An exercise to get into the view from the heart

English: Motivational speaker Tony Robbins at ...

Tony Robbins at a Twitter conference in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve had a few Super Soul Sunday episodes stacking up on my DVR, waiting for moments when I felt I could really sit and pay attention.  [I sort of watch a lot of TV but usually with laptop in lap while catching up on e-mails, reading and writing blog posts, etc….  so not really seeing much of it]

Today’s viewing was the last one I had, an interview with Tony Robbins from a few weeks back.  Though I’ve been aware of him for many years and vaguely familiar with his work, I’ve not read any of his books nor previously watched any of his videos so this was my first real encounter.

At about 21 minutes in on my recording he did a very short little meditation exercise centered around focusing on an issue in your life, moving into a heart space and then reexamining the issue with the energy of heart.  I thought it had some powerful possibilities.  The whole interview was really good and the “short” at the end was wonderful, so you might want to see the whole thing if you can find it.*

An excerpt with this exercise is available at the moment on the OWN site:

http://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=64700

The exercise here was an abbreviated version of his technique so it may not reflect the impact of doing the full version.  I was definitely taken by it.  But I found the questions he asked us to consider about gratitude –supposedly to move me into heart– moved me into my head as I reached for memories that seemed to fit.

In spite of that I felt a shift in attitude.  The problem I used is fairly big so I’d like to do it again and for a longer time.  And I came up with a couple of other ways I’d like to try it.

The first piece, putting your hands over your heart, is a good use of “energy flows where attention goes”, so at first I moved naturally into heart energy because the placement of my hands took me there.  I think I might have done better on the next step with just breathing in and out of my heart with my hands held there, bringing extra attention and energy to that level.

In another meditation I regularly do there’s a moment where you’re asked to recall a moment of great happiness.  I always recall a visit back to Marin during which, while out on a walk, I hit a beautiful stretch I love and felt so delighted to be there that I danced around with my arms in the air.  Recalling the moment puts me in a magical place.  I’m also going to try doing the exercise using the happy memory and see how it goes.

So, the three possible variations:

  1.  His method:
  • place your hands over your heart and leave them there throughout
  • think of an issue or problem
  • list three things for which you’re grateful
  • come back to the issue and see how it feels or what answers you have from the heart space

2.  Using energy:

  • place your hands over your heart and leave them there throughout
  • think of an issue or problem
  • inhale and exhale from your heart at least six breaths (or until you feel you’ve moved into the energy of heart)
  • review the issue again and see if your feelings or ideas about it have changed

3.  Happy memory

  • place your hands over your heart and leave them there
  • think of an issue or problem
  • inhale and exhale from your heart two or three times
  • focus on the happiest moment you can think of and really let yourself feel it
  • come back to the issue and see how it feels or whether you have a different view

I think there’s some potential here for powerfully moving through stuck places in a pretty simple exercise, so I’ll be working with this one!


*OWN has gotten to be pretty cagey about making full episodes available after airing.  This one is not on the OWN youtube page although there are excerpts.  As of today (Sept. 20, 2016) it’s available through On Demand.  It is NOT available on the OWN app.

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