“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
- The Dali Lama
I’ve spent this last year really working with my mind. I realized a while back that I was continually getting caught in an endless cycle of suffering with my mind. It was like trying to go to a great concert but instead getting dropped off in a really bad neighborhood that I couldn’t find my way out of. My mind began to remind me of one of those bubble machines you see outside a children’s store. It kept making bubble after bubble after bubble; countless thought bubbles, one on top of the other. I began to look at the quality of my particular bubbles and realized that many of my thoughts were not happy bubbles of blessings and light. In fact, more than I would care to admit, these thoughts were encumbered and served to take me out of my heart and out of the present moment and down a train track to a distant city filled with all kinds of fears. As I realized the endless nature of my own fears worries and concerns that continually took me out of the present moment, and as I saw this inevitable city of fear looming in the distance, I realized one thing: this is not the function of my enlightened mind. This is my encumbered mind which is attached to my ego. It’s trying to protect me with all of these fears and doubts and ‘worse case scenarios’ but this is no longer the type of protection I desire or require. One voice kept whispering to me: I have an enlightened mind and I want to hear from it now. I no longer need to be protected through fear based thoughts. I no longer need to keep myself and my loved ones safe through worry. In order to move into trust I have to access something else, some other part of me…
I need my heart mind.
The mind is not a bad place really. But, I’ve noticed it does have an ability to project to you lower vibrational stories or higher vibrational stories. It has a lot of flexibility really. I think many of us are so used to the lower vibrational spectrum of fears, worries and doubts that it’s easy to believe this is all the mind can do. And, in some ways “the mind” has gotten a bad wrap. But if you look around at media, for instance, you’ll see how much this idea of the encumbered mind is being fed and perpetuated. On any given day I can check Facebook and see the two sides of the mind at work. I’ll have friends posting some pretty scary and sad stuff. Then I’ll have friends posting positive affirmations and happy stories or videos, like baby hamsters eating carrots. I’ve found that we all have an enlightened mind and an encumbered mind. And it is absolutely our responsibility to drop the suffering of our encumbered minds and move into freedom of our enlightened minds. I think it is safe to say that we have all suffered enough, have we not? Whatever your particular brand of suffering is, I’m sure you’re familiar with it and, if given the chance to drop it, wouldn’t you? Of course you would! You probably just don’t believe it’s entirely possible. But remember, “the other shoe dropping” is just a story of the ego. The truth is, suffering, in all it’s forms, stops when you stop it. It simply requires a perspective shift.
The first step is to simply recognize that you are suffering. Some of us are cavalier and say, “oh, it’s not so bad.” Well, if you’re not completely present in your day and living through your heart each and every moment, it’s not so good either. So, admit it where you see it. Lay the ego aside for a moment and be honest. I think many of us have this story that if we allow ourselves to focus on a negative emotion or thought then we will somehow manifest it. You only manifest what you truly believe. So being honest about what is going on for you in the moment, even if it’s negative is O.K. Admitting it’s happening is the only way you can change it. For instance, I have had a lot of fear in my life. When I began this process I was “afraid” to admit the amount of fears I had because I didn’t want to draw in more of them. My fears were keeping me from transforming my fears. Hey, it’s fear, it’s scary! What do you do with fear? You run! Well I got really tired of running so I stopped and looked at it, over and over and over again, finally. And you know, it wasn’t so bad. It was scary but those fears were living inside of me, not outside. I was running from myself and it was keeping me from living in my heart and being truly present in my life. So it began by me recognizing what was making me suffer. I looked at the negative thoughts and emotions my encumbered mind was creating as a way of seeing further into myself.
The second step is to move into your heart. Perhaps this is easier said than done when your mind is like a bubble machine gone wild. But it’s a necessary move none the less. So how do we move into our hearts when our minds are on hyper-warp drive and our emotions are heightened?
Yep, that’s it. You have got to go to your breath and use it to take you out of your mind and into your heart. Just breathe. Follow your slow, deep and peaceful breaths and bring them straight to your heart. As you do this your pulse will slow, your attention will shift and you will calm your mind. As your mind slows with the attention shift, you will cease to create so many thought bubbles. Keep focusing on your breath and bringing your breath to your heart and soon your mind will tether itself to your heart. This is the connection we’ve all been waiting for: The Heart / Mind Connection. It’s a match made in heaven, literally and it’s a necessary step on our evolutionary ladder as a species. Linking your heart to your mind will allow your enlightened mind to shine through. It’s like the mind is a light bulb and the heart is the electrical current and your intention and your breath flips the switch.
The Third and Final Step should you choose to take it, is to live here in your heart / mind connection. This is a lovely place. Just imagine if all of your thoughts could be heart-felt….the possibilities are endless. And the self-healing for you and those around you will be limitless. I’ve included a simple 9 minute mediation that guides you through this process of connecting your heart to your mind and to all parts of you. For me, the heart center is where my spirit resides in physical form. So it’s the convergence point between earth and sky; between spirit and matter. Essentially, your heart center is the essence of you. So being here more often is going to feel really, really good! And, I encourage you to use this as a way to quiet your mind and settle your emotions. We are, after all, on a rock spinning through space so we don’t have a whole lot of guarantees except, of course, that we are loved beyond belief. And we’ll keep coming back until we get this right and we all get on the bus of enlightenment together.
For me and for my life, I realize there are no accidents, only choices made between my spirit and my self (consciously or unconsciously). It is my deep and heartfelt prayer to become more conscious of these choices; to accept and embody them so that I no longer feel my life is happening to me. My desire is to take full responsibility for this life by realizing that I have called in every single aspect of it; whatever and whomever is a part of my world is no accident. When I sit with this awareness, I feel an odd sort of peace, like a part of me is saying, “Oh, o.k. well, if we’re designing all of this, let’s design it better, with more loving situations and more people to love. Let’s make it really, really beautiful!” This has helped me tremendously in the manifestation department. And, it’s not to say that I don’t have tough days where I’m in a bad mood, because I most certainly do. However, I have noticed a sharp decline in my own self-criticism and in my own desire to try to be perfect. Funnily enough, this is all so perfect and without any effort.
I think of how a little seed must feel just before it pushes it’s head above the earth. It literally has to defy gravity in order to grow. I feel we are all a lot like these little seedlings. Our spirits are cheering us on, encouraging us to grow, to push through the surface of this life and pierce open our hearts; to expand, really expand our selves and our minds through our hearts. For me, this is all there is….
I’m sending you all so much love, and may all beings benefit!
Angie Arkin, August 2016