leader, (when the ego through the brain/mental field is large and in charge), I’m a confused, angry, fearful, frustrated, self-victimizing weakling of a mess. When the known and experienced heart is handed the reigns – healing, flourishing, expansiveness is experienced.
So changes are coming and I look forward to experiencing what blooms together should you feel drawn to it. If you want to talk more about the heart and healing – if you have questions about anything I’ve written here – feel free to email me. Maybe we can set up a time to chat too.
In peace, through Grace,
*(The Private, Closed CTSEW FB group page will remain alive and active. Our mutually respectful dialogue and intentional work together is an important aspect of the Program).