Part 1: Are You Making the “Right” Decision?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 17:10 | Filled in Essential Self, Heart's Wisdom, Live in the Mystery, Transformation

Have you ever felt uncertain, confused or inadequate when faced with a difficult decision or challenge? During times of change, you need to be able to make decisions and receive guidance you can trust.

When you access your heart’s wisdom, you connect in your heart with your soul or Essential Self, and it infuses and informs your body-mind. Your intellect can become very adept at acknowledging and interpreting non-verbal information. The more you fully inhabit your entire body with awareness, the easier this becomes. In our head-oriented culture, even those of us who practice this can still feel as though we are teaching our intellects a new job description, as they often forget and automatically revert to their former roles.

Rather than being the sole decision-maker, your intellect can learn to work in harmony with your heart and soul. The intellect’s true function is to ask really good questions and to pay attention as the answers reveal themselves. This is a more important and engaging function than my intellect first thought. Initially it felt demoted from its position as CEO, of my internal organization, to a lesser position that seemed both unclear and insecure. It was a while before a true cooperative and co-creative relationship began to be established.

Since your choices in the present create your future, it’s necessary to be honest with yourself about what is really motivating you. Your intellect has limited information, which is often based on fear. Your heart can also store past emotional experiences as memories that, when unconscious, can affect your ability to receive clear guidance from your soul. One of the most powerful practices is to Witness whatever thoughts and emotions arise without judging or becoming identified with them. As you do this you will become aware of any past experiences which are being activated by your present circumstances. When you become conscious of them, you are at the point of choice. You can choose to let the past be the past, and allow your heart to create your future in your awakened present.

No matter how compelling a thought and/or emotion may feel, if you allow your breath to carry your thinking mind into your heart, the power inherent in your breath will begin to liberate you from restrictive thoughts and emotions. I’ve often noticed that when my body-mind wishes to clear itself, it makes spontaneous sounds, which can also be relatively quiet sighs or a slightly audible and very focused cleansing breath; it seems to adjust itself to my circumstances. Sometimes my body has begun making sounds before I even realized a fear-based thought or emotion was activated .

Often our bodies will immediately begin to release energy that does not feel harmonious in whatever ways are available to us. We all do this, consciously or unconsciously, through aerobic exercise, crying, sighing, taking long baths or showers.  What works really well for you? Your contributions are encouraged in the comment area below.

Becoming increasingly aware of our internal states and consistently choosing responses which resonate with our hearts is life-changing. We don’t often think of this as “decision-making,” but in fact we are making decisions almost non-stop all day long and even in our dreams at night! What might each of our lives be like, if all our thoughts, words and actions were heart-based?

Nearly forty years ago, when I first began creating a relationship with my heart, I started a “spontaneous writing” journal.   I wrote whenever I woke up earlier than my children or had other quiet times during the day. Writing in this way bypasses your intellect. Parts of you that have never been expressed have the chance to be heard. Some years after I began this practice, I started asking questions and spontaneously writing the answers. This was how I initially began to receive guidance from my own heart and Essential Self. I’ve explored many other mediums, including long-distance running, dancing, and various forms of art. How do you connect with your heart’s wisdom?

In my next post I’ll offer some specific guidelines for connecting with your heart for decision-making and guidance. May you keep deepening your relationship with your own heart in the ways that feel best for you.

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8 Comments to Part 1: Are You Making the “Right” Decision?

  1. Jeanne Male says:

    April 9th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Kathleen, I kept thinking, "wow" as I read. This is such an important topic and you've covered it so beautifully. From the very beginning with, "teaching our intellects a new job description, as they often forget" to the spontaneous writing, your deep understanding of the heart's wisdom is profoundly evident. I started spontaneous writing after reading the book, "Accidental Genius" by Mark Levy but didn't maintain the practice. It was indeed a practice as my first inclination was to judge my writing rather than to simply allow flow. Recently, I have been questioning my role as an empath and teacher and there is no doubt that spontaneous writing is exactly what I need at this time. THANK YOU so much for the reminder – you are such a blessing to me!

  2. KathleenCasey says:

    April 9th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I'm so glad you found this helpful, Jeanne! We so often post about the same topic in our different styles. You are always a catalyst for me to look at something in a new way. Thanks for the book recommendation I hadn't read "Accidental Genius" yet. Am in the midst of finishing Pt. 2 of this post, perhaps after that! Love to you, Kathleen
    PS Re: the Heart's Wisdom–thank you, and truthfully I feel as though I am just beginning to have some understanding. It's an Infinite topic! Fortunately it is also Infinitely interesting!!

  3. Mark Levy says:

    April 14th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    An excellent post, Kathleen, Also, as someone fairly new to social media, I appreciate the thoughtful exchange between you and Jeanne.

    I wrote the original edition of "Accidental Genius" ten years ago, and have been doing spontaneous writing (or freewriting) for fifteen years. I look at the practice as a way of giving the body mechanical advantage over the mind.

    I first tried the technique because I was scared: A newspaper editor had assigned me an article I wasn't sure I could write. At least my standard approach wasn't working.

    Through freewriting, I discovered I had more ideas, stories, and experiences inside of me than I realized. The technique, in fact, didn't just help me access what was already in my mind; it seemed to help me generate new thought (or, at least it got me thinking in directions that my conscious mind hadn't considered).

    Anyway, I loved the insights in your post, am grateful Jeanne introduced me to your blog, and look forward to reading more.

  4. KathleenCasey says:

    April 14th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Mark,
    What a lovely surprise to read a comment from the author of "Accidental Genius" himself! I loved your question, "How would the real me handle this?" on Jeanne Male's great post:http://bit.ly/9U3jfk
    I've been "freewriting" since the 80's when I reread a letter to a close friend who was having a difficult time and realized that what I had written to her did not come from my intellect!
    There continues to be so much more I can learn from this process. I am going to do what you suggest next-can't wait to see what is revealed. The child in me loves going into the unknown and exploring. So glad to be connected with a fellow traveler, and thank you so much for your very kind comments! Kathleen

  5. Mark Levy says:

    April 15th, 2010 at 1:19 am

    I love your phrase, Kathleen: "what I had written to her did not come from my intellect." Writing that seemingly comes from the body is more forceful than writing that comes from the mind.

    Tolstoy loathed intellectualized, abstract prose. He dismissively called it "head-spun."

  6. KathleenCasey says:

    April 15th, 2010 at 2:12 am

    I didn't know that about Tolstoy, Mark! I did notice the other day while at a party, someone began speaking in what felt to me to be a very intellectual way (it had been a while since I'd been to an event of this type) and my body immediately had a reaction to the words. I felt a distinct disconnect, which was disturbing. What I finally realize is that I went into my head, while listening and the disconnect was with my own body! So many opportunities to become more awake–for the listener and reader as well as the speaker or writer!

  7. joanna devrais says:

    April 17th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    kathleen, what a direct conversation about connecting to our soul truths. I could feel your
    words from my body which inspired me to trust its wisdom and evolve my relationship
    with breath. For so many years I have been afraid of truly being present, your writing
    inspired me to connect more deeply.

  8. KathleenCasey says:

    April 17th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Joanna, I was just reading a question on the back of your last book, "Hearth Stories," in which you remind me of the same thing in different words: "How can we be more responsive and open to the here and now?" And later …"finding the voice of our own quiet wisdom." You are one of my main inspirations for putting words into book form! Love and Appreciation, Kathleen

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