“Our hearts are always leading us,” a spiritual mentor instructed me years ago. “And eventually, our feet catch up.”
Her insight inspires me. It reminds me that our hearts (not our minds) are the core of our Being. Our hearts are the inner GPS (global positioning system) that links our mind, body, and emotions so they work in harmony. We can rely upon this heart-based connection to balance and rebalance our lives and grow in inner peace and wisdom.
The task is to listen to our hearts and then, let them guide us as we journey through life.
One way to see whether we’re letting our hearts lead—instead of our bossy minds—is to look at the nine-character traits of heart-based living: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23).
By occasionally scanning our hearts to see how often these positive attributes show up in our daily lives and attitudes, we can monitor and adjust our life’s course—much like we do with a GPS.
Here’s a way to fact-check ourselves regarding each life-giving quality:
Love—Am I experiencing deeper connections with God, others, and myself?
Joy—Do I have a growing sense of awe as I realize I’m safe and my life has purpose?
Peace—Does an inner calm flow through me as I remember “All is well?”
Patience—Am I willing to let life unfold naturally?
Kindness—Do my words and actions build up myself and others?
Generosity—Do I live the law of abundance, knowing what I have is “enough,” and then share my “enough” with others?
Faithfulness—Do I trust my Higher Power and work with him as a team—he’s the coach and I’m the player?
Gentleness—Are my words and actions peaceful? Do I practice pausing before I respond to others so I can remain calm, centered?
Self-control—Do I observe my behavior and gently correct it when it needs adjustment?
I took a few moments recently to do a heart-scan using the above check-in questions. I realized my self-control could use some rebalancing. I’ve developed a snarky inner critic that judges myself and others by my self-imposed standards. And that snark can come out sideways and begin trash-talking out loud.
So, I asked the Creator to give me the gentle discipline to notice and correct my self-talk when the inner critic grabs the throne. I asked him to help me let go of negativity and lean into the fruit of kindness so my words build up myself and others.
I also found this self-check affirmed areas where I’m finding more balance. The gift of faithfulness continues to grow stronger as I lean into God as my Divine Coach who helps me call the plays on the field of daily life. And when I notice an imbalance in my attitudes and behavior, I’m becoming more willing to stop and ask the Creator for directions.
Maybe doing a heart-check is one way we can practice becoming the best version of ourselves. And after some practice, perhaps we can stop, look back over our shoulders, and realize our hearts were always leading us. Eventually, our feet caught up.
Ponder: Let your heart lead, and your feet catch up.
Something to try: Take a heart-scan using the above questions. In which areas are you growing? Where are you being invited to rebalance your GPS?
—brian j plachta