Why have I lived my life stuck in my head?

 Anxious man leaning over steering wheel

Where has it gotten me?

I grew up thinking that this was the best way to be.

In school, they drilled it into me.

“You know this! Just use your head.”

Alright, maybe I know this, but I don’t know it.

I’ve had trouble explaining this to people. It’s something I’ve realized in the last few years.

Truth in my head doesn’t necessarily mean truth in my heart.

I can know something, but that doesn’t mean that I feel it.

It’s why I pursued finance at first — to be practical.

Now I join people to have difficult conversations — and I’ve never been happier.

It’s hard to get out of my head when I’ve spent most of my life living in it.

It’s not easy being myself when I’ve spent most of my life doing what I’ve been told to do.

I know I’m not my thoughts, I do. But, if I think enough, I become what I’m thinking.

And thoughts that only come from the mind are poison.

It’s thoughts that come from the heart that count.

Pure thoughts — the kind of thoughts that are a shimmering reflection of who I truly am.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, to get out of my head and into my heart.

Because it’s safer in the head.

Or so I thought.

There I go with the thoughts again.

It’s an illusion. When I spend too much time thinking, I don’t spend enough time being.

And when I don’t spend enough time being, I don’t experience my life.

If I’m in my head, I miss out on a lot — on conversations, on beautiful moments, on firsts and lasts I should have seen.

I’m there, but I’m not really there.

This happened to me a lot during the first 25 years of my life.

But I’ve found a better way.

The simplest of solutions changed my life forever.

And it all started with the breath.

Just focusing on the breath.

I couldn’t still my mind enough to do it often enough, so I started small.

I did it for one minute a day. Then two. Then five.

Now, I can focus on my breathing for twenty-five minutes at a time.

The thinking me says that’s crazy.

The real me notices the difference.

My head told me not to do this.

It said I was wasting my time. It said that I could be doing something else, achieving more, reading more books.

But my heart says, “Be patient.” It asks, “Do you feel better?”

And I know I do.

I’ve lived so much of my life in my head.

If I may give myself permission to have some thoughts here, I think:

Did I know any better?

How could I have known that I couldn’t make my life perfect through thinking?

Can you judge a man on his painting if you’ve never given him art supplies?

Stepping out of my head is stepping into the frigid outdoors. The exposure is a sudden shock to the system.

But the cold wakes me up. It makes me feel something.

It makes me realize that what I feared is actually not that bad.