I’ve been writing the Art of Balance blog for more than a year and a half now, and for the past year consistently publishing every week. In total we’ve published 82 times under the banner of bringing balance to life and work. In this same time I’ve also finished the writing of Shift and got it published and out into the world, and Maria and I have developed a series of workshops based on the principles written about in Shift, which are designed to help individuals and companies catalyze a shift in culture.
[Tweet “It’s been said that the longest journey in life is the eighteen inches from the head to the heart.”]
In all these efforts there have been many common themes and connecting threads, and yet there has been one connecting thread in particular that seems to mark the difference between staying stuck in old patterns, and realizing a real and tangible culture shift. This thread is the importance of moving from the mind to the heart.
It’s been said that the longest journey in life is the eighteen inches from the head to the heart, and I believe that. For myself, I can say that I spent my first twenty-two years living very much in my heart. Then I began a gradual shift toward the mind, and in the last seven years I have been gradually shifting back toward the heart. I can say that all my creativity and all my business successes during this time have been directly or indirectly related to my willingness to open my heart center and make heart-based decisions, while many if not most, of my trials have been related to making head-based and ego-based decisions.
Integration of the indigenous principles requires that we feel our way into the principles. If we just read the book and think them through we won’t move the needle on culture. Resurging our creativity and innovation requires that we move into the heart space, as that is the place that true creativity flows from. Finding balance in our lives and our businesses requires that we open our feeling center to discover what is truly important for us to pursue and what isn’t. Discovering real fulfillment in our work, again requires us to feel our way into it so that we can move in the directions that our hearts tug us toward. Having meaningful working relationships, developing intuition, being a better communicator, a better negotiator, having a better working culture all requires a heart-centered way of being.
Have you ever considered why so many of the greatest creative geniuses were nearly, if not completely mad? Van Gough was bonkers and yet absolutely brilliant. Consider Marlon Brando, James Dean, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimmie Hendrix, Andy Warhol, and more recently Philip Seymor Hoffman, and the list goes on. We celebrate Steve Jobs for his brilliant creativity and leadership, but those who worked for him largely found him to be a tyrant.
The point is not that we are to become mad creative geniuses, but rather that we seek to balance the mind with the heart, to recognize that the mind will serve us best if we see it as a tool at our disposal, and not our master. Utilizing our wonderful analytical thinking minds in service of our expansive magnificent hearts is the perfect balance. Achieving balance in life and work is important, and the road to balance is paved by a legacy of heart-based decisions.
It is for this reason that we are re-naming this blog “Heart and Mind,” as this speaks more closely to what readers will be able to take from these writings, and it speaks precisely to the path we are inviting our readers to endeavor upon. We hope you will continue on with us on this ever-unfolding journey of life, work, creativity, achievement, and knowing.
Nizhoni (in beauty)
Tip of the Week
Make a short list of major life decisions you have made in the past ten years. Endeavor to include five decisions that you consider to have been good decisions, and five that were not so good or even bad decisions. Then for each decision ask yourself whether you made the decision from your heart or your mind, or if your mind assisted the heart. To get the process rolling here are a couple of my own examples.
Decision: Leaving Los Angeles and moving to North Carolina to take a job with a family owned event company producing the Green Festivals. Seemingly a bad decision for the first year, then over time has shown itself to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This was a completely heart based decision with some assist from the mind.
Decision: Taking over as sales director for the Green Festivals. One of the worst decisions I’ve made. Mostly a head based decision with much rationalization.