Laura Grace’s Anecdotes for the Wide Awake Reader:
SHOULD YOU FOLLOW YOUR HEART? CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO?
Recently, a friend interviewed for a position with an attorney who specializes in real estate. After the interview, she sent a message and stated: “I’m not even sure I’d take the job if he offered it…Not that I’m opposed to learning new stuff, but it’s the kind of new stuff I’d have to learn … more technology, more mundane research of state legislation around real estate, blah, blah, blah, kinda boring stuff.”
I could feel my energy drop. Yes, the job might generate some income, but it sounded like pure drudgery for my friend. As I continued reading, I felt the energy lift when she concluded: “Where my heart is really at, is building a massage practice that focuses on physician referrals for people with diabetes, heart disease and addiction … things I have very personal experience with. So, maybe I should stop distracting myself with things I don’t really want to do, and just focus on what I do, hey?!!!”
Whenever I hear “Where my heart is really at…” I want to jump for joy. When you can honestly say, “What I’d really love to do, is (blank),” or, “I feel pumped every time I think about doing (such and such),” or even, “I know I’d be happy doing (blank), but I’m not sure I can afford to do it,” at least you’re aware of what you’d love to do. That’s more than most people can claim. After helping people for over 15 years discover what they love to do, and actually doing it, it’s amazing how many are out of touch with the passion in their heart.
What’s also interesting, is the number of defenses (a word that breaks down into “de-fences”) we build so we can’t move forward. When I first jumped on the path of following my heart, I made a commitment to say “Yes” to every opportunity that aligned with my life’s vision. So for the first 5 years, I embraced every offer that came my way to speak, write, teach and share my work with others. What did I gain? Honing my skills, stretching beyond my comfort zones, creating connections, building confidence–the rewards were endless.
In my friend’s case, I know how hard she has worked at becoming a massage therapist and a healer, so I responded: “If your heart is truly in building a massage practice, than that is what you need to do. Your mind, body and heart needs you to, and so does the planet.”
What are some of the possible symptoms from not following your heart? I’ve witnessed people suffering from low energy, fatigue, depression, illness, low self-esteem, addiction–not to mention the numbing of your soul. I once knew a lovely woman who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. One day, she realized she could no longer afford to be sick. So she decided to get off the couch and play her alto flute. Within a short time (and following her inner guidance), she began playing to larger and larger crowds. (The last concert I attended was sold out.) And the greatest gift? Her music not only had the power to help people heal, but the years of fatigue were replaced with passionate energy. Today, she is an accomplished musician known for her healing songs and she helps people all over the world.
Steps Your Heart Can Afford to Follow:
1. Keep your vision in the forefront of your thinking. Avoid getting distracted or diverted away from your vision. Hold to it all times. Imagine living your vision. Blog about it, talk about it–share it with anyone you know (or don’t know) who will be supportive. Don’t worry about sounding egotistical, repetitive or boring, people will be energized by your enthusiasm and it will generate more energy toward manifesting it.
2. Stop saying “No” and start exclaiming “Yes!” Say “Yes” to every single opportunity that supports your higher purpose. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recognized a person’s gifts, offered them an opportunity to share them, and they’ve said “No.” Well, it doesn’t usually come out as “no,” as much as, “I’m not ready yet.” Or, “I don’t know if I have the energy to move in that direction yet.” Or, “I need to refine my skills a bit more before I am comfortable saying “Yes.” These are the excuses of that nasty villain: perfection. (For more information on this destructive trait, I encourage you to read my article “The Imperfection of Perfection”.)
3. Keep moving forward with FOCUS and TENACITY, one step at a time. “Keep your eye on the ball,” is something my father would repeatedly say when he taught my brother how to play baseball and me to play golf. The same thing is true when following your heart: maintain a single-eyed focus on your vision. Avoid distractions. You know what they are. When it’s time for me to write, I know I don’t really need to answer the e-mail that just popped up, or make another trip into the kitchen, or commit to something else. I just need to write!
Will you follow your heart today? Can you afford NOT to?