By Lisa Frank, M.Ed., Wellness Counselor and Yoga Instructor
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it" – Rumi
First off, what is HeartFULL Living? Maintaining a strong heart is integral to our health and survival. Besides being at the center of our physical body, the heart center has also historically been recognized as a symbol of love, compassion, and gratitude, the seat of the soul, emotions and thought. Thus to be engaged in HeartFULL living is to be healthy and balanced, with a heart full of unconditional love and compassion for self and others. HeartFULL living is a practice of opening more fully to life and to learning more about ourselves. Discovering what brings fulfillment as well as identifying behaviors and beliefs that may deplete the heart and overall health. I will outline a 3 step process to get you started on your journey towards increased HeartFULL living.
Take a journey inward to the center of your heart. Begin to look deeply at the current state of the core areas of your life such as romance, family, physical, spiritual, environmental, career, financial, and social/recreational. Rate these areas based on your current level of life satisfaction. Practice compassion by trying not to judge the areas that seem low, but to instead see them as opportunities for growth and in need of additional love and attention. Breathe and acknowledge your expanded awareness and insight.
Take a journey to the past, not to get stuck, but to learn from. Select the core area/s that need additional loving awareness. Begin to identify the specific limiting beliefs and behaviors that keep this area feeling depleted. Search for internal images and sensations and become fully aware and present to the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and beliefs attached to the mental picture. Breathe and acknowledge that shining light on your wounds can allow them to heal.
Take a journey towards the future with new insight and willingness to commit. In order to change a behavior you need to replace it with a healthy alternative. Commit to at least one new action step to keep momentum moving forward. Keep it simple and manageable. Define the new activity in terms of where, when, what, with whom, and why you are committing to this action. In this step you will also reframe the limiting belief into a positive HeartFULL affirmation. Repeat the new affirmation frequently, especially when the opposite limiting belief appears. Breath and acknowledge that you are making a conscious choice towards compassionate, courageous and HeartFULL living.
Now, for a brief example of HeartFull Living steps in action. In step 1, someone looks deeply at their current life and identifies physical/medical health as low. In Step 2, they identify their sedentary lifestyle as a specific behavior keeping this area low and, looking deeply, identify the belief, "I am weak and I am not capable of being healthy and active" as a limiting belief. In step 3, they began to challenge and reframe the limiting belief into a positive affirmation, "I am strong and I am capable and deserving of living a healthy and active lifestyle", which they repeat to themselves frequently. They also commit to an action plan of 20 minute morning walks four times a week and select walking buddies to help with accountability and support. They are now on their way to a healthier, more active and HeartFULL lifestyle.
For a more thorough inquiry into your own path towards HeartFULL Living come visit Lisa for a HeartFULL Living consult.