Okay, let’s play a little game.
I am going to start a sentence and I want you to pick the option that would most likely follow.
Okay, here goes:
“I have decided to follow my heart and…”
- “…become a tax attorney.”
- “…take an extra shift at my job.”
- “…move to Patagonia to climb and write.”
Which would you say?
I know, there may in fact be people who dream of becoming a tax attorney. There may be souls who love working the third shift at their manufacturing job. But, let’s be honest…how many of you initially went to number three?
When we talk about following our hearts when making decisions, it can be greeted by our friends and family members with a raised eyebrow or two: “You seriously want to move to Vermont and work on a goat farm?”, “You are seriously going to move to India for six months to study yoga?”, “You are going to quit your corporate job to join the circus? How are you going to pay your bills?”
It’s not ridiculous to be received this way. A lot of times, these heart-rendered decisions can seem to come out of left-field to the people close to us. Heartfelt desires start out as whispers. We hear them and either choose to be curious and listen and explore where it may lead, or we stifle them. We don’t want to cause waves. We are comfortable. The people around us are comfortable. We continue to live our lives without mentioning these pulls to anyone, knowing they may look at us like we are crazy.
As life goes on, the whisper may grow into a song we hear during the rare silent moments of our lives. It is in these moment we can choose to listen, we can sit in the silence and not distract ourselves away from this call, and let the visions and insights come to mind of what our soul is calling to bring forth. Or we can continue to stifle this, pulling ourselves away from what may in actuality bring us purpose and presence.
Many of us have learned throughout our lives that following our hearts is not responsible. It is not realistic. It is not rational. Our hearts are not always concerned with comfort, with financial outcomes, even with bodily safety (rock climber Alex Honnold’s dream to free climb El Capitan? Do you think his mother was fully on board with that one?). It is natural to care for the safety and comfort of your loved one. It is innate to want your child, your sister, your partner to be safe. And it can be simple to dismiss these calls of our hearts when we receive negative feedback, real or imagined, from anyone and everyone who may have an opinion.
But what if you are the one to break free? What if you are the one who quiets the outside noise of resistance, of opinions, of the world around you? What if you are able to quiet the noise inside your own mind doing its best to drown out your innate voice and give life to what your heart is asking?
When we let go of the illusion of happiness that safety and smallness can bring, when we come out of the house we have built to protect ourselves, we can grow. We are no longer stifled by the outside world and the ridicule you may receive from it, knowing that this comes from denying their own desires within.
Find some quiet. Breathe. And let yourself to connect the life awaiting to come forth from within.
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