Awakening to Heart-Centered Living
By Evita Ochel
Our world is in the midst of a major change, and we are awakening. Awakening today from years, decades and centuries of living stifled by illusions and limited by controlling beliefs and unconscious thoughts. Today, we have the chance to step into the light of consciousness and see the world, life and ourselves through a lens of clarity like we never have before. We have the chance to see through the illusions, the drama, the propaganda and all that has kept us asleep, busy and distracted from the truth of all that is.
But what will we do and how will we react as we wake up? For many around the world, the awakening is a rude one and it is bringing about various levels of anger, resentment, frustration and despair. Many of the things, people, organizations and systems we put our trust and faith in have failed and betrayed us. Many of our first responses thus are to strike back, get even, attack, retaliate and expose that which has enslaved us for so long. And while all of these actions may have some merits and many of us may feel justified taking them, there is something else to consider, something very fundamental about this awakening that is much more powerful to put into practice.
At the root of this awakening is a very important foundation—the foundation of the heart. For eons humankind has led life ruled by the mind, which has to this point been largely untapped and unconscious where its full potential lies. Despite this, logic, reason and rational thinking were valued over empathy, compassion and emotional feeling. We were taught to be strong, competitive, the “fittest” and focus on personal desires without regard for how it will impact others or nature. Yet something about this did not feel “right” – did not feel natural to many of us, and is today one of the biggest factors driving this awakening.
In the midst of evolving as life on this planet, we neglected one of the most important aspects of ourselves. We have denied, suppressed and alienated our heart. And so today, we are not just awakening, we are awakening to heart-centered living.
The Meaning of Heart-Centered
“Love doesn’t need reason. It speaks from the irrational wisdom of the heart.” – Deepak Chopra
The foundation of heart-centered living is love. Pure and simple. Therefore, when we embrace or step into heart-centered living, we are allowing love to be the guiding force for all that we think, say and do. We are moving out of fear-based paradigms and moving into love-based paradigms. How this plays out in everyday life on a practical level is huge, and has massive implications for all life on this planet. Our hearts are starved and we are finally coming back to ourselves, healing ourselves and healing our planet. For example, it is no coincidence that heart disease today is our number one killer. While I will be the first to say that healthy eating is vital to our physical survival and quality of life, beyond this physical nourishment is something much bigger. Our overall energetic frequency of the thoughts, words and actions we experience influences our mind-body connection and this is reflected in the state of our personal health, and collectively in the health of our planet.
Therefore to understand what heart-centered living is all about, there are three main areas that are the building blocks for putting a heart-centered approach into action on every level of our existence.
Compassion for Self
For starters, it means growing in and nurturing self-love. Yes, we actually start to put ourselves first, but not from an Ego perspective, but from a heart perspective. When we wake up to heart-centered living, we understand that we are the central point of creation of our personal reality. Until we understand love personally and experientially, and learn to love ourselves, we are of little value to ourselves, others and our world. Until we learn to really love ourselves, we will continue to engage in destructive behaviors that harm the self, others and our planet. This applies to everything in life.
A person who has a high degree of self-love is incapable for example of being in a destructive relationship, or over-eating, or using toxic substances, or subjecting themselves to any other physical, mental, emotional or spiritual harm. The higher your level of self-love the more compassion you exercise in all of your thoughts, words and actions towards the self and all of life’s creation. And in case it is not yet clear, this has nothing to do with selfishness, but with being awake and aware enough to know that we can only give what we are and what we have. Therefore if we do not have love within us, how can we give love to others? Or kindness? Respect? Compassion? Etc.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Your really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Compassion for Others
Secondly, it means a unity-centered attitude in how we interact with others. We begin to value things like community. We come to understand that we are all from the same source on this planet, and thus one human family. We begin to see ourselves in all of the “others” with whom we come into contact with everyday. And because we would not hurt, cheat or abuse the self, we would not do this to any other being. But again, for this to take effect, we have to first apply the point above with respect to increasing our self-love. And when we do apply the highest level of self-love we can at any given time, we immediately change our thoughts, words and actions towards others, for we take on the highest level of empathy no matter who we are dealing with.
We realize that only peace is natural in how we interact with others, releasing fear-based behaviors that are centered in violence, war, and oppression. We begin to understand the real meaning of justice and equality, knowing that it just does not make sense for one to have more than enough, while the other struggles with not enough to survive. Discrimination, judgement, and prejudice get released as we come into full awareness of what it means to be one. We stop fearing our differences, and instead celebrate our unique diversity.
“Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need.” – Dalai Lama XIV
Compassion for Nature
Thirdly, it means a high degree of stewardship when it comes to all of nature and our planet. The more we love ourselves, and love the communities that we share this Earth with, the more we make sure that our home—planet Earth—is kept in the healthiest state it can be.
Living from the heart means we know that every body of water on this planet is like the blood that runs through our body, and in order to be healthy, we cannot pollute either. We begin to be mindful of our actions in how we preserve clean air, both inside and outside our homes. We begin to show the highest level of compassion for all animals, and plants and all other species of life on this planet. Nothing is seen as worse than, or more worthy than. We stop discriminating between species as to which ones we call our pets, and which ones we abuse or kill. We begin to take a high degree of reverence for nature knowing that it has a sacred balance, and we learn to work with it, rather than against it.
Living from the heart and being stewards of this planet also means that we do not try to impose our will or control nature or any of its species. We are just one aspect of nature that has the choice to either live with the sacred harmony, or destroy the harmony of life on this planet.
“There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.” – Brooke Medicine Eagle
From Mind Wisdom to Heart Wisdom
In closing, I wish to share with you my personal philosophy for my life, which today I keep as simple as possible – live consciously using the wisdom of the heart and the power of the mind.
May we remember that living from the heart does not mean that we abandon the power of our mind. To do so, would be to enter a new imbalanced way of existing on this planet. We cannot deny any part of ourselves to live from our highest potential – not our mind, not our heart and not our soul. We are multidimensional beings, both on a physical and spiritual level and we are today learning how to truly put that into action and live our lives from the most holistic and balanced foundation.
Ultimately, at our essence we are love. We are not fear, or anger, or greed, or competition. As we continue to awaken, may we continue to grow in love, and exercise all that we are in how we relate to ourselves, others and all living and non-living things on this planet. May we always focus on the solutions, rather than the problems, and truly be the change we wish to see.
About the Author
Evita Ochel is an author, speaker and holistic living expert. She is the editor of two online publications:EvolvingBeings.com – to awaken and inspire people to expand their consciousness and connect with a heart-centered way of life, and EvolvingWellness.com – to awaken and inspire people to attain optimal health and wellness through natural health and nutrition. Evita is also the founder of the Healthytarianmovement and author of the newly released book “Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition”.