One of my favourite quotes is by Jack Pransky, one of the first generation teachers of the inside out understanding that I talk about and share in my coaching. It’s ‘All we are is love, peace and wisdom and the power to create the illusion that we are not.’
I’ve seen this quote many times but one time it came down on me like a ton of bricks. There are only two ways from which we operate in the world: either from our head or from our heart. I saw it more simply and deeply in that moment than I ever have before.
I don’t mean that we live our lives solely from one place or the other. For a start that’s just not possible – our lives are a continual string of moments, brought to life by the creative power of thought which is served to us either by our intellect (head) or our wisdom (heart) and we go in and out of both all day everyday.
We are all part of the same universal intelligence
All of nature is powered by the same intelligent life force, but unlike the rest of the animal kingdom which survives on instinct, us humans are thinking creatures, born with this amazing gift of thought. Life is a game to be played and to join in, we need to operate from our heads. We need to plan, analyse, achieve, concentrate on tasks and move forward. We need intellectual knowledge and skills to do our jobs (I don’t know about you, but I’m going for the surgeon who knows a thing or two about anatomy rather than the one who relies on Devine inspiration to guide them) and we need our heads to store information that we can recall in certain situations.
However, a life lived too much from our head means we are in a constant state of ‘doing’ – always striving, always searching, always wanting: we get burned out, stressed, anxious, impatient, depressed, intolerant etc. which leads to all sorts of unwanted behaviour and consequences. We don’t see the world favourably and we react rather than respond. It’s a fragile place to be and when these feelings show up, it’s a great sign that we need to slow down.
We always have access to wisdom
But, underneath all of that intellectual thinking, is our wisdom. Always there, ready to serve us when we need it. It’s constantly working for us even in the everyday moments, like when you need a pee or when you need to eat or drink: you don’t consciously need to make those decisions. You just get up and pee or make a sandwich. If you have to think about whether you’re hungry or not, I guarantee you’re not hungry! Wisdom moves through us all the time in the most subtle ways, helping us to make ‘no brainer’ decisions that we don’t even realise are decisions!
Of course, when we get quiet enough, it brings us those insightful light bulb and life-saving moments too, which is why we’re always told to keep calm in a crisis. Have you ever seen the blockbuster film Sully, based on the true story of Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who performed an emergency landing of his plane on the Hudson River? It’s the perfect example of a man using heart over head. He had only minutes to make a crucial decision. Shortly after take off his a flock of geese struck the plane, resulting in failure of all engines. He was ordered by air traffic control to return to La Gardia airport. He ignored those orders and landed on the Hudson, saving the lives of all the 155 passengers and crew. A flight simulation later showed that normal procedures for engine loss are designed for cruising altitude and not for situations occurring after take off. The simulation also didn’t account for the human element of the situation – the time needed to understand and asses the situation. Therefore if sully had returned to the airport, its more than likely the plane would never have made it, resulting in nobody making it out alive! He had a feeling and he went with it. Thank goodness.
Whilst most of us will never find ourselves in Sully’s situation, it’s still super useful to get an understanding for which mode we’re operating in when situations present themselves. If your head to head with another person, there’s gonna be friction – a battle of wills. Two people, face on, both of which are locked into their thinking because it looks so solid and real to them. It’s going to be impossible to find a resolution. On the other hand, if either of you are heart to head, the person in
Head to heart: One person is going to be aggressive in their point of view, with no room for listening. The other, will fill compassion towards them.
Heart to head: One person, in their wellbeing speaking to the wellbeing of the other.
Heart to heart: This is just magic. Perfectly connected, in the flow of life. It doesn’t get much better than this. Two people working collaboratively together, solutions will be found effortlessly.
What about when it comes to decisions then? What if I’m at a fork in the road and I just don’t know what to do. Well, whatever you do, please don’t make it from a busy mind. Settle down and you will just know what move to make next. Infact , you’ll probably have made it, without even realising it.
But head or heart, we’re all still seeking the same thing. To be ok!
Until next time,
Much love, Jo. x