We live fast and passionate lives with long to-do lists, never-ending schedules. It’s easy for life to rush past us as we frantically try to tick all the boxes – loving relationship, wealth, beauty, a family home, a flashy car, well balanced children… the list is endless.
Stress is a challenge for most of us, diminishing both our immune and digestive systems. However, new studies show emotional intelligence (EQ) reduces stress. According to the book ‘Emotional Intelligence’, it is “as powerful [as] and at times more powerful than our intelligence”, and provides “an advantage in any domain of life”. Research suggests emotional intelligence is responsible for as much as 80% of the ‘success’ in our health and our lives.
In times of continuous change and the challenge to know just what to do next, making the ‘right’ decision can be overwhelming and see us flailing in a field of anxiety and worry. On a day-to-day, basis we either make fast and snappy decisions from a stressed state of mind, or we take time on bigger decisions that are deliberated, pondered over, slept on, discussed, hashed and rehashed – allowing the mind the opportunity to draw on experiences from the past or future projections.
Yet both ancient wisdoms and modern science suggest our general (mental) happiness and personal success, as well as spiritual growth, requires the mind and heart to function together. As enlightened master Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi says, ‘love with the mind and think with our heart’.
Living a heart-centred life is an opportunity to bring your focus and attention to reconnecting with your body and your life, an opportunity to heal and have a deeper relationship with yourself on a very intimate level, a relationship that is built on reconnecting your spirit, heart, mind and body to create peace and harmony within; which is incredibly powerful in enhancing both your health and happiness.
Coherent emotions = positive emotions
Science is now showing that the heart is the strongest generator of electrical and magnetic energies. We have always thought that it is the brain, yet the heart is over 100 times stronger electrically and up to 5000 times stronger magnetically. This is important because the physical world as we know it is made up of and changed by the forces of these two fields of energy – electromagnetic fields. It means that within some of us, who are often labelled ‘romantics’, ‘highly sensitive’ or ‘bleeding hearts’, serious information processing is taking place. Emotions are our indicator of what vibrational state we are in, i.e., what electromagnetic field we are producing. When we live in states of gratitude, appreciation, acceptance, compassion we create congruence between our soul, mind and body, uplifting our spirits, boosting our immune system, bringing us to a state of higher awareness and centredness, which supports clear thinking and confidence in our decision making process.
“Around the globe we’ve seen that emotional intelligence is the difference that makes the difference. Those who choose to be emotionally intelligent create mission success”, says Joshua Freedman, one of the world’s leading authorities on the development of emotional intelligence.
Crisis and challenges bring us back to centre
Experience shows that if we do not follow our heart and be true to ourselves, crisis and challenges occur to bring us back to centre, to move beyond our preconditioned minds and into our hearts. For instance, it’s no secret that cancer is becoming more and more common in the Western world. Why is this so when we’re at the height of medical technology and breakthroughs?
Our pace of life is not what it used to be. We’re all juggling so much and don’t make it a priority to check in with ourselves; hence these serious health conditions ensue. In asking people who have used a holistic approach to recover from cancer, the one common theme is that they where proactive in their treatment process and most importantly learned to love themselves. The cancer became the catalyst for change, the wake-up call that lead them back to their hearts, to learn to trust themselves, their decisions and rediscover a sense of purpose and passion.
Heart-centred or fear-based decisions?
By living a heart-centred life, your heart becomes the navigator for your decisions; it will never lead you astray and draws information based on present-time information. On the flipside of that, if you live a mind-centred life, decisions will be made based on fear of the past or fear-based predictions into the future. There are ultimately only ever two driving forces behind the choices we make – fear or love. It is imperative that we learn to question our choices and ask ourselves whether we’re coming from a place of fear or from a place of love.
Simply put, ‘Does this choice make me feel expanded or contracted?’. ‘Does this decision make me feel heavy or light?’
So the question is, ‘Do you choose to take action now, return to your heart and be a proactive participant in being the change and therefore live a vital, healthy, heart-centred life?’
It’s so easy to blame others, to blame the medical system, to blame the government, to blame our cultural background or abusive parents – but ultimately the power to change is within you. Your future holds only what you choose for yourself and how you will make these choices – from fear or from love? You must move from living in the past to living in the present. You need to be the change for the world to change around you, every incremental change in your internal world will see an exponential change in your external world – seeing a change in: your awareness of the foods you consume, how they make you feel, the products you use in your home and the effect they have on the environment, the actions and reactions you have in relationships at work, home and play.
Are you living from the heart?
The power to choose is in your hands. It requires your presence of mind and awareness. Whether you’re walking down the shopping aisle, reaching for that piece of chocolate cake, engaging in gossip, stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk, emotionally beating yourself up, disorganised and living in chaos – only you have the power to choose your next step.
Awareness and action are the key:
1. Start checking in with your heart when making decisions: ‘Does this choice make me feel heavy or light?’ Try this with small things first like what you’re choosing for lunch, who you spend time with. Over time your trust in yourself builds for that moment when a more important decision is at hand.
2. See every challenge as an opportunity to live a more expansive life. When faced with challenge ask yourself, ‘What’s right about this that I’m not seeing?’, and be curious about what evolves.
3. Write down ten things that you ‘love’ to do and incorporate them into your week – simple things like playing golf, going for a walk in nature, stopping at the beach for 15 minutes on the way home from work, playing your favourite music, relaxing in the bath, lighting candles.
4. Take your ‘to do’ list and next to it write your ‘I’d love to do list’.
5. Be in a place of acceptance with your emotions and feelings. Surrender judgement and relinquish resistance to your emotions, thoughts or feelings. Don’t try to push them away or pretend it doesn’t exist or matter. Emotions are like a child in a candy store – the more you resist them the louder they become and the more dis-ease they create in the body.
6. Drop the story – every challenge offers opportunity for growth. Drop the need to continually rehash stories and situations, thus keeping the situation alive while reaffirming and embedding dysfunctional emotional and mental states.
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