It seems like The Heart has been up for me for some time now — a year or more.  I want to honor this and deepen it by writing and sharing some of my experiences, thoughts, doubts, openings…heart matters.

When I first started personal work, in my 4oies, I became painfully aware that I had spent most of my life in my head.  Don’t get me wrong.  My head and brain are wonderful, great servants, fine tools, and I love them.  AND living from the head provides a very limited perspective, linear, logical, tends to be black and white.

I didn’t even know I was in my head, so familiar was the space.  It took years for me to drop down, drop into my heart, and then my belly… to move toward being fully in my body, in touch with that sensitive subtle center we call the heart.

Not that I hadn’t felt emotions, or passions, or heart pounding — before speaking in public, when things were competitive, or before opening a letter with a special address!  Its just that the guiding light was my head, and that’s what I relied on, trusted, lived by.  Figure it out, make lists, prioritize, just do it, be efficient, organized, don’t show weakness…  Sound familiar?  These were my mantras for years.

As I write this, I am very happy to notice  that while my head still feels like a safe place, I can access my heart with ease.  And I do this more and more often… sitting here now, taking a walk, listening to a friend or my sweetie talk, watching a documentary (as we did last night, about the Hospice program in formally brutal prison, Serving Life.  Amazing.  I highly recommend this fine piece.)  As the inmates’ hearts opened serving their dying comrades, so did mine.

When my heart is involved, the rewards are great.   There’s openness, a fullness, a softness that’s new and sweet.   I am easily touched, and that brings me to one of the challenges. When I first began to feel in to my heart, I was so open, so sensitive, expanded, that I doubted I could function in the world that way.  I thought (get it?  there was my mind again), I would be bowled over, it would be too intense.

I decided to try it.  I walked out on the beach, and was awed and charmed by the sunset, the light, the waves.  Beauty and light experienced in and through the heart, are radically different from what comes through the head’s filter.  There’s the GEE factor:  Gratitude, Enthusiasm, Engagement!  I love it!  Literally.

And then I had an interaction with a mom and her little girl.  They were wondering what the shadow in the waves might be.  We looked together, and came to see that it was an otter, playing in the waves. I was bowled over.  With delight, and joy in the shared experience.  No problem functioning at all.  Quite the contrary.  Heightened senses, atunement, capacity.  All enhanced.  It was mind blowing.  Get it? 🙂

In the last year I have worked with several teachers and teachings, (Kiran, my Diamond Approach work, Nicole Koch, an NLP teacher, and more), and the message coming to me is the same:  be in my heart, touch base with my heart, drop into my heart, check into my heart, feel and trust my heart.  I feel deeply blessed, excited, and heartened by the changes, the unfolding, the flowering I have experienced, and continue to notice.

This is by no means saying I should lose my head, cut it out, ignore or discount its talents.  Not at all.  My head is wholly available, fully functional, but it’s not running the show all by itself, but rather is there in service of the heart and the whole.

Where and how are you right now?  Head, heart, belly?  What runs your show, turns your crank? 🙂  

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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