An animal will know hours before a storm comes or an earthquake erupts. It is aware of the shifts in its environment, and it follows the optimal course of action. It knows where it needs to go and when.

But most humans who are making decisions based on their minds or hearts will be so deeply connected to their own agendas, they will not realize there is a storm until the sky is black. They will not realize there is an earthquake until the ground is shaking. They will not know when they need to take action or to be patient because they are too fixated on “figuring out” what’s going to happen based on weak assumptions.

In the past, our society has taught us to follow our minds. Your logical and analytical mind will weigh the pros and cons in a given situation, leading you toward a solution with the greatest benefits and fewest negative consequences.

Your mind, however, is not effective unless you have trained it to be so by getting rid of mindless chatter, ego-based thoughts and the things you have been taught to believe. Most of us have not trained the mind thoroughly enough to make it functional and reliable.

Your mind won’t lead you to what you are passionate about. Your mind will not intimately connect you to other human beings. Your mind will not lead you toward love.

Your heart will.

More recently, we have been taught to follow our hearts. It is from your heart that you choose love, compassion, nurturing, caring, empathy, listening, giving and sharing. The heart will bond you to other people.

But it is this bond that can also deceive you. The heart will sometimes lead you toward ridiculous choices that simply make no sense. Making decisions using only the mind and the heart keep you stuck in a less than ideal “reality.” On a day-to-day basis, functioning from the surface leaves you with barely enough available energy to perceive something with depth because your energy is wrapped up with your thoughts and emotions.

At the surface, there are many outside factors keeping you from being the most effective person you can be. It is from this surface that most people are and have been for many millennia. You can witness how ineffective operating from the surface has been through the destruction of the earth and through war and crime on any level. You can also witness this through complacency, complaints and general misery.

While the heart and the mind, thoughts and love, have an important place in our lives, it is time to go beyond these facets and move into depth.

In my first book, Dancing with Divinity: Positive Affirmations for any Situation, I suggested that one of the Five Treasures was to let the heart lead. In my second book, The Nine Scoundrels: How to Recognize and Release Subtle Patterns of Sabotage, I wrote, “Sometimes the practical choice is not the better choice. The better choice is the one that comes from the heart.” While the heart can be an important guide for our decisions, we can access an even greater depth, from where we gain inherent knowledge and innate power.

Instead of operating only from the heart or the mind, choose to also operate from the heart of the matter. Connect to your deepest self – to that part of you which is infinite, powerful, certain, filled with insight and intuition and steeped in truth and wisdom.

Do not falter through choices that the mind or the heart creates. Go much deeper than that. Tap into the depth of your Self, where even your Self does not really exist and you are therefore void of ego, illusion and belief. From here, you can operate from a place where endless possibilities exist, from where you have infinite power, from where you can access certainty.

From a place of depth, necessary action will be effortless and impeccable. From this depth, there isn’t any confusion.

How do you begin operating from this level of depth? To move into true depth, release unnecessary and ineffective activities, thoughts, words, personal history and emotions.

Stop the need to be doing things simply to have something to do. Slow down. Prioritize.

Clear your mind. Embrace the depth of stillness. Let every part of your day be a constant meditation – not just thirty minutes seated at a cushion in half lotus. Use the mind for necessary tasks and then shut it off. Thoughts are a great source of misery. Stop torturing yourself.

Be silent. Just as it’s important to clear the mind chatter, it’s important to clear the verbal chatter, as well.

Release personal history. Retelling the past uses a great deal of energy. Tell stories that will sincerely help others or make you stronger through re-telling them. It’s okay to get rid of every story that makes you feel weak or stupid. And it’s also valid to shut down anyone who begins to tell one of these stories on your reluctant behalf.

Avoid suppressing emotions, but also make sure you don’t wallow in them. Honor the time necessary to grieve, but don’t let it infinitely rob you of your vitality. Release emotions that cannot be used as a catalyst to action. Pay close attention to self-pity, which is an enormous drain of energy.

Operating from the heart of the matter, you see beyond sight, with all your energy readily available to comprehend subtle shifts and nuances. You are always connected to intent no matter what situation you are in. You can “call the shots.” Because you “see” beyond the surface. You will have certainty because you will not have an agenda or a bind to a desired outcome. You will have heightened love from a truer depth not based on conditions or circumstance.

From the heart of the matter, you will know what to do, when to do it and be effective while doing it – just like an animal before a storm.

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