Balancing Head & Heart

A friend & I were comparing my Soul Wish vision board workshop (see my Nov. 7,2011 post) & her “What’s On Your Mind?” class.  Mine addresses the desires of the heart & hers identifies what’s going on in the head.  While I have participants let go of their mind chatter & intuitively create a collage that reveals what matters most to them on a subconscious level, she has people search for words or images in magazines that directly relate to what’s on their minds.

I hate to admit this but I’m certain the images representing my thoughts would be completely disconnected from my heart’s desire right now.  While my heart aches for nature, love, beauty, peace, harmony, & time to do things I enjoy with people I care about, my mind worries about bills, work, chores, & things I cannot control.  Not always but the point is that there is an obvious disconnect between what I want in my life & what I’m allowing to rule my head.  Yes, I said it, “What I’m ALLOWING to rule my head.”   What we focus on is our choice. 

Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, in reference to slavery in the United States.  Aren’t those words also true of a person whose heart & head are divided?

A person with a divided heart & mind will suffer dis-ease, which can lead to disease- physical, emotional, & mental.  People in this position say things like, “I’m torn” or “I’m being pulled in two directions”.  A person who harmonizes their heart & head is more balanced in every way.  How does one create balance once imbalance is recognized?  Hands.  Hands?  Yes, hands.  Use your hands to create something, anything… art, a wonderful meal, a garden.  Use your hands to help others… people, animals, the environment.  Use your hands to hug, caress, build, & support.  Get out of your head & into your heart through your hands.

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Soul Wish: Discover Your Heart’s Desire

Have you ever felt like you need to regain your sense of direction?  Maybe after ending a relationship, finding yourself in a professional “rut”, or realizing your spiritual path needs a bit of illumination?  I created a workshop for people who know themselves intellectually, but may need a little help getting in touch with their heart again.    I ask participants to turn down the volume in their brains so the voice in their heart can be heard more clearly.  Then, we set to work.

1.  Consider your purpose in creating a Soul Wish collage.  What do you want to know about yourself?  2.  Go through a pile of magazines quickly, allowing your intuition to select what images & words speak to you.  Don’t analyze; just CUT!  3.  Arrange the images on poster paper.   4.  Glue them down in a way that feels right to you.  Keep in mind that a lot of space or no space between images can tell you something about yourself, too.  5.  Hang the board somewhere private but where you see it often.  6.  Lovingly listen to your Self.  Journal or meditate on your Soul Wish collage.  Even as you journal, allow thoughts & feelings to flow through you without your brain editing, analyzing, or criticizing.  The collage will speak to you; listen.

Keep in mind, you can repeat this activity any time you feel your life is going through a major shift or any time you need to get in touch with the real you.

An example of a Soul Wish collage. You can see common elements.

A strong desire for the simple things in life.

Longing for love & laughter.

The Soul Wish collage I created during my second workshop.

An exciting time of growth & possibilities.

Dreaming is the only way to make your dreams come true.

Head, Heart, & Hands

The Susquehanna Waldorf School has, as part of their mission statement, “cultivate a love of learning, imagination, reverence, & compassion for others by educating the whole child– head, heart, & hands.”  What a beautiful phrase… head, heart, & hands.  It aligns with the physical, spiritual, & mental aspects of our whole person.  In one word… BALANCE.  Don’t we need that for healthy, inspired living?

If I am physically exhausted, I do things involving my mind or my heart such as reading or creating art.  If I’m mentally worn out, I balance that with activities that are more physical or spiritual in nature.  When my heart is aching, I go for a walk in nature with my dogs & boyfriend or challenge myself mentally.  I’m at a point in life where I can sense imbalance & try to right it.  Too much focus on head, heart, or hands can be alleviated by switching focus onto one of the other two.

The wonderful thing about creating art is that it is an activity that combines all three when done well.  Look at Antique Iris shown below.  My head made the decisions regarding composition & symmetry.  My hands constructed the piece out of handmade paper, batik fabric, & paint.  My heart chose the subject, the colors, & the mood of the piece.  My art balances me.  What do you do to regain balance?

Antique Iris- Head, heart, & hands combined to make this piece. A symbol of balance.