Mocha Angels 365. Day 24.

This is a follow-up to Mocha Angels Day 23: “I speak from the heart today.” A subscriber said to me, “Speaking from the heart can cause all sorts of problems. The heart is full of emotion both good and bad.” Our conversation led me to clarify the intention behind speaking from the heart.

I learned the technique from a minister. The exact mantra is “Allow me to speak from my heart center.” It’s to be said to yourself, silently or out loud, when you are alone, not in front of other people. You say it when you are alone because this is about shifting your energy. Saying it in front of others invites judgment, and that’s not what you want. If you can’t get away from other people, say it silently. It’s said before a tense conversation (or confrontation) in order to de-escalate the situation.

Be sure to say it before you open your mouth. The intention is to speak with love to the other person. When you do speak, love, compassion, and clarity will flow from your mouth. It’s almost magical. It’s simply a shift in your thinking. You go from “I’m right, you’re wrong” (the ego) to “I want to hear you and understand where you are coming from” (the heart).

The other intention of “Allow me to speak from my heart center” is to heal the relationship. This works for everyone and anyone with whom you want to have a positive relationship.

The challenge is to remind yourself of the mantra when you’re angry or fearful, or worse, consistently an asshole/difficult/brash/rude/selfish/self-centered, etc. I’ve been that person, on all counts. I had to learn, in the hardest of ways, that insisting that I’m right all the time was leading me down the wrong path of self-righteousness aka “why can’t people just act right?” I’m the one who needs to be checking myself. I don’t need for everyone else to behave.

There are times when it’s appropriate to fight and defend yourself, or to get out of a dangerous situation. You don’t put up with anyone’s toxic bullshit or abuse. I think the heart center mantra is a gentler way of moving through life because you are being guided by love.

Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone. This is an ancient and eternal law. – The Buddha

Meditation: The Missing Link

While I was on a break from blogging, I integrated meditation into my life.

Daily meditation forces you to:

  • Stop
  • Sit still
  • Breathe
  • Connect

Which in turn makes you:

  • Aware
  • Calmer
  • Slower to react
  • Quicker to bounce back

What I mean by “quicker to bounce back” is that when you do get upset, meditation can bring you back to emotional balance. It reminds you that even when life is kicking your ass, you still have two things:

  • Plenty to be grateful for
  • A Higher Power that loves you

And even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, believe that you have family and friends who love you.

I’ve taught yoga for 19 years and always dismissed meditation. I thought asana (the poses) and pranayama (deep concentrated breathing) was enough. They are not enough. Stopping amid life’s “daily-ness” and “busyness” is crucial for good mental health. I’ve even got my kids doing daily meditation.

Everyone thinks they are too busy to meditate, so I’ll share short guided meditations I’ve found on YouTube.

The easiest way to start: Go to YouTube and type “guided meditation 5 minutes.” A list of videos will come up. Pick whatever speaks to you.

My children and I do a 5-minute meditation together before they leave for school. I let them pick one. (And yes, they only do it because I make them. They have learned how to sit still with eyes closed for 5-minutes. That alone is a victory.) Below is a favorite from Honest Guys. Definitely check out their channel.

Click to watch the video

After the kids leave for school, I do a 10-15 minute meditation by myself. My two favorites are anything from the YouTube channels Great Meditation (10-20 minutes long) or Vipassana Meditation (15-60 minutes long). Vipassana meditation, also called Insight meditation, asks you to notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgement.

Click to watch the video
Click to watch the video

Me and the kids do a second 5-minute meditation together after they arrive home from school.

At bedtime, they listen to a sleep meditation. There’s also hundreds to choose from on YouTube. Lengths can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 11 hours. Some channels play live music 24 hours a day. Some are guided meditations. Some are music only. There’s enough variety for everyone. I choose 1-3 hours in length for the kids. My sleep meditations are 30 minutes to an hour. My favorites are Honest Guys and Jason Stephenson.

Click to watch the video

Let me know if these suggestions are helpful. Meditation was the missing piece from my life.

Love,

Althea