Showing Up with the Heart

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We all wish for world peace, and to live happy and fulfilled lives.  But then, a worthwhile question to ask is, how do we show up in the world ourselves?  Most people show up with the mind.  What would it be like to show up with the heart?

First, let’s look at some attributes of the mind.  The mind is creative and calculating.  The mind dissects, studies, analyzes.  The mind is critical and questioning.  The mind is conditional and concerned with survival.  The mind is competitive and judgmental.  The mind separates; operates best with a narrow focus.  The highest attribute of the mind is logic, and ego resides in the mind.  Now consider how our human world is set up to function.  Do you see a correlation?  Our social and economic systems are the way they are because most people show up with their minds.

Now, what are some attributes of an open heart?  The heart is warm and inclusive.  The heart is welcoming and embraces all equally.  The heart accepts freely, without the need to necessarily understand.  The heart is full of compassion and empathy.  The heart is allowing and devotional.  The heart is expansive; it gives space.  The heart is incapable of judgement.  The highest attribute of the heart is love, unconditional love.  Can you imagine a world where everyone shows up with their heart?

Maybe we can’t change how everyone else shows up, but we can change how we show up.  How would our own lives change if we always strive to show up with our heart, in every interaction?  Look at it from another angle – which approach nurtures relationships?  Showing up with the mind, or showing up with the heart?  It seems pretty obvious, and yet how often do we cultivate the heart as our primary posture?

It’s quite a contrast – walk down the streets of New York and look around.  Everybody is showing up with the head… everyone is in a hurry, no eye contact, protective.  Compare that to hiking on a nature trail.  People show up with their heart… less hurry, there is often eye contact and at least a smile or a nod, if not a greeting.  It doesn’t take much.

It’s not just in our interactions with others either, but it really starts with how we treat ourselves.  Show up with your heart in those quiet moments first.  Practice there first.  It would surprise most to realize that how we view the world is a mirror of how we view ourselves.  How it is inside is how it is outside – what we nurture inside is what we project outside.

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