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A Tip for Using Your Mind to Open Your Heart

“Sometimes the desire to be lost again, as long ago, comes over me like a vapor. With growth into adulthood, responsibilities claimed me, so many heavy coats. I didn’t choose them, I don’t fault them, but it took time to reject them. Now in the spring I kneel, I put my face into the packets of violets, the dampness, the freshness, the sense of ever-ness. Something is wrong, I know it, if I don’t keep my attention on eternity. May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful. May I stay forever in the stream. May I look down upon the windflower and the bull thistle and the coreopsis with the greatest respect.” – Mary Oliver

“May I stay forever in the stream.”

I talk about this stream so often. I do my best to explain it to others. To help them find it, get in it, and feel it. I know that outside of this stream lives the space of the mind. This is where most of the world lives. I know the space of the mind and how it creates immense pressure, problems, and dramas. It calls us out of the stream—out of peace and relief, out of our heart space, and out of our open field.

The mind beats on the door of the heart and screams, “you better get out here and take a look at this… this is important… this is not good… this is a problem… you better fix it…”

We listen to the fear and threats and leave the stream. We then find ourselves under immense pressure, stress, and emotional suffering—flopping around outside of the stream like a dying fish.

Then, when nighttime comes, we go back to bed, fall asleep, slip back into the stream and into our calm heart space, only to wake up in the morning to find the voice of our mind calling us back out of peace again.

Over and over, day after day, we play this game. We play it until one day, we decide we are tired of suffering. There has to be a better way. Surely this is not the purpose of life. We decide we want to get to know our heart. What is this heart space? Can I trust it? Will it actually take care of me? Will it tell me the right thing to do, at just the right time, in just the right way? Will this stream take me to beautiful spaces, experiences, to love? How will I feel there?

If you ask the mind to tell you about the heart, it will say, “Don’t go in there. you can’t trust the heart. It has misled and hurt you before. It always gets you into trouble when you listen to it. You can’t trust it to tell you which action to take. So, just do something, anything, and do it now. Just take care of it yourself.”

The mind tells lies about the heart and it is incredibly impatient.

If you ask someone who has found the heart and has learned how to live from there, the answer here is yes, your heart will take care of you. You can trust it. It will take you to the most beautiful spaces. It will inspire you to take just the right action, put you in just the right place, at just the right time, surrounded by just the right people. And, while the heart is taking care of every detail imaginable, you feel relief. The peace that passes all understanding is found. From the space of the heart, life becomes simple, calm, and loving.

Now, I’m going to tell you a quick “how to” for getting into the stream, for getting into your heart space. Getting in is pretty simple. The challenge is staying in.

To get into the stream, think of some news that you could receive right now that would bring you the greatest relief. Allow yourself to imagine this is actually true. Feel your shoulders relax. Feel the ahhhhh… feel the “Ah, that’s better”… If you can feel this, even for a second, you did it! You are in the stream.

How long can you stay in that feeling before the mind starts beating on the door again and says, “Get out of there, this is silly! That’s not true. That will never happen. That’s not going to help anything!”

The challenge begins.

The longer you can stay in the stream, the further the stream can take you and the closer you will be to an amazing, pressure-free life. It can be a challenge, but it’s definitely one that is worth accepting. May your journey begin.

Allow your heart to take you home.