6.08.2007,12:08 PM
Riding with my heart
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"What does your heart tell you?"
I posed this question not too long ago to someone in a state of confusion. Perhaps he was afraid of his heart, or what it told him. I'm not sure he really listened or knows his own heart.

Many people don't.

Emotional intelligence, or intelligence of the heart, is acting with integrated reason and feelings. I see too many people these days who lack this intelligence, and lack heart. Instead of being recognized and understood consciously, emotions are supressed or resisted, giving them subconscious power. They then drive our behavior, and we use our rational intelligence to justify such behavior. Instead of conscious persons who understand why they feel and consequently behave as they do, we have become subconsciously driven and susceptible to cultural conditioning. Our unempathetic and unethical behavior - and the corresponding lies and rationalizations that result - destroy our spiritual integrity.

Two key components are the foundation of emotional intelligence. One is self-awareness. Being aware of an emotion as it happens; realizing the prior ideas, experiences and conceptions that underly an emotional response; being open to intuitive insights; emotional honesty - a developed sense of integrity and authenticity.

The other is emotional maturity. Facing up to fears and anxieties, anger, sadness and discontent and expressing that energy constructively, while retaining spontaneity.

Every day I have conversations with my heart. Sometimes we argue. Other times we sing in synchrony. Any important and significant decision requires that I ask myself "What does my heart tell me?" Sometimes what it reveals hurts my entire body; other times we must compromise or make a truce. But I never ignore what it has to say. Not any more.

During a period in my life it was kept kept in a dark box. It was buried deep in the earth because it began to buckle under the demands and torment of my life around me. I put it in a box and buried it so that I could stand tall and solid like an oak and do what I had to do, no matter how much it hurt. I did what I had to do.

But I had forgotten where I had buried my heart. I could no longer hear it except for faint echoes.

Years later I could hear and smell it but not feel it. Like an old hungry wolf, I went hunting for the bones. I found where the box was buried and dug and dug up the layers of dirt under which it hid. When I found the box, I opened it and there it was. Like old bones that were buried to hide, I took out those bones and played with them, rubbed them all over me, threw them in the air and caught them, danced with them, and sang with them. Then I put them back inside me. All the broken pieces were put together and wrapped with duct tape and it snuggled me inside.

The old weary wolf had found her heart. And it shined brightly.

My path again had heart; intelligent heart.

When I ride my bike, my heart surfaces and rides outside with me. Chains fall away, lids fly off boxes, everything is clearer, sharper and real. Cobwebs are blown away and nagging flies flee. I'm free.

My heart and reason communicate and blend together in harmony. And I often see everything around me differently. Walls tumble and layers melt away. The heart sometimes guarded so tightly rides next to me and relays all it sees to me. And it never lies.

Riding with heart is an unsurpassed freedom . Like the wild wolf running unleashed. I can see into and outside of me, and it all becomes one. After each ride I am enriched.

And never alone.

".....Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions....

Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you."
- Carlos Casteneda


posted by Macrobe
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