Why You Should Think With Your Heart.

Via Jennifer S. White
on Sep 5, 2013
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I’ve never banned or blocked someone on Facebook—until recently.

My last article was one that I knew would be hotly debated. 

I love writing these types of pieces.

However, I don’t love being unfairly bombarded within my personal space or made to feel threatened by words.

Because even though I’m a writer, and I put myself out there, I’m also a mother too—and protecting my family’s privacy will always come first.

Still, aside from this harsh reality, this latest blogging experience has brought a few helpful thoughts into my head and into my heart.

When I write from my soul, it’s usually pretty well received; because, in our heart of hearts, much of us is the same—what we want, what we feel, what we need and what we deeply desire.

So when I tell you things like:

My lungs felt heavy and filled with sand, and hot tears pricked the backs of my eyes, while I watched the person who I love most agonize in emotional pain;


Sunlight touched my face gently, warming me from the inside out—reminding me that being in nature can be powerfully healing;


His rough fingertips pulled my chin up, forcing me to gaze steadily into his eyes, yet I couldn’t help but look away. Possibly the scariest—and best—thing in this world is realizing that you love someone so much that you couldn’t even breathe without them nearby…

You don’t have a problem with it.

Rather, you feel connected or maybe even finally understood in the recesses of your own mind, where it’s generally hard to share and reach out to others from.

Because I do…reach out to you.

I do—share from those sacred, sometimes dark, spaces where we’re more alike than we recognized—and then when I talk with you about politics, organized religion or vaccines, our human commonality and mutual respect walk out of the room.

Because I’m more liberal than you or less.

I’m a scientist and science scares you.

I’m a comical yogi and you’re serious about your path.

And we stop being open together, in this space that we’d previously created, and tension and anger, and futility, form instead.

And my mind races and my pulse does too.

My breath catches and my yogic non-attachment is fully challenged—and I’m okay.

I’m okay because at the end of the day I have my family: a solid, stable, grounded man who loves me profoundly and a tiny girl who depends upon me to be solid and grounded for her.

So I let it go.

Okay, I don’t—but I move forward and in doing this, it’s put behind me and it’s put out of my mind and, in essence, it’s let go.

I tell myself that I’ll only write from that softer place that doesn’t bite; or from that place that, when it does throw out shrapnel, it’s in pieces that you can relate to, or it’s sharp and pointy in ways that have cut you too, so we’re back in line  together once again.

I tell myself this and I do it for awhile too—until I can’t any longer.

Because I have a brain.

I have a mind and I have thoughts. I’m educated and I write. In short, I have things that you might not like or even want to discuss, but that I’d like to share with you.

And so I do—and then this cycle starts all over.

And here’s the conclusion that I’ve come to:

We need to think with our hearts.

I mean, not literally think with our hearts. I told you that I’m a scientist and I believe in rationality. I like logic, even though I’m also highly intuitive.

Still, in our heart of hearts, like I said before, we’re often quite unexpectedly the same—many of us—but when we move up into our heads, the world isn’t black and white.

Nope, it’s a plethora of shades of grey.

I dream in black and white.

I dream in grey.

Rarely do I dream in color.

When I was younger, I thought that my opinions were factual and that my way of thinking was the only way, and, while I still might think my views are the best, I’ve wised up to the concept that the world is painted in multiple shades of grey and that hardly anything in our world comes in pure black and white.

So when I state that we should try thinking with our hearts, what I’m implying is this:

We open up our minds, and then our ears, and then our hearts enough to consider that, even if your worldly ideas aren’t right for me, that they might be for you, and for your world.

Because when we think with our hearts, we open up our ability to be objective and truly open-minded and even if we walk away with the same opinion that we came in with, we’ve become more educated, if to nothing else, to the way that our world looks for other people and to the way that it looks for you.

So, yes, I recently put out a call for a Vagina Revolution, but what would be even better was if we were all part—not just the ladies and the mamas—of a new movement; one that involves mutual respect and honoring our human commonality regardless of whether or not we’re sharing emotional feelings or mental reflections.

And let’s reflect on this:

You might not always like me, and I might not enjoy you, but we have to share this world together whether we like it or not, so let’s try being a little bit more open to sharing ourselves.

Here, then, is my new, reformulated cry:

Let’s be honest and raw about who we are, let’s be the same person no matter who we are with—and let’s be gentle, with ourselves and with everyone around us.

Yeah, let’s start here.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise





About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


10 Responses to “Why You Should Think With Your Heart.”

  1. Kai says:

    Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with the rest of us. It is not always easy.

  2. christy says:

    Wow. Thank you from the most sincere of my being. I’m rarely speechless. You can bet I will share this. You can also bet you will open many eyes today. Great writing and terrific topic.

  3. Kai, thank you so much.

  4. Christy, I'm truly touched and honored by your response. Thank you.

  5. Valter_V says:

    The author seems delusional about getting rid of conflicts. She seems to think that, if we "think with our heart", there won't be conflicts, vehement disagreements and hot debates.
    Truth is, conflicts will always be with us, because people want different things, and see the world in different ways. For any possible opinion, you can find a different, opposite one. Our individuality is our gift and also our damnation.

    Thus, any time someone writes publicly, there will probably be debates and conflicts (and especially so on sensitive topics).
    I believe any debate should remain polite, but that doesn't mean that some opinion would feel offensive or harsh (alas, everybody's ego isn't open even to polite criticism).

    I think this kind of delusion lies in "privilege".
    I mean, only when you live in a privileged (usually Western, white, middle-class and so on) life, you can think that conflicts could go away. E.g., a Chinese working for FoxConn would never entertain such naive idea.

  6. I think you missed the entire point.

    Obviously, there will always be conflict. Actually, I'm not even sure how you could be so off about this article, considering that I directly state "the world isn’t black and white" and that we can have differing opinions and views, but that it's still possible to talk, discuss or even argue through intelligent debate and open conversation. You are very off in your assessment of this piece.

    If you want to bring politics into this, then why don't you consider the many ways in which our world is made better when world leaders with completely different philosophies and governmental systems are able to come together and talk like adults.
    I'm a little surprised, to be honest, at how you could misconstrue my words so much.

  7. Interesting that I just noticed you also commented on my vagina revolution article, missing the point entirely there as well.

  8. I'm not sure what dragging the idea of privilege into this discussion has to do with anything, other than trying to take pot shots at the author on something unrelated.

    I read this as a discussion of heart-based decision making can help us deal with conflict, not avoid it.

    It's easy to be a semi-anonymous internet commenter; it's much harder to write publicly and put your opinions up for discussion, and (as Jennifer has done on many occasions) discuss and debate graciously when readers respond.

  9. Valter_V says:

    I'm sorry Jennifer, I was in a bad mood yesterday, and probably I misinterpreted what you meant.
    Feel free to delete my comment.

  10. Sarah Friend says:

    Well said, Kate.