Somehow, somewhere, we’ve been lied to.
We were told that if we could just live in our heart that everything would be good, and the harder parts would be manageable because love conquers all, or some such thing.
And while in theory, that’s a really nice thought, the reality is that sometimes life kicks you right in the sensitive bits, and staying in the heart all the time is easier said than done. I can hear the voice of one of my old teachers now, telling me that everything I’m writing right now is the ego trying to distract myself from the truth… and I understand that perspective, but, I also believe that the piece missing from most spirituality is radical honesty.
While yes, being in the heart, surrounded by love is the ideal, it’s not what most of us are experiencing day to day.
So what do you do to stay in the heart? Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Recognize that you’re not there.
This one is actually one of the trickiest things. The whole purpose of the ego is to further its survival, and the only way it can do that is if we aren’t striving, growing, and stretching further and deeper into love. So we learn about the ego, and we start to find ways to counter its tricks, but because it’s hitched a ride inside our heads, it’s learning along with us… so just as we figure out one of its tactics, it has devised another. The ego will keep you on your toes, but it is 100% worthwhile to keep up on it.
When you’ve been on the path for awhile, it can become easy to think that you’ve mastered the game a bit, and that you can see through the ego’s tricks – and you can… but it’s their old tricks. So it can be super easy to have become disconnected from your heart, especially when it’s a slow, gradual process and not one major event that yanks you out, and next thing you know, life feels kinda meh, and you can’t even remember when it started.
Being able to have the discernment to recognize that you’ve disconnected from your heart (without judgment, and with a lot of self-compassion) is one of the biggest skills you can cultivate. It’s a massive gift to yourself, because until you can see that you’re not in your heart, you can get back to where you’re meant to be.
- Cultivate regular activities, rituals, routines that keep you in your heart.
Full disclosure: this one is a case of “do what I say, not what I do”. In terms of my spiritual path, having a consistent devotional practice is the biggest areas that I lack discipline. I literally talk to the angels every single day, but having anchored, formal practices to keep me on track has never been my forte.
For some people this is writing their morning pages, drawing their daily oracle card, or journaling. For others, it’s an afternoon meditation, or a yoga practice. For many, it’s doing a gratitude reflection or prayers before bed. Whatever form it takes, at whichever frequency, having a regular, on going practice is a way to keep yourself grounded, centred, and tuned into your heart.
- Surround yourself with people who will remind you that you’ve gone off track.
This has been one of the biggest supports I’ve cultivated on my journey with the light. I have a handful of soul supports who when I’m really “in it” and lost from my heart’s centre, can lovingly call me out on it. I can’t tell you what a difference this makes. Frustration, anger, hurt, disappointment – these feelings create tunnel vision, and it blocks out all else. It’s like trying to see the world through these really muddy glasses, so no matter how great things are, all you can see is the muck and the yuck.
When you have the right people walking along the journey with you, they can remind you that you’ve gone off track. Last week I had a friend say, “Oh love, if you don’t learn to surrender, this is going to be a really challenging time.” And it was true! Having someone I trust point this out helped me to wipe some of the mud off those lenses, and I could start challenging the stories the ego was telling me. Is that actually bad, or do I just think it is? How can I try to see this differently? Sometimes we just need to see our circumstances with a fresh set of eyes. It’s not a failing on our part, but a different perspective. This is especially important when it’s something we’ve been seeing only one particular way for a very long time…. because let’s be honest, we get a bit attached to it.
- Find your misery kill switch.
Last February, when I was preparing for surgery, I found my misery kill switch. Florence and the Machine’s “You’ve got the love” yanks me right into my heart. It enables me to see things as they are, it allows me to feel what I’m actually feeling instead of the safer emotions I distract myself with, and it pulls me right back to centre. The night before surgery I was anxious af, and decided to have a solo dance party to try to move some of the stuck emotions. “You’ve got the love” came on my playlist and I danced and cried and danced and sobbed, and felt every word and every note with each and every cell in my body. It stopped being about the anxiety, and brought up all the emotions I’d been burying deep because they felt too scary to look at: fear about my health, some self-loathing and frustration at my body, some unexamined trauma… the list went on. With the help of that song, I could see it all, feel it all, and then it could move. (Some of this was stored for nearly 20 years… it was a big deal.)
For Valentine’s Day I released a public playlist on Spotify called Heart Journeys. (Of course it features Florence!) I use it whenever I’m consciously creating, or when I recognize I’m out of synch with my heart’s core… when I remember that is. Hahah. I’ve spent a few weeks in and out of my heart, and today I found my way back to the playlist and instantly felt more like myself.
Not everyone uses music to move emotions and return to their hearts though. For some people it may be a piece of poetry, a bible passage, a prayer. It could be working with a particular crystal energy, or essential oil (omg rose oil!). It could be just sitting at a canvas, brush in hand, and painting without a particular purpose in mind. (Have you seen the Buddha board – it’s brilliant for this!) There’s no one way to quickly journey back to the heart, and sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find what works for you in particular. But it’s definitely worth doing.
So maybe being IN your heart is the true ticket to happiness… which makes your mission (should you choose to accept it) to find your way back there when you get lost, and to cultivate relationships and rituals that will help you stay there for longer and longer periods at a time.
With love and magic,
Return to Self to Serve Your Soul
The By Divine Love retreat is happening in White Rock, BC, in September 2019. This weekend is dedicated entirely to soul-nourishment, which angelic journeys, soul ceremonies and rituals, and heart-opening connections and experiences.
Space is highly limited to ensure a deeply transformative, and supportive retreat for all participants.