Leading from the Heart

What does it mean to lead from the heart?

To me, it means choosing one’s actions from a place of authentic connection with your deepest wisdom. It means honoring the desires that come from that space of deep knowing, rather than reacting from fear and conditioning.

It means having faith in yourself.

The heart center is your seat of wisdom and intuition. It is where you connect with that which is beyond rational knowing – you might see it as God or Goddess, the Universe, the power of nature, your higher self, your soul. It is the part of you that “just knows” the right thing to do, for you and for your world.

The mind, on the other hand, is often clouded by past hurts, memories, fears and the conditioning of the society and family you grew up in. The “monkey mind” will tell you all the reasons why your dreams will never come true. If you listen to that critical voice in your head, you probably won’t even try to follow your soul’s callings.

Your heart, though, is wiser and kinder. When you allow space to lead from the heart, your choices in life will bring you greater fulfillment, will allow for compassion and will result in you living the life you’ve always desired.

But how?

Here are some simple ways to begin to lead from your heart:

1. Listen within.
We are surrounded by constant noise and input. The voice of the heart is often quiet, like a whisper. Turn off the radio or TV, put down your phone and close the laptop. Sit in stillness and listen. It will take some practice to turn down the chatter of your monkey mind, but be patient. Ask questions of your heart. Listen for the wisdom that gives you goosebumps, lights you up and inspires you.

2. Breathe deeply.
The heart center also contains your lungs and is the seat of your breath. When you breathe slowly and deeply, you calm the part of your brain that thinks you’re in “fight or flight” mode. Once you’ve calmed your mind and body, you’re better able to receive wisdom and inspiration from your heart. When you feel stressed or pressured, focus on your breathing for five minutes. Then make your next choice from a calmer, more centered state.

3. Connect with nature.
Science is discovering what wise folk have known for centuries: the heart has a magnetic field that interacts with all it touches. (You know – the aura.) When you spend time in nature, touching the Earth with your bare feet or hands, you allow your field to resonate with the magnetic field of our planet. This brings you into a state of coherence, or harmony. Visit a park, forest, beach or meadow. Let the Earth’s energies restore you.

4. Meditate.
Take time each day, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes, to go inward. If traditional seated meditation doesn’t work for you, make it a walking meditation, chant a melodious mantra or color in a coloring book. All of these things, and many others, are meditative and allow you to drop inward and receive intuitive messages. Doing this daily will deepen your connection.

5. Clear your chakras.
The chakras are whirling points of energy within your body. Find a polarity therapist, Reiki practitioner or other body-worker who does energy work. Once you’ve had some help clearing your chakras, you can maintain them by gently focusing on each one during your daily meditation. Keeping your body’s energy system clear will allow you to connect more easily to your intuition.

As more and more of us choose to lead from the heart, the effects ripple outward. We all know, deep within, how best to express our unique selves and to help make the world a kinder, better place.

Let’s make the choice to listen to our heart’s deep knowing and to act on that wisdom.

Are you in?

Nikki Starcat Shields is an author, book midwife and leader of transformational writing retreats. She's also a licensed Pagan priestess. She invites you to a process of unfolding creativity. The world needs your unique wisdom - now is the time to finally take your inspired book idea and bring it forth into the world. Learn more on her website.

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