Lead from your heart, follow your heart…  A meaningless clichè or solid guidance for making decisions?
Will my heart based decision mean I am going to be pleased with in the future? Does it put me at risk for heartbreak? And who hasn’t had a change of heart down the road? Does following what’s in my heart today lead to a desirable outcome longterm?
I believe most of my good decisions are made when they involve a blend of heart and mind.
I’ve heard “lead from the heart” ad nauseam from yoga teachers, healers and self-help books. I’ve done that and made decisions I regret. Maybe I didn’t dig deep enough into my heart to know what was really in there, maybe mistakes are part of life, and perhaps I changed… the question I’ve been asking is how do I make sound decisions in the future? Experiential research (therapy) has taught me that solely made heart based decisions run the risk of impulsivity and emotions running wild, and brain based decisions ignore or under value emotional and human needs.
The purpose of blending the loving and thinking power centres in our bodies is to make decisions that enhance connection between self and other, and uses intelligence that will keep us grounded in the present moment.
Since I relate just about everything in life to Rolfing, I wonder how this connection can be enhanced in my Rolfing practise or if it can only be strengthened with increased self-awareness.
Cranial anatomy shows one key connection between heart and brain; the cardiac nerve.
I once held a cardiac nerve in my hand during an anatomy dissection lab (thank you, Gil Hedley) and wondered if I was holding the path of heart-mind in my hands. I have since tried to palpate this nerve in my own neck and though at this date I have not knowingly felt it in living bodies, I imagine the neural-cardiac nerve might be responsible for the best decisions we could ever make. A very valuable place!
Even without direct palpation, a clear pathway between heart and head can be created with good alignment. When we are in good-alignment, the heart has space to expand and the head, properly balanced on top of the spine, is free to house thoughts that are free to come and go without forming excessive rigidities and attachments. Far-fetched as it may sound, I am a strong believer in the Mind/Body Connection and its’ infinite possibilities and potential.
Where this home-grown idea becomes less conceptual and more about reality is when I apply heart-head decisions to the little things that seem to add up in unexpected ways over a lifetime:  letting someone in front of me in line, picking up someone else’s litter, using a fabric grocery tote even if it isn’t the coolest looking bag…
I trust these little heart-brain led decisions produce small acts that will, given opportunities to be listened to, honoured and acted on, grow into a power tools of decision making for situations that are major and unchangeable.