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When last did you have a heart-to-heart conversation with a stranger or friend that left you with positive feelings that lasted for weeks?
Contrast that experience with typical questions like
“What’s on your bucket list?”
“How soon can we fix this problem?”
“Have you heard the latest dirt about..?”
“What do you do?”
All such “fact-based” questions inform the mind and titillate our curiosity but seldom warm the heart. When last did you
- Play with your children/grandchildren without checking your watch?
- Find yourself so lost in what you were doing that you were surprised to know how much time had gone by?
- Have dinner with friends and make a heart-to-heart connection?
- End a conversation and thought and felt about it for weeks afterwards?
Al are examples of consciously and fully living in the now and connecting intensively with others. However, such experiences are often rare. Typically in our conversations we stay on the surface, are distracted by thoughts of the past and future, and keep the conversation purely about facts. Why?
- Our Western world seems to value ideas and action more than it does connection.
- The world of thoughts and doing is perceived to be of more value than the world of feeling and communing.
The bad news is if we let the head trump the heart and agendas, schedules, and deadlines dominate our lives, we live on the surface of life–busy and productive, perhaps, but missing out on those deeper moments and times that provide us with insights about what is really important. We also forget how short and precious life is.
The good news is that when we let go of the idea that this is the only way to live, wisdom and significance sneaks into our lives and the possibility of true connection shows up.
The other night at dinner we talked with friends way into the evening, fully present, without a sense of time. At the end of the evening, we all sat quietly, then someone said: “This was such a satisfying evening; this is the way life should be.”
Conversation that titillates or even informs the mind does not necessarily warm the heart.
In the end, heart wisdom is more powerful than head knowledge. It reveals who we really are.