I’m sure you’ve often heard the term, ‘this opened my heart’, or ‘I’ve an open heart about things.’ It’s a very common term that you’re likely to hear in personal development programs.
I’d like to particularly focus on my perception of what an ‘open heart’ is and make a distinction between the ‘open heart’ and what others confuse with dopamine and serotonin rushes.
Infatuation vs an open heart
I think that most of you have had a moment in life where you have been a bit infatuated after meeting somebody and perceive that any resulting relationship may have more ‘advantages’ than ‘disadvantages’, more ‘pleasures’ than ‘pains’, and more ‘positive outcomes’ than ‘negative outcomes’. This perception often stimulates a dopamine rush from your amygdala, the desire center in the subcortical area of your brain, which elevates the levels of oxytocin, vasopressin, serotonin, endorphins and sometimes even estrogen.
As a result, your entire body may be flooded with feelings of happiness, safety, attachment, nurturing and peace, which facilitates the subjectively biased fantasy you create about what could happen in future – one where you are conscious of potential upsides and perceived rewards, and unconscious of potential downsides. It’s, in a sense, an irrational exuberance that can make you feel as if you’re on a high. If you prefer to watch the video, click below. ↓
This dopamine rush and a serotonin rush is often confused with an open heart.
This is also when you may tend to put that individual up on a pedestal and minimize yourself. You might even move away from what’s really important to you – your highest values – and make sacrifices for the other individual. You may even think you’re in love and that you’ve met your soul mate, and may not want to hear that it’s likely to be an infatuation where you’re blind to any downsides.
A day, a week, a month or six months later, you may then find yourself discovering that this individual or relationship is not what you thought them to be, and may even feel betrayed by the fantasy that you conjured and then projected. What often follows is a time of trying to reclaim higher priority parts of your life that you have sacrificed or put on hold, so you can re-establish equilibrium and take them off the pedestal you had them on.
You may even move from infatuation to its opposite resentment and begin seeing more negatives than positives, more drawbacks than benefits, more pains than pleasures, and more differences than similarities. You might even feel resentful or despise and look down on them, perhaps even projecting your values onto them and trying to turn them into the individual you think they ‘should’ be. And while infatuation often results in a leaning towards, judgment is likely to result in a leaning away from or avoidance.
Neither of these reflects an open heart – they are both imbalanced perceptions.
Only when you bring those two extremes into balance – neither looking up at someone nor looking down on them – do you have the opportunity to be grateful, unconditionally loving, inspired and feel an ‘open heart’ and the capacity to be truly authentic without deflated or inflated facades.
- When you minimize yourself and put somebody on a pedestal, and try to get yourself to live in their values, you are not being authentic.
- When you exaggerate yourself, look down on somebody and try to get them to live in your values, you are not being authentic.
In other words, whenever conditionally judge and you see only the upsides or the downsides, only see one side, you are imbalanced and become extrinsically run. I’m sure you can remember a time when you were so infatuated with someone that you couldn’t sleep or think clearly because they occupied so much space and time in your mind. Those extrinsically distracting misperceptions are subjectively biased, weigh you down, occupy your mind and distract you, and ultimately keep you from having an ‘open-heart’. This is not an unconditional state, but instead an infatuation that is lop-sided and conditional.
Only when you’ve a balanced and unjudging state where you have pure reflective awareness, where what you see in them, you see in you, where you are not too proud or too humble, when you have no desire to change you relative to them, and no desire to change them relative to you, and where it’s just grace – that’s when your metaphorical ‘heart’ is able to ‘open’.
I’ve been presenting my signature seminar program – the Breakthrough Experience for nearly 32 years and have had over a hundred thousand people attend and apply the ‘heart opening’ procedure called the Demartini Method. When my team and I facilitate this process where each individual learns how to transcend a particular judgment and enter into a state of equilibrium, the result is that they have poise, presence, inner peace, centeredness and a certainty that is both balanced and authentic – where their heart opens and they feel true love and appreciation.
When you live in alignment with what is truly highest on your list of values – you are most likely to experience a balanced state of mind and ‘open heart’.
When you live in alignment with what is truly highest on your list of values – the thing that is most intrinsic, the thing that you most spontaneously act on, the thing that is most fulfilling, meaningful and most inspiring, you have the highest probability of objectivity, reflectiveness, and even mindedness.
That is why you tend to be the most lucid, clear and profoundly productive when you prioritize your life and live according to your highest value. That highest value, which the ancients called the telos, is the gateway from the immanent mind that judges, to the transcendent mind that broadens and sees. You are more likely to access the transcendent mind whenever you are living by priority, see both sides of things, and are objective and centered.
This is also the state in which you are likely to plan strategically, set real objectives and goals, prepare for potential setbacks and challenges, execute deliverables and maximize your potential and self-govern, moderate and dampen your potentially distracting impulses and instincts.
So, if you want to be more productive, more poised, more present, more prioritized and more empowered, it would be wise to live by your highest priorities on a daily basis.
If you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it will be less likely to fill up with distractions, which are the infatuations and resentments that distract you in the day and keep you from setting goals that are effective and achieved.
You maximize your goal achievement to the degree that you are authentic.
When you do something that is high on your list of values, you are more likely to pursue challenges that inspire you, tackle new things, and solve problems. You are also less likely to shrink from challenges, but will instead pursue them, which is a sign of leadership, true emergence, and authenticity.
When you live congruently by your highest value and set real goals with real solutions, and have real strategies to solve real problems, you are most likely to solve them.
One of the reasons I teach the Demartini Method in the Breakthrough Experience is that I want people to master the skill of having reflective awareness so they don’t let the world on the outside distract them from the calling, vision, inspiration and objective goals on the inside.
Your real mission in life, your real purpose in life, is your birthright.
What is interesting is that:
- Every time you look down on somebody and are too proud to admit what you see in them is also inside you, you have a disowned part.
- Any time you look up at somebody and are too humble to admit that what you see in them is also inside you, you have a disowned part.
All of those disowned parts, those deflections or dismemberments, those avoided parts within you that you are too proud or too humble to admit that you have, are the sources of your voids or feelings of emptiness inside you.
When you embrace both sides and come to know that you are the hero and villain, the saint and the sinner, the virtue and the vice, you can have fulfillment. Those disowned parts or voids are simply feedback to get you back into reflective awareness where you can be authentic.
Everything that is going on in your life is a feedback and is attempting to get you to your most authentic and empowered state.
That way, you can see life as being on the way, not in the way. You don’t have to be a victim of some history when you can be a master of your destiny by seeing that whatever is happening is actually guiding and assisting you.
Two of the greatest questions you can ask yourself are:
- How is whatever that is happening in my life right now, helping me fulfil my highest value?
- What is the highest priority action I can do right now with the resources that I have available?’
In doing so, you will be more likely to be resourceful, balanced and fulfilled, and most likely to have an ‘open heart’.
Resilience and adaptability are byproducts of a centered mind. A centered mind often results in a centered physiology.
Think about it – you have less noise in the brain when you are centered and therefore more clear, concise and focused on what it is you would love to create or fulfill. In your business, you will be less likely to be narcissistic and miss your customers’ and employee’s needs. You are also less likely to be volatile and emotional, which has already been proven to undermine wealth building. As a leader, you will tend to be more centered and able to handle paradoxes, and more inspired. You will also find that you are less likely to take things out on other people or on yourself.
If and when you ask the right questions that equilibrate your mind, you can open your heart.
An ‘open heart’ is an expression of full potential because you are grateful for life. At the end of your day, if you are not grateful for your day, you are likely to not have lived by highest priority.
For just a moment – stop, and introspect or reflect:
- First, if you have not gone online to drdemartini.com and done your FREE value determination to determine what’s truly highest on your list of values, please consider doing so today.
- Second, please also consider structuring your life and setting your goals or objectives that are congruent with your highest values.
- Third, work toward eventually delegating all lower priority activities that devalue you and stick to the actions that are highest in priority that truly and spontaneously inspire you.
Give yourself permission to have more moments with an ‘open heart’ and to be authentic so you can achieve more, be more, do more, and have more.
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About Dr John Demartini:
Dr. John Demartini, is a human behavior specialist, a polymath, philosopher, international speaker and published author. He has recently been awarded the IAOTP Top Human Behavior Specialist of the Year as well as the IAOTP Lifetime Achievement Award.
His work is a summation of over 299 different disciplines synthesized from the greatest minds in most fields of study today. His extensive curriculum focuses on helping purpose driven individuals master their lives so that they are able to more extensively serve humanity with their inspired vision and mission.