One practice in the Deep Living framework is bringing attention to and sensing into our heart. This involves noticing sensations and emotions and developing a close relationship with this precious part of us.
As this relationship with our heart develops, we feel a sense of communication with it, gaining access to its truth, which is another source of intelligence beyond our thinking mind.
When our emotional, physical, or psychological boundaries are broken (for example, being called a hurtful name), we may react and temporarily break the connection with our heart. In reaction to this violation, we may choose to call a name in return, completely shut down, or even invade the other person’s physical space. These gut reactions often come from a habitual place, without pausing to notice what is happening.
Yet this is the precise time to remain open to your heart, to listen to your heart’s truth and respond. This doesn’t mean your boundaries need to be sacrificed; on the contrary, sensing into your open heart invites its courageous qualities forward, and your boundaries remain valid.
We can sometimes disconnect from our own heart and its truth in the hopes of creating a connection with another person or group. This bid for connection can feel pushy, clingy, or inauthentic and may actually violate the other person’s emotional boundaries.
In this way, a paradox is revealed: Connecting with the boundlessness of our hearts creates strong and healthy psychological boundaries. Our hearts love truth, and when we speak the truth, including saying “No,” we become even more attuned to our hearts. By speaking our truth (conscious of not harming others), we continue on the path of opening to the boundless qualities of our awakened heart.
When we can take responsibility for developing and maintaining a connection with our own heart, we become more capable of having healthy boundaries for ourselves, while at the same time respecting the boundaries of others.
We invite you to explore this and other capacities at our upcoming Deep Living Retreat April 27-29, 2023. Learn more:
Adapted from Roxanne Howe-Murphy, EdD, The Dynamism of Life: Essentials of EnneaCrossings™, unpublished manuscript in progress, 2022.