I often wondered how does one follow their heart?
Does the heart speak the same language as the head? What if the head and the heart are in conflict – whom do you listen to then? And how do you even discern the thoughts coming from your head vs. those from your heart?
For me, the struggle was Real.
Do I move cross-country or not? Do I settle down in a city or country-side?
Do I change my career or not? Do I get married or not? Do I start a business or not?
There were moments when I had absolute clarity on which path to follow, what actions to take and then there were times when I would find my head and heart in conflict.
I often wondered if there was a tangible way to know the language of the heart.
A few years back, I came across the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. The foundation of the book is a daily practice called Morning Pages. Three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning is what constitutes Morning Pages.
According to Julia Cameron, “There is no right or wrong way to do Morning Pages. You basically write three pages of whatever comes to your mind. These pages are not for public consumption. And if your head tells you I don’t know what to write, then you write I don’t know what to write.”
When I picked up the book, I desperately needed a breakthrough in a creative project that I was working on at that time. My super analytical brain was skeptical if writing three pages would help me overcome a creative hump. I was desperate, so I went all in.
For first few days, my brain couldn’t come up with anything to write. And that is exactly what I wrote, ‘I have nothing to write.” I persisted and by end of the fourth day, my brain turned ‘On’ and I had so much to write that even three pages didn’t seem enough.
Over the next few weeks and months, I got to know my thoughts and my beliefs at a more intimate level, and in black and white. The ritual of Morning Pages gave me an opportunity to learn about the contents of my brain; how the complex neural networks in my brain were connected and why I think the way I do. Very quickly three pages turned to 7 pages, turned to 20 pages and before you know I was in Love with the ritual of Morning Pages.
And then something happened.
I noticed that while writing in cursive hand, I could never write something that wasn’t in sync with my heart.
In other words, I couldn’t lie to myself in my journal.
When I would try to write something that was not aligned with me, I would literally hear my heart say, ‘No, No, No, this is not true, cancel that out!’
The Morning Pages honed my intuition.
And best of all, it helped me hear the messages from my heart – Loud and Clear.
Did I just tap into the language of heart?
It sure felt so.
The simple act of writing in cursive hand forced my brain waves to considerably slow down. While I could type 50 wpm on my word pad, I could barely write 13-15 wpm in cursive hand in my journal. The slow brainwave state allowed me to connect with my breath and tune into the musings and gentle nudges from my heart.
In retrospect, the practice of Morning Pages was one of the best gifts I gave myself.
To this day whenever I feel lost in day-to-day life, I go back to my journal.
It helps me clear my mind off all the chatter and clutter and brings me to point of stillness. For me, it has become a way to get grounded in my body, mind, and spirit.
I hope you would consider exploring the practice of Morning Pages and be open to the multitudinous gifts that come with listening to the language of the heart.
Until we meet again, stay in the luminosity of your heart.