How to align the mind and the heart?
This was a question asked a few times by different guests in the past two months.
First of all, what does it really mean to align the mind and the heart?
When the mind and the heart are not aligned, this is when the mind and the heart are in conflict. Basically, the mind thinks of one thing, but the heart feels another.
For example, earlier in the year if you remember that I made the decision and announcement that I would not be selling rooms through online travel agencies anymore such as Booking.com or Expedia.com. It was a decision that took me a couple months to think about.
What happened was that this idea came to me last December. And then my mind started to rationalize and analyze the pros and cons of this idea. Basically to go with this new idea was to go against everything I’ve learned in school before.
So my mind kept going back and forth between the idea. It was like there were many different voices in my head. One voice questioned, “Why do you want to cut off your possible revenue streams?” One voice then answered, “Well you don’t get that much from these online bookings anyway.” Then one voice said, “Well, but you may get more exposure and awareness this way by listing on these websites.”
So you can imagine, how these voices went back and forth in my head. What did my heart say? The heart felt the same all along with the idea of letting go of these online travel agencies – it was something I should do.
As the story goes and that you already know the ending, I finally had the courage to make the decision almost three months later. The end result? Our revenue was not really affected in a negative way. We were able to focus on selling our retreat packages and attracting the right type of guests to come to Museflower.
What I realize is that when we have a deep knowing in our heart, or an inspiration or a new idea that won’t go away, and when our mind does not agree with the heart initially, it’s because our mind is resisting the change somehow and is still holding some kind of limiting beliefs or fears.
The one big example that I see in many guests is the idea to resign from their current job even though they don’t enjoy their job anymore. They are afraid that by resigning, they lose the financial security and a stable structure in life.
Although they may not enjoy the job anymore, the job does provide a certain comfort in life – something known, and something they know what to expect.
Most importantly, it is the fear of the unknown that scares them the most – they do not know what they will do after they resign. Most of us fear that the future can be worse than now. What if, I cannot find a better paying job than this?
Also, the fear of being judged by others, but really this is coming from self-judgment. What if, I’m being reckless, or selfish, or immature by resigning?
I always tell people that, once the idea of resigning or the inspiration or the deep knowing is planted in our mind like a seed, eventually the seed will slowly grow, budging us to act on the idea sooner or later.
Would the plant die if we don’t allow it to grow anymore in our mind? Yes, I believe so. But perhaps this is when we create energetic and emotional blockages, and eventually these blockages may manifest into diseases.
Now when I talk about this deep knowing in the heart, I don’t mean that we should act on our impulses based on emotional reactions. Fundamentally I believe that we can break it down to two types of “feelings” from our heart. One is a deep knowing as I mention, coming from a loving and compassionate space. This deep knowing is actually coming from our soul’s voice or as an intuitive feeling.
The other type of “feeling” is the emotional reaction based on fear. We may have an argument with a family member and when we feel so much anger, and we may say or do hurtful things impulsively. This can happen at work as well. Someone gives us honest feedback at work and we take it personally, and we want to resign because we feel upset.
When we feel overwhelmed by emotions, it is better to take a mindful pause and allow ourselves time to calm down before making a decision.
So how do we exactly align our mind and our heart, when they are in conflict?
1 – Explore Your Heart
First we should examine this emotion or intuitive feeling in our heart. Is it an emotional reaction based on impulse, or is it a deeper knowing that inspires me in some way? Is this idea coming from a space of love or a space of fear?
2 – Acknowledge the Mind
The mind will have different voices going back and forth to discuss and analyze the potential outcomes, the pros and cons – almost like a discussion panel. The mind is helpful to us when we need to execute the idea. We need the logical thinking in order to manifest an idea into physical reality.
However, ask yourself also if the mind is holding any limiting belief or fear that is sabotaging this idea. What is really the mind resisting? You can even write down the different fears and ask yourself what is the worst that can happen.
3 – Sleep on the Idea
This is what I always love to do. Whenever my mind is going crazy analyzing something, I know I need to do something else to move away from that headspace.
Before I sleep, I ask my higher self to show me guidance and trust that I will know the answer when the right time comes. When I wake up next morning, I cannot say that I will know the answer right away, but there may be a certain clarity that helps with making the decision. It’s like cooking a steak. You need to let it sit and rest for at least a few minutes before cutting the meat.
At the end, I find the most important is to find the balance. The decision should be something you feel comfortable with, a sense of harmony in both your mind and heart.
Obviously some decisions may take longer time to make, such as resigning from a job or other major life decisions. So, take your time. Allow yourself the time and space, patience and trust that at the right time, the answer will come to you. Same as planting a tree, we cannot expect a small tree to grow into a big tree overnight.
Ideas may change form as well, and from one original idea it may grow organically into something else entirely differently which is okay. For example, if you remember the survey I sent out recently about our potential new offerings in 2018. Actually my first original idea was all these weekend workshops I wanted to facilitate starting from the past November, and I already planned them before I knew I was pregnant this September. And because during my first couple months of pregnancy, my energy was running low most of the time, so I had to take a pause on launching the workshops. I also wasn’t sure if our guests would be interested to attend these workshops or not.
Three months passed, and one day this December I woke up with the idea of making a survey to ask the guests if they would be interested in these workshops. As I was designing the survey, I came up with more questions to ask about the potential offerings in the spa and also our shop.
I’m so glad that I waited and that original idea has morphed into something different, and because of this, I got a lot of valuable feedback from guests so I know where to focus my team and my energy next year.
4 – Follow Your Heart
So when I say “follow your heart”, it doesn’t’ mean to do so blindly. We still need to be able to distinguish whether the feeling comes from our soul’s voice or our ego/mind’s desire.
If that deep inner knowing is still present after a while (sometimes it goes silent and then comes back after a few years), and your heart still feels the same about it, perhaps it’s time to act on it. However, ultimately we all have free will to decide how we want to create our own life.
I believe there is no “right” or “wrong” choices, however there are “better” choices that make our lives easier and effortless, like two different paths reaching the same destination. Only one path is like a shortcut and easier to walk through, and the other one takes longer and has more detours and is a more challenging walk.
5 – Pay attention to the Results
Once you make the decision following your intuition, see what happens. Or if you make the decision with your logical mind and against what your heart feels, see what happens as well.
Remember there is no “right” or “wrong”, and there is no need to judge yourself if you find yourself taking the longer pathway, just laugh about it and next time you’d know what to do
How do you make sure your mind and your heart are aligned?
Feel free to share your feedback in our blog comments below or email Tania here.