Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Are You Ready to Live a Heart-Centered Life?

Heart-Centered Life

The popular phrase “heart-centered” contains at least two distinct meanings.

It can mean electing love and compassion as the guiding principles of your life.  Or it can mean living in alignment with your “true” self – your values, your calling, your experiential wisdom, your intelligence, intuition, and instinct, and the messages you receive from your body.

Both forces can comfortably abide within the same person, but that doesn’t mean they always do.  Being true to yourself doesn’t automatically encompass living from love and compassion. It can simply be a narrow focus on the self and an attempt to secure your own good life.

At the same time, as we begin to uncover our true self, often a sense of love and compassion naturally arises for others.  When we see how we’re bound up in all sorts of false ideas about our self, ones that consistently cause us to hurt, we can’t help but realize it’s the same for others as well.  We’ll naturally want freedom from this insanity for others as much as for our self.

In this piece, I’m using “heart-centered” to mean being true to yourself. 

For the best possible life, I encourage you to approach heart-centered living in both ways.  To learn practices for living from love and compassion, please read:  How to Live from Love and Compassion.

You would think listening to one’s heart would be the most natural and even logical thing in the world.  But sadly this is not the case for many of us due to childhood wounds, conditioning, and our adult experiences that reinforced all that.  Truth be told, many of us are not ready to live a heart-centered life.

5 Elements of a Heart-Centered Life

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to see if you are ready to listen to your heart:

Listen to Your Heart | Inner Voice | Intuition

1.  How much do you trust yourself?  Living a heart-centered life means listening to yourself at least as much as and probably much more than others.  I can’t say it means only listening to yourself because I believe life is more complex than simplistic formulas.

But if you often seek advice from others, parental figures, teachers, health advisors, family members, your partner, intuitive readers, spiritual mentors, ideologies, and the like, and rarely listen to your own inner voice, you probably don’t have much faith, just yet, in your own natural intelligence.

2.  Do you know your own values, what’s most important to you in life, and attune your attitude and actions to them?  So much of life is about coming to know who we really are.  Often, we start out in life by following the path laid out for us or rebelling against it.  In either case, we haven’t necessarily sat down to consider what’s truly important to us.  If you don’t know your own values or aren’t living by them, whose life are you living?  It’s surely not a heart-centered life.

Recently, I asked my Facebook followers to share three words that they try to live by.  Although it’s not a values inventory as such, a simple exercise like this can help place your most important values at the forefront of you mind.

What are three words you try to live by?

3.  Are you willing to spend time in quiet, listening deeply and patiently?  Busyness dominates most peoples’ lives. They never feel they have time to sit quietly so how can they hear their heart?  Their heart constantly whispers its wishes, because that’s what hearts do, but the thunder of thoughts, emotions, and busyness drowns this guidance out.

A heart-centered life requires patience too.  Though sometimes inner guidance comes easily, other times you may need to ask and listen again and again for clarity to finally dawn.

It’s impossible to lead a heart-centered life if you’re not willing to regularly get quiet and listen.  If you need help learning to quiet the mind, please read:  21 Meditation Tips You Need to Know As a Beginner.

4. Are you willing to ask the big questions?  The hard questions?  You can build up  confidence in your own inner wisdom by getting answers to everyday questions like, “Do I really want to go to this restaurant, that movie, or meet this person?”  That will begin to change the quality of your life.  But if you aren’t willing to ask the big questions or the hard ones, you’re still only living half of your own life.

5.  Will you take action on what your heart tells you?  It may not be easy to take action on what your heart tells you, at least at first.  We’re used to denying our self in favor of everyone and everything else.  But when you take action based on your intuition, instinct, and body response, it grows your ability to do so again and again.

The willingness to take action is the only way to truly build a heart-centered life.

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, don’t despair.  I’ll readily admit I find it difficult to make decisions and often seek advice from others in myriad ways.  But asking the first question in this series has empowered me to make a shift.

Asking the above questions will give you a clear view of where you need to work, if you truly wish to lead a more heart-centered life.  Within each question, lies the solution you can put into place when you feel ready to engage the wisdom of your heart.

What did you learn from asking these questions?  And if you would like, please share the three words you try to live by, I would love to hear.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


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  1. I’m often amazed at how we end up with similar thoughts from totally different perspectives Sandra. This post resonated deeply with me this week as I’ve become more aware of the layers of accumulated ideas, impressions and beliefs that overlay our true and deeper self.

    If I had to choose 3 words to live by today…and I say today because they might be 3 different words as I change and grow…but for today…it would be love, honor and encouragement.

    I’d love to know your 3 words!

    • Hello Elle,

      The synchronicity is amazing! Oh yes, new layers. I understand completely. I imagine it will be like this, at least for me, for some time.

      Wonderful words! And it’s a good point that they might change. Mine at the moment would be peace, love/compassion, and wisdom.

  2. Donna Donabella

    Trust, kindness, connection…..these seem to be what I have uncovered…wonderful post!

  3. Sandra Yes I like your meaning- being true to you. and yes so people will go through life without ever living a heart centerered life.
    I love those 5 questions I apply in life most days, What I would call a heart whisperer 🙂
    Trust is my word for 2017

    My 3 words are not fixed in stone and they are Joy, Love and inner peace. Through loving ourselves unconditionally we experience inner peace and the feeling of pure joy.

    Looking forward to sharing this xx

    • Those are wonderful words to live by, Suzie! I’m inspired that you apply these heart-centered ideas most day. I think we all can and will benefit, it just takes a little shift of direction and the willingness to practice.

  4. I enjoyed this post and the comments as well. My 3 words, at least for right now, are love/kindness, simplicity and creativity. I constantly seek simplicity and probably always have! Interestingly enough, I sometimes paint complicated paintings and write poems that are not simple. But I want to live a simple and quiet life in which I have time for people and animals and all of the things that matter to me 🙂

    • I so resonate with your aspirations, Jean. I love how you want to make time for people and animals. I think there’s something powerful about having a simple life that makes it even more possible for the clarity to come to do complex things like the ones you describe. Wishing you the sweetest life possible.

  5. Yes everything is about love. I am very connected to the idea of having a heart-centered life. From it, springs my purpose and how love transforms my relationships with the world. For me, my true words: passion, purpose and compassion.

    Great post, Sandra!

    • Hello Evelyn,

      I’m so inspired by how love brings forth your purposes and infuses your relationships. Your 3 words are so perfect for you and I love how they represent different elements that are all so very important in our lives. Thanks, Evelyn!

  6. Lovely post.

    I think we are encouraged and taught not to live a heart centered life – by our parents, schools, society. I know I was. Coming back to it and learning to trust myself has proven so much more successful and happy.

    Your five questions are spot on. I think trusting yourself is most important and that only comes with practice. It is hard to do and scary, but worth it!

    • I completely agree, Debbie. Everything is so head-centered in modern life! It fills me with joy to know that following a heart-centered path has brought you so much more success and happiness.

      Thanks for acknowledging that follow our heart is scary, at least at first, but so worth it.

  7. Hi Sandra,

    I love your questions around living a heart centered life. What has helped me the most is to focus on what my values are, and to live my life as much as possible by the values that I feel are important.

    They can of course, change from time to time, however staying in tune with my values helps me live the best life that I can. Thank you. This is a lovely post.

    • You’ve found such an important key to living a rewarding and meaningful life, Cathy. Thanks for sharing this with us. When we know our values, life can become much more simple. Thank you!

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