“The longest journey will make in your life is from your head to your heart.”

This Lakota Sioux saying describes the essence of my existence – not because of my Lakota heritage, but because of the commitment I have made to live from the heart.

Many people who read my work or know a bit about my life have a hard time trying to put me into a box. Often, when people find out I teach yoga and yogic psychology (healing movement of the body, self-regulation through breathing, and psycho-emotional transformation) they preach a thing or two to me about Jesus. They say things like, “Only Jesus can heal us,” or “I hope you will accept Jesus as your Savior.”

These people think they know about my relationship with Jesus. But they know nothing. They only assume.

Sometimes I am disheartened by the fallacious nature of the human mind, watching it repeatedly use the bit of information it knows to make gross assumptions about other people and the world.

I share this not in ridicule, but as a companion to all humans: one who has experienced the fallacy of my own mind, and how that fallacy has previously blocked me from a more expansive, inclusive, understanding, and loving connection with myself, Jesus’ teachings, and all that is.

I stand with you in this journey: from the head and into the heart.

I know you are in this journey because you are reading this column right now. I know the Maker connected me to you in this way.

My personal truth is this: I follow the teachings of Jesus. He is the greatest role model for my life. I relate to Jesus in His advocacy for social justice, in His protests against corruption, greed, and control, and yet how He saw all as worthy of love and redemption.

Jesus was not a sedentary member of a church. He did not create a physical location and name it after himself. He was a nomadic teacher who assisted people to see through the blinding and binding proclivities of mind and body which prevent us from experiencing and loving our neighbors as ourselves (this is precisely what inspired my path as a teacher).

I recently visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine, to see where He is believed to be born. The church was extravagant. The rooms were adorned with ornate art and lots of expensive shiny things. Monks walked the halls and crowds of noisy tourists disrupted the sanctity of silence. I meandered into a quiet space to pray.

As I sat in a pew and listened to the sound of a dramatic automated organ, I connected with my heart space and asked my great teacher, Jesus, “Do you have a message tonight in this special place?”

Distinctly, the response I felt and heard was, “This place is all for show. The Kingdom is within, from the head into the heart.”

I could see so clearly how my mind had wanted to search for meaning in the world. I wanted to feel something, to see something in this supposed holy place.

But He showed me how looking for meaning out in the world can distract us from the inner journey – the only journey that can really bring us closer to love and truth.

The holidays are upon us. This is a great opportunity to notice our inner conditions so we can see where to go in our inner journeys.

Maybe we can begin by noticing how much our minds make assumptions about the world and also judge others? We can notice how so much thinking blocks us from feeling what is underneath.

What are those thoughts trying to protect?

Who and what are these thoughts serving?

Can we ask these thoughts to move to the side so we can see and feel beneath them?

What do you feel and notice when these thoughts moved out of the way for a while?

Be brave and honest as you make new discoveries about yourself.

This is one of the most transformative steps in the journey from the head and into the heart.