Much of the human race, at this point in our evolution, seems to think that acquiring stuff is what makes us happy, that what is outside of us can make us happy. If we have more money we’ll be happy. If we have a great relationship we’ll be happy. If we have a bigger house, a nicer car or new furniture we’ll be happy. If we had a more fulfilling job we’d be happy. If our children would just be better behaved we’d be happy. If our spouse would be more loving we’d be happy.
The truth is none of this makes us happy. Deep down we really know that. We’ve spent a lifetime acquiring stuff, changing jobs, changing careers, changing relationships, etc. and we know that none of it makes us happy. In fact, just the opposite occurs in many cases. By acquiring stuff, we create a never-ending cycle of more bills, since we usually acquire our stuff using a credit card or bank loan. Then we need more money to pay off the bills. When we make more money, we tend to acquire more stuff creating even higher bills, with the result that we are deeply unhappy if not outright depressed. Changing relationships through divorce does the same thing. Most divorces are messy things that make both spouses and children unhappy, depressed and afraid of change.
We keep searching for the magic potion, for that special something that will make us happy. The problem is we’re looking in the wrong place. We are the only thing that can make us happy. We get to choose!
In order to find happiness we must go within. Neale Donald Walsch in his book, Friendship With God, said “Go within. To find what is within, go within. If you do not go within, you go without.” We know that what is without does not make us happy. So what is within? Our Sacred Heart. Our Self.
We are not our body. We are not our thoughts. We are not our feelings. We can be aware of and observe all of those things. In the classic scientific principle of “subject – object relationship”, if we can observe something, it is the object and we are the subject. We are not and cannot be the object. We are spiritual beings in a physical body. (“…the world consists of objects (entities) which are perceived or otherwise presumed to exist as entities, by subjects (observers).” – Wikipedia, Subject-object problem.)
What does it mean to ‘go within’? It means to put our attention, our focus, our awarenesson our Sacred Heart. Where is our Sacred Heart? The physical location of your Sacred Heart is behind your solar plexus or sternum near your spine. The location varies slightly from person to person, but if you put your attention in that area you can locate it by feeling its energy vibrating (it may take time and practice for you to feel that energy) or by getting a sense that your body’s boundaries are diminishing, i.e., they are not as solid as you thought they were.
For those of you who know chakras, it is the heart chakra. Chakras are measurable energy centers located from the bottom of your spine to the top of your spine in the middle of your body. If you are sitting up very straight, as a Lotus position (although that is not required), picture a string running from just inside your tailbone up your spine through the middle of the top of your head, and that will give you a good idea where the chakras are located. “Chakras exist in many dimensions simultaneously, and as such, are a point of entry into those dimensions.” Wheels of Light by Anodea Judith.
Our Sacred Heart is the intersection of our physical body with our infinite, eternal spiritual Self, or with the dimension of the Divine. Glenda Green puts it beautifully in her 1999 book, Love Without End: Jesus Speaks, “The heart I speak of is the central focus point of your very soul. It is the lens through which your soul integrates all of your earthly emotions and all of your divine awareness in a focused point of infinite possibility. This point is on the threshold of your physical existence, at a point slightly below and behind your physical heart.”
To go within means to put your attention on your Sacred Heart. When you put your attention there you can feel that you exist beyond your body. In other words, you become aware that your body is not all that you are. Focusing your attention on your Sacred Heart diminishes the boundaries of the body, and you feel yourself one with the space that is outside your body. If, with your attention, you begin to probe the limits of yourself, you find that there are none. Your Self extends infinitely and eternally, One with All That Is.
As with anything new, this takes practice. When you first put your attention on your Sacred Heart, imagine your self extending into the room beyond your body. The more you can keep your attention on your Sacred Heart, the easier it will be to feel yourself beyond your body. If you have a hard time grasping this imagine what it would be like to be spirit. What is spirit? Does spirit have shape? Does spirit have boundaries?
Spirit is kind of like air. If you’re driving in the mountains you will notice that the air smells fresh and clean. When you drive down to the city the air smells more like smog. If you drive by the ocean it may smell of fish and salt. But the air is all one. Did you notice a boundary line between where the air smelled fresh and clean and where it smelled like smog or the ocean? There is no boundary. Your spirit is like that. You are one with All That Is and yet you are an individual. There is no boundary between your spirit and anything else, yet you are aware that you exist. The more you put your attention on your Sacred Heart the more you feel oneness with All That Is, that there are no boundaries, that there are no limits.
Our goal is to keep our attention or our awareness on our Sacred Heart always, all ways. Then we are always in that place of Oneness, we are always One with All That Is. This can have tremendous positive impact on our relationships, both casual and intimate.
For instance, when I first meet someone, or even just see someone for the first time, I normally have a first impression or some type of judgment about them, either positive or negative. I may think she’s beautiful, he’s tall, she’s too thin, he’s fat, I don’t like the way he’s dressed, she’s sexy, he’s homely, he/she has a good build, what is he doing with that little bit of hair he’s got, etc. The point is I’m coming from my mind, which as we have discussed, is the domain of ego. Ego always wants to be best or worst and will build up or tear down anyone or anything to achieve its goal. If we are truly One with All That Is then when we judge someone or something else, we are really judging ourselves. We are also implying that God’s creation is flawed, which includes both us and them. However, if my attention is on my Sacred Heart when I first meet someone or see someone, there is only acceptance. I accept them wholly and completely as a perfect child of God. If my attention is not on my Sacred Heart, and I begin to judge, I am usually aware enough at this stage of my practice, that I can immediately shift my awareness and all judgment disappears. Try it. You will see that it works.
Another example is that if we are involved in a discussion or argument with a close friend or loved one and we are both coming from mind or ego, they may say something that would cause us to get angry with them, which could then escalate into us hurting them, or them hurting us, damaging the relationship. Instead of coming from mind or ego (which has to be right at all costs), we can keep our awareness focused on our Sacred Heart. Then we will calmly, humbly and lovingly find a solution to whatever issue is at hand.
Keeping our attention on our Sacred Heart will keep us in a loving compassionate place always. As Glenda Green again so wonderfully put it “Within the Sacred Heart are seven passions: Unity, Love, Life, Respect, Honesty, Justice, and Kindness, which bring understanding and focus to living. Together they generate COMPASSION, which is the soul’s true knowing”. So keep your attention on your Sacred Heart, not only during the Spirit Hug process, but practice keeping it there at all times. It will make a wonderful difference in your life and in your world.
This then is step one of the Spirit Hug process:
Go within to your Sacred Heart, that place of Oneness with the infinite and eternal; become One with All That Is, now.
Practice this step until you can easily feel yourself beyond your body, One with All That Is.