My Journey and How Heart-Centered Living Came to Be

I’ve been shaken to new growth many times in my life. The most profound teachings have often come from the traumas of betrayal. Each time I experienced these intense traumas I’ve uncovered dark layers in myself and humanity. Each one has been extremely painful and yet they’ve helped me find deeper truths to live from. This time was different; it was darker than the other times and it seemed like everything around me was under attack. Instead of turning against myself in the darkness, which was my initial tendency, I was called to turn more deeply to God. I was on a quest that led me to question and doubt everything I had come to believe. What I had created appeared to be crumbling to pieces. Was I meant to put things back together, change things, or let them all go? 

PATTERNS OF BETRAYAL

I just couldn’t shake this constant feeling that I was trapped in a nightmare repeating the pattern of getting close to people who seemed loving, only to find out they were narcissists and had betrayed my trust. This pattern cut deepest in 2020 when my trusted mentor and teacher of 18 years turned on me and threw me out of a group that had become like a family to me. I realized the leader was exercising undue influence and controlling people’s minds. I got everyone out of the group within two months of being thrown out. 

As I was recovering from the mind control group I turned to my girlfriend for support. We became closer than ever before, got engaged, and began envisioning our life together. Yet after we got engaged she revealed her true colors as she criticized and judged me for my authentic feelings. I could no longer be with her and tolerate her level of hatred. I was shocked and crestfallen to find how little she truly cared for me, having led me to believe she was someone who would always have my back. She was consumed only with her needs and not with supporting me through this extremely traumatic experience of having my community ripped away from me. 

Then, last fall, my trusted friend, former student, and business protege who was running my company turned out to be lying and withholding crucial information from me. When I attempted to address these issues with her she refused to talk with me and began making unreasonable demands on me and the company. The whole company was reeling from the selfishness that she was running the company from. These betrayals were like knife wounds in my emotional body. After this third time, I didn’t know how to go on living with all this pain and also keep my heart open. 

If people were going to continue to be this cruel, I could not fathom carrying this intense pain and suffering from being wounded over and over again. I asked myself, “Is this all that my life is meant to be?” How could the three people who I had trusted most in life betray me and turn their back on the truth of my heart so deeply? The thought turned in my mind, “If I can’t even guide the people closest to me in living from their heart, what do I have to offer anyone?” This is the way in which the devil, or that possessing voice in the mind, tries to take a hold of us and tear us down when we are weak. I could not keep repeating the pattern of having the closest people in my life betray me anymore. Something needed to change. 

FOLLOWING THE BREADCRUMBS OF MY CALLING

I had always prayed to Christ along with Buddha and many saints and sages of various religions. Yet this time there was a particular quality of light and love in the path of Christ. I spent some time at my friend Mark and his wife Lisa’s Catholic homestead community of followers of Christ called Metanoya of Vermont. Mark has been a close friend since college who I have deeply shared my spiritual journey with. As I started to follow the breadcrumbs to my next step, I felt this tremendous connection to Christ. The pain inflicted by those who had betrayed me brought me to my knees. In the midst of this suffering I felt it was time for me to humbly follow the way of the Lord. 

I was reminded of Cat Stevens who became a devout Muslim after having a more expanded and general sense of spirituality, which was evident from his heart-filled music. This seemingly radical change never made sense to me before. Yet now I understood it, as my turn to a more traditional religion mirrored his. When I had thought about Christianity earlier in life, it seemed like going to church was for a mass of people asleep in their spiritual life and blindly following these traditional paths like sheep. Now I am finding the appeal of this path to God and have a deeper appreciation of all the many ways that people truly connect with God. 

As I felt the call, I at first envisioned dropping everything and becoming a Christian monk. I didn’t seem to want to continue with either my for profit company or the non profit, Heart-Centered Revolutions. Gradually, through prayer, the dark cloud I was in lifted. I began to find my stride again with the loving sustenance of my partner Chrissy; the guidance of Al, a longtime friend and mentor; the help of consistent prayers to Jesus Christ; attending Holy Spirit Catholic Church; and the ongoing spiritual support of my good friend Mark. 

My connection with God helped solidify my path and my purpose. I’m being guided to let God in to support me with everything. The guidance I’ve received so far is to continue in everything that I was doing, yet find a deeper place inside myself to do it from. During this time it felt necessary to personally know God in order to fully live in truth, not just know God as a mystical force that connects everything. I also turned to God this time to help heal my deepest wounds from the betrayal of those close to me. After three years of torment from the destructive lies of narcissism and living with suicidal despair, I now felt a ray of hope guiding me forward. 

In order to break the nightmarish chain of betrayals, I’ve received guidance to embody the way of forgiveness. As I embody this path of forgiveness, I can feel something shifting in my old and deep wounds. It doesn’t mean I need to have people who betray me in my daily life anymore. But I do need to let go of the pain they caused and let God carry me across the threshold of true unconditional love. Just as in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus said on the cross about those who are crucifying him, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I too am drawn to this profoundly loving forgiveness. If Jesus can do this for those who were murdering him, I too must find a way to forgive all those who have betrayed my trust and turned against me.

HCR CHANGING TOO

It seemed to me that if Heart-Centered Revolutions was going to continue to exist it too needed to be different. I have always felt there is something pure and good in the intention HCR was created with. I’ve come to see that some elements of creating HCR were divinely inspired and other elements were my reaction against the intense narcissistic trauma I suffered. 

Seeking help, we called a meeting of our allies and students to explore Heart-Centered Revolutions’ direction and name. We reflected on the experience of people often not understanding the Heart-Centered Revolutions name without an explanation. In a sense, every time someone lives in their heart it’s a revolution as it’s a radical departure from the conditioning we were raised in. When HCR began in the Summer of 2020, I envisioned a revolution of heart-centered people flocking to this quest for humanity to embrace empathy and unconditional love. The revolutions I was imagining sweeping across the earth are in God’s hands now. All I’m meant to do is play my part.

I know that heart-centered living is what I can truly offer the world. At the recent HCR allies meeting, we talked about what HCR has been doing in the world since 2020. What we actually offer today are tools, perspectives, and a community of support for heart-centered living. This is a way of living more centered in our hearts and less of a revolution that changes the face of the world. With this new understanding, we are changing our name and the tag line as well. 

BECOMING HEART-CENTERED LIVING

HCR is now “Heart-Centered Living,” which easily conveys a sense of what it means without any explanation. This new name and clearer direction also matches the change that I’m going through personally. It all feels like a more humble approach to simply doing what any of us can do, which is to connect, belong, and thrive with the heart at the center of all life. 

It is our heart-beat that determines if we are indeed alive or dead. The heart is the organ of connection and it is through the heart that we can feel every aspect of our own lives and all we’re in relationship with. It is my hope that this name change allows us to magnetize the people who are truly meant to be here and gather more momentum as we go in the direction of Heart-Centered Living. If you are called to it, join us for an upcoming class or event. Here at Heart-Centered Living our purpose is to, as the new tagline suggests, “Connect • Belong • Thrive.” 

Thank you for joining me on this journey and reading about my and our unfolding process. My faith in Christ is like a sprout of new growth and it feels sensitive and delicate. Thank you for receiving this. It is important to me that no one feels pressured to be any particular way from my story and teaching. I believe we all must find our own path and determine what is true for us. Heart-Centered Living, like HCR before it, remains a big open door welcoming anyone who values a connection with the heart, empathy, authenticity, and unconditional love. You are always welcome here. 

Sending love to all of you!

Adam Bulbulia

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For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, read other articles on our blog and explore our collection of books. We also offer coaching, as well as in-person and online workshops. Register for those here.

We are a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the heart at the center of all life. 

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10 Agreements to Practice Extraordinary Love

Extraordinary love is much easier to practice than you may realize. It stems from enduring self love and is born out of a generous and open heart. Extraordinary love hinges upon choosing to be with a lover who is generous of heart and loves you for who you are. Many partners will try to change you and are lost in judgment and selfishness. These are not the right people with whom to practice extraordinary love. 

You will know you are ready to truly practice extraordinary love as you grow and are capable of being fully heart-centered with yourself and your partner. When you’ve  selected the right person, the two of you (or more if you are in a non-traditional dynamic) can adopt the following ten agreements to ensure your extraordinary love sustains and grows throughout your lives. 

  1. I promise to always work for the best interests of myself, you, and all our relations. When I lose touch with any of these, I will return to them as soon as I can.
  1. One day we will no longer be lovers on this earthly plane due to either growing apart or dying. When that day comes, I promise to always love you, treasure you, appreciate the gifts you have given to me, and preserve the love in our relationship, and let the new form of our love take the shape that serves us the best.
  1. I value our connection over being right or needing to prove any points. I will not defend my ego over our love. If I lose my way, I will always return to this truth.
  1. I always want what is best for you. Even if that’s not being with me.
  1. When you get lost and disconnected from yourself, I will do my best to guide you back to your heart and your truth.
  1. When I get lost and disconnected from myself, please do your best to guide me back to my heart and my truth.
  1. I promise to embody empathy with you. I want to know you through understanding you. I will feel you, listen to you, and see you as best I can. If I’m not doing any of these enough please remind me and I will also remind you.
  1. I practice unconditional love with you. This means I love you with no conditions. However, the relationship has conditions based on respect, admiration, mutual support, and growth together in a way that works for both of us. No matter what you think, feel, say, or do, I will always love you.
  1. I will never intentionally exploit you or use you for my own benefit. If I do so unconsciously, I will stop as soon as you or someone else helps me recognize this.
  1. I believe in your potential and my own. I promise that I will never lose touch with this belief in all that you are, even if the relationship changes.

As you read these agreements, do you feel anything is missing from this list? I believe everyone should ultimately create their very own list  to adopt in their relationship. Since extraordinary relationships are based on doing what feels right for both partners, agreements are unique to that relationship. Your list may contain some or all of the ten agreements listed above. 

The best thing about this extraordinary love is that you and your partner get to practice it for as long as you have a connection together. These practices are at the center of what is needed to sustain enduring extraordinary love. Savor each moment. Treasure the bad times, as well as the good times, as you journey down this extraordinary road together.

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Continue your exploration of heart-centered principles with articles on our blogFor more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. We also offer in-person workshops. Register for them here.

If these words and ideas truly resonate with you and make your heart and soul sing, visit us online and join the revolution!

Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to making a world that works for everyone. We can’t do it alone – we need you!
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Love Embraces Experience

Experience is exquisite. It’s what life is made up of, our experiences. We have available to us a smorgasbord of experience, much like sitting down to eat at a table with all the food you could ever possibly want. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to open to the fullness of life than through experience. 

I’ve always loved experience. What’s there not to love about it? Our birth is an experience, growing up in a family is an experience, coming into adulthood is another set of experiences. Reading this article right now for you is an experience, just as writing it for me is/was. We could argue that everything that happens in life is an experience. If it wasn’t an experience, how would we know it? 

I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) as a teenager. In D&D the way your character advances in the game is through gaining experience points. When you get enough experience points, you move to a new level and have greater abilities. I didn’t realize until much later how much D&D was modeling life itself. Now, it’s clear to me that the more experience we have, the more abilities and capacities we possess.

After all, our experience is all that we have. The only way you know anything is through experience. Our thoughts, feelings, actions, and everything that happens comes to us through our experience. When we honor and treasure the fundamental nature of experience, only then can we truly be free. This may be obvious to you, but in a society which has lost touch with experience this truth has been obscured. 

Science of Experience

I’ve always been a scientist. Not in the traditional sense of the word though. I did not study science formally or do a lot of laboratory experiments. However, I conducted experiments within my life. I measured my experience against others’ experience. I gathered data on social interactions, feelings, and all kinds of subtle experiences. This is what brought me to the science of experience. 

The science of experience is the process of using our feelings, thoughts, and perceptions to gather data about the world around us. It is the science I believe we all are already engaged in. We just might not be aware of it. For example, what we feel when we are interacting with someone is simply a fact of our experience. We can closely observe these facts and they will tell us useful information about the other person, ourselves, and the dynamic between us.

Embrace All Feelings

It’s the so-called negative experiences that plague our lives and our world. The tragedy is that the experiences themselves aren’t bad, but our interpretations of them make them seem bad. As Hamlet says in Shakespeare’s popular play, “There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” An experience in and of itself is not good or bad, but the way in which we think of it will make it feel good or bad. 

All so-called negative human feelings fall on a continuum somewhere between suicide and homicide. The full expression of a “negative” feeling that moves inwards is suicide, this includes despair, hopelessness, everything on the grief spectrum, and sometimes fear. The full expression of the “negative” feelings that move outward is murder, including anger, rage, and sometimes fear. Fear is versatile and can go in either direction. 

It’s only when these experiences are judged against that we are in danger of acting out murder or suicide. When they are accepted, there’s no risk of acting on them. When we embrace all so-called bad feelings, we can end cruelty on planet earth, because we have ended cruelty in ourselves. Once we have ended cruelty in ourselves, we will naturally create a world free of cruelty. 

Value the Feminine

Unfortunately, we live in a society that values the masculine and places very little  emphasis on the feminine. This makes our society more doing and results focused and less relationally focused. Connection with the heart is largely a feminine experience. The heart is the organ of connection and the feminine values connection more fully than the masculine. Experience rests in the heart, the master organ of all our lived experience. When we are in good connection with our heart, we are more aware of and connected with our experience and our whole existence. Connection, feeling, and nurturing is what everything rests on in the heart. And the heart is at the center of all our experience. 

When we value our experience over our thinking awareness alone, everything in our society will change from the foundation up. We will build a society that feels better to everyone. As we value human experience we naturally want to make a world that works for everyone. 

Here’s a quick and easy game you can play to open to your experience more fully:

Open to your Experience

  1. Notice what you’re experiencing right now.
  2. If you’re in your head thinking, come down into your body and feel.
  3. Right now you are having a completely novel experience of life that no one has ever had before. 
  4. Discern what is unique about this moment.
  5. It’s not ordinary. No moment ever is. This moment, right now, is a miracle. It is an opportunity for true awakening or to remain asleep.
  6. It’s an opportunity to open to everything you’ve ever longed for. Or, it’s an opportunity to live in fear and withdraw from life.
  7. Embrace this moment now.
  8. When you open to your experience, you open to all of life. Welcome the experience you’re having.

Opening to our experience is an easy and quick way to get more out of your life. The more fully we embrace our experience of life, the more meaningful, rich, and textured our life is. Living from your heart is a great way to open up to your experience. Love naturally places you firmly in your heart and then you are ideally suited to embrace your experience. Even difficult experiences are better when we are able to bring the healing balm of love to help soothe and comfort ourselves. May eternal love guide all your future experience.

This article is an excerpt from Unconditional Eternal Love: A Guide to Love Everyone. To order this book by Adam Bulbulia click here.

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Continue your exploration of heart-centered principles with articles on our blog. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. We also offer in-person and online workshops. Register for them here.

If these words and ideas truly resonate with you and make your heart and soul sing, visit us online and join the revolution!

Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to making a world that works for everyone. We can’t do it alone – we need you!

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Heart Options Analyzer:
A Process for Heart-Centered Decision Making

Life is a series of decisions. Each day we wake up, and make choices, and live into  the consequences of these choices. The more intelligence and wisdom we have to bring to our decisions, the richer our life will be. That’s why making decisions with our heart is such a powerful practice to transform your life and get the most out of every experience. 

The Best Decisions Come From the Heart

The ability to make good decisions has everything to do with our heart. When our awareness is centered in our heart, this great discerning organ is here communicating with us about everything we feel about life. We are well informed and capable of making good, clear, and insightful decisions by taking the best information available to us in the moment. 

Our society conditions us into our minds. Oftentimes, we may find ourselves trapped in our heads with little ability to feel or know what our heart is telling us. To be open to our heart we must be available to and connected with our feelings. We must learn to trust the voice of intuition that lives deeply in our heart and soul. The intuition knows things our mind couldn’t possibly know. 

Thinking Opens Possibilities

The ability to vision and use thinking to open up possibilities is also really useful for sound decision making. The more possibilities you are able to feel into, vision, and consider before making a decision, the better informed your decision will be. When our mind (in service to the heart) generates multiple possibilities, we can feel into the best choices, given our specific set of circumstances. 

Heart Options Analyzer

The heart is a wise decider and very capable of sorting through a complex array of options to feel for the best possible decision to choose. In the Heart Options Analyzer, the mind and the heart work together, or more specifically,  the mind works in the service of the heart. 

  1. Imagine three to five options for what to do in a particular situation.
  2. List all the options. So you can remember them, either do this mentally or write them on a sheet of paper or on a device.
  3. Imagine making one possible decision and notice all the downstream consequences of choosing that option.  Feel into the decision and notice how it feels for you and all those whom the decision impacts. Take a minute or two in your imagination to play out all the possibilities. Notice how choosing this option feels.
  4. Repeat step three with each of the other options, doing this one at a time to thoroughly analyze each decision by feeling with your heart.
  5. After comparing all the options, especially tune in to two elements: 1) which one feels best for the whole field of those impacted? and 2) which option makes your heart sing?
  6. Choose the one that makes your heart sing and feels best to the whole field.

In decision making there’s always something that feels right in the moment. Follow this rightness. 

If none of the options feel good, you may not have generated the right option yet. You are probably inside of a wounded perspective. Tend to yourself first by offering loving acceptance to wherever you are. Open your heart back up and reevaluate the options from this newly tended place.

I’m curious what happens inside of you as you practice this more. Notice all the changes both great and small that happen as you center your awareness more deeply in the heart. You know you are centered in the heart because everything feels warmer and more connected. Life is meant to be lived in connection with the ones we love. Making decisions from the heart brings us closer to our life’s purpose of being who we are meant to be. It is my sincere hope that your heart plays more of a role in your life and that it may help guide and inform all of your decisions. 

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Continue your exploration of heart-centered principles with articles on our blog. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. We also offer in-person workshops. Register for them here.

If these words and ideas truly resonate with you and make your heart and soul sing, visit us online and join the revolution!

Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to making a world that works for everyone. We can’t do it alone – we need you!
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The Birth of my Authenticity

One day I awoke to find myself in a narcissistic and abusive cult. Tearing it to the ground and getting everyone else out is how I discovered my authenticity. This awakening freed my authentic voice and gave me a sense of truth I had never known before. After being in the cult for 18 years, getting out was not easy. 

It was 2020. After decades of vocational study, professional work, and deep psycho-spiritual development, something in my life was still tormenting me. So when the leader of the group suggested I try Iboga, I took a leap of faith. Iboga is an African psychedelic used in recovery from addiction and for psycho-spiritual development. Bwiti is the spiritual discipline associated with this medicine that several tribes in Gabon and Cameroon practice.

During the Iboga journey, I received a clear message from the medicine: I was following my mentor and not myself. The truth of this statement was very simple and profound. This truth turned my whole life inside out. 

The medicine dropped me several layers deeper into my being. Things I used to be unsure about became crystal clear. After the medicine journey, I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I could feel it in my body. As I reintegrated into daily life, this sense of authentic truth only grew deeper and stronger. I would no longer yield to suggestions from others when they felt wrong to me. 

The more I spoke my truth, the more conflict brewed with the leader. Eventually, the leader of the cult read a piece of my writing expressing exactly what I felt about him, his psychological abuse, and his lack of integrity with the work he professed to embody. He accused me of being out of integrity and threw me out of the group, claiming it was for my own good. As he threw me out, he pressured me to donate my shares of our co-owned business back to the other partners. It was at that moment that I fully realized I was in a mind-controlling cult.  

Over the next month and a half I did everything I could to communicate to everyone in the group about what I was seeing. At first, no one would listen. However, the spark was alive and after a crucial conversation this spark grew into a flame. Within about two months of my awakening to the cult, everyone was able to liberate themselves from the group except for the leader and his wife. For those of you who don’t know what it’s like to be in a cult, getting out is simply the first step in a long journey of recovering our authentic selves. At the time I got out, I didn’t realize how long my true journey to recovery would be.

The process of liberating myself and supporting others in their liberation from the cult showed me many of my gifts in leadership. I came to realize that I was an extremely authentic person fiercely committed to honesty. I started to find my voice and truth in the world. I was no longer satisfied with following other leaders and wanted to collaborate with peers while being the biggest version of myself I could possibly be. 

As I grew into this next layer of myself, I realized that not only was my fiancé acting in a toxically selfish way toward me, but so were the managers at my company, many of my staff, and about half of the people I had called my friends. I arrived at a crossroads. Should I continue to follow my mind and make life a comfortable place for manipulative people just as they are and thus deny myself? Or should I follow the truth of my heart even if some people will be uncomfortable with my authenticity and fall away from my life? 

Samantha is my friend, musical partner, and a longtime employee at my company. Together, we improvised a song called “The Crossroads.” Singing this song was a watershed moment. It was a point of no return, like crossing the Rubicon for Julius Caesar. After singing this song, I knew the path I was required to walk to fulfill my destiny. While playing the guitar and singing, it became crystal clear to me what I had to do with the company and what role Samantha was going to play. She sang herself into the leader position of the company as she helped guide me forward on my journey. 

I drew a line in the sand and vowed to be completely honest and true to my heart moving forward–both at work and in my life. I let all the chips fall where they may. This led to lots of conflict as I entered into a complete revolution. Over the next five months, 20 of the 22 staff left or were fired as we reshaped the company in a way that was more congruent with our values. We wanted to create a company that works for everyone. To do that, I had to start with myself. I started prioritizing my truth over compromising and appeasing others to avoid conflict.

Authenticity became my new religion. I spoke the truth in every interaction and was no longer afraid to say anything to anyone at any time. When I initially came out of the closet as my authentic self, I was so full of repressed anger toward the cruelty and lies that were suddenly clear to me. I was furious at all the lies and manipulation in our culture. Anytime I sensed a micro-expression of hostility toward me or anyone else, I would fiercely state what I was perceiving. I did not realize how sensitive my awareness had become and how difficult some of my perceptions were for others to understand. I noticed how I was able to feel negative and unsafe energy somatically as a stab to my solar plexus. At the time, I was unaware of how unique my perceptions were, and expected others to hear and accept my experience as valid truth.

I drank deeply from the well of inspiration. The stars shone brightly for me and I drew on the sun’s rays each morning. I received a deep vision of a world that truly works for everyone. I began receiving  profound visions of love, and was moved to do what I can to bring them into being. As a result, I founded Heart-Centered Revolutions, a nonprofit dedicated to making this a world that truly works for everyone. I became inspired to bring more empathy and unconditional love to this world. I completed my first two books and started 30 others on self-care, unconditional love, parenting, empathy, divisive energy, leadership, and so much more. My creativity that had been repressed for 18 years came bursting out. 

In time this radical authenticity softened in me. I began to realize this authenticity was what my father and my whole family had modeled for me. It was something that had always been inside of me all along. I’m grateful for the cult experience and all the narcissistic abuse because it helped me find what I always had deep down inside. 

Authenticity is an integral part of my life’s mission and work. I believe it is part of each of our destiny paths. When we find our authentic way of being, it becomes crystal clear what we came here to do. By turning our passion and energy toward what we love, we set ourselves on the path of fulfilling our deepest purpose. When any of us fully and truly become ourselves, the whole world blossoms. This is my vision for how authenticity can spread from person to person. 

You are drawn to this work because you are a carrier of the seeds of authenticity. May these seeds be sown in your life, family, community, and work. May a truly authentic way of being take root and blossom in all our hearts and in our world.

Heart-Centered Revolutions was created to lead humanity into an age of empathy and unconditional love. You’re invited to participate in the revolution through joining our mailing list for the newsletter  and enrolling in events or courses.

The best way to join this revolution, though, is to practice opening your heart with empathy and truly coming from unconditional love for yourself and everyone around you. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books to help guide you. You can also continue your exploration of heart-centered principles by reading the articles on our blog. We offer business consulting and personal and parenting coaching, as well as workshops and courses. 

If these words and ideas truly resonate with you and make your heart and soul sing, visit us online and join the revolution!

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Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to making a world that works for everyone. 

How to Practice Empathy Most Effectively

Empathy is one of the most vital skills we can develop. Empathy is sorely needed in these times, and has been a cornerstone for all times. In its essence, empathy is the ability to place oneself inside of someone else’s experience. There are many ways to practice empathy, but the most effective way I’ve found is to feel into the other by imagining that I am actually in the other person’s body. This process gives me the feeling of empathy as well as the sense of being in their shoes, thinking the way they do about a particular situation. 

Perceptual Positions

The Perceptual Positions Practice comes out of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), and is a clear and valuable guide to cultivate the empathy skills outlined above. As a Process Coach for 18 years, my cohort and I used this tool as a foundation for developing empathy and rapport amongst ourselves and with clients. 

There are four basic perceptual positions. They each line up with the first four parts of speech: 

  1. First position is the “I” or self position. In first position, you are looking out through your body and experiencing life as you typically experience it. To get a good sense of first position, feel into your body and your self, and narrow your awareness to experience the world through only your bodily senses.
  2. Second position is the “you” position. In second position, you are empathetically feeling into another person’s experience. In second position I imagine what it’s like to be you and feel and experience what you are experiencing. I extend my awareness to you and allow my sensations to feel what you are feeling. 
  3. Third position, “he/she/they,” is the observer position. In third position we are the observer. We are like a fly on the wall watching the whole interaction. In observer position, we are in a neutral third person position. I am not in my own body or your body. I am a fly on the wall watching the dynamic.
  4. Fourth position is the “we” position or field position. In field position, we are feeling the whole dynamic and are no longer neutral as we are in third position. We are looking out for the interests of everyone involved. I, as an individual, am identified with the whole field and in service to everyone in the dynamic. I care about what everyone is feeling and am attuned to it. 

The Fourth Position: Field Position

The most powerful place to anchor yourself is in field position. From field position you have access to all of the positions while being connected with the feelings in your heart. In a sense, the heart is an organ of the field: it senses, measures and responds to the whole body. Flexibility is essential in field position. There are no drawbacks to field position since it is a hybrid position and incorporates the benefits of all the other positions.

The Gifts and Drawbacks of Each Position

Self position is a great place to experience pleasure and joy. When we are in self position, we can drop into our experience more fully and immerse ourselves more deeply. Too much self position can lead one to becoming self-absorbed and unable to recognize the other. 

Going into second position is a wonderful way to experience empathy and compassion. We can sense and feel others as a way to become open to them in very profound ways. Too much other position can lead to enmeshment and a disconnection from self. 

Observer position is great for seeing things clearly and getting a sense of the dynamics at play. Too much observer position makes you removed from the situation and feels aloof to others. 

Field position is the most wonder-filled position of them all. To truly be in field position, we must retain the ability to shift into any of the other positions at any moment. Rather than staying squarely in the ever changing kaleidoscope of experience which is field position, we can flexibly move wherever we are called to move. With our awareness and focus, we can consciously feel into specific facets of our lives, whether inside of us or in the world around us.

The Perceptual Positions Practice:

Take a few moments to recall a recent situation you’ve experienced that matches the following criteria: an in-person, small to moderate disagreement or miscommunication. 

(Position names are capitalized here for ease of use.)

  1. Close your eyes and imagine the situation. From First Position, feel your body. Then take your awareness to the midpoint between your body and the other. You are watching the scene like a movie. Watch both people and notice the interaction. (Take a minute to replay the situation in as much detail as possible.)
  2. Return to your own body. When you look out, see the other person through your own eyes. Now replay the situation and notice everything you experienced at that time. What were you feeling, hearing, and seeing? (Take a minute in this position to re-experience it just the way you experienced it at the time.)
  3. Go back to the midpoint between the two of you (Observer Position) just for a moment so you can see both of you. As soon as you can see both of you, you are ready for the next step.
  4. Now you are going to place your awareness inside the other (Second Position). Do this first by getting right behind the other person and up close to them. Let your senses extend into the other person’s body so that you can feel and imagine in your own body what they are experiencing. When you look out, you see yourself through their eyes. As the other person, notice what you are feeling, hearing, and seeing. Experience the situation from their perspective as fully as possible. (Take a minute to get every detail of this experience.)
  5. Now return to the Observer Position. From the Observer Position, feel into the whole. You’ve been inside your own position and you’ve lived inside the other person’s experience. Now move into feeling the whole dynamic. This is the feeling observer position which we call Field Position. Replay the situation by feeling into the whole interaction and notice what you experience from here. Take a couple of minutes to glean everything you can from this experience.
  6. Jot down some notes or share your experience with someone who has experienced this process. 

The first time you do this, it’s good to talk to someone who can help ensure that you’ve experienced all four positions distinctly. After you’ve done it a couple of times, it’s easy to do on your own. Once you’re comfortable and adept at moving through this practice, the next step is learning how to move between the positions in real time as you are communicating. I make a practice of feeling into the other every time I start speaking, when I’m listening, and periodically as I’m speaking to gauge how effectively I’m communicating. I also feel for how well they are feeling into me or what position they are in primarily. I try to use my communication to help bring them into a deeper field position where they can access both empathy for me and can feel into the whole field more effectively. 

The Immense Power of this Practice

This practice has been the backbone of Bridging Worlds. I’ve used it innumerable times with autistic and developmentally disabled clients and been able to bridge to them and communicate with them more powerfully. Recently I used it with a client with Prader Willi Syndrome to help him adjust to new rules around his diet. By using this practice, we were able to help him move through a really difficult conversation with grace and ease. 

I also use this practice while coaching neurotypical adults. It allows me to support others even when they are having experiences that I haven’t personally experienced. As I was working with a client who is coming out of some narcissistic patterns of behavior, I was able to feel with him what it was like to come out of a defense pattern he had been using since childhood. Everything was so brand new to him that it was like he was learning to walk all over again. Even though I had never had this experience, I could feel it with him through using the perceptual positions practice. 

The practice of moving through the perceptual positions daily has given me deep and immense insight into what another is feeling at any given moment. By using it in every interaction I have, I continue to deepen and hone my ability to feel others. When you practice this exercise 1-3 times everyday, it becomes second nature to you to feel the other and the field in everything that you do. 

The Gift of Flexibility

When we are flexible with our perceptual positions, we are able to move easily to other positions. Similarly, when we are flexible in perspectives, we don’t get stuck in one point of view. Anchoring in field position allows us to move into other positions and self position at will. Field position gives us maximum flexibility. Remember that there is no wrong perceptual position to be in. They are all equally valid ways of experiencing reality. It’s a great practice to do when you are bored or annoyed by an interaction. When you start using perceptual positions, there’s always something interesting to discover in even the most mundane situation. 

It is my sincere hope that this article gives you a sense of how to actually deepen your ability with empathy. The awareness and practice of perceptual positions has been one of the single most transformative practices I’ve ever done. From the time I learned it, this practice has informed everything I do. I even named my first company Bridging Worlds Behavioral Services because I believe that when we put ourselves in the shoes of the other, we can truly bridge worlds.

Join the Revolution

To join Heart-Centered Revolutions and make a world that works for everyone, sign up for our mailing list. This act places you firmly at the center of our communication channels. By far, the best way to join this revolution, though, is to practice opening your heart and truly coming from unconditional love for yourself and everyone else around you. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. You can also continue your exploration of heart-centered principles by reading the articles on our blog. We offer business consulting and personal and parenting coaching.  We also offer workshops.  Register for them here.

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HCOS: One for All and All for One: the Heart’s Guiding Principle

“All for one and one for all” is the ethic of the three musketeers, made popular in Alexander Dumas’ classic book, The Three Musketeers. I like to call this motto the Heart’s Guiding Principle. I’ve found that this motto holds true for any cohesive group who works exceptionally well together. When everyone keeps in mind the best interests of each individual along with the good of everyone, you have a foolproof ethic to work together in a way that will support the highest overall potential. This Heart’s Guiding Principle rests at the very core of the Heart-Centered Operating System (HSOC), a system specifically designed to put heart at the center of your company and all of humanity. 

Working for the Good of All

If each one of us truly works for the good of all, we are working on behalf of all humanity and all life. The significance of our actions go far beyond ourselves or our specific group. If we could all do just one thing consistently, embodying this principle would make everything else in life fall into place. Dedication to the good of all is the bodhisattva way – the path that many saints and sages of the past and present have guided toward. 

I refer to working for the good of all as the Heart’s Guiding Principle because it is truly the way of the heart. The heart is the organ that unifies the entire body by pumping out and receiving in blood in an endless cycle of give and take. The heart touches each and every part of the body; the heart truly works for the good of all and fundamentally incorporates this principle and ethic in everything it does. Biologically, the heart desires that each individual part lives out its greatest potential on behalf of the whole. As a result of the heart’s profound role within our individual biology, the energetic significance of the heart has been explored and preached since the dawn of humanity. Search your heart deeply, and you will find the desire to serve the good of everyone. This is what love wants. When we commit to working for the good of the whole, this is the very heart of eternal love.  

Working for the Good of Each One

Every person matters, just as every drop of ocean water matters. Without this very drop, the ocean would not be the same ocean. Have you ever noticed how one person coming or not coming to an event completely changes the dynamic? Each person is a unique individual and also an integral part of the human race. 

In a healthy and heart-centered company, the company serves each person’s best interest as long as the individual upholds the values of the company. There is a circle of beneficial reciprocity built into each business’s Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS). If an individual is struggling to uphold the values of the company, the company will likely cave into a form of enmeshment where the group martyrs itself for the individual. This is not healthy. A healthy group works for its own and everyone’s potential at the same time. The group does not sacrifice itself for one member.

One For All and All For One 

As I’ve looked more deeply into the origins of this famous quote, I discovered that “all for one and one for all” originates in Shakespeare’s poem, The Rape of Lucrece. He used it in the reverse order, “one for all or all for one we gage.” Here  is the full phrase.

The aim of all is but to nurse the life

With honor, wealth, and ease, in waning age;

And in this aim there is such thwarting strife,

That one for all, or all for one we gage;

As life for honor in fell battle’s rage;

Honor for wealth; and oft that wealth doth cost

The death of all, and all together lost.

Shakespeare uses these lines to encapsulate the meaning of life and show that taking this kind of stand for one’s values can be like waging a war for the soul. To truly dive into all that Shakespeare is saying would require a closer reading, and analysis than we have space for in this article. 

The ethic of “one for all and all for one” works best as the Heart’s Guiding Principle when phrased as Shakespeare wrote it. When the individual works for the good of the whole, it is necessary for the whole to work on behalf of the good of the individual. If an individual is lost in selfishness, it’s hard for the group to work for their selfishness. But when the individual is in faithful service to the whole, then it’s very easy to work for their good and embody the “all for one” ethic where the whole looks after the faithful one. 

Practice this Heart’s Guiding Principle in your life and work. As an individual, focus on the good of the whole. As a group, dedicate your efforts to work for the good of the faithful individual. Notice how it changes your work culture and everything you do. 

There are more articles on HCOS (Heart-Centered Operating System) here. For more information about HCOS and how to get consulting on it for your business click here. 

Heart-Centered Revolutions was created to lead humanity into an age of empathy and unconditional love. You’re invited to participate in the revolution through joining our mailing list for the newsletter  and enrolling in events or courses.

The best way to join this revolution, though, is to practice opening your heart with empathy and truly coming from unconditional love for yourself and everyone around you. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books to help guide you. You can also continue your exploration of heart-centered principles by reading the articles on our blog. We offer business consulting and personal and parenting coaching, as well as workshops and courses

If these words and ideas truly resonate with you and make your heart and soul sing, visit us online and join the revolution!

Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to making a world that works for everyone. 

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Opening to the Unknown

“There’s only now
There’s only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today”

– The character of Maureen in Jonathan Larson’s musical “Rent

What do we really know anyway? Life is all about the great mystery. What is the purpose of existence? Humanity is constantly making maps of the universe, but why are we here? Despite all the science, philosophy, religion, and spirituality devoted to these questions, we don’t have any certain answers. So much of what we think we know for a fact rests upon the unknown. 

We pretend we know so we can avoid the tremendous uncertainty of not knowing. In our minds, we think we can work out what is yet to be revealed and experienced. However, the way of the world’s unfolding will always be several steps ahead of anything our mind can pre-conceive. Accessing the unknown through feeling helps us outmaneuver the limits of the mind and thinking. Feelings present the doorway to the unknown.

Actually, it’s more like entering the realm of feeling throws open the door to the unknown. When we feel, it’s like reaching our hand down into the grab bag at Halloween. We don’t know with our mind what’s inside, but we feel for it with our hands. What you feel right now in this very moment is unknown and has never been felt before. When you notice with curiosity and love, you open to these unknown sensations and allow them to flow through your body.  That is when you have life flowing in your body. 

The Modeling Mind

The mind models experience and makes maps. My mind says I’ve known this before. It’s morning and I’m working on the computer on one of my articles. It’s just like any other day in the past few months. When we live in the models in our mind like this, we lose touch with our actual experience of reality as it is right now. This day is new. This moment is new. This day may be like many other days, but this day is unique and special. I’ve never written this new combination of words this way before. My mind model can’t fully grasp this nuance. 

Experiencing Feelings

Experiencing feelings allows us to escape the limits of the modeling mind. Today is a completely different experience from any other day, unknown to me until this moment. This morning, I’ve already experienced what it is like to wake up to the fog and be a little tired from not sleeping as much as my body needs. Right now, I feel excited about digging deeper into this article. 

At this exact moment, I’m noticing how it feels to be typing and to be alive. I have two guests staying at my house. Remembering that feels different from the usual solitude I feel in the morning. Each and every moment is undiscovered in a similar way, when we are really paying attention to our experience. Even now, with my curiosity, something else has shifted. I’ve been feeling the slight pang of losing a website domain I had paid thousands of dollars for because of an administrative error. When I turned into the disagreeable feelings about the loss of this domain and embraced them, this loss loosened its hold over me, and I felt more acceptance and love.

Opening to the Unknown (A 30-Second Game)

  1. Welcome the unknown. Be open to what may come forward in the great mystery here.
  2. Notice how you are experiencing this moment right now is completely new.
  3. Drop out of the mental models saying you know what is happening in this very moment. Actually, you’ve never been here before. Open with curiosity to this moment as a completely new and different experience.
  4. Lovingly embrace this moment just as it is. 

Embrace the Unknown

When we embrace the unknown with our full love, we set in motion a chain reaction bringing love and empathy to everything we experience. This chain reaction engenders love for everything it touches. The deeper we feel, the more we can feel others. The vast unknown of feeling is a wondrous new territory to discover. By opening with loving curiosity to the realm of feeling, we have access to vast new layers of information about our experience. 

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Continue your exploration of heart-centered principles with a new article on our blog every weekday. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. We also offer in-person workshops.  Register for them here.

If these words and ideas truly resonate with you and make your heart and soul sing, visit us online and join the revolution!

Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to forging a world that works for everyone. We can’t do it alone – we need you!

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Sensing Human Dynamics: Unlocking the Hidden Potential in the Field

We are not given a guidebook or instruction manual for human interaction. Most of our understanding of social contexts arrives through learned behavior and the development of our intuition. We don’t learn how to deal with social interactions in school, nor do most of us receive any formal training in this field. Yet, social interactions are some of the most complex dynamics we will ever deal with. The ability to feel and sense “the field” gives us a moment to moment guide in how to navigate the challenges of each social interaction. In quantum physics, we conceive the universe as made up of particles and waves. The particles are the matter and the waves are the energy. In a social dynamic, each person is a particle, while the dynamic fluid movement of energy between the people interacting is the wave. This wave function is what we call the field. The field is the energy that moves through us and between us. Through opening our hearts, sensing, and feeling the energetic field of an interaction, we have vital information for how to navigate this world. Our feelings can help us sense and unlock the hidden potential in any interaction. In this article, we will outline the basics of how to  sense the field by getting in touch with and relating to our feelings, the truth, our bodies, and human dynamics.

The Power of Feeling

Feelings are not widely understood in our society. Philosopher David Hume said, “reason is and ought only to be the slave of passion.” He was speaking to the way in which our thought processes and decisions are driven and ruled by what we feel underneath. Our feelings include both feelings we’re aware and conscious of, along with those we are unaware and unconscious of. With so many layers of feeling that we aren’t fully aware of, there is immense power in understanding what drives our unconscious. Humans have been aware of the gap between the conscious and unconscious for eons. Shamen, oracles, and medicine men and women, as well as psychologists and therapists help us navigate our realms of knowing and knit together our vast identity. They have always used the realm of feeling to help with this.

We are not as rational as we like to think we are. For example, economists build their models on the assumption that human beings are not ‘rational actors’ and factor that in to govern how the economy works. Rational actors would simply weigh out events and consequences and act accordingly to what was logically best. Instead, human beings make decisions based on our feelings and intuitions about things. Social scientists have come to understand this principle as well, when predicting behavior of individuals in various settings. The advertising industry uses these principles to manipulate us into consuming what they want us to consume. Humans don’t follow logical systems. We generally go with what intuitively feels right to discern how we move through life. 

The power of feeling can be used to help align us and move us toward health. Our feelings and intuition always want what is best for us. They guide us to the truth of the heart and help us be more honest with ourselves so we can move through life in a more integrated way. 

The notion that we are not rational actors is in fact a fallacy. We have the choice to enter into a new paradigm of freedom and integration between our minds and our hearts where we recognize that decisions are made by the heart and the intuition for our best good, and that living our lives from this place is actually the most rational thing we could do.

The Body Knows the Truth

The human body is the great truth teller. The body cannot lie. Your mind can say, “my shoulders feel relaxed.” But if there’s tension in your shoulders, the body will show it. The mind may say, “I feel okay with this break up I’m having,” while the body continues to express and hold onto all of the sensations that the mind is refusing to acknowledge. In the book The Body Keeps the Score, author Bessel van der Kolk writes, “The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.” These lies cause suffering because the body only knows the truth. All of the lies we tell ourselves are stored somewhere in the body. 

Author and physician Gabor Mate’s book, When the Body Says No: The Hidden Cost of Stress, presents case after case of people carrying symptoms in their body, even when their mind has no idea what is occurring. Whatever the body feels will come up as a symptom, even if the mind denies its importance. The way we know the body is through sensations. Sensations are it’s great messenger. When we are honest with ourselves, our body feels more at ease, and we can have a better path to navigating our truth in this world. Honesty is simply good for our overall health. 

Feeling Sensations in our Body

We live in a culture that prioritizes the mind and emotions over the pure sensation of feeling. We often talk about what we’re feeling with emotional stories attached, such as “I feel sadness about breaking up with my partner,” or “I’m angry and anxious about losing my job.” Many of us have lost touch with the actual sensations these emotions are based on. Feelings are sensations we feel right now in the body. Anxiety is not a feeling, it’s a summary label of an emotion to describe the associated sensations. When we say, “I feel a fast moving sensation in the pit of my stomach when I think about not having a job,” we are describing a sensation. For some, the distinction between sensations and emotions is a completely new way to think about the complexities and nuances within feeling. The benefit of understanding this distinction is that it reconnects us to our actual experience of life, and not just our mind-made interpretations. 

Thought Verses Feeling Experiment

It’s important to do this exercise with your full attention, to understand the difference between thinking and feeling. Reading this exercise without experiencing it may not allow you to understand this essential difference.

  1. Focus on a rock, crystal, or small object near you. Do not touch the object. 
  2. Look at the object and get to know it by thinking about it. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
    1. How was it made or formed? 
    2. What color is it? 
    3. What is its shape?
    4. Is it shiny or dull?
    5. Does it look smooth or rough?
    6. What do you think it will feel like in your hands?
  3. Let your mind about the object in any and all ways possible.
  4. Now enter the realm of feeling. Pick the object up in your hands and feel it.
  5. Close your eyes and feel the texture of it as you run your hand or fingers along its surface. Feel and explore every inch of the object.
  6. Take your time to get to know this object through your sense of touch by feeling it rather than seeing it. If you find yourself thinking about it, that’s okay. Simply acknowledge your thoughts and return to your focus to feeling the sensations of the object.
  7. Open your eyes now as you put down the object. Take a few moments to reflect on the difference between thinking about the object and feeling it. 
  8. What were your experiences like? What were the differences between thinking about and feeling the object?

Did you notice that when you are thinking, you are perceiving the world primarily through your mind, while when you are feeling you are sensing the object directly through your body? Feeling is a kinesthetic sense, while thinking comes in words and images from the auditory and visual centers of the body. I’m curious if you were able to drop out of your traditional way of thinking as you felt the object. For most of us, our thinking is so strong that even when we focus on sensation it can sometimes be hard to actually feel the sensations.

Feelings are:

  1. Sensations in the moment.
  2. Present right now.
  3. New – It can’t be something you knew from before, something that is not happening in the present moment, or something you’re not feeling. If it is something you think you already know, you’re actually just remembering it and thinking about feeling rather than directly feeling.
  4. Impossible to conceptualize. You can try, but they will always elude the concept.
  5. Hard to express in words. Poetry and music are the best ways to express feelings.
  6. An extremely powerful way of knowing and experiencing life. 

Note: In our mind dominated society, feelings are rarely fully experienced. Unless you are giving birth, present with someone dying, making love, or having some other peak experience with awareness, you may not be feeling. Oftentimes we think we are feeling because we are having emotions. But most of our emotions are simply a reaction to our thoughts. We are rarely experiencing the direct visceral bodily sensations of feeling. 

Exercise: Take Emotion, Find Feelings 

  1. Think of an emotion you’ve recently experienced. It could be anything: happiness, anger, grief, joy, or fear. Find where you feel the roots of this emotion in your body. A good place to look for it is anywhere between your neck and your buttocks.
  2. What does it feel like? Is it tight or loose? Moving or still? Warm or cool? Sharp or dull? Heavy or light? What are the sensations you experience? How does it really feel?
  3. Notice as you feel the sensations, you are now in touch with the direct felt sense of your experience.
  4. Accept all the sensations you are experiencing right now.
  5. Return to the original emotion you started with. What do you notice now?
  6. What is different? What is the same?
  7. Give yourself acceptance for all that you are experiencing right now. The emotions and sensations all get to be loved equally.

Perceptual Positions 

The Perceptual Positions Practice comes out of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), and is the most effective way I’ve experienced to cultivate our empathy skills. In the Process Coaching work I was a part of for 18 years, we used this tool as a foundation for developing empathy and rapport. 

There are four basic perceptual positions, which line up with the first four parts of speech: 

  1. First position is the “I” or self position. In first position, you are looking out through your body and experiencing life largely as you typically experience it. 
  2. The second position is the “you” or other position. In second position, we are empathetically feeling the other person’s experience. 
  3. Third position, “he/she/they,” is the observer position. In third position we are the observer. We are like a fly on the wall watching the whole interaction. In observer position, we are not in our own body, but we can see our own body as well as all the others in the dynamic from a neutral third person position. 
  4. Fourth position is the “we” position or field position. In field position, we are feeling the whole dynamic and no longer neutral as we are in the third position. We are looking out for the interests of everyone involved. 

Each position has its advantages and disadvantages. Field position is the most wonder-filled position of them all. To truly be in field position, we have to have the ability to shift to all the other positions as needed at any moment. So rather than staying in field position, which is an ever changing kaleidoscope of experience, we can flexibly move wherever we are called to move and feel more penetratingly into every facet of life in and around us. 

Sensing the Field

We all sense the field. When you walk in a room and feel the vibe of the room, you are sensing the field. Through the conscious use of field position, we can become even better at this. The better we get at feeling sensations in our own body, the better we can feel and sense into other people’s feelings as well as whole dynamics. This is best taught in person or online and is difficult to write about. If you’re interested in learning this, reach out to us. We offer individual coaching, and have a variety of online and in person courses which can teach you how to sense the field and read other’s feelings.

When someone speaks, you can feel in your own body whether or not their speech resonates as true. If you listen closely, you will either get a yes when it resonates or a no when it doesn’t resonate. Similarly, you can feel into a group and sense how harmonious and connected or how disconnected it is. When a group is very connected, there’s a feeling of warmth in the heart. When the group is disconnected, there’s often an unsettling feeling in the solar plexus. The exact sensations in your body will vary depending on what is happening. 

The ability to sense the field is the most powerful leadership skill one can develop. When we can read people and dynamics accurately, and lovingly tend to them, we have nearly everything we need to be a good leader. This ability can serve as a compass to guide our decisions in every interaction. The more perceptive we are of human dynamics, the better we are able to navigate the complex social structures of our human world. I’m so grateful for the heart’s ability to feel and sense what is happening in the moment. With this guiding light, I find it much easier to find my way through even the most challenging situations. 

Join the Revolution

Adam Bulbulia is the author of three books on the topics of unconditional love, nurture being, and authenticity – all of which are available on Amazon. His upcoming book, Parenting from the Heart: A Guide to Create a Family Culture that Works for Everyone, is expected to be published next year. 

As you continue your exploration of heart-centered principles, we invite you to read other articles on our blog. We also offer parent coaching, personal coaching, and business consulting.  Tell us what you thought about this article.  Like us on Facebook and share your thoughts. 

To join Heart-Centered Revolutions and make a world that works for everyone, sign up for our mailing list. The best way to join our revolution though is to practice opening your heart and truly coming from empathy and unconditional love for yourself and everyone around you. 

Heart-Centered Revolutions is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to making a world that works for everyone. We can’t do it alone – we need you to join the revolution! 

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Loving Our Way Out of Narcissism

Narcissism and excessive interest in oneself is one of the biggest problems threatening humanity at this time. We could also call it toxic selfishness or as author Paul Levy calls it, “malignant egophrenia,” in his book Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil. Narcissism is embedded in many aspects of our economy, our political system, our work, our families, and even intimate relationships. The world is suffering under an all “me, me, me” attitude with little to no “we” or “us” thinking. Our species has been overtaken by a force which only thinks about itself, consuming with no regard for all life on earth. I asked myself, “What then is the way out of all this selfishness?” The only way I know to break out is through loving the ego and accepting what is. 

In a way, it makes sense that everyone has the tendency to take things personally and get lost in self-absorption. Some self-focus is inevitable, of course. We see through our own eyes only, not another person’s or animals’ eyes. Some of us are able to practice empathy more successfully while some of us can easily share and feel the feelings of another. Some of us move out of the ego entrenchment of self importance without difficulty while others may struggle to put ourselves in the shoes of another and practice empathy. 

Trapped in Ego

We could say anyone who has not awakened fully to themselves is, in some ways, trapped in egotism. Most humans on this planet are stuck in some form of ego identity which is consuming them. The first step is to move away from viewing ego identity as abnormal and pathologizing this current condition. We can more easily change our current state when we simply accept it as it is. For example, if we accept that we are living in the state or country we are living in, then it becomes simple to move to another. When we accept the psychological state we are in, it becomes much easier to move to another state of being. 

Let’s wake up to who we really are as fast as we possibly can. The best way to do this is to let go of any guilt we are carrying about our personal level of self-absorption. We all have this guilt because we are all self-absorbed to some degree. It’s really no big deal. Don’t take this having an ego thing so damn personally. That last sentence is a bit of a joke because the ego takes everything personally, which is how it traps us.  The ego will continue to take things personally. Our work is to allow the ego to be the way it is, and not mind so much when it is activated and seeing the way life is happening to it from a self-centered position. We can intentionally center our life in the service of all beings. When we find ourselves in a place of self-absorption, we can simply return to our heart and open to the love. This gets us back on the horse of our deeper being and riding on our destiny path. 

Take the Ego Universally

Once we stop taking the phenomenon of taking things personally so personally, we can accept ego universally as a representation of where humanity is right now. What if most or all of the human beings on the planet could wake up to who we really are together? Imagine a world where we end oppression and suffering for humanity. This would be a truly, never-before-experienced Great Awakening which would eclipse any other movements currently underway within human consciousness. 

End Narcissism by Loving the Ego 

The act of loving instead of denying our ego sets the antidote to narcissism in motion. When we embrace our ego with love, there’s no power compelling us to ego identify. The ego perpetuates its separateness by continuing the story that it will always be disconnected. We end this separation by knitting the ego together with the being through love in the moment. This must be a continual process and not simply a one-time event. By continuing to embrace and accept the ego in all its separateness, we become the one whole being that we truly are. We become interconnected with all that is.

I know that in many ways I’m simplifying the complex topic of narcissism. I understand that clinically diagnosable narcissism is not easily overcome. I believe that even the most ingrained form of narcissism can be treated if the person is willing to open their hearts and be vulnerable. However, this article is focused on the ego absorption tendencies that we all have toward narcissistic behavior. 

Simply Accepting Where Humanity Is

Instead of viewing humanity’s malignant ego identification as a problem, we have to accept that this is simply where we are as a species. Once we fully accept this tendency in ourselves, we will no longer be identified with it. It’s time to end our selfish games and play a game that works for the good of all. Let’s join together to start a revolution in the heart of each individual and all of humanity so love truly prevails on planet earth and we can finally all feel honored to be a part of the human race. 

Join the Revolution

To join Heart-Centered Revolutions and forge a world that works for everyone, sign up for our mailing list. This act places you firmly at the center of our communication channels. By far, the best way to join this revolution, though, is to practice opening your heart and truly coming from unconditional love for yourself and everyone else around you. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. You can also continue your exploration of heart-centered principles by reading the articles on our blog. We also offer in-person workshops.  Register for them here.

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Learn about how to open your heart and narcissism.

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