Listen to your Heart

There is so much talk about paying attention to your breath.  Your life force. The way your feet hit the ground when you propel yourself down the path. The way you react when someone or something triggers you.

You must pay attention to your thoughts.  Pay attention to your verbal response and to your initial instinct.  Pay attention to what triggers you, why it triggers you and how you consciously choose to respond – then change the course of your conditioning.

But what about listening to your heart?

listen to your heart

Can you feel it open when you are with someone that makes you feel safe and understood?  Can you feel it flutter when you have stumbled upon something that excites you?  Can you feel it constrict when you feel threatened or misunderstood or wronged?

Have you ever placed your hand over your heart when something moves you?

Have you ever laid your hand over your lover’s heart as they share their story with you?

There is a power there.  An answer. A blessing.  A key to understanding.

I do agree that we must pay attention to our breath. To our body.  To our mind.  To our word choice and to our actions.  Absolutely.

But, I also think we must be aware of the rhythm and the state of our heart.  I am beginning to feel as if it is our greatest compass.  The ultimate litmus test. Our advocate. Our confidant. Our guide.

From my heart to yours.

 

Yours truly,

 

Erin Terese

It’s Hard Sometimes

It’s hard sometimes.

To say what we mean.

And mean what we say.

To follow our heart.

And show it the way.

To live for today.

And plan for tomorrow.

Letting go of the past.

And all of our sorrow.

With each ounce of pain.

And every tear shed.

Is an ounce more of wisdom.

And pleasure ahead.

For each stone over-turned.

And pathway walked down.

Will lead you on home.

With the joy that you’ve found.

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Yours Truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  Hope you enjoyed this mini poem and that you enjoy this big, beautiful, broken, bountiful, breathtaking, beautiful, bold world.

Coming Home

Home is where the heart is.  We all understand that, right?  We have heard it a million times.  We know the concept.  But where is the heart? Where do you place it?  Where have you anchored it?

I believe the reason that our house and our city and the people in our lives may at times begin to feel distant is because we move our heart.  We pack it up, move it out and start heading out of town…often without consulting the people in our lives and without much thought as to why and where we are heading. We grow and change and our heart wants for something more.  Something different.  Something other-than.

It can be a saving grace, a scapegoat or a ticket out of dodge, but the heart has a way of leading us.  At times we know where and when and why, and other times we are like children “playing pin the tail on the donkey” – spinning around in the dark just hoping we land in the right spot.

My life this year has been a bit pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey-esque. 

All of a sudden, my home was gone.  While my loved ones and beautiful house and all I had know for the last 11 plus years was still around me, my sense of home was fading.  I felt like a visitor in my own town.  And just like that, I knew it was time to go.  My heart was leading me somewhere else.  It was time.

Many times before, I had dreamed of moving to a new city – but for reasons neither here nor there, it never came to fruition.  Maybe it was because I was running away.  Maybe it was because I had more to learn, more to love and more to see there.  Maybe it just wasn’t time.

Explaining my desire to move wasn’t the easiest thing.  I framed it by saying it was a strategic career move, that I needed a larger city with more culture, and somewhat jokingly that I had dated my way through the city and that there were no men left for me to meet.  But the truth of the matter is, and was, that it was no longer my home.

For eight months I searched.  I drove hundreds of miles for “meet and greets”, networked my little heart out and all but tattooed it on my forehead that I was trying to move – and yet it didn’t come.

Was my heart steering me wrong?  Was my gut lying to me?  Was I wrong?

Then I got quiet.  I went back to the drawing board.  I laid it all out on the table and took a good hard look at my motivation, my inspiration and what would be a logical next step.  I had felt so compelled. So drawn.  So lured, that I had gone sprinting into the night without my flashlight or road map or cell phone.  I was blindly chasing my winged-heart.

Once I centered myself and tried again, I came up with a new plan.  A new thought.  And just like that, the pieces just fell into place.  In a turn of events that can only be described as magical or fated or destined, my city found me.  In just under one month, my thought had become my reality, and I was home.

I remember when I visited San Francisco for the first time.  I was eleven years old and my family and flown in from Wisconsin to visit my aunt and uncle in the city.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.  To me, it was like a dream. I remember white lilies, steep hills, bustling crowds and breathtaking beauty everywhere we went.  I vowed right then and there that I would one day live here.

But like so many childhood dreams, it was put in a box on the shelf and long-ago forgotten about.

coming home

I have lived here for 24 days now and already this is my home. 

During my first week here I met with a dear old friend who upon seeing me, said “Welcome home.” Tears welled in my eyes as I realized it was true.  My heart had not taken me to a far-off destination filled with adventure and culture and new loves to be had (though I do hope it will), it had taken me home.

And while I do understand that home is where the heart is (and you carry it with you), it will also guide and lead you, and sometimes you have to answer the call.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

I Vow To Hold You In My Heart

Nothing is coincidence, I know this to be true. Each step and breath and instinct, has lead me straight to you. Already we have grown and changed, and loved and learned and saw. The greatest moments we create, when no effort is placed at all. Within your arms I build my home, and there I will reside. And should I ever lose my way, your eyes will be my guide. On this great day and each to come, I vow, my dear, to you. To love and cherish everything, that flows through all you do. I choose you as my friend and partner, lover, constant guide. I vow to hold you in my heart and to these truths abide.

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marriage vow

*This was written for a very dear friend of mine. May she have a lovely wedding and a lifetime of love.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

There Where My Longing Lies

It was there in the moonlight, gazing at the starry sky that I first felt it. Time stood still and the light shining in the distant galaxies was calling me home – pulling me higher.  My body was anchored to the boulder atop the mountain on which I sat, but my soul was soaring.  Voices and memories were pulsing through my veins as if they had been there from the beginning and reminding me with each breath and heart beat that we are as one.

Finally I was given a glimpse of what I had been seeking.  That longing that had been pulling on my heart strings, knotting in my throat and ringing in my ears had found its source. The sky.  The beyond.  Somewhere in the darkness and the twinkling of faraway stars and planets.  Past the black holes, comets and solar systems.  Farther still where sound and light and fantasy shift into a new language undecipherable to my mind.  Yes, it is there where my longing lies.  Somewhere my mind cannot explain, nor my memory attempt to fathom. There in that place lies a piece of me, every bit as connected as the brown in my eyes and the heat on my breath.  Part of me there is reaching out, longing to connect, wanting me to listen.

With open mind, heart and soul I listen.  Now, I listen.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

A Moment of Revelation: Mind, Body and Heart.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do some of my best thinking while driving in my car.

This has been an interesting week and month – lots of thinking to be done.  When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and there was a dusting of clouds against the beautiful blue sky, and I felt renewed.  This was going to be a good day. I could feel it! I shared a few positive tweets, Facebook messages and texts, and my heart swelled with love.  Finally, I was back in the peaceful state of mind I have grown accustomed to over the past few years.  The struggles I had been rolling over in my mind melted away and I allowed the light and love to pour into me.

While driving in my car, I tried to recall what I had done that brought me back.  What had happened that brought me back to this wonderful state of calm?  Instantly I  realized that I had restored the balance in my mind, body and heart.  I have been working toward realigning my mind to a peaceful place, my body to be healthy and thriving, and my heart to be open. Mind, body and heart. Mind, body and heart.  Today they aligned and I feel beautiful, loved and capable. Mind, body and heart.  The trinity of me.  The trinity of you.  The three things we must align for a peaceful and loving life. Wait, did I just say trinity? As in the Holy Trinity, like Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Stay with me for a sec. This is where I started to trip out too.

I have long since believed that religion and our view of God is a way for us to understand life, how things work and how we work.  Each religion takes a different perspective on what/who God is and what all of that means.  I was raised Catholic, but have distanced myself from the Church as there were too many things that did not align with what I felt in my heart.  And the idea of God floating up in the clouds looking down on us, just didn’t feel right to me.  I feel like God is something that unites us all and is present in everything, but I have yet to fully understand this and I am working on connecting the pieces.  Yes, there are some Catholic beliefs I do not agree with; but there are many wonderful things I have learned that have stuck with me.  All of the lessons about being kind, how to treat your neighbor and how to treat and respect yourself – those lessons are tucked within the folds of my heart and ever present in my mind.  Lessons about being kind, loving and grateful.  Lessons about sympathy, empathy and doing what is right.  Lessons on forgiveness, love and family.  You find such lessons in most religions.  Most religions emphasize the importance of caring for your mind, caring for your body and caring for your heart (soul).

In my recent quest to find myself and a greater meaning for my life, I have been paying a lot of attention to other peoples’ views, ideas and feelings.  I have been reading and listening to the thoughts of others with a careful ear and open mind and heart. There is an idea out there, a belief, that we are God. God lives within us.  We are all connected and are a manifestation of God.  When the word trinity rolled through my mind today, I thought I might just be on to something here.  I have long believed that we interpret certain universal truths the best way our human minds can, and assign them names and values to the best of our ability. Words like God, soul, love, connection, dream, devil, redemption, miracle, right and wrong – all ascribed to feelings we try to understand.

Now, here comes my moment of revelation.  My thought: during mass and prayer, it is common practice to say “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” while signing the cross on your body.  The Father: touch your forehead (the mind).  The son: touch your lower chest or navel (body). And the Holy Spirit: touch each shoulder once (your heart and soul lies within). Tears welled in my eyes at the thought of this.

I am getting closer. This makes sense. Mind, body and heart.

I really do some of my best thinking while driving in my car.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  What do you think?  I welcome any comments or feedback.  Still mulling this over…