Heart And Mind Matters Things to Think about

Thinking with the Heart

From Tina Thrussell: It’s so delightful to be re-reading these articles about the first four Shin Dao Pillars that were introduced to us a decade ago. This is the third article from our 2017 archives written by Patricia Atchison. Enjoy!

Have you ever met someone in your life who seems to know exactly what you need to hear at precisely the right time? I’m not talking about someone close, but perhaps a stranger, or an acquaintance.

I met a person several years ago, an acupuncturist, who I really feel saved my life. I was having so many issues and didn’t know where to turn. This person knew exactly what I needed, and especially what I needed to hear. The healing comments were sparse, but when they came, they were real zingers. They struck me to the core.

One such statement, after a brief conversation about my physical ailments and personal troubles was, “Ah, Patricia, always thinking with the heart and not the mind.”

I lay there, needles poking out from everywhere at every angle, pondering exactly what this meant. Of course I immediately turned it into a negative. Maybe I shouldn’t have such an open heart. Was I wrong in letting my heart rule my thoughts? After some consideration, I determined, that no, this is who I am, and want to be.

It’s not always easy having an open heart. It opens the way to vulnerability. When you are vulnerable, you are at risk, exposed, potentially easily hurt and sensitive to anything that may not fit with your ideals, emotions and way of being. However, if you acknowledge your vulnerability, breathe through it and allow the emotion to come and pass through your heart, then you can still be open and loving, accepting of ‘thinking with the heart’, knowing that you can survive with ‘heart hurts’.

Opening your heart lets you be more loving to others, which allows others to love you more in turn. Why wouldn’t you want that? If you give something of yourself to other people, be it in nature, or the universe in general, no matter how big or small, you soon find a connection to your heart centre. Joy, happiness, sharing, caring – it’s a heart decision.

Our lives become more authentic and our heart’s actions are more responsive when we touch others with love and respect. We live more honestly, loving unconditionally. Soon it becomes a way of life.

I’ve been in many situations where my mind tried to rule the show, making decisions for me, and at times like that my chest constricts and my heart thumps, yearning to be heard.

Here’s a simple example – consider the possibility of getting a family pet. Your heart soars with excitement at the prospect, but, as the mind lurks forward, thinking takes over. You might have thoughts like, “It’s a huge commitment!” or “All that work!” or “I’ll be tied down”, etc. In this situation, does your heart’s voice disappear? Is it merely ignored? If your heart spoke, you would likely hear things like, “Oh, I would so love the experience of having a pet!” or “What a wonderful way to share my love with another creature” or “A pet would be so exciting!”

Another example is in the advertising world. Have you ever noticed how the advertisements are created to ‘tug at our heartstrings’, especially around Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day? They play to our emotional sensitivities and what our hearts know is good and true.

To open your heart is to learn about another part of yourself. How often do you ask your heart what it wants? To make it easier, look at that part of yourself that may be hiding, afraid of hurts. Follow those thoughts and emotions and that physical feeling in your chest which suggests that no matter which path you follow, you will find bliss – or a deep pulling sensation to the decision which speaks most from your heart. Spend time alone without distractions and imagine a world where your heart opens in honesty and love, being honest with yourself, allowing vulnerability. It’s here where you will find the integrity of your true self, and what an awesome place to know!

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