Where do you live, HEAD or HEART?

When I was in grad school one of my professors said to me, “You need to move from your head to your heart.”

My response, “I don’t even know what you mean.” He told me to just, “Sit with that for a while.”

And so, I’ve been sitting and wondering for a decade now:

Rich, where do you live?

And you, reading this, where do YOU live?

Wait…no…I mean, where do you spend most of your time?

Wait…no…Dangit. What do I mean?

What am I trying to say, to think, to know?

Decisions! That’s it. Decisions. Choices. Decisions & Choices.

When you have to make a decision, or choice how do you approach it?

No. Wait. Approach? I think it is approach. Or is it decide? Or is it choose?

No. Maybe it is more about the process you use to arrive at an answer.

Well, not an answer. It’s not really an answer.

It is sort of an answer. It is how you move forward.

I think it is how you move forward. 

How do you get from point A to point B?

Well, it could be a point further down the line. Further along, I mean, than just B.

Maybe you start to worry about how your decisions will have some dramatic effect on your life at like point L, or M, N, O, or P…maybe even Z.

No, it can’t be Z. Z (or Zed if you are Canadian, or British, or …) is the end. That is like minutes before…well “gone”, THE END. Or, Z END if you will…no let’s not.

But, if you, like me, have to make some decision or move from point here to point there you start to think of all the tangents, side lines, and angles, and WHAT IFs, and strategize

Oh no…here we go again.

Just make a decision. Holy decisions, batman just make up your mind.

So, where do you spend most of your make up your mind time? Is it a process of thinking through as many things as you can, ad infinitum?

What I am trying to get at is

  Do you live in your HEAD or your HEART? 

It is an easy process, right?

Well, that depends. Are you a “in your head” person, or a “from your heart” person. You have both a brain and a heart, which do you lean on the most during your decision process?

Recently, I have been doing some major life planning. I have been in the liminal space (see my earlier Feb 2014 LIMINAL SPACE post). It’s the exciting space between the chapters of our life as we move along. You know that space that seems like no-mans land; oh wait, sorry, I mean no-persons land. How do you make that figure of speech more neutral….oh here I go again. I just mean that transition phase of Here I am now and There I will be…soon.

CLEARLY, I am an “in my head” person. I am trying to be more of the “from my heart” person. Why? I want that ability to trust my intuition, to trust that my dreams are my goals. My goals have a life. My life has capacity. I have the ability to make it happen, I CAN, I WILL. Follow my heart.

So, ‘in my head’ I devour books to find out how to decide ‘from my heart.’ Someone recently told me to stop reading, that I was ‘feeding the bear’ by looking for an answer in Times New Roman. If I wanted to learn to live in my heart then I needed to turn off my brain (as scary as that is), and feel my way to this mystical place.

So I tried. I sat. I felt.

My heart murmured, “I LOVE reading. Reading feels safe and guides me where I am going and it is what helps me to get there…”

But, the metamessage is, “you are not worthy…someone else is…believe them….not yourself.”

I should go with what I know from my heart. My soul.

I have figured out that my heart might be part of the problem. It scares me to go there. Then I have to BE there with all those feelings. Do you feel that way too?

But, I need a plan. Right? How do you do that except through, thinking it through?

Maybe, the move from head to heart is not and IF/THEN, problem. I think the head to heart is less of a toggle switch, with a click here and the energy is re-routed. Just one flip of the switch and voila! Heart.

I think it might be more of a way to relay the energy down the path.

This head/heart thing is a relay race with more moving parts than, back and forth, (let’s move to a race analogy). It involves Head, Process, Heart, and Passion.

The HEAD has the baton and starts to run. We have to think about how it fits in our plan, our course. We are focused on the track out front. But, in our periphery, we can’t help but wondering where others are in terms of the race. If they can do it then I can. Is it really a competition?

Focus on the PROCESS of how it all works. That planning piece enters. Sometimes, it is to exclusion of the baton (the situation/decision) itself. The head gets in the way with negative self-talk, dis-focus (is that a word?). We start to focus on the baton again, and what’s wrong with it. The baton starts to grow in our hand and starts to morph into our whole existence and what is wrong with us and why people wouldn’t like us. Enter Fear…paralysis…settling for the status quo is just fine (even if the status quo is really status no!)

Some how we have to see the baton for what it is – a baton, an object, a temporary object of focus, it is the situation at hand. It’s not point A, it’s not point Z, the baton is LMNOP.  THAT’S ALL.

Now the heart

…the heart’s beat is speeding up with both the relay and the fear so maybe our HEART steps in with a quick moment of clarity, so quick we ignore it. It’s a little voice. It is that little feeling of what we really want, but it is seemingly so quick and random. It is easy to think it is nothing. We pass it off with a feeling of; I will figure (i.e., think about it) that out in a minute…in a week…when I get this thing (the camera flashes to the baton, with a foggy lens).

But, this little flash is our real knowing, our PASSION, our clarity. We daydream for a minute about how that would be. There we are, being us. Just being and knowing and doing all in one INSTANT of clarity. Regardless, our HEART really sneaks in there. Without the heart (our courage, hope, and a healthy sense of self) we wouldn’t have put ourselves in the race to begin with. Our heart moves us in the direction of our hopes. This message of the heart is our PASSION.

We have the ability to move between the HEAD and the HEART. We have the ability to THINK and FEEL. We can engage the head and the heart with a little process and passion. When we make that decision in our head, passion has the final say. When we say aloud, I want X. It is that feeling inside that tells us the true desire. When we say X and our inner voice says, “nicely done.” That is passion from the heart. If we choose X and our inner voice says, “Y” what it really means is “why?” as in “Why didn’t you go with your heart?”

We have the ability. The question is, will we allow our inner ability to be our guiding force. Trust your ability. If you think about it, our capABILITY is really, what we use to make it happen. Dig deep and trust yourself. Because how do you run a relay, pass the baton, and reach the finish line without both the head and the heart?

Where do you live?


Filed under Leadership

4 responses to “Where do you live, HEAD or HEART?

  1. I dreamt about this post all night. Much to ‘think’ and ‘feel’ about it.


  2. Mark

    I think you live in my head! Great post and a much needed read for me.


  3. Pingback: Vitality Stories Lesson #5 - March 23, 2015 – Teri Case

  4. Gabby

    I am going to sit with this all day. Great post! ❤


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