As a person who has been involved in self-help, personal and professional development for decades, I like to experiment on myself and see how it turns out. The time frame was 21 days; some say you need three weeks to change a habit, behavior, or be on the path to learn something new. The experiment: Connect with your heart every morning by placing your hand over your heart and asking, ‘What would you like me to know now?” During the day, be mindful of the given message. At the end of the day, reflect whether it was true or not. The hypothesis was to determine whether it’s your heart or intuition speaking to you or your ego. I’ll highlight the most profound experiences I had for the purpose of brevity.
Day 2: Go forth with love. (messages in italics) I decided to donate 90% of royalties earned from my trade book Mindful Communications to New York’s City Meals on Wheels in honor of my late, paternal Grandmother who volunteered a lot of her time with this nonprofit.
Day 3: Self-compassion. My inner critic was being mean to me telling me I had made a stupid decision with a business venture that flopped. Self-compassion made me cry releasing the pain caused by the inner critic. I reflected there is relatively no right or wrong only learning experiences on our journey in life.
Day 9: Steady progress. It’s about the journey. Patience with the journey, not the destination. I can be very impatient so this is a continuous life lesson. Patience is about observing what’s emerging for you while making steady progress, being assertive when it’s time to step up. We are both creator and observer on our journeys. I don’t remember the source but I came across this question once, “What’s true vs. truth?” True is the ego talking and Truth the Soul. Hence, Truth Knows=Soul knows the Truth. This is one way how to discern whether your Ego or your Soul or Heart is speaking to you.
Day 12: It’s okay to have pauses, rest, rejuvenate. Downtime prepares me for the times when my life takes off so I have energy rather than feeling depleted when it’s most important to have the energy! As an entrepreneur, I sometimes feel the need to be in overdrive so this is a nice reminder for self-care and soul-care.
Day 16: Joy! My Ego interrupted, “Joy? You gotta be kiddin’. I haven’t experienced true joy in a long time.” My heart and soul responded, “Joy, I allow myself to receive Joy today.” I witnessed a battle between my Ego and my Heart and Soul. I was curious how Joy would unfold in my life that day. As it turned out, a friend from out of town delightfully surprised me with a visit, I had an enlightening chat with a female CEO of a very successful tech company, and I learned my family would get together for my upcoming visit to my Mother’s—a rare occurrence. Oftentimes, it’s the simple things in life that bring tremendous joy like friendship, comradery in the workplace, and harmonious family relationships when it matters most. My heart and soul spoke the Truth!
Day 21: Trust your Intuition. An appropriate end to my 21-day experiment connecting with my heart to listen to its message, being mindful throughout the day regarding the message, then reflecting upon the day’s message and day’s events to determine whether it was true or the truth.
It’s a fun experiment, doesn’t take a lot of time—a few minutes in the morning, checking-in during the day, then a few minutes in the evening for reflection. I encourage you to embark on this experiment and learn something new about yourself. It’s worth the 21-day commitment. Remember, we are both creators and observers in life!