Build Resilience | Flourish through HeartfulnessApr 08, 2021
We consider heartfulness a key practice and quality to going beyond recovery and actually flourishing. That may sound funny coming from our group of psychiatrists and researchers on the NMH team.
It makes sense though. If you can create a flourishing life, there is less room for something like depression to seep back in. Consider these lines by Hafiz, a 14th century Persian poet:
Love is the great work,
But every heart is first an apprentice.
Perhaps, that means there is nothing more important in one’s lifetime than learning to love well. And it doesn’t just happen. As with any important skill, we first have to learn to love well. We have to practice. We have to apprentice.
If you have ever suffered with depression or anxiety, you know how hard it can be to stay open-hearted. Here's the secret: You have to learn to love yourself first.
Try seeing the goodness in yourself, even if you think it’s hidden. Every one of us, including you, is doing the best we can at any given time, no matter how skillful or unskillful it appears.
The ability to see yourself for who you are, to recognize the seed of goodness in you even when you feel lousy, sends a message deep within. You are fundamentally whole. You are going to be OK. Whether or not you even realize it, this belief somehow enlarges you.
As someone once said, “Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?”
Be kind to yourself first, then try to see that goodness in others, even when you think it’s hidden. The ability to see others for who they really are, to recognize the seed of goodness within them, sends a reflection back to the other. Whether or not you actually say anything to them, they know it and it somehow enlarges them.
This is the work and power of heartfulness. It's worth the effort and essential for a flourishing life.
Stillness. It's what your soul longs for.
It is important to carve out time when there is nothing you need to do, nowhere you need to go, no one you need to try to be—other than yourself. Read more.