Lead With Your Heart


Through the heart we give to others and receive
from others. Through the heart we heal, cleansing
our spirits and our psyches by disposing of hurts,
losses and beliefs that no longer serve us. When our
hearts are open, we take in what we need. When
hearts are closed, we starve.
Linda Marks, Living with Vision

By the time we come to sobriety, we’ve lost many
things. One of the most profound losses we experience
is the loss of ourselves. We’ve been people- pleasing,
lying to cover our behaviors. We’ve forgotten what we
held sacred prior to drinking and drugging. In some
cases we don’t even know who we are anymore, and
we’ve lost our connection to others. It’s a painful experience.

Getting sober is a second chance at life. Working the
twelve steps is the opportunity to get in touch with our
spirituality and meet our true selves. The possibilities
include learning to listen to our hearts so that the healing
of and through our hearts and souls can take place.
Our hearts embrace truths that elude the mind. Our
hearts are more creative than our minds in clarifying
what we want and what ought to be the major themes
in our lives. The heart is where we feel passion. The
heart is the center—the home–of our spirituality and
our love for ourselves, others, and a Higher Power. Living
from our hearts nourishes our souls. But listening to
our hearts might take some practice.

Consider this: feelings are the tools the heart uses to
communicate with you. Learn to trust the feelings your
heart brings to you, and you’ll be using your intuition—
the part of you that just knows something without the
use of reason. Everyone has intuition. It just needs to
be nurtured. Let’s look at some of the tools that can
help with learning to listen to your heart and hear its
song. These tools can increase your ability to trust your
intuition. The more you trust your intuition, the stronger
it gets.

Prayer is a tool for connecting with your heart. In
prayer, we get to reach out and relate to a higher
voice—one that lives deep within. With prayer we can
look beyond what we think is possible. Prayer touches
the heart. Have you ever been in prayer and felt deeply
emotional? It’s usually when the power of the prayer
touches your heart, isn’t it?

Journaling and meditating are two of the tools that can
aid in learning to trust your intuition; you will find your
heart opening up, which, in turn, opens up more possibilities.
We’ve all heard stories about someone who
was injured and not supposed to walk again but was
determined to do so. Such a person had the heart to
weather the storm. With a heart-centered force behind
you, you can do wondrous things.

As a young child, you were probably in tune with your
intuition. As you grew older, you were taught to think,
think, think. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not bashing
intelligence. You need your brain to balance your
checkbook, make a grocery list, work through calculus,
and get through the day in general. But some decisions
need to be heart centered.

Learning to listen to your heart and lead with your
heart takes time. It takes practice. Our heads are so
busy, constantly talking to us, constantly doubting. I
know that if I listened to my head instead of my heart,
I would probably not do much of anything. My head
doesn’t seem to have much faith in what I’m doing. My
head is ruled by fear, not heart and faith.

It takes heart to be consistent with your actions. It takes
heart to stay your course until you reach your goal.
It takes heart to plow ahead with the faith that your
persistence will pay off. It takes heart not to get discouraged.
The heart is a powerful organ, physically and
spiritually. It has wisdom to offer. When we focus on
the wisdom of the heart, we are making choices that
work with who we are.

The heart has a great sense of timing. Each of us has
our own inner clock, and the heart knows how to trust
that clock so that we can work within or own process to
accomplish whatever feels right for us.

Savor your life. Be mindful of everything you do. A
spiritual teacher I know talks about shot meditation.
That’s when you take ten seconds to pause and center
yourself between actions in your life. Let’s say you have
a business call to make. Pause before you make it to
center yourself. Then, after the call, pause and center
again. Pause before you eat. Pause before you start
your car or as you leave the house. It works anywhere
and anytime. I have been practicing shot meditation
recently, and I find I feel calmer and more aware of
each part of my day. This makes me very happy.
Breathe, relax and trust… your heart will lead you today
toward your most authentic truths.

During those times when you feel like you don’t know
what to do, which direction to go or what action to
take… it’s likely you’re trying to logically figure out
what is the next step to take. Instead, get quiet inside
of yourself, breath, relax and ask for clarity on what is
the highest and best thing for you to do next. Then,
trust the answer.

There are certain fundamental questions that we ask
ourselves at some point in our lives: What is life about
anyway? What am I supposed to be doing? Why am
I here? These questions are, you might say, what the
universe asks of each of us. It’s up to us to find our own
answers. To do that, we look within, focusing on the
heart.

We’ve been led by our minds, bypassing our hearts and
the soul that knows the answers. We need to move out
of this fear-based model of living—or not living—to a
heart-based model of thriving and loving. It’s a chance
to step into the light of consciousness.