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.

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