"Enthusiasm created from the heart is the spirit of the matter. It ignites your whole system so there's no drag, no resistance, no thoughts like "Do I have to?" coming from the head to sabotage you."
- Sara Paddison
February is world-famous as the month of love. A month when we are surrounded by hearts, cupids, candy and everything pink and red. I know that some people view Valentine's Day as somewhat of a made-up holiday designed to give retailers and restaurateurs a generous bump in revenue. Whether it is or not, I plan to celebrate it with enthusiasm this year. When you think about it, there really isn't anything negative about Valentine's Day. It is a day set aside for people to share their feelings and let other's know they care about and love them. It is a day that should be lived from the heart.
So what does living from the heart mean? To me, living from the heart means getting out of your head. Our mind has a knack for taking our thoughts, emotions, ideas and good-intentions and tainting them with ego, limitations, past hurts, fears, jealousy, failures and a hosts of other thought processes that are swirling around in our brains.
By getting out of your head and going deeper into your heart, you can begin to decipher your truth. This is the place where your intentions are pure and safe, a place where your thoughts can rest without being attacked. This is the place you have to remind yourself to go when things are not flowing for you or don't feel right. This is the place to get away from "surface living".
So often I put pressure on myself to outdo what I have done before. I will write an article that strikes a chord with many of you, and then, I begin to worry that I have to do even better next month. I fail every time I use that approach. Things like writer's block seep in and it seems as though I am using backspace to erase my written words faster than I can get them out. I actually did that with this article. I set out to write about something that was not really resonating with me in my heart, and the words didn't flow. So I buried my face in my hands, sat quietly and listened to what was true in my heart; and at this moment in time, it is the words I share with you here, both above and below.
Recently, I attended a few "spirit week" events at my children's school. Each year the mothers of senior boys write their sons a letter letting them know how much they mean to them and how proud they are of them. At one event, these letters are read to the entire school and everyone in attendance. It is a beautiful, sacred ceremony. As I listened to the letters, I was emotionally moved. However, my thoughts turned to the fact that I have to write a letter for my son next year, as he will be a senior. Immediately, I felt the pressure to perform and tuned into my thoughts, "You have to write a great letter. A letter that will stir the souls of everyone listening -a letter that no one will ever forget." That, my friends, is a classic example of what I call "head thinking".
But alas, my heart brought me to my senses, "Your letter is not about appealing to the masses. Your letter is about connecting with your son and sharing your heart with him. If you listen to your heart, and allow the words to flow from there, it will be beyond great. it will be real!" That is what I call "heart living". I have to remind myself to go there often. Literally, I can feel my thoughts shift downward and come into focus, without all the ruckus that my head stirs up.
Every Sunday, before my preacher starts the sermon, he says a brief prayer that I really like. It goes like this, "Dear God, I ask you now to speak through me or in spite of me." I have used this prayer on many occasions when speaking before a group. But in order to live from the heart, I want to take it a little further. How about this, "Dear God, I ask you now to live through me or in spite of me." Now that gets to the heart of things -a place where life flows just perfectly.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Elizabeth Skenes Millen