The Heart Is the CEO of Your Life, Not Your Mind.
How many times have you done something thinking it’s a good idea, only to find that it feels empty, dull or unfulfilling?
It seemed like a good idea, but then when you actually did it, it felt flat and just not quite you? Jobs, houses, partners, clothes, parties, friends… chances are we let our minds make our decisions in those moments.
The mind is notoriously obedient to social norms, concerned for what other people think, fearful of the future, and anxious about the past. It’s interested in keeping status quo: safe, predictable and confirming our assumptions about life, even if they’re limiting us and outdated. If we want to really fly and evolve in this life, the mind is really not best suited to be the CEO of our life.
The heart is your best guidance system
To live a life that feels vibrant, real, and ecstatic, the heart is meant to be the real brains in your decisions. Who you’re meant to be with. Where you’re meant to go. What to do with your time. What kind of art to make. How to make money. How to spend your money…
Your heart is the same heart as the one you had as a child. When your heart is happy, you’re happy. Like a child, your heart doesn’t care so much for social norms and what will impress people. It is authentic, connected to the Now, and feels every inch of the highs and lows involved with being fully alive. Your heart is literally and figuratively the pulse of your life, the marker of your aliveness.
The heart is extremely intelligent because it thinks laterally. Unlike the linear mind which is bound by logic and time, the heart thinks in all directions all at once. It is not bound by time or space and can just intuitively know which way to go, what to do, and how to do it. The heart is our gateway to intuitive intelligence. It’s our gateway to expanded awareness.
And yet the heart also doesn’t need to know with the detail the mind craves. It doesn’t need a five-year plan or verified risk assessment because it’s tapped into the foolproof magical fabric of existence. Supported by the Way of Life, the flow, the Grand Organized Design, the heart can safely take a step into thin air, knowing that the path will appear before it.
The heart is a doorway to our true nature. Working in tandem with our soul, our heart is the passport that takes us to our truest happiness and purpose-led fulfillment. As it says in The Wanderer’s Handbook, “The first and greatest power is surrender, for the heart that has surrendered can hear the song which will lead you… If you wish to cooperate with destiny, consult your heart before your mind.” It is safe to trust your heart.
Without listening to the heart, you rely on your mind. Someone’s got to do the job of leading your life and making decisions! And the mind is always vying for a say to keep you safe and fulfill the expectations that hang around like ghosts. Our mainstream society certainly doesn’t encourage us to notice the message of our intuition and follow our heart.
The mind is interested in logistical, practical, and rational things. Of course, elements of this are necessary in life and decision-making. The mind however is only meant to support, enact, and execute the vision of our heart, not direct us. The mind is the assistant, not the leader.
Can the heart and mind be playmates?
The mind can often be afraid of what the heart has to say. I’ve struggled with this majorly. I used to suffer from chronic anxiety in my twenties, and while I’ve healed this for the most part, I still experienced an unignorable anxious pain my chest from time to time. At some point, I started to understand that this pain was the feeling of my heart suffocating.
I kept willing the pain to go away, but if you don’t take your finger away from the hot flame, how can you expect your finger to stop burning?
I realized I needed to heal the split between my mind and heart. I needed to allow my heart to drive.
So one day, I was meditating and my mind and heart were having a dialogue…
Mind: “Okay, okay! Fine. I will let you out of the cage. I understand that I need you if I want to be truly happy on this planet. I concede that I can’t do this without you.”
Mind: “Why aren’t you talking to me? I am letting you speak, isn’t that what you’ve wanted all these years?”
Heart: “You don’t have the guts to hear what I have to say.”
Mind: [A little offended and taken aback] “Excuse me?”
Heart: “You only want me to say what you want to hear. You don’t want to hear my truth.”
My meditation ended. Honestly, my brain had nothing to say, no comeback. I felt completely caught.
Clever, clever heart.
Since that day, I’ve been on a journey of learning to trust my heart.
My mind hasn’t exactly enjoyed this whole process. It has kicked and screamed. Wondered and fretted. Feared and regretted. Usual stuff for my lower mind. It has taken conscious choice to notice my thoughts and choose where I put my focus. Do I allow myself to unconsciously loop fearful thoughts, or do I choose to remind myself that my heart can be trusted?
We are not really taught to be vigilant of the thoughts that swim around in our heads, but the key is to bring awareness to what’s going on in there and choose which thoughts you give attention to. Think of your mind as a garden and your attention as water. Where you water, the flowers flourish. So, what in your mind do you want to flourish? The fearful thoughts, or the encouraging ones? The constricting ones, or the creative ones?
Learning the language of the heart
The heart speaks in feelings. Images. Sensations. Sometimes it can speak in a flash, but other times it can be more like photographic film in developing solution, taking its time for the picture to appear.
The mind however often speaks in words and statements. It’s fast. Instantaneous. Like a computer.
We are conditioned to pay attention and respect the latter form of intelligence. Think about mainstream school. Pretty much the whole time, we’re taught to be masters of remembering, composing and processing words, equations, statements, and logic. We’re rewarded for our processing speed and recall. Just like a computer.
When were you taught to be curious about your feelings and intuitive knowings? To be curious about their color, shapes, and textures? When did you learn that your feelings are information? Who taught you feelings were nothing to be afraid of and that, in fact, you can surrender to them in a safe way? When did you learn to interpret and process your feelings?
How did you come to know these feelings are as valuable (even more so!) than your sums, grades, or ability to remember historical facts?
Who taught you to intuitively understand how to read symbols and images? Art and literary studies come close at teaching about understanding symbolism and intuitive knowledge, but it’s still very academized. Who taught you to trust your first hit when you just know something?
Eight ways to tune into the heart:
- Recalibrate our appreciation and respect of our feelings. Rather than judge them as weak or something to be controlled, we need to allow ourselves to feel them. This doesn’t mean getting stuck in your emotions in an endless loop, but rather feel and let go of the feelings as they arise. Mine your feelings for their information. And then follow that intel.
- Speak to the heart regularly. Like with your human friends, talking is part of how you get to know each other, understand one another, and build trust. If you don’t talk to your friends, they become… distant. You lose touch. Your heart is your best friend! Speak and get to know each other again. And, like a friend who we’ve been ignoring, sometimes an apology and honest talking is required. Share why you’ve ignored and been afraid to follow your heart.
- Ask it for its wisdom. Ask and you shall receive… simple as that.
- Give the heart time and space to be heard regularly. You’ve had a chance to share, so now listen to this friend speak back to you. Don’t pre-empt what you think the heart might say back. The heart loves quiet, meditative space without the mind running the show. For the heart, spacious time is like air. It’s suffocating without it. Take 5-10 minutes at least everyday to do nothing, but just be in stillness. This is the space in which you can feel the heart speaking.
- Understand what closes the heart and don’t do those things. You’ll be able to sense what closes your heart, but basically anything low-vibration clashes with the heart — being too in the head, arguing, watching violent films (or anything that is not uplifting), rushing and being overly busy, spending too much time on social media, negative self-talk, being away from nature, mainstream news, reaching for your phone every spare moment, overloading your mind, holding onto grudges and trauma. You get the idea!
- Do more things the heart loves. These are high-vibration things that make you feel good. For me, this includes moving my body, creative projects, being with people I love, laughing, playing with animals, singing, being in nature, being kind to nature, releasing negative thoughts and thinking kind thoughts instead, affirmations, self-pleasure, watching and reading uplifting books and films, meditation and prayer.
- How to know it’s your heart speaking and not your imagination. We discussed this in a podcast episode with the Intuitive Intelligence Institute. Have a listen!
- Get support. Speak to a practitioner for specific support on ways to reduce negative self-chatter and open to the messages of the heart. Speaking the language of the heart is innate to us, but we may need help remembering if we’re out of practice.
The heart is your greatest ally and you can trust it. It is a passport to your wildest dreams. It’s speaking to you right now!
Caitlyn Cook is a writer, artist, and embodied spirituality practitioner. Working in the field of self-love, body-image, sexuality, and relationships, Caitlyn works with people in 1:1 online sessions to reclaim wholeness, peace, and power. Her creative and professional practice centers on mindfulness, soul psychology, sacred sexuality, and energy/shamanic healing. Caitlyn was featured in the mini documentary My Break Up With God, which explores her journey with authenticity, sacred sexuality, and her traditional Christian family. She also organizes Bwiti Initiations, co-creates All 1 Union monthly global mass meditation sits, and is an ISTA apprentice. You can connect with her via her website, Instagram or Facebook.