In the West, most people think of the mind as being the source of insight, wisdom, knowledge and guidance. People think that the mind is where they will find the answers to life’s most important questions; it is where they think they will discover how to live. And yet for most people the mind is the seat of ignorance, confusion, and difficulty.
In other traditions, and in my own experience, the heart is the true seat of wisdom and knowledge. The mind get confused; the heart loves. The mind questions; the heart knows. The mind worries; the heart relaxes.
Now don’t get me wrong – the mind can be a very useful tool. When kept in its proper role, it is an incredible asset. But it should remain a servant, not a master.
As you learn to focus on your heart instead of on your mind, you will discover a whole new way of being in the world. You will be able to tap into wisdom, insight, and guidance that you never before imagined.
So consider this as a start for 2010: turn your attention to your heart; connect with the feeling of love, and share your love and gratitude. Are there people in your life who evoke a feeling of love? Did you experience blessings in 2009 that evoke a feeling of gratitude? Focus on these people or these blessings. Let them evoke the feelings of love and gratitude, and let these feelings pour out from you and gently guide your life.
Now one thing about this practice, and about following the path of the heart more generally: I am not promising that it might not be messy. Hearts can be broken. You can share your love and gratitude and have it rejected, and that hurts. You can give everything you have, offer all the love you can, and still feel hurt, betrayed, abandoned, unloved. There might be bumps, bruises, cuts, and scratches as you offer your tender heart.
But in my experience these pains and these hurts are never the end – they aren’t the final say. They don’t have the final word. The more you love, the more you give, the purer your heart becomes. Now this does not mean deplete yourself, abandon yourself, or deny yourself. Quite the contrary: it means love yourself completely; give yourself everything, and let this love become your life.
Always start by offering yourself love first. When you truly love yourself, you love others. For when you know how to love yourself, your heart becomes full. And your love begins to flower – it begins to bloom. You can begin to offer it, without regard for whether it gets returned or not. Your love might be returned; it might be reflected back to you. It might be rejected and denied because of someone else’s closed heart. But it does not matter. None of that matters. Because the love lives you; the love gives you. Your life becomes an expression of love and is complete in-and-of itself.
And the more this love flowers from within, the more beautiful the world becomes. Unexpected blessings flow into your life; grace finds you and begins to penetrate your being.
So in 2010, let your love flower. Love is not another item on your to-do list. Simply let it flower. Let it grow within your heart and radiate outward. And from this place of fullness, offer love to yourself, offer love to others, offer love to the Divine. Let your entire life become an expression of love and gratitude, for this life is truly an exquisite gift to be both given and received.
Wishing you a year filled with peace, love, and beauty always.
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