Heart 2.0 In An Era of Greater Chaos
Some time ago, we entered a new era of “accelerating acceleration.” It is an era that allows humans to provide a higher standard of living for everyone on the planet than ever before. It is also a time when things are being shaken up for purposes of being reordered – a time of greater chaos. It’s happening on a global stage: witness the world economy. It may not be so much a disaster, as a revelation of what’s really of value, and what wasn’t working. That gives us clear indications of what needs to be done differently.
This shake up is also happening on an individual basis. In basic terms we call that “stress.” While I do believe in serendipity and synchronicity (subjects of other articles…), I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences. Things happen for reasons, which we can look for, examine and utilize to make progress in life. But just staying in focus, let alone making changes, doing things differently or taking new directions, requires mastery of stress and coping resources. Considering that the world stage is too big for any one of us to handle, the question becomes what to focus on and what to do.
One thing you can do is turn off the “news,” especially as running background. When some event actually is new, it gets repeated over and over so you don’t get much more than the initial sound bite. And any good news immediately gets turned into all the bad things that could have happened instead or related disasters around the world or throughout history. That anticipation of potential disasters is one skill set that lawyers have been taught to finely hone already. Great for clients, not so much for your own life and happiness.
Check the top of the hour report on the radio once or twice a day, scan the newspaper, better yet check the news online so you control the input. Watch a few minutes of television news if you must, but by all means don’t leave the TV or radio on all day on one of those all-news channels that rarely if ever has anything to say about the good in the world or what went right today.
If the stress of your own personal situation is not enough, taking on all the negativity that is being spewed out on the public airwaves can be damaging mojo. “They” say it makes people feel better to know that things are worse off somewhere else. I don’t know about you, but hearing about others’ misfortunes has never made me feel better. And in this energetic universe, it is difficult to avoid being adversely affected by the mere daily transmission of it all, whether you put your focus on it or not.
In addition, there are other practices that can be helpful:
1. HALT. That’s right, just stop. Take a deep breath and notice where your feet are (that’s where you are). Right here, right now, not in the past or in the future, but in this moment. Now scan for the basics of how you’re doing. Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Attend to those basics – whatever else you’re doing can likely wait (and may be adversely impacted if you continue with it in one of those states).
2. Identify Your Needs And Get Them Met. Beyond the basics, we all have other needs, whether we want to admit having them or not, and our needs are different from those of others. Often, they are things left from childhood that we somehow never got enough of. As adults, it’s our job to identify and fully address them. They are the potholes on the road of life: when filled, the road is a lot smoother.
3. Get Complete With Your Past. If you have unresolved issues from the past, they may continue to control or direct your present choices and patterns you create in the future. Identify them and get them handled. Work with an appropriate therapist if need be. Yeah, looking at this stuff may be a pain, but you’ll feel and be better for it. It’s time to get over it and feel strong.
4. Say “No.” A rule I like a lot: if it’s not a “definite yes,” it’s a no. If you can’t say no, practice saying nothing at first – to keep you from replying with a yes and getting involved in something before you have a chance to think about it. Find ways to avoid saying yes, like “Thanks for the opportunity, but I’ll need to check my schedule and get back with you” that buy you time to follow up and say no. That way you don’t spend your precious life energy on something you are not really jazzed about.
5. Design 10 Daily, Delicious Habits that are good for you and do them every day. They can be as simple as playing soothing music on your way to work, or taking an afternoon tea break to put your feet up. Make them easy and delightful so you want to do them. Do them every day, so if you have to miss a day, you pick up the next day. Okay, I hear you, if you cannot come up with 10, then do 5!
6. Stop Tolerating and Complete Incompletions. Just “putting up with” steals your life energy. Having unfinished business or projects does, too. It’s like having a hole in your cup of life: the universe can be pouring its abundance into your cup, but the holes created by tolerations and incompletions will allow it to drain out so your cup is never full … let alone overflowing. Don’t you want to be someone who can truly say “my cup runneth over” with things you feel good about?
7. Simplify Your Life. Use the 4,000 year old art of Feng Shui rule of thumb: if it’s not beautiful or useful, put it back out into circulation so someone for whom it will be beautiful or useful can find it. Clear out your space. Clutter has energy (like a toleration or incompletion) and robs you of yours. Spend less (better yet, no) time with toxic people. How do you know if they are toxic for you? Do you feel uncomfortable or uneasy around them? That’s an initial clue for you to look deeper at whether you want to spend time with them; limit it if you think you must. No need to explain it to them, just take care of you. Limit the number or length of extra activities, too, so you get enough rest and rejuvenation time.
8. Decide what’s “enough.” What makes each of us feel abundant and powerful is different. More isn’t necessarily better, it can add considerable burdens. Identify what’s really important to you. Do you really need “that” (is it a definite yes!?) or will it just turn to a form of clutter or something you have to clear out at some point? Mass market advertising that’s not really service minded or seeking to add real value (rather that merely seeks to part you from your money) will try to persuade you that you need things you don’t or that if others have it you should, too. Recognize that brainwashing for what it is and drown it out.
9. Create a Daily Ritual to Connect to the Universe. Practice stillness. Create your own rituals for self-renewal. Visualize your day the way you want it to be. Journal about it. Connect with the concept of something greater than yourself and your immediate situation – it is a vast universe full of amazing resources. Read something enlightening. Talk with the power you conceive God to be, if you have such a relationship, in positive terms. Make a list of what you’re grateful for. Light a candle and say a prayer – the easiest and shortest one may just be “thank you.” Ask for guidance and a sign to know it’s been given to you. Create a special ritual for yourself to practice everyday, to support you in remembering what’s important for you to get the most out of each day.
10. Get to Know Your Heart. Your heart has its own independent intelligence, even if your brain (and many institutes of higher learning) try to convince you that logic and rational/linear thinking are the only relevant ways to make decisions. Where do you think creativity, innovation and intuition come from? Okay, maybe the too-little-exercised right side of your brain, but remember that the brain is not totally in control. Yes, it sends impulses to the heart, but the heart doesn’t always respond – and the heart independently communicates with the rest of the body and even electromagnetically outside your body for several feet.
You can learn more about all this at the website of a great organization called HeartMath. I particularly recommend reading about "The Resonant Heart" there -- see: http://www.heartmath.org/templates/ihm/section_includes/research/researc....
And learn their “Freeze-Frame” technique - a simple 5 step process that can be done in as little as a few minutes - in a fascinating book called "The HeartMath Solution."
Learning to focus on your heart intelligence may produce results that seem coincidental, but are really important information you received because you were open to it. Synchronicity, serendipity and synergy are real forces even if they don’t have a logical explanation. This focus is a definite upgrade to Heart 2.0 – an operating system that does much more than pump blood.
Listen to your heart, and take good care of you while you explore your uniqueness and discover the important work that you came to earth to do. Come out of the chaotic shake-up ready to do the right things for the right reasons. That may well be the real reason you’re here in the first place.
©2009 Dolly M. Garlo, RN, JD, PCC. All Rights Reserved. Dolly is the founder and president of Thrive!! Inc. and Creating Legacy: a company devoted to empowering business owners and entrepreneurially minded professionals make their positive impact in the world - with joy and meaning.
For 30 + years Dolly has supported clients in many different arenas - healthcare, law and business. While she's currently best known for her expertise in business development and professional career transition, her clients, members of Generation G (for generosity!) share that her biggest impact comes from her philosophy.
That philosophy is to design your work and create an exceptional life by making sure that all your actions reflect your personal integrity and values, greatest level of wellness, highest and best contribution, and individual sense of abundance - for which you can feel exceedingly grateful. These, Dolly says, are the keys to true, lasting satisfaction and happiness from which you can also "make a positive difference that lasts for generations."
You can learn more about Dolly and her programs, presentations and products at CreatingLegacy.com and AllThrive.com.