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“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart…Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

?Clarity of purpose, mind, and heart are at the center of my practice. Enabling and assisting others to develop their own clarity of vision is my passion. As you've surely noticed by now, there are many influences in my life that inspire and support me in this endeavor. The HeartMath® Institute, The Arbinger Institute, and A Course in Miracles (ACiM) all guide me and provide invaluable insight that I incorporate into my work and my life.

I've written about each of these influences previously (here are introductions to each — HeartMath, Arbinger, ACiM), but I'd like to take a step back and explore the threads that tie them together and how they have shaped my philosophy and practice as a whole.

Living At A Higher Level

I am a firm believer in the innate wisdom of every human being, the “true self” that exists within all of us. When we allow this true self to be revealed, we are able to flourish in all areas of our lives. The tools provided by these three organizations can help us remove the obstacles that keep us from unleashing this innate wisdom. Ego and fear are two of these obstacles.

Freeing Ourselves from Ego

A Course in Miracles confronts our ego head on. It is our ego that reinforces the mistaken notion that we are incomplete, separate from one another, and separate from our Maker. Through awakening to the realization that we are complete, we are intrinsically connected to others and to the world around us, and we are one with our Maker. ACiM acknowledges the ego for what it really is — an obstacle to connection and completeness. The ego is a wall we build between ourselves and others, and the more we overcome it, the more our true self can shine through to those around us.

The Arbinger Institute addresses the ego in a different way. Through simple storytelling, Arbinger recognizes the “boxes” we build and carry with us throughout our lives. These boxes, full of misconceptions, burden our hearts and impact our behavior, keeping us stuck in old patterns. Our ego reinforces the boxes we carry, making it easier for us to deny the humanity of those who are different from us, who disagree with us, or who hurt us. It encourages us to burrow deeper into our box, instead of expanding outside of it. This is how the ego interacts with fear.

Living Without Fear

A Course in Miracles is chock full of insights from the world of neuroscience, delivered in a prose style that engages our hearts and encourages us to set aside fear, another force that separates us from each other and from our true selves. By rejecting a culture of fear (fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear of difference) and embracing a culture of love, we give our true selves the ability to manifest. As Carl Jung expresses in the quote above, clarity and freedom come through recognizing our oneness and wholeness — through looking to our heart and our heart's energy.

Interestingly, the Arbinger Institute's written work, The Anatomy of Peace, uses the language “we either have a heart at peace or a heart at war.”  It may well be this simple. The science of The HeartMath Institute empirically demonstrates this dichotomy. Coherent heart rhythms are the result of a heart at peace, the ego set aside, and a centering so enlightened that we see clearly, engage more fully with others, and co-create a reality born of oneness. Non-coherence is an expression of the heart at war, of ego-centered, boxed-in self righteousness.

Embracing A Heart of Peace

We all have the opportunity to cultivate a heart at peace or a heart at war — the choice is ours. In my work and in my life, I am on a journey towards the clarity of vision that can only result from a heart at peace. The HeartMath Institute, Arbinger Institute, and A Course in Miracles are all invaluable assets and inspirations to me on this journey, which is why I take such pleasure in sharing their work with you here. Whatever resources are valuable to you, I wish you the best on your journey to a heart at peace!

What inspires you to cultivate a heart at peace? Share by tweeting @Ace_Wagner!