I’m so excited to share a guest blog post by Lynn Komlenic, a kindred spirit, wise teacher, and fellow highly sensitive soul. Lynn reminds us of the importance and accessibility of listening to our hearts (and she even includes a concrete breathing practice to support us in connecting with our heart energy). Enjoy!
When I was first speaking with Laura about writing this guest blog, I told her that I wished that I would have “gotten” earlier on the spiritual journey just how much of my existence has been and still is dominated by the thinking mind. I wanted to write: WARNING! You are thinking more than you think you are! But you probably already know this.
It seems, however, that few spiritual teachings talk about addiction to thinking, which is an addiction from which I suffer. The first signs of discomfort and I’m off to my mind, wondering what I could have done differently, what “they” could have done differently, reasoning, speculating, and on and on. Practicing presence, just being, has definitely not come easily to my wicked-sharp, highly energized mind. As Eckhart Tolle says, the mind’s “pull” is great. I write more about this in an upcoming blog.
So why did I start with this and what does the mind have to do with creating from the heart? Well, if we can first accept that we are creating in every moment, then we will want to understand more about where we spend most of our time. Are you more often in your head or your heart? In reality, we can only create from two possible places – either from a place of fullness (heart) or from a place of lack (mind/ego). When are heavily mind-based – questioning or judging our self and everyone and everything around us – our bias is toward lack, because the mind/ego is built to find what is wrong, or missing. This focus creates an internal energetic disposition of angst because we are persistently aimed at figuring out how to fill the void, solve the problem, keep ourself safe, etc. I know because I’ve spent much of my life in this state. The corresponding feelings linked to this state are sadness, anxiousness, irritation, and other associated life-depleting feelings.
If, on the other hand, we choose to create from our place of fullness, meaning we are already affirming our wholeness as perfect, divine beings, our creations are about the expansion of what already is –abundance, love, knowing, etc. This focus creates the energetic state of enlightenment (or lightness) and generally results in feelings of excitement, ease, anticipation, and even joy.
In my experience, all that really is required to begin living from a place of fullness is believing that we are already whole and complete as we are, as my coach says, “You are everything you wish to be; you already are.” In other words, we come into the world with our unique divine imprint intact. It is already within us – already known; it’s just been covered over with muck, due to things that have happened in our lives that have caused us to believe that we are less than (lack). So, my idea now of a happier life, which is something I’ve longed for since the first moment I actually thought about it – sometime in my teens – and am just now beginning to experience (in my 50s), is living in alignment with my wholeness, the fullness of my divine essence. I connect to this truth of who I am by connecting to my heart.
You can do this any number of ways. I’ve found the fastest and sometimes most expeditious (you can do this anywhere) way is through a simple breathing exercise: Close your eyes. Begin to notice your breathing and qualities about it – does it seem full or shallow, choppy or smooth? Just look; there is no need to change the breath, allow it to be as it is. See also, if there a slight tweak you can make in your body position that might allow you to relax into your breath. Feel the support of the Earth and of Source – that space of unconditional love from which we all come and that we are: Feel your shoulders relax down, or if you are lying down, allow your body to feel supported by the surface that you are lying upon. Allow your breath to do what it is doing; everything that happens is totally perfect; you are completely supported. Then, put your attention on your heart space, your chest. Begin to breathe into your heart. Now, silently and slowly, matching the cadence of your inhale, say to yourself: “I am whole.” Keep your mind focused on the thought while you are exhaling. Then, on the next inhale say silently, “I am complete.” Exhale. Then, on the next inhale, say silently, “I am everything I wish to be; I already am.” Exhale slowly. Then, pause, noticing if there are any shifts in your energy or breath. What do you notice in your chest? Whatever you notice, it is okay – actually perfect! Your body, including your breath, is wiser than your mind; allow it to lead the way. And if your ego pops up and begins to tell you that this is just another thing that you’re not good at. Quietly say to your ego, “Thank you; but I have another way of seeing myself now. I am whole and complete, and perfect as I am.”
Repeat this exercise as much as you’d like. I’ve also recently downloaded an app for the phone where you can record your voice over the music of your choice. It’s called “Ninja Spirit.” I haven’t used it yet, but I am planning on recording some of these affirmative messages for my relaxing 15-minute afternoon meditations. Esther and Jerry Hicks, who present the work of Abraham, also published 15-minute meditations that I have found helpful for this purpose.
Once you establish the practice of regularly connecting to your heart, other affirmations – more truthful ones – will begin surface. Affirmations, such as “I am worthy,” “I am safe to be me,” “I have everything I need and more,” “My heart is alive; I am alive,” “I am Okay,” “Love is the truth of who I am,” “I am a powerful creator,” might begin to feel authentic. Shifting to a heart-centered existence, of course, depends on how committed you are to feeling better in life. One of my masterful yoga teachers once presented the idea during a dharma talk that we are “addicted to suffering.” I remember feeling a little startled by the idea: There I was, face-down in pigeon pose, and I felt my face scrunch up and my body shift. “Huh,” I mused, “I’m choosing this?” She then went on to say that in order to break the chain of suffering (called “samskara” in yoga), we had to be crystal clear about what was most important to us. Truthfully, it wasn’t until I was completely “done” with feeling sadness all the time that I became committed to a lighter, more content existence.
In circling back, there are really only two choices: we either go through our day, connected to our heart, feeling our expansive nature, rooted in the unconditional love of Source, thereby creating and interacting with all of life from this space, or we can give in to the inertia and grievances (which are endless) of the egoic mind, and suffer. Of course, it is natural to shift between the two, and from what I understand, there really is no judgment from the “other side.” (See the book, Dying to Be Me, by Anita Moorjani for more on this.)
We are here to learn, to grow, and to expand our Soul; and, we really do have the power to choose how we do this. I didn’t really understand this power of choice until recently; I just thought that I was born sad! But we can explore other states, other ways. … In my case, it takes committed practice, quite a lot of it every day. But with every fearful or judgmental thought, I pause to reconnect to my heart and remember the real Truth, not the “truth according to ego.” And, my friends, the feelings of ease and joy that I get to experience from doing this is more than worth it!
Lynn Komlenic is a communication and relationship coach, and writer and editor in the health, wellness and consciousness development fields. She has been practicing and teaching Compassionate Communication for more than 10 years, and is passionate about helping people live and speak from their heart. She supports her expanded Self by spending time hiking in the mountains of Western North Carolina. www.thecompassionatelife.com