How to listen to your heart

 

The ancient guidance to ‘listen to your heart’ has been around for thousands of years and still we find it challenging to do. This is partly because instead of being taught the value of your heart’s guidance early in life you are taught to follow the rules and to do what other people tell you to do. After a life time of doing this it can be incredibly hard to get in touch with your feelings and trust them but your feelings are your heart’s way of speaking to you.

 

Psalm 34:18 (Clouded Heart)

Your feelings are your heart’s way of speaking to you

 

Develop an awareness of what makes your heart expand with happiness

A first step to re-learning this natural ability is to develop an awareness of how certain people and situations in your life make you feel. Which ones make your heart expand with happiness and which make it contract and feel heavy? Most of you would acknowledge that feelings of happiness and heart expansion feel much better than a heavy heart but you will still find people and situations in your lives that make your heart contract and drain your energy.

This may be because you have a sense of obligation towards a person or situation or you fear their loss as you don’t know what will take their place in your life. Either way holding on to them can mean you are keeping yourself stuck in a place that no longer serves you and stops you moving onto the next stage of your life’s journey.

 

The guidance of others can limit you 

When you face a situation where you are not sure what action to take it is natural to ask for the guidance of friends. Whilst this can be useful it’s important to be aware this advice will be given from their own life experience, beliefs and personality. It can be interesting to see your cautious friend will advise caution. The friend who uses attack as a form of defence will make a suggestion based on this coping strategy and the friend who is challenged to speak the truth of their feelings will tell you not to speak your truth. You need to realise these are all coping strategies they developed to avoid pain and living from the heart means embracing pain as part of life rather than contracting in fear around it. Action taken from your heart’s true nature of love and trust will always bring more love into your life eventually.

 

Fear based action cuts us off from our hearts wisdom

Ultimately any action taken from fear whether yours or another persons cuts you off from your heart’s wise guidance that is your direct connection to universal intelligence, whilst any action taken from love opens you up more fully to this connection.  Listening to your heart to become aware of what makes it expand with happiness and joy so you can move towards the people and places that give you that feeling is an act of self- love.

Your heart is the only guaranteed constant in your life. It will be with you through the ups and downs, the good times and the not so good. It only wants the best for you and will always have an answer in any situation, though you might find it challenging to act on it.

Know that your heart is always trying to heal the inevitable hurt life brings you. It is always moving you towards forgiveness because beyond forgiveness lies complete freedom from the past and the opportunity to live from your true nature of love rather than fear.

© Amy Branton

Amy Branton runs Free Heart EFT a heart centred therapy practice covering Brighton & Hove, Worthing, Lewes, Shoreham-By-Sea and Lancing dedicated to helping people bring positive change to their lives by improving their emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing using EFT and Matrix Reimprinting.

http://www.freehearteft.co.uk

https://twitter.com/amyfreeheart

http://www.facebook.com/FreeHeartEFT

Unlocking the treasures of the heart

EFT Brighton and Hove

 

How often do you take the time to sit quietly and really listen to your heart? With the busy lives many of us lead the chances are not very often. Our industrial society treats human beings as parts in a giant machine and there has been no place for the heart and it’s wisdom.

Instead we are taught that to be happy we must be successful and to be successful we need to work harder and harder to gain more material wealth.  I’m not saying all material wealth is bad. I like my material comforts as much as the next person but I have personally found the idea that a life of comfort and convenience is the road to happiness has not been true for me.

I found our busy noisy world was the road to stress and a breakdown. I know I am not alone. The reason everyone is so stressed is because they are following the conditioning of working harder and harder to achieve happiness through material gain and finding it’s not working. If it was working they would feel happy not stressed.

 

The origin of stress is fear

What many people fail to realise because they are too busy being stressed on the treadmill of industrial life is that stress originates from the emotion of fear. In evolutionary terms the industrial revolution happened in the blink of an eye and for many thousands of years before life evolved more slowly and the human body, mind and spirit had time to adapt.

The body is a highly adaptive survival organism that was designed with the three responses to a threat of death. Fight, flight and freeze. This programming is very strong because it had to be as back then it really could mean the difference between life and death.

 

Is stress really the way to happiness? 

In the concrete cities we now inhabit we no longer have the same type of threats to our survival but the body is still programmed to respond in this way to perceived threats. Instead of the fear of being eaten by a predator we have the fear of of being fired from our job. Instead of the fear of starvation we fear we don’t have the perfect body to be attractive and loved. The stress we experience is based on these fears of not working hard enough to be successful at our jobs, bodies, social lives and relationships. We put enormous pressure on ourselves because we were taught from childhood that this is how we’ll achieve happiness.  But can being in a fearful and stressed state really be the way to happiness?

 

Stress disconnects us from source

In a state of stress our heart rhythms become erratic. Our frontal cortex shuts down and we are unable to think clearly and solve problems. In this state we are also cut off from our connection to source through our heart and are unable to access it’s divine wisdom. As many people are in a state of fight or flight almost 24 7 they are not able to connect with their heart’s guidance and so their actions are controlled by fear and stress not love.

 

EFT helps us unlock the treasures of the heart 

If the stress we feel is not acknowledged and released eventually the body will try and speak to you through physical symptoms and disease. EFT can help us understand the emotions behind the stress and where they originate from. Through tapping we can begin to open our hearts once again to connect with the truth of our emotions and release them. Once you recognise that all feelings, even the painful ones have a role to play in guiding you on your soul path it becomes easier to accept them as important wisdom from your heart.

When you unlock the pain held in your heart and release it you are free to rediscover all the other treasures contained within it that are difficult to access in an emotionally blocked state. Feelings of love, joy, compassion and gratitude for life. A true heart centred connection to other people and to life itself. In opening our hearts and releasing pain we find ourselves coming home to the eternal love of our soul.

© Amy Branton

Amy Branton runs Free Heart EFT a heart centred therapy practice covering Brighton & Hove, Worthing, Lewes, Shoreham-By-Sea and Lancing dedicated to helping people bring positive change to their lives by improving their emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing using EFT and Matrix Reimprinting.

http://www.freehearteft.co.uk

https://twitter.com/amyfreeheart

http://www.facebook.com/FreeHeartEFT

 

The important life lessons our shadow self can teach us

The shadow self in Jungian psychology is a part of us in the unconscious mind that our conscious ego does not recognise or want to acknowledge exists.  Just as when the sun shines we all cast a shadow we all have a shadow self within us. Especially people who spend a huge amount of energy trying to convince themselves and others they have not. I know this because I was one of those people.

 

Happiness is not something to achieve

In our materialistic society obsessed with celebrity culture and the shiny surface appearance of a ‘perfect’ life there isn’t much room for shadow. As we strive for success on a never-ending conveyer belt of gaining more and more stuff we have no time to listen to the parts of us crying for our attention in the shadows.  I spent many years on the corporate treadmill trying to find fulfilment. Working hard to achieve happiness because I had been taught that ‘productivity’ and ‘deliverables’ were the way to do that.

But what I learnt was you can’t ‘achieve’ happiness, it is not another thing to gain through hard work. Happiness is a state of mind, a still place within your heart you can choose to connect with at any time. It can be found in the scent of a flower, listening to beautiful bird song, the smile of a friend and many other small but significant moments of life. You may be surprised to hear it was my shadow that eventually taught me this truth.  But this was after everything had happened and I realised I wouldn’t have learnt this without going through the experiences I did.

 

When the perfectionist takes control

I did not recognise the voice I would hear all the time was that of the perfectionist part in me. If you can just deliver this project on time, gain that promotion or get that bonus you will be happy and you will be successful.

This part likes to get things ‘right’ whilst being very concerned about what others think of her. She was in the drivers seat and not about to let anyone else try and give directions because her ego was to big for that and she could do it all herself! She didn’t have time for the shadow.

Of course my heart had been trying to talk to me for years through feelings but the perfectionist part wasn’t interested in feelings. She was on a mission and nothing was going to get in her way. She was going to achieve goals and attain success at any cost. (She had been very well conditioned you see).

So on and on I went pushing myself harder and harder ignoring what my heart was telling me and sinking deeper into depression. I would like to say one day I woke up and finally decided to listen to the kind guidance and wisdom of my heart but that’s not the way it happened.

The shadow as saviour

In the end my shadow stepped in and I had a breakdown. Although it didn’t feel like it at the time it was saving me from myself. I want to make the important point here that I’m not saying the corporation caused my breakdown. It was ignoring my heart that did it. I do have a lot to say about the way many corporations are currently operating, how they treat people and the need for them to evolve to support a life sustaining society but that’s for another time.

Some people enjoy the left brained corporate culture and the ‘safety’ of the structured life it provides but as a creative person and a deep thinker I had to finally accept I was not one of them.  In the end the true values in my heart where stronger than my mental conditioning and I could not continue putting my energy into something I didn’t believe in.  I finally met my shadow when I had fallen into it and there was nowhere to hide any more. In that shadow place I discovered parts of me that were holding onto a lot of unprocessed emotions from the various challenging life experiences I’d had. It was their feelings of unhappiness, anxiety and fear I had been running away from for so long. There was also that core creative part of me that was desperate to escape what she saw as a prison in that structured left brained environment.

 

Embrace your shadow. The source of self-knowledge, wisdom and healing

Embrace your shadow. The source of self-knowledge, wisdom and healing

 

Shadow as a source of wisdom and healing

As my heart opened to the truth of my feelings there was lots of pain and many tears but when those had been shed the grey fog of depression lifted and the world began to look brighter than it had for a long time. I had a new understanding and respect for my shadow that had protected me from all these difficult emotions for such a long time. I learnt that rather than turning away from it and denying its existence I needed to embrace my shadow with love and compassion and in doing so I opened a door to greater self-knowledge, wisdom and healing.

© Amy Branton

Amy Branton runs Free Heart EFT a heart centred therapy practice covering Brighton & Hove, Worthing, Lewes, Shoreham-By-Sea and Lancing dedicated to helping people bring positive change to their lives by improving their emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing using EFT and Matrix Reimprinting.

http://www.freehearteft.co.uk

https://twitter.com/amyfreeheart

http://www.facebook.com/FreeHeartEFT