As this year has progressed, I’ve seen an increase in people who I work with, either through 1-2-1 work or attending my classes, who are seeking help due to feeling completely overwhelmed mentally and emotionally by life. A sense their head is full, clouded, forgetful and an inability to concentrate or sleep well seem to be the most usual complaints.
One of them most common factors for this is that we are in a state of Doing. Our mind creates a sense of urgency within our Doing state by telling us stories like- “you need to do this”, “this has to be done”, and the good old carrot and stick method of “once you do this, then you can take a break/rest..”, that one is my personal favourite, as we all know , how many of us actually take the break/rest we promised ourselves?
The next common factor is that we are Head-led. This means we rely heavily on our head to do all the thinking for us. When we do this, we are not only adding more “traffic” to our already overburdened and over stimulated mental processes, but we are also filtering, or in some cases not filtering, our thoughts through the egoic mind. The Ego, our lower consciousness, is home to our Inner critic, limiting beliefs and programmed core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us, leading to feelings of shame, guilt, self-judgment, self-rejection, and low self-worth.
To understand what this does to us, imagine having a completely sedentary life with the exception of only exercising your bicep muscles for hours every day. No other muscle groups are exercised. We can say that you would definitely have beautifully toned biceps, but what would the rest of your body look like? It would more than likely be flabby, saggy and you would even see muscle atrophy in non-used muscle groups. In truth, you would never be able to exercise your biceps like this. It would result in muscle injury, joint inflammation and muscle fatigue which would translate to the overwhelmed, clouded, and forgetful mind states we experience when we are in a heavily Head-led-Doing state.
So how do we find balance and heal this state?
We find time daily to connect to our state of Being, the passive non-doing state. The Being state is accessed by developing an awareness of our state of presence and resonance. It is through this awareness that we are able to take the conscious action of stepping out of thought stream, dis-entangling from the minds’ narrative of urgency and stepping into the quietness and stillness of our Being state. It is the changing gears from Head-Led consciousness, the Doing state, to Heart- Led consciousness, the Being state.
Heart consciousnessis a practice of reconnecting energetically with the power of your heart’s inner wisdom: your Intuition. When you listen to your intuition your mind, body and heart will go back into balance and guide you back to your authentic Self. Surrendering to your Heart consciousness is the practice of reconnecting what is already inside of you, your soul, your Being.
The work of reconnecting back to your heart’s wisdom is such a powerful part of healing and has been documented for centuries. Ancient scriptures all point to one truth, that true wisdom comes when we turn to Heart Wisdom, our Soul, for guidance. Soul and Head work closely together in making decisions, guiding us through challenges, with Head acting as council but Soul taking the led, hence the terms Heart-Led or Leading from the Heart. Reconnecting back to this heart-centred place takes practice just like anything else. To bring your attention inward and connect with the power of your heart, you practice Being, sitting quietly in stillness, and asking the heart wisdom what it needs from you.
In our mindfulness classes we are currently focusing on cultivating Presence, a practice of finding stillness daily to harness the connection to Heart consciousness as you learn to be in flow with your state of Being.
To practice this technique, try this-
- Take time to sit quietly for 10 mins a day. Make sure that there are no distractions, phones and gadgets turned on silent, no tv, radio, magazines, or books.
- Find a comfortable spot to sit. This can be on your bed, couch, kitchen table, in the garden, on a park bench, in the forest or on the beach.
- Set your timer to go off after 10 mins so you are not distracted by looking at your watch.
- As you sit, notice the sensation of your body sitting, notice the sounds, notice objects in your environment. Let go of whatever you notice
- Give yourself to just permission to experience each moment, and to Be in that moment.
Some benefits from this practice-
- Step out of the stream of thinking and helping you to befriend the mind
- Improves connection with ourselves, others, and world around us
- Allows you to bring Presence to relationships, no matter how challenging they are
- Helps bring balance within our Being vs Doing states
- Improves mental clarity and cognition
- Downregulates the stress response, reducing anxiety
- Helps you let go of things
- Helps build healthy relationship with emotions
- It is a profound act of Self-care
Profound healing is always possible when we meet ourselves first and foremost with an open heart and then extend that kindness and compassion to the world around us.