We all come to those points in life when we realize we’re living on autopilot, and we want to feel more alive and aligned. I’ve come back to this place many times. I’m so attached to my lists, and to the security of my plans, and to what has worked for me in the past. AND, I want to move past all of it, and to experience being more alive, less in my head, and more open to all of the possibility that life brings when our hearts are wide open.
I first heard about the heart-opening work of Patricia Clum at a meditation retreat in Seattle. One of the women I was with at the retreat said that she’d learned to really start feeling again thanks to Patricia’s work via Evolution of the Heart, which she runs with her husband Bill offering teachings and retreats that “support the opening of the hearts and minds of humanity to their true, unlimited potential for love.” I did some sleuthing online and listened to a few podcast interviews with Patricia, and asked her for this Q&A to share this needed wisdom with you all.
Specifically, below I ask Patricia how does this work? How can people re-program or shift to stop living from a place of coping and managing, to a more expansive place of openness to possibility, magic and Love?
Right up front, Patricia had a disclaimer to share: There is no end game in this work. She explained that as we open to who we truly are, and begin live into our heart space, we enter into a limitless space. If you’re someone who wants a concrete understanding of the mystery of God or the divine, well, keep an open mind as you read this recap of my conversation with Patricia. We talked about what it takes to really live in presence, even if we have hugely busy lives, and how we can reconcile the power of our issues and fears with the power of our potential.
Head + Heart: First up, busyness. People are so busy with their massive to-do lists, kids, and side hustles. Is it possible to maintain a really busy pace AND have a shift in consciousness towards peace and flow?
Patricia Clum: Yes, it is. It requires practice and learning to breathe through all of life. This literally means taking a mindful breath in between and during the busy moments. This means slowing down, moment to moment, and relaxing while doing the tasks on the list. Take time to sit and eat. Journal your feelings as a way to stay close to your heart. Carry a journal with you, write whenever you can, invite the inquiry “show me” throughout your day. Bring the support you need into your day by doing guided meditations during lunch breaks, while waiting for an appointment, or before going to sleep.
Throughout the day, check in with yourself by inquiring: “How is my heart feeling in this moment?”; What emotions are arising?” Use your breath to move with the emotion.
If you’re schedule fills up fast, schedule time to be alone. Give yourself 10 or 15 min of doing nothing. No technology. No to-do list. Just breathing and being in stillness.
Get out for walks, be in nature, as possible. Turn off all technology at least 1 hour before bed.
Another practical thing I recommend is to go on a social media fast. Give your contacts a heads up and take a break for 2 or 3 days.
One practice we teach is to learn to say yes or no from your heart. This means getting to know when your heart says no. Your own voice gets stronger as you get more clear with your yes and no.
Take a step back and create a higher vision for yourself and family. Draw, write, paint that vision and spend moments every day feeling it.
Remember that whatever you’re doing is a spiritual practice. Working is a spiritual practice. Parenthood is a spiritual practice. Everything we do is an opportunity to deepen our connection with self and loved ones.
H+H: You’ve said that, through your work, you’ve seen a growing urgency in people, seeking to live from a more connected heart space. How do you support people who come to you, ready for a shift like this but needing help to learn to surrender past baggage?
Patricia Clum: The work we do is to create space in a group setting or in one-on-one sessions to allow the unwinding of the mind, and opening to the heart space, which can feel very unknown.
Whether through retreats or the one-to-one work, all of what we do is designed to be integrated in real life, so people can continue to support themselves in living from their truth, no matter what their lives look like.
This is where embodiment comes in, as people learn – through the practices mentioned above- to really hold presence in their lives. This really is a process of integration, of remembering who we are, beyond our personality AND recognizing how our body is part of it all, not separate.
Many people think they need to do it alone but we’re finding that having the support of a community brings the most movement, opening and realization.
What people universally discover is that there is a whole, vast new space of the heart to grow into. They may not be able to name what this space is, but they begin to experience it directly.
H+H: What’s your take on the power of positive thinking as a way to make our dreams come true?
Patricia Clum: Here is the thing: The ego mind is the only place within us that measures good/bad, positive/negative.
In our work, all emotion is welcome, all emotion is equal, all emotion is fuel for the awakening heart.
Intention is a felt experience, meaning that when intention is set from fear or lack, more fear and lack will be brought into our awareness.
However, when intention is set from the felt experience of our heart, it is a lived experience. Real clarity only comes from a calm mind surrendered with a clear heart. Dreams come into reality as we allow the healing, allow the movement. This is the process of creating a life where we are so present, that life comes to us abundant with love, connection and meaning.
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