Where the treasures are

The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart.” ~ a Sioux Indian saying. 


At our core, we all want —and are worthy —to be seen, heard, validated and acknowledged.   That level of presence helps us feel loved.

For those of us who did not receive that type of love from someone who was emotionally present to us as young children, or in later years if we were betrayed or neglected, we can become guarded.

Our hurt souls sometimes unknowingly put up a wall–closing others off by living from our heads, and overly analytical minds, as a form of self-protection. Feelings can then become stuffed inside, too, which increases anxiety.

As a result, others who are in relationship with those who have become guarded can feel dismissed, ignored and hurt, when the sense of a deeper heart connection is missing. Intimacy, after all means, “into me I see,” one wise person once told me.

According to author John Eldredge, who has counseled many couples, the key relationship longing, especially for women, is to be “known”–not fixed, improved upon or have something solved for us (although physical help can feel nice, and “acts of service” is one of the key “languages of love” in the highly touted book, The Five Love Languages).

I have spent decades coaching men and women, personally and professionally, in moving from the head to the heart.  Like the quote at the beginning of this blog post says, it can be a long journey. Being witnessed with love and compassion helps significantly in changing the story.

Here are a few tips you can begin using today in shifting to more engaging, fulfilling and heart-centered living:

  1. Start asking yourself daily, “What do I feel?” instead of focusing mostly on “What do I think?” Share those feelings with those closest to you.
  2. When you have an important decision to make, put your hand over your heart, sit quietly, and ask for guidance. Often the answers that come quickly are from the heart, and the ones mulled over for a long time can be a replay of the past, repeatedly reviewing what has not worked (which trains the mind to look for more of what we do not want, versus what we do want).
  3. Praise should far outweigh criticism, and feelings of being cherished and adored, are key elements of healthy relationships. Be generous with your compliments, and make sure they are direct: “You look beautiful” versus “That dress looks nice on you.”  Express gratitude and appreciation, and show the other person he or she is a priority in your life. You alone and your busyness are not THAT important, nor is your work. It only takes a few seconds to send a text, pick up the phone, or respond to an email. Plus, the “we” mentality is so much stronger than the “me.” At the end of life, how much we loved is far more important than we what did, according to many who have witnessed those dying.
  4. For all those who are “givers,” practice receiving, which means opening up to becoming more vulnerable, and letting go of control. Love is a circle of give and take, not a one-way effort.
  5. Get rid of the “honey-do” list and start having a “honey-be” list. Have a daily, or, at the very least, a weekly check-in. Each person speaks for 15 minutes without interrupting the other, or giving advice or feedback. This level of non-judgmental presence can deepen relationships and opens each person to another life perspective. None of us sees the world through the exact same lens. We grow from taking in and accepting another’s view, even if we do not agree with it.

If you’re feeling blocked in opening your heart, I would love to support you. Email gailjones@claimyourworthiness.com to set up a free, 30-minute consult.

And remember, we first must become the love we are seeking. The responsibility to heal earlier wounds begins with us. The resulting transformation, to more fully express our innate wholeness, is one of the greatest gifts we can offer another.

Take a risk and share a feeling, with another, or in the “leave a reply” section at the end of this blog.

I look forward to hearing more about the courageous ways you will get out of your head, access the wisdom of your heart, and become more lovingly available to yourself and others.

Next week I’ll be posting a blog on “a checklist for love,” for attracting or deepening love relationships.

With gratitude, as we expand in love together,


 Sharon Spector, my talented photographer friend, playfully captured the above heart photo for this blog post. To see more of her work, email sharingjoy@ymail.com.



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  • Diane Johnston says:

    I like #5. To be quiet and listen to another person for 15 minutes without trying to fix anything! This will be a worthwhile challenge. Thanks Gail!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, Diane: A reminder that love takes discipline, and getting out of our way to let in another’s presence, too. I look forward to hearing an update on how trying #5 works out for you:) Blessings, Gail

  • Judy Miller says:

    Thanks Gail, those are very rich tips with a lot of wisdom. Being direct with compliments spoke to me. How fun to speak directly to someone’s heart. Curious to see how that might impact my relationships. I appreciate you so much.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Judy: I love the way you worded that, describing compliments as a fun way “to speak directly to someone’s heart.” There is such generosity articulated in that statement. Imagine all the love that could be spread if people risked sharing more kind words to one another, instead of holding back. And, BTW, thank you for the compliment you gave to me in your words of appreciation. Blessings, Gail

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