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This practice by Bree VanZutphen is a beautiful reminder to connect more deeply with our heart's innermost desires and follow in the direction of what makes us truly happy. So often we ignore the heart and let the brain lead the way, sometimes putting aside feelings that are important to us. We hope this practice can be a gentle reminder and weekly ritual to connect your mind and heart.

I've been observing how much my head has led the choices I've made thus far in my life. While I understand my mind as being very useful in assisting the "getting the job done," it doesn't always prioritize my heart's wants or needs. I want my inspiration, creativity and expression to come from a heart-centered place. So how does one get in touch with the elusive heart? What does it mean to move from this place in a society that prioritizes profit, technological progress and power? How can we steer our lives to live by our values?

It may sound rudimentary, but it might start with defining what your values are. From there, remember times in your life when you experienced this value so that you may connect on a deeper level to why it's important to you. What was the experience? How did it feel? When do you feel that way now? How does your body feel when you're connecting to what you love?

Example: One of the things I value is community. To connect to this feeling, I use creative visualization to picture when I have felt a sense of community before. I remember all the conversations, the smiles, the support of the students. So, I connect to this energy signature and from there- ask how can I try to create from this place? What could I do right now to integrate that in my life? It might look like calling a friend or creating a community support workshop - the most important thing to me is that it's coming from the right place.

If I'm not consistently reconnecting to what's important to me, I regress back to the structures and belief systems created by a society whose most prominent "values" may not align with my own. Based on the societal programming we've all picked up, if we follow the mind's narrative - what we truly desire and want to live by will remain elusive. So in this way, the heart has the clearer and purer vision - we've just stopped listening. If the mind is used to being the master, it's time to awaken and unchain the heart from its role as the servant. It's time to let the mind be the assistant in getting the heart's job done. Imagine a world with heart centered businesses, communities, health care systems... the list goes on. The first step is connecting to our own hearts. 

If the heart isn't used to being listened to, it may take a minute. The mind may habitually try to run the show. But just like anything, it takes practice. Start by listening. Listen as if someone was telling you the most important thing that you've ever heard. Then repeat this until the heart's voice gains strength- til the whimper becomes a roar - ya feel me?

  • A journal prompt: "Dear heart, what have you been needing to say? What have you been trying to communicate?" 

Other ways to connect to the heart...

  1. Ask yourself "What do I love?" Write out anything that comes to mind.

  2. Make a commitment to do one thing you love every day, even if it's something small.

  3. Connect with others who share your value systems - being around like-hearted beings is what keeps your vibration high.

  4. Emotional release work for built up stagnation - transformational breathwork, going in nature and yelling as loud as you can, or giving permission to yourself for a good cry. It's hard to connect to the heart if it's filled with old residual tensions.

  5. MAKE TIME TO LISTEN - Schedule it in if you must, but this is not something that can be rushed. Create space and time to hear the voice of the heart.

  6. Recognize that you are already love in human form. By connecting to who, what, and why you love - you realize that it's already just you and the divine being that you are.


Breath Practice - The Cave of the Heart

Inhale for 5 - Take the breath directly into the front of the heartspace

Exhale for 5 - Imagine the breath passing out the back of the heart

Inhale for 5 - Take the breath in the back of the heart

Exhale for 5 - Release the breath out of the front of the chest

Continue this pattern

Inhale - New life comes 

Exhale - Stuck energy moves with the help of breath

Inhale - Breath in create 

Exhale - Release to create space for it

Repeat 10 times or longer if needed 

The aim is to let the breath pass freely from the front to the back, back to the front. In this way, the heart is surrounded by breath and any residual tension around the chest can start to be released. 

Bree VanZutphen

Bree is a yoga and meditation teacher, reiki practitioner, breathwork facilitator, and a lover of life. Bree started her healing journey after her life as a former dancer. It was then that she found yoga which helped heal her body, mind, and soul. After years of practicing yoga and meditation, Bree discovered active breathwork which was the catalyst to help her move through unprocessed emotions. She believes it is important to incorporate multiple modalities on the healing journey - as what we need changes depending on the season of our life. Her love of teaching came from her love of learning and being a student herself. She is passionate about holding space for students to learn the tools to heal themselves. 


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