Five Easy Ways to Connect with Your Heart

Posted by – February 12, 2016
Categories: Excerpt Psychology & Personal Growth

The Sacred EgoWe spend so much of our time living in our heads and not our hearts. It can take some practice to reengage with our bodies. This short and simple exercise in connecting with the heart appears in Jalaja Bonheim’s book The Sacred Ego: Making Peace With Ourselves and Our World, which is part of our Sacred Activism series.

Five Easy Ways to Connect with
Your Heart

To commune with your heart, you need to feel it. If you’ve spent a lifetime thinking with your head, you may find this difficult. Don’t be discouraged! With a little practice you can regain that exquisite sense of connection to your body that every animal is born with. Here are five simple exercises that can help:

  1. As you breathe imagine that each in-breath gently touches your heart. With every inhalation, it’s as if your breath were ever so gently caressing your heart. Continue for five minutes, noticing any sensations that arise in your chest—warmth, coolness, a sense of openness, softness, or tension.
  2. Gently place your palm on the center of your chest and turn your attention to your breathing. Notice how your hand moves with your inhalations and exhalations. After a minute or so, drop and relax your hand. Notice how your chest feels. After another minute or so, place your hand on your heart and repeat this process. Do this at least three times. Notice whether you feel any aftereffects.
  3. When we think of our loved ones, our hearts naturally open. So think of something or someone you love dearly—a baby, a pet, a landscape—and see whether you can sense the reverberations of that thought within your physical body. Just notice and welcome whatever happens.
  4. Throughout the day check into your heart-chest-belly area as often as possible. Check in while you’re driving, when you look up from your computer screen, and as you walk into the supermarket. No big deal—it takes just a second, and the more you do it the stronger your sense of connection with your heart will grow.
  5. Play some slow, gentle music that you enjoy and that seems to speak to your heart. Close your eyes and stand quietly. Now invite your heart to initiate some form of movement. Move however you want, allowing your heart to lead you. Perhaps you’ll find yourself swaying side to side, arms extended like branches in the wind, or perhaps you’ll want to lie down so your heart can feel closer to the earth. Whatever happens, allow it.
Tags: Self-Improvement & Inspiration Jalaja Bonheim
About the Author

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2007, Julia was delighted to find out that “professional book recommender” was a job. She has been working in marketing and publicity with independent Bay Area publishers ever since. She joined North Atlantic Books in 2014. She lives with her husband and two very nice cats in Oakland.