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One day last week while I was out for a walk at lunch, my mind was in an overthinking frenzy.
It was trying every which way possible to figure out how to get everything I wanted to do that day in with the limited hours I had left in the day.
I still had a long meditation to do, and while I wanted to split it into parts, I was too tired and restless to do any of it anytime soon and knew that because all I wanted to do was work, I wouldn’t be able to focus anyway.
Also, it was beautiful and sunny and felt like summer and so I thought I might like to walk again in the evening, or at least sit outside—because summer is short and I wanted to take full advantage. Or let’s say, a part of my mind thought that I should take advantage, that it would be a shame not to take advantage, that I might regret not taking advantage.
And I had four hours left of work and…actually felt like working. Truthfully, it’s all I really wanted to do.
I don’t always feel like working. Sometimes I have to, let’s say, build heart courage. I might take a slightly longer break and I’ll do whatever I can to will myself to start working again. (Hey, I’m only human. I want to have playtime too.)
But yea, anyway, this day, I could feel that all I wanted to do was work. But my mind was trying to force and cajole a way to fit in these other things.
It was unnecessarily stressful.
I even knew what was happening.
But I couldn’t stop it.
I think this happens with a lot of us. We have ideas of what we want to do or what we think we want to do or should do—mind-generated ideas of priorities. The problem is that a lot of the time, these ideas come from our thinking mind, from our conscious mind—alone. They may even be heavily influenced by subconscious beliefs that we don’t even know we have, or that we don’t know are influencing why we think we want to do the things we think we want to do.
And when these ideas are all in our head (or coming from our subconscious beliefs), they may be disconnected from our heart.
That day, all my heart wanted to do was work. I could feel it. I even looked down at her while I walked and said, “I know all you want to do is work, but…”
There was a “but.”
“I know all you want to do is work, but…”
And then I went through a list of all of those things I wanted to do and felt like I had to do. I tried to figure out how to get every single thing to fit exactly how I wanted it to, in a way that would feel good and satisfying to me, but I couldn’t.
And it’s because I was trying to force it—my mind was trying to force it.
My mind had ideas of what I should do and in the way I should ideally be able to do it, and it was having difficulties reconciling the practical reality.
The deeper feeling within me, however, was clear. My heart knew exactly what it wanted and was at peace with it.
If I could have just dropped into that soft feeling in my heart and accepted that all I wanted to do was work, everything would have felt a whole lot less stressful. I could have trusted that if I felt like working, my heart must know something my overthinking conscious mind didn’t—which means, I could have trusted that I would be able to have an enjoyable meditation too. And that I really wouldn’t care about not getting outside again.
We have to find a way to listen to these deeper feelings within us. If something feels right, it’s right.
Many of us have been conditioned to try to think or plan and decide things by only using our thinking mind, but that doesn’t work. Yes, we need our mind. And yes, it can be super helpful. And yes, I am aware that many people have better working brains in this department than I do.
Yet…I think we could all use a little more heart-oriented movement. Our actions, even our planned-out ones, should come from our heart’s true yearnings and desires, and our deeper soul priorities (which may include building heart courage at times—because sometimes, our true priorities aren’t what will seemingly give us pleasure in the moment!).
If we can learn to just listen to what our heart is saying and flow with it, we’ll feel a whole lot less resistance. Life will flow more smoothly. And everything will probably feel a lot better.
Our heart knows what it wants.
And when we listen to our heart, we feel lighter and freer.
I’m a planner. I’m always going to be a planner. But I want my plans to stem from a deeper feeling of what my true priorities are and from what feels right in the moment.
It’s really not that hard.
It was super clear to me that my priorities were work and meditation—and to get them done in that particular order.
The only reason I felt tension, stress, and restlessness was because my mind was trying to impose its own ideas upon what my heart was trying to say. And those were disconnected from what truly felt right to me in the moment.
I ended up listening to my heart and worked my full hours.
When I got done working, I felt so productive and so happy—because I did what my heart really wanted to do. And it felt really good.
As I walked into my room to rest and stretch before meditating, I looked at my heart, smiled, and said, “Yea, I know, you knew I’d feel good—you knew you only wanted to work.”