The Grateful Heart

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It’s that time of year again when Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  A day of eating into oblivion and watching football or at least having multiple football games stream across the TV from sun up to sundown. Snore.   I also think of the Seinfeld episode of Jerry and George eating more than enough Thanksgiving Turkey, drinking red wine and passing out is a great depiction of Thanksgiving. But, it is also a time when we give Thanks. Somehow, as I write that statement, I think about Valentine’s Day, considered the day of Love.  I have a difficult time thinking that certain days out of the whole year are designated for certain emotions.  Halloween is for fear and horror, Thanksgiving, being thankful, Christmas / Hanukah  :  Universal Love, Compassion and Rededication, New Years: Joy and renewal, Veteran’s Day for pain and remembrance etc. What about the rest of the year? Is it too much to practice gratitude for a year? What would the world look like if we all practiced gratitude on a consistent basis?  What would the news look like? Most important, what would your life look like?

Studies have shown that adopting a daily gratitude practice changes the brain and changes physical health in a positive manner.  Positivity (Gratitude) enlivens our cells while negativity shrinks them. (I’ll write more about this in another post.)

Often when times are going our way, we may forget to acknowledge what we have gratitude about or for.  Also, when things are not going our way, it’s hard to see all the good, because we’re so focused on what’s wrong instead of what’s going right.  But that’s just it, A grateful heart is everyday, not one day a year or when things go our way.  Practicing gratitude is being grateful when you’re struggling in your life with work, relationships, or health and when things aren’t going the way you want. I’m not one to say that if you’re not grateful everyday, then you suck or you’re doing something wrong, because quite honestly, I place myself in this pot too.  I have to remind myself that when all is well in my life, then it’s Practice, and when it feels like I’m swimming upstream, it’s Game Time.  Practice is easy.  Game Time, not so much. Being grateful in the midst of fear, worry, not finding the job you want, your car breaking down, demise of a relationship, or a health crisis is difficult. That’s Game Time. Being grateful for those little things in life in the midst of chaos is a skill.  A skill that rewires the brain and cultivates the heart.

I have begun with diligence to practice gratitude, and not just a list to recount every morning and every night.  I notice that the more I practice gratitude, my heart swells. I feel gratitude and love in my heart and the more I feel love, the more my heart opens.  The more my heart opens, the more capacity I have to give and receive Love.

In your lightest and happiest moments, what are you grateful for?

In your darkest or moody times, what are you grateful for?

What are you grateful for now in your life?

In Gratitude.

Follow your Heart

images-7I’ve been debating on whether to share more personal posts, but then I reminded myself that this is my blog about all things heart centered.  And, I also thought that if someone doesn’t want to read it, they don’t have to.  So here I go, writing about ‘following your heart’ because I have decided to do just that. I have also worked with many people in transition from a familiar life to an unknown life.

Following my heart meant that  I needed to leave a my steady paying job, simply because it was sucking the life out of me and I allowed it to happen by staying longer than what was good for me.   I stuffed and ignored what my heart and body were telling me for a long time.  I knew I needed to leave, but I just kept putting off the inevitable because of fear.  I rationalized the experience by telling myself, ” The pay is good,” ‘the job isn’t always so stressful,’ ‘ I have a steady income’ blah blah blah.   This worked, until it didn’t.   My body was breaking down, therefore screaming for a change.  I had to listen.  “Leave!”   So I did. I left a steady paying and  stressful job in August without any consistent income coming in.  I figured that I can’t just talk and write about taking care of yourself if I’m not doing it for myself.  So I set out to go into private practice full-time instead of part time and take some time to rest and heal and work on bringing my life back into balance.

In doing so, I’m walking through the dark (unknown) by listening.   I have no idea what my life will look like a year from now or even next month, but I’m Listening to my intuition, the Universe, my sleeping dreams, and my body for clues and guidance.  I am following what has heart and meaning. It takes work to shave off the internal landscape. I thought I was finished but nope, I’m not; which is irritating in itself, but that’s a different post. I get more life lessons on boundaries (getting clear on what I really want to do and saying no to the things that will leave me with resentment by making decisions out of fear),  working through negative emotions (fear, doubt, worry) and thoughts (you can fill in the blank).

All to be able to Listen better and in the process, Cultivate my heart.

 

Heart Energy

Did you know that the heart emits 5,000 times more energy than the mind?  This is amazing considering that as a culture we place so much importance on our mind; being logical, rational and thinking things through.  But, when we go within, we are able to connect to our intuition, our true desires and who we really are.   The thought of the heart having 5,000 times more energy output than the mind has created all sorts of questions as well as an “Aha! That makes sense’  moment.  After all, we are not free-floating brains in the world.  As I write that, an image of the alien creatures from the Mars Attacks movie with SJP and Pierce Brosnan comes to mind where the alien heads were much bigger than their bodies and the first to explode. Anyhoo…..

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 We connect with others through our hearts. We connect with the world around us with our hearts, with heart energy.

Since the heart emits 5,000 times more energy than the mind, then we actually connect on an energetic heart level before we even see each other.  Think about a time when you thought of someone, and then the next day or even moments later they call, you receive an email or you run into them.  Did you just think about them, or did you have a feeling attached to the thought however minor or momentarily?  For instance the feeling you have or had about the relationship or person.

We can live an intellectual life, but that is only one dimension of our being, and we can only go so far in relationship to self and others if we stay only in our intellect.  To engage our heart energy is to engage with Life.  My heart is connected to the earth, animals and all inhabitants on this planet and I would bet all my material possessions that yours is too.  Heart energy connects me to strangers and loved ones.  People that I don’t even know will come in contact with (me) my heart energy as I eat in restaurants, shop for groceries, walk around the city, or pass another in the hallway. All of this happening on a subconscious, invisible heart energy wave-length, which leads me to ask, “What is my heart (energy) saying?”

What is your heart energy saying to others?

 

All Things Heart Centered

Welcome to The Cultivated Heart Blog.  This blog is dedicated to All things Heart Centered.  So often, our culture is more concerned and places more validity on our logical, rational mind, so much so, that we have become disconnected from ourselves and each other.  When was the last time you apologized or heard someone you know apologize for having and expressing an emotion?  Specifically sadness?

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Although we may communicate through the means of our media, it does not take the place of connecting on a heart to heart level with others or self. In our cultural upbringing we may have been directed to live a life that may have been organized into the right steps to take, what is logical, what makes sense.  In doing this, you may have forgotten, pushed aside or all together ignored your feelings, what your heart tries to tell you.  Some of us (me included) may be and have been so scared/ fear based that we may have stuffed this deep internal calling any way we can, from chemicals, to people, to work, to food (my personal favorite is chocolate cake with warm chocolate ganache filling with real vanilla ice cream) until we get so sick that we are pinned against the wall.  It is then that we either must listen to our voice within or continue to slowly wreak havoc on our bodies.

I will be writing about anything related to the heart, like Joy, Love, Pain, Health and Healing, Relationships, Energy, Creativity, nature, animals, Following your heart, Intuitive self, your authentic self, awakening the Divine within, and the body-mind-spirit-heart connection.  Anything that nurtures and cultivates the heart.  I’m sure I forgot to mention something, but whatever I forgot to write now, I’ll write later at some point.