Note: the blue italics indicates the teacher, in black other participants.

Impulse of the heart and self-interest

How can I improve my ability to respond to life according to the impulses of my heart, without being exploited by the personal interests of others?

To begin with, I have several questions: what does it mean to be exploited? Isn’t there a value judgment in the word “exploit”? Who is being exploited?
On the other hand, what does it matter whether or not it’s in the other person’s personal interest (and how can you be sure?) When you give a gift, whether or not the other person takes it is out of your hands.
Finally, I see two options:
1. The impulse of the heart is contaminated by the false personality that seeks to please, to gain recognition or to defend an image. So, be on the lookout to see if this impulse isn’t covering a blind spot.
2. It’s a pure impulse of the heart, but there’s a lack of listening to your personal ecology, which means you discover a little late that you’ve gone beyond your limits (physical, moral, energetic…). This can be reinforced by the belief that energy is infinite, available in abundance and without limit.
Here’s a little story to illustrate the point: Arnaud Desjardins worked every day in his ashram in France to help his disciples, with an unquestionable heartfelt enthusiasm. At a certain point, he fell ill from overwork. His master Swami Prajnanpad simply told him to take one day off a week.
In short, setting limits can be a blessing in disguise.

I believe this is what Jesus was referring to when he said, “Cast not pearls before swine”. For my part, I’m still learning not to have my heart always open. When interacting with someone, I systematically take two assumptions into account: I assume that the other person is contacting me purely for his or her own personal benefit; and simultaneously I assume the opposite. Depending on the context, one of these assumptions will carry more weight from the outset. As I interact with this person, the energy they give off will increasingly fuel one of the two hypotheses. As things become clearer, I become more reserved or more open. And if my interlocutor’s personal interest is obvious, I refuse to throw him my pearls. I may use humor to emphasize someone’s self-interest. But most people who act out of self-interest in order to exploit others have a deep-rooted and well-established pattern of behavior.
And if this is a recurring situation, I invite you to ask yourself this question: what are you doing to attract this kind of person? Or what aren’t you doing?

For me, action taken from the impulse of the heart does not give rise to any doubt, or even any memory, other than that of a subtle joy. If this question arises, it’s because trouble is coming. My approach at that moment is to pause, to pray, and to let it come in trust, without impatience for a solution.

If there’s a genuine impulse from the heart, there’s no possibility of exploitation by the other person. A sign that my heart is truly in the right place is the fact that I’m happy, that what I’m doing for the other person gives me joy, whatever the external circumstances. If there are questions, hesitations, titillations, I immediately go into self-observation to try and spot what’s touched me. Because in reality, even if the other person has made a request out of self-interest, it’s their problem, not mine. It’s up to me to decide whether or not to respond. And if I feel I’m seeing the other person’s self-interest, what’s the self-interest in me that’s holding up a mirror?
To give an example, one of my customers had got into the habit of asking me to come and look after her old cat when she was away for several days at a time. She asked me to do this almost every week. Since she lived a long way from me, I had to make a long detour, and of course I didn’t get paid. She played on my love of animals and the fact that I like taking care of them. I was happy to do it a few times, but at a certain point, this situation no longer suited me, and I told her that for my next payment, I was going to add 1 hour to my travel time. Well, guess what? She told me last week that she couldn’t hire me anymore because her tax bill was too high… Amazing, isn’t it? :). I left her house feeling a lightness the likes of which I’d never experienced before, and that lightness has been with me ever since. I respected myself by giving my limits, and I respected my innermost values, simply, without emotion, just by stating what suits me and what doesn’t. And most importantly: I’ve been honest with myself, and I’m happy to accept the consequences.

I believe that everything starts with an inner feeling:
– that of the natural and spontaneous impulse of life to which we give ourselves and which we put into action (if action is necessary)
– that which perceives the taint of self-interest on the sacred impulse.
When the sacred is tainted, it seems to me that the inner dynamic spontaneously takes a different direction, one that avoids, opposes or moves away from the selfish exploitation of the initial, pure impulse.
This brings me back to the impulse, the decision, that I clearly perceived when confronted with a toxic person in my circle, whom I had been very friendly with for years. The moment I came face to face with his deleterious behavior, I knew immediately that our relationship was totally and definitively over. It was clear and obvious. Here too, this person was playing on my impulse to be of service. But her self-interest stunk so bad at the time that it was impossible to maintain any kind of relationship with her. I retain this impulse to “be at the service of”, and I could also occasionally have it towards this person, but with a vigilance and determination that would sabotage the slightest attempt at recuperation.
It seems to me that, at a certain point, these impulses of the heart protect themselves. And then it’s enough to continue to follow them as they adapt to the situation. Or perhaps a spontaneous lack of “reaction” from the heart, as I’ve just described, is intended to produce a shock, a necessary suffering, in order to burn out or dissolve a piece of identity still hidden in a corner of our being? And if this is the case, then to experience our powerlessness or our pretension, our misery…
And finally, going back to your question: find out WHO wants to improve themselves. Who fears being exploited? Who’s trying to control it all?
Just let yourself be the momentum, take the risk of surrendering, of no longer holding the levers, of opening up… and there too, take the risk of being touched. Strip yourself of your own will and become a vehicle for the “divine” will. It’s God who decides, not some ego at her service.

The answer to this question may come from your bodily feelings…. Stay centered in your heart, and above all, listen to your own body. Give yourself time to simply be available to your physical feelings, in silence, in connection with yourself.
Is there perhaps an alert at the physical level that you’re ignoring to the core, when others ask you for a favor out of self-interest?
When you think about someone else’s request, what does it provoke on a physical level?
Lightness, fatigue, joy? For example, does anything light up or darken?
What clue appears that could give you a direction?

How can you be exploited by the personal interests of others if you follow your heart? Aren’t the impulses of your heart stronger than them? Doesn’t your heart show you the way?

As far as I’m concerned, it’s necessary to identify: is it really the impulse of the heart? Is it not tainted by the mind (blind spot)? The registers are really different, they’re poles apart. Sometimes I’m sure of it, but sometimes I still need to take a closer look. I know my heart speaks to me all the time, but I’m not sure I’m listening to it all the time.
I think staying with the feeling of being connected to the other person, maybe telling them, feeling benevolent will help both of us, and being in gratitude for being able to become aware of it all.
And possibly welcome the necessary suffering if it arises.

That’s a question I’m trying to discern too… and about my own expectations too.
To be able to discern, I think you have to immerse yourself in your bodily sensations and advise according to what you feel; and turn your mind off at that point!
Afterwards, I energetically identify the interactions that tire me, from those that maintain a dynamic, a balance; and I try to adapt my involvement in the relationship with the other according to how I feel.

First of all, I’d examine whether there’s a personal interest in me that’s made me let an exploiter into my intimate universe. Isn’t he one of the people to avoid?
Once he’s in, it’s time to kick him out as quickly as possible. First, learn to stop thinking about him every time he tries to infiltrate your thoughts (distract yourself, saber-rattling, etc.).
And secondly, to organize the functional so that this character disappears from my life.
A few months ago, I induced the quantum implant that toxic people would no longer molest me for the rest of my life.

Yes, the first thing is to look inside myself, to see what self-interest makes me allow the other to enter me. Then, to ruthlessly reject any attempt to respond to his self-interest.
I have also implanted a “quantum” demand that my life no longer be ruined by toxic people, for the rest of my life.