If you could do one thing that had the power to change your life, would you do it?

I believe the most important, life-changing, life-enhancing step we can take is to hear our hearts—to acknowledge what’s there, the love and the pain. Embracing both is the key to self-love, to healing and transforming the way we experience everything.

Our hearts are more than an organ pumping life-giving blood. Where the heart resides, so does a unique, intuitive, intelligent essence. Did you know the human heart emits an electromagnetic frequency far greater than the brain and that it’s detectable more than eight feet from the body? With roughly 40,000 highly-specialized sensory neurons, the heart sends more information to our brains than our brains do to our hearts. Incredible. Your heart is constantly communicating with you. Constantly.

Think about this for a moment. Have you ever thought of your heart as having a voice? And if so, how often do you pause to listen?

The voice of the heart always speaks with love and for your highest good. If you’re hearing something other than love, know that it’s not coming from your heart, but your ego (an important part of your personality but a topic for another time).

The relationship we have with our hearts is indicative of the relationships we have with everyone and everything. When we learn to connect to our hearts, we make the unification of mind-body-spirit possible. We are linked with something essentially and uniquely us—powerful, knowing, and eternal. It is palpable and can be “heard” and felt as congruency with our physical bodies. With more congruency and less “chatter”, we become more loving, authentic, healthy, and happy. This is the very foundation of self-love. And when we practice self-love, we begin to heal wounds and transform pain.

When we’re disconnected from our hearts, on other hand, we are literally out of touch with our bodies and out of alignment with our truth. We can feel lost. We can be subconsciously driven to avoid pain and what we don’t want, rather than consciously inviting more pleasure and what we do want into our lives.

To me, the clear choice is to learn from our pain and use it to our advantage, transforming it into more love for ourselves and others. This is the first step to realizing our greatest potential.

Admittedly, witnessing the pain that is part of our human experience is a courageous act. But in holding it, hearing it, and validating it, something magical happens… we heal that pain. It feels less formidable. Smaller, better. Until it is gone. Because on the other side of pain is our truth. And our truth is our freedom.

The release of resistance to explore that pain is what frees us to move into accepting who we are exactly as we are. This is the singular magic of listening to and healing our heart. This one brave act opens us to greater self-love and an entirely different experience of life.

This month, I challenge you to look inside your own hearts and listen. The world is asking us to use our voices for positive change and progress. There is nothing more noble or courageous than to start by listening to the voices of our own hearts. This is how we become the change we wish to see in the world.

I am holding each of you in my own heart this month, surrounding you with light and love.



February’s Love Step

Life can be easier, more rewarding, and satisfying when we connect and lead with our hearts and listen to who we are. This month we are focusing on unlocking our heart’s natural intuitive guidance and allowing our brains and hearts to join up. Here are some simple love steps to connect with your heart’s intuitive guidance:

1. Place your hand on your heart and breathe into this space. Allow your heart space to expand with each breath. Once you feel that space start to expand out to your arms, ask your heart these questions:

What do I need to hear from you today?
What would be good for me to do today?
What do you need from me today?
Keep a journal close to you and write down the answers so you can keep a log.

2. Connecting your heart and brain has great benefits to your health and happiness. HeartMath Institute has some videos to explain heart brain coherence.

3. Lastly, you can start to develop the brain/heart connection by following this quick, 15-minute meditation . Find a quiet, uninterrupted, comfortable place where you can practice this technique.

Additional Ways to Step into Love This Year

While this email series serves as an educational stepping-stone into deepening the love you have for yourself, I offer other services to support you in your own unique journey to self-love and what it means for you. For continued guidance, you can purchase a course of customized mediations I’ll be leading with a dear friend that will help you dig deeper into the subconsciousness belief systems. Email me at jmankus@authenticstrides.com to sign up or get more information.

As you move through this process, I can also support you on a more personalized and one-on-one basis through the power of Equine Gestalt Coaching. Gestalt sessions with or without the horses are both available to you. To explore if this is the right step for you, please visit my website or get in touch at the email I provided above.