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How to Listen to Your Heart

By Guest Blogger

Feb 4, 2014 2:53:00 AM

Listen_to_your_heart_1“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Rumi

We are often told to follow our heart in the direction of our dreams, but what if we’ve lost the connection to our source? It’s so easy to look outside of ourselves to external sources and compare, envy, or, day-dream of another life. But, with practice, we will discover that everything we need is already within. It’s just a case of learning how to open into the essence of, ‘I am.’ In yoga, there is a mantra that we use to do this, the So Hum mantra. It translates as, ‘I am all that is.’ What this means to me is that when I truly look, I can find a part of myself in everyone and everything that I come into contact with. The good, the bad and the ugly. There is no divide. Each time I choose to judge or criticize another, it is at that time that I am finding fault within my own self. This practice of realizing that I am connected to and create everything around me becomes quite exhilarating and sobering. When I am repeatedly come into contact with people who I see as offensive, stubborn or selfish, it’s time to look in the mirror and find in what areas of my life am I that way? As humbling as this is, the purpose is not to chastise one-self but to find space within oneself for a deeper level of empathy and compassion for oneself.

listen_to_your_heart_2This is where Anahata Chakra, our Heart Chakra, comes into play. Many of us are aware of our heart chakra, but did you know that the heart chakra is the one chakra that has two layers? Imagine one, the front gate, so to speak, is an English Spring garden green; this layer is the love and compassion we have for others. We are often fairly good at opening this area. We have songs which depict, ‘Hopelessly devoted to you.’ Movies that are made about falling in love, madly in love. And, usually we find it easier to love others and give to others. It’s how we are taught. From an early age, we are taught not to be selfish, but to share. But, are we ever taught to be kind to ourselves? To not judge ourselves?

This is where you walk right through that front gate. As you open the gate, you see, there is more that lies within the gate, the actual garden. This garden is filled with Valentine’s Day pink flowers, (or ‘Barbie pink’, if you have an eight-year-old girl!) that grow on a tree filled with fruit and enchanted birds. It is known as, ‘The Wishing Tree’ for It is said that when we truly accept and connect to ‘I am’ that all our innermost hopes, wishes and desires come true. The irony is, of course, that when we are completely accepting and loving of ourselves we wish for nothing as we are free from the binds that tie us.

daniele-britt-yoga-instructor

It is from this Wishing Tree, that we begin to grow roots of confidence, self-worth and from a sincere place of loving one’s self. As our roots deepen, as do our ability to see more clearly each time we lose sight of the essence of ‘I am.’ We extend from a place of compassion and feel connected to and part of our community, our tribe. It is from here that our other chakras, or wheels of energy, begin to balance. As we become grounded in who we are and our place on the earth, we begin to sprout branches and rise up to meet other’s in likeminded ways. So, our heart literally begins to extend up, out, down and around.

Daniele Britt has travelled the world teaching yoga for the past 12 years, originally using London as her base. Now settled in sunny Savannah, Ga. Daniele fuses her teaching from her training and certification in, Therapeutic, Yin, Vinyasa, Sivananda yoga and Restorative yoga. Her classes are a sublime balance of anatomical focus, proper alignment and integrative physical therapy. Daniele’s unique style has become known as Britt Yoga Therapy.For this season of love, take a moment to love oneself as well as loving others. Find out what makes your heart sing, fills your spirit with joy and what connects you to your fullest expression of ‘I am.’

 

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Topics: Yoga, Wellness

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