If you are feeling disconnected with yourself, isolated or lonely, feeling not belonging to the world, depressed, stressed, judgmental, not trusting life, it indicates that you are moving farther from who you are. When you are feeling relaxed, expanded, happy, grateful, inspired, compassionate, loving, trusting, it means you are moving closer to who you are.

Remembering who we are is a process of cultivating these elevated emotions by entering our heart. While the mind thinks, the heart knows. We truly see things as they are when we live in our heart. Heart is the center of Oneness. It bridges the polarities of life: pain and pleasure, good and evil. When we open our heart and are honest with our feelings, we become compassionate with ourselves.

Here are some principles that help us open our heart and return to who we are:

• Listening compassionately to people in our life helps us to stay less judgmental. Relationships blossom with mutual trust and deep bonds when we cultivate compassionate listening. In this process we listen to the emotions rather than the story. We give our entire presence to the other person. We help them find their own path and listen to their inner voice. We witness them returning to peace and balance within.

• Own your emotions and feel them. This means we are not making others or circumstances responsible for how we feel. Rather, we are truly embracing the emotion like a mother holding her baby. In that moment something profound happens: the energy from the emotion is released. It flows and joins our being. We feel complete and whole.

• Practice Loving Kindness. Close your eyes, remember for a few minutes the unconditional love you received as a child from someone. Whether it is your mother, dad, teacher, friend, feel their love for who you are. Let this love fill your heart. Now give this love to the people in your life.

• We use our senses to define our world. When we are “seeing” the world with our senses, all our attention is in the outer world. Practice a different kind of seeing. Instead of seeing the object, practice paying attention to the very act of seeing. Become aware of the act of seeing or listening or tasting food or even touching. With this practice we move inward and become the awareness of everything we observe. With regular practice it becomes effortless to rest in the awareness, irrespective of what is happening in our environment. We start to feel more centered and calmer.

• Practice Gratitude. Express gratitude to the past for being a wise teacher. Feel and express gratitude to all the supportive people in your life. Feel gratitude for the bright future that is not manifest yet. Gratitude changes our vibration and puts us in a state of receiving. We start receiving all the wonderful things in life for which we are feeling grateful.

• Feel Inspired. Listen to music that you never get bored of listening to. Read books, take courses and listen to talks that truly inspire you. Be courageous to dream a beautiful and meaningful life for yourself and stay inspired.

• Follow your Intuition. Listen to what your heart is crying for. Awaken to your soul’s deepest desire. Dare to follow your heart. As Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “Don’t die with the music still inside you.” However distant your dreams may seem, never allow others’ opinions to discourage you. Trust in your gifts. You are a unique, gifted soul. Make small steps towards owning and realizing your gifts.

• Learn the Art of Surrender. Instead of living in stress, practice living in ease. There is a divine intelligence within you that is paying attention to your life. This intelligence is making your heart beat and breaking down your food into energy. This loving intelligence wants you to stay happy, healthy and peaceful. Trust in this love, trust in this intelligence and surrender to it. Let it take care of your life.

Returning to our heart is an integral practice. Whenever we choose kindness over righteousness we are in the heart. We stop striving to become perfect and instead enjoy our own imperfections and allow people in our life to be imperfect. Life is not meant to be right or wrong. Life is just to be who you are.

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