What is Driving? Your Head Or Your Heart?
The mind is the place of logic and reason and it gives you the ability to collect, organize and store information. When it’s time to make a decision, your mind parses all your past experiences and tells you what to do to be safe. While this can be a good thing is some situations it can also be detrimental as an everyday practice. Making decisions based solely on fear rather than desire, joy, happiness or your highest good can lead to a thoroughly unfulfilling life.
The heart is the place of emotions and feelings, the well from which you give of yourself and the storage area that holds what you receive from others. It is also the seat of the spirit, where your soul resides. It has needs and desires of a different nature. It does not care about what others think, society’s rules, or for your safety. The heart wants nothing more than to be fulfilled.
From a psychological point of view the heart can be impulsive and immediate-gratification oriented leading to rash, unwise decisions. Conversely, the mind is supreme and all decisions and actions should come from careful considered thoughts.
From a shamanic point of view the psychological aspects of the heart as love, hope, compassion and intimacy. The aspects of the mind are reason, logic, intelligence and empathy but also depression, stress-related disorders and denial.
So what does all this mean exactly?
You could reasonably argue that a healthy balance of mind and heart is best and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, Western society, in particular is so blinded by this mind-centered point of view that we are a population of multi-tasking, overworked, highly anxious, dis-eased souls. We are so in our heads, so motivated by fear, so cripple by worry and stress that we don’t even know how to listen to our hearts and what’s worse we are unhealthy and unhappy.
The bottom line is…fear is a natural human reaction to the unknown but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid it, divert course, or give up because the mind is yelling “danger, danger.” The unknown is where adventure lives, excitement breathes and possibilities are born. If you never take a chance, always play it safe and don’t listen to your heart you are missing the point of being alive.
How can you tell who is in the driver’s seat?
Your mind may be driving if…
· your actions are “should/n’t” reactions.
· your actions are based on what society says is best.
· fear is a primary motivator.
· logic and reason are your only resources.
· your decisions are based on taking the safe route and avoiding risks.
· all your options are based on reviews and opinions of others.
· if you do not act on inspired ideas because of “what if…” thinking.
· you are focused on worst case scenarios.
· you only rely on your intellect.
· you are in a constant state of doing.
· you are preoccupied with knowing the future and wanting certainty.
· feel safe but bored.
Following your heart may feel like…
· a sense of trust in something greater than yourself.
· you have the courage to face fear.
· a leap of faith.
· being fully alive.
· a state of flow and grace.
· a gentle ease and allowing things to unfold as they are meant to.
· joy and fun.
· moving forward with curiosity and wonder.
· growing and evolving.
· being present and aware.
If you can relate to more of the mind list than the heart list it may be time to stop letting fear drive. So do let your fearful mind take a back seat and do take control of the wheel.
About the Author:
Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.
Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.
Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.