“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
There is no denying the fact that life has become increasingly challenging. Living in a modern world is fraught with all manner of obstacles and hurdles, which restricts a person from being his/her authentic self.
The stress of our modern existence means we are dealing with an assortment of modern-day obstacles, many of which did not exist 100 years ago. The mental and emotional costs to a person can be represented by the amount of over-the-counter medication that is being prescribed.
Everyone is searching for a quick fix. It seems this ideology has been impressed upon us in our modern day life. Yet attending to our lives in this manner does not offer the same reward as we might think.
It is said we process anywhere between 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. Many of these thoughts are on a feedback loop and are recurring thoughts.
The incessant chatter and the monkey mind which prevails between our ears is the main cause of suffering these days. The reason being is that many people buy into the notion that because the thoughts are taking place in their mind, they must be real and therefore engage with the thought rather than observe it.
The observer effect states you are not your thoughts, rather you are the witness of the thought process occurring within your mind.
So if many people accept and engage with their thought process, what happens to the sound of the heart?
Now you might think the heart does not have a voice to commune with it. You might be interested to know that the heart has a frequency which is fifty thousand times greater than your brain’s frequency. Research has shown that the heart responds to the outside world well before the brain has time to respond.
What this means, is that we are only using one aspect of the human physiology to interact with our external world. Many people process their external life with their mind by attempting to draw meaning or attach a story, which in many instances is based on past conditioning and perception.
The heart does not have the same bias as the mind and therefore operates independently, whilst also working concurrently with the brain by sending its subtle messages.
Your heart speaks in quiet whispers. It is for this reason that many people find it challenging to learn the language of the heart, because they have been conditioned to listen to the internal dialogue of the mind.
Further to this, given our lives’ have become hectic and chaotic, there is more noise in our external world which means retreating in silence has become increasingly difficult.
“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
You may have come across programs and other self-help books that espouse the benefits and virtues of meditation to silence the mind. Many of my clients and audience members struggle to transition into pure silence via meditation.
Often it can take up to six months to one year to condition the mind to be in silence for thirty minutes or more. If you contemplate that your mind is active for at least twelve hours or more on any given day, it makes sense that learning to quiet the mind takes time and patience.
Whilst I agree that meditation brings with it many lasting benefits, both mental, emotional and physiological, it is still impractical for busy people to find thirty minutes or more each day to sit in silence.
Mindfulness and meditation experts suggest that thirty minutes is the minimum time required to bring the mind into silence. A good practice may be twice a day, once in the morning and last thing in the evening in order to gain greater understanding and awareness of the benefits of meditation.
Many people normally give up on meditation well into the first few weeks of the practice. It seems that sitting in silence, alone for anything more than ten minutes is enough to drive them crazy. This is largely attributed to the incessant, monkey mind which is being played out within the mind.
Sitting alone in silence means listening to these thoughts repeatedly. But it does not have to be that way. Learning to meditate may also invite an opportunity to do so throughout your day without necessarily devoting one hour to being in pure silence.
Silence for many people seems to be a difficult undertaking for a multitude of reasons, but primarily because there is much external noise taking place in our lives. It is because of this that one should find time to eliminate external silence regularly throughout the week.
Being alone in silence allows the mind and body to harmonize with one another. It decelerates the stress response taking place in our body and moves us from a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state.
Your body cannot thrive in a stressed state since in doing so it gets locked into a sympathetic state — otherwise known as the fight or flight response. The physiological effects on your mind and body may be felt for prolonged periods of this repeated stress cycle. It is important that you seek time out of your busy life and reconnect with your inner self.
One of the ways in which you can approach this is to retreat into silence for as little as ten minutes at a time, spread throughout the day. I would advise that you get outside in nature if the temperature and weather is suitable.
If you work in a busy corporate environment, a simple ten minute break to go outside and walk around the block can do wonders for your mind and body. If this is not an option, perhaps retreating to a quiet room and sitting alone in silence without the distraction of technological devices would do well to allow you to feel at peace with yourself.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or working in a stressful corporate environment, there appears to be very little time throughout one’s day to be alone in silence.
Many of you are probably undertaking some form of health fitness regime that might include cardiovascular exercise, resistance training or some form of yoga or Pilates. The point is that you have learned to condition and train your physical body by undertaking this form of exercise.
Conditioning and taming your mind is no different than training your physical body. In many cases it requires consistent persistence and discipline in order to reap the benefits.
One of the easily recognized benefits of going into regular silence is an inner peace and harmony which opposes the chaos of your external world. This means that even though the chaos continues, such as emails, phone calls, deadlines and family pressures, you will find that these external occurrences have less impact on your inner world. What previously set you off and caused frustration and anxiety, will now have little impact on you.
If you struggle to find ten minutes of silence throughout your day, you might even use your commute home or to work as an opportunity to be in silence.
Far too many people use smartphone devices to drown out the silence during their commute. Observe the number of people with a device plugged into their ears listening to loud music to drown out what is essentially silence.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ― Kahlil Gibran
I suggest you to take this time to put away your smartphone device and just be with yourself. Ask yourself a simple question of: How am I doing? or an even better one How am I feeling?
Use this time to reconnect with yourself, through your inner world and become aware of the inner landscape and what it is asking of you. Doing so on a consistent basis means that you become aware of your emotional constitution and that you also notice and attend to any untoward thoughts or toxic emotions which may begin to surface.
As you become more comfortable sitting in silence, you will develop a language with your heart. Given that our minds are forever processing repeated thoughts from the previous day, it makes sense to connect with your heart to feel the energy stirring within. At first you might find this process daunting, since many people report that they are unable to hear anything.
When communing with your heart you will develop a unique language which is unlike the language you have been accustomed to all these years. The heart speaks to you in a soft, kind and gentle voice. It never yells out for attention, and gives you a reassuring feeling that you are on the right path or taking the right course of action.
One of the ways in which I know I am communing with my heart is that I notice a radiating and tingling sensation in my chest area which begins to rise through the back of my neck and into my head. I feel my heart speak to me at times through the simplest aspects of life such as the beautiful colors of the morning sunrise or the way in which a Sunday afternoon in autumn looks and feels like. This is your heart talking to you.
A useful exercise to undertake is simply becoming aware and noting in your external environment, what causes your heart to stir with the emotion.
Is it a piece of music that no matter many times you listen to it, the music still stirs a response? Is it the feeling you get when someone compliments you on something you have said, something you have done or the way you look?
It may be a simple as a thank you that you receive from someone when you help them crossed street or draw a person’s attention to the fact that they have dropped some money while they are waiting in queue in front of you?
Whatever it is, take mental notes of these moments rather than dismissing them as pleasant moments. The more you develop this language, the better you are able to know yourself and make decisions that are in harmony with your deepest self.
Your heart knows the truth of your being and will reassure you with this knowingness in a soft, silent voice. It is not obtrusive as the mind or the ego screaming for attention. It is silent, pleasant and has no agenda other than the fulfillment of your desires.
Learning to develop a relationship with your heart centre may take some practice and also a shift in awareness. Do not be too concerned with attempting to attain anything quickly, for if you try to force the experience you may be met with disappointment.
Instead, allow yourself to be immersed with the frequency of Navigating Life by becoming better acquainted with that silence and deep inner wisdom, which is continually serving you.
This inner wisdom is available to you and does not take a vacation or breaks. At first many people find the switch from using a logical left brain orientated way of life challenging as we have been accustomed, since early childhood to use logic and reason to shape and create our world.
Females develop their intuitive abilities during this time, which serves them well since they are able to work with both frequencies and energies.
Your heart knows what is right for you. Do not be dissuaded from going deep into your heart by your logical brain which may step into override this connection.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.” — Helen Keller
As you go deeper into your heart, you may become aware of the emotions that were buried long ago. These emotions may take the form of: sadness, grief, anger, resentment or other forms of disempowerment, which stops you from leading a life full of passion, enthusiasm and happiness.
Do not create more meaning around these emotions by inviting your logical mind to heal these negative states. Instead, just be with the emotion and observe by becoming one with it.
The process of awareness runs deep within your consciousness and this practice of silently witnessing the emotion can do a great deal in order to heal the emotion. If there is a sense of sadness within, then just go to that place within your body where that sadness resides and be with it.
When we talk about being with that emotion, it is as though you were treating it by sitting down next to it and merely observe, listen and feel what the emotion expresses.
Do not be concerned with trying to heal the emotion or allow the emotion to go away, since doing so will only insight more of the same energy that fuels the emotion into growing stronger and more powerful.
In modern-day culture we feel the need to fix things when they are broken. This way of thinking has continued to shape the way we treat our illnesses and disease.
We want to fix that which is broken, yet the heart cannot be fixed in the same manner. The heart yearns to be heard, it seeks to be consoled and nurtured without reason or logic intervening.
It is often said that the heart has reasons that reason cannot know. As you become better acquainted with the language of the heart it will serve you in ways that will uplift your spirit and allow you to reconnect with the inner source of your being.
So as you learn to be with this inner source of guidance, you will be offered powerful insights into your deepest self. Honour these insights by stepping into the process and working with the guidance that you have been given.
Do not deny nor neglect the inner wisdom as nonsense. Instead come from a place of allowing. Allow the wisdom and possibility of life to reveal itself through your inner being. Observe through silent witnessing by allowing reason and logic to take a back seat.
In order to heal your life and bring peace and joy to your world, you must allow what is to come up and rather than process it, just be with it. Sit and listen with the inner guidance and make a vow to take the journey to the deepest part of yourself.
Recall that many of us have buried our emotions deep within the recesses of our hearts. For whatever reason you chose to do this at the time, it is worth turning inward in order to unlock and release this emotional burden and that you deal with it in a compassionate manner.
Each time you honor the deepest wisdom of your heart, you feel a lightness of your body, these are toxic emotions being released as you undertake the healing process. Make a vow by declaring to your inner self that you will dig deep to heal any part of yourself that needs to be healed.
Anytime you become aware of any negative emotion, which brings you pain and misery, take action by attending to it with compassion. Be kind and gentle on yourself in the process.
You are talking to the little inner child within you, who wants love and affection, not criticism and judgement. Think about the way you would address your children and use the same approach to converse with your inner child.
Originally published at medium.com