The heart is a mysterious organ. Located at the very center of our beings, it is the last organ to stop at the end of our lives, it’s the space we refer to when we are being our most authentic, and it seems to possess so much more than just tissue and cells. Many believe it’s where our souls are housed; even surgeons report an element of awe around this organ. Have you noticed that the heart rarely, if ever, gets cancer? Why is that?

These are questions that scientists and philosophers have explored for centuries and continue to ponder. For me, the heart seems to hold the essence of who we are at our core. When we are out of alignment with our hearts, we are out of alignment with ourselves.

I learned a very simple exercise many years ago at a weekend seminar. The process went something like this: place your hands over your heart and take a few minutes to connect with that space consciously. Now, think about a problem/issue you are struggling with and pose the question to your heart. What you’ll find is an incredibly clear answer reflected back to you. Now, this answer may not be what you want to hear, or what would be the most comfortable option in your life. It may require you to put aside your ego, or your need to be right. It will, however, be the truest response you’ll receive.

We spend so much time and energy on self-improvement, enlightenment, meditation practices, mindfulness techniques. But at the end of the day, if we can’t respond to our life circumstances in a more evolved and loving manner, then what is the point?

We find ourselves confronted with situations daily that trigger us to put up walls, dig our heels in, and insist on being right. We feel justified in our opinions and actions against others, but none of this is aligned with our higher selves or who we strive to be. If we continue to revert to the same old response patterns, not only do we not evolve, but the world around us doesn’t evolve either.

I’ve been trying more diligently to respond to life from my heart space. It’s fascinating because using the exercise above provides a clear indication of where I am with a particular circumstance. Sometimes, I ask myself, “Is this loving” - this simple question is like having a truth meter at your disposal. It can show you, without hesitation, where you are being loving, and where you are not.

We often complicate situations with lengthy explanations, justifications, and defensiveness. However, the guidance from your heart is always simple, loving, and uncomplicated. It will tell you what you want to do and what you don’t want to do; who feels good to you and who doesn’t; and what actually matters to you in the end.

Try this exercise for the next week in any situation that is bothering you. When you get a clear answer, ask yourself if you can operate from that space. Sometimes it will be a concession you can make; other times it will seem impossible. In either circumstance, you are presented with a mirror that will reveal your ability to align with a higher perspective or your resistance to it. The choice is always up to us, and on the days where we can’t get there, maybe the most loving thing to do is to simply respond without judgment.