We need our minds, our thoughts, even our ego. We have good minds and great things often come from them. But we are much more than just our thoughts, we have heart and spirit too that can help guide us and help us figure things out as much as our minds can, in collaboration with our minds, or in a completely different way than our minds.
Sometimes we are in our heads too much so that fears, doubts, ego are the ones running the show and we end up in reaction to them, either by taking action in an unclear or misguided direction or by not doing anything at all. When we think of the mind, heart and spirit as being in collaboration with each other, we can integrate more tools into our efforts.
From a holistic approach, we understand the “mind/body” connection. This means our mind and our body are not completely separate, but connected and integral to each other and constantly informing each other. For example, a chronic physical discomfort may be connected to the amount of stress in our lives. We may be so much in our head and thought processes that we are cut off from our body and that leads to physical difficulties. Or we think about everything too much, separating ourselves from how we feel, cultivating an inability to connect well with other things or other people outside of an intellectual realm.
Some people take this mind/body connection a step further and refer to it as mind/body/spirit or mind/body/heart. It's where our intuition lives, where our "gut reactions" know something our head doesn't, if only we can learn to trust it and let it guide us. Have you ever had a great idea that you were super excited about, and then you over thought it, decided it wasn’t really a great idea after all and gave up on it? Those ideas come from someplace other than just our minds. Have you ever had a nice relaxing bath, a good jog, or a vacation out of town and gotten a break from the constant thought process of your mind, only to return to “reality” and feel stressed out all over again? We are constantly managing, judging and critiquing our thought processes, keeping us all up in our heads and out of our intuitive connection. We kind of "check in" with our minds to make sure it's a good idea, but that can so easily take us down a rabbit hole because within our thought processes sit all the fears and doubts and objections that we believe if they are not connected to our body and heart. What if we could check in with our body, our feelings and acknowledge our ideas, our doubts and fears in a fuller way?
Our biggest desires don't reside in our minds, they reside in our hearts and our souls. Learning how to drop down into our heart space, our lower belly space, even a little further back in our head space where our thoughts relax can help us connect with our intuition, our inner guidance, and our "gut reactions". The more we can connect in those spaces and follow the wisdom that resides there, the more we can learn to trust that knowing that exists outside of just our thoughts.
Of course, our minds and our egos aren't all bad. A strong ego can give us confidence and can be connected to self-importance. Some of us can't tell certain things about ourselves or we've learned to sacrifice all of ourselves for others. And while giving to others is a beautiful gift, if we're left out of the equation, then it doesn't add up. A little ego might be what we need to put the attention on ourselves and get back in balance. We just seem to get in trouble when we rely solely on ego to guide us and get caught up in a story about who we are. Being too much in ego and thought processes can just pull us out of balance and skew our perspective, about ourselves and about others.
Take some time this week to sit quietly and notice what your thoughts are. Then see if you can just witness those thought processes but not judge them, not explain them, just let them be there. See if you can let your attention drop a little further back to the middle of your head space. Then let it drop down to the middle of your heart space, and then eventually to your lower belly space. See which space feels the most accessible right now and experiment with noticing any information you get from those places outside of your thinking mind. With time and practice, you may just learn to trust that inner knowing and guidance that is waiting for you to connect.