Follow Your Heart – Your Mind Will Catch Up!
By Jessica McGregor Johnson.
I was reading an article on the film “Eat Pray Love”. I remember reading the book and loving the journey Elisabeth Gilbert had as she learnt to follow her heart.
To recap, in case you don’t know the story, she had reached a point in her life where she had everything a 34-year-old woman should want and yet she was miserable. She couldn’t work out what was wrong with her and the truth of the matter was – there was nothing wrong with her at all. She had just come to see that when she looked at her own life that the decisions she had made which were right for her at the time no longer fitted who she was, who she had become.
The decisions we make at 23 are made with a 23 year old’s perspective and mind, and life experience. What was right for us then isn’t necessarily right for us as we get older in life. I know a lot of people find this revelation quite shocking and then try to hang onto what they have created. Why? Because it is too scary to ‘start again’.
So how about instead of seeing it as starting again – seeing it as moving forward. Learning from our life experience and letting go of what we don’t want and refining and putting in place what we do want. Finally listening to our heart.
I was recently working with a client who wanted to review the past ten years and focus the next ten. What was interesting about our conversation was that as many people do, she had not acknowledge the things she had done and only focused on the things she hadn’t. So using this as a starting point it was good to actually list out and acknowledge the things she had achieved. And then, as with all good foundations, build upon them.
Once we know what we do not want it is much easier to discover what we do. Looking back can be useful as we begin to see what was missing and what we would really like to have in our life from now on. The next part is to see that it is not about getting all these things yesterday, but just as the previous ten years were about creating our life up to now; the next ten years can evolve and include all the things we want.
It is about starting somewhere – even with a small step. Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t know where her journey was going to take her – she just knew she had to start somewhere and so started in Italy learning to have fun and enjoy food.
As her journey continued she learnt more and more about herself until she met, to quote her words, “someone I probably wouldn’t have even noticed in my old life. But now, part of the reason I did notice him was that he was so kind to me and I had been softening the ground for that… I was ready to receive someone who would treat me the same way.”
And this is not just about relationships, we can soften the ground to receive whatever we want by beginning to give it to ourselves first. If it is your career you could begin by just allowing yourself to think big about what you’d like or even simply admit to yourself once and for all that you have no heart in your job and you have to take that courageous step to find out what your true passions are in life. To do that you do need to learn more about yourself.
How well do you know yourself? What are you wanting in your life? Are you giving it to yourself? Are you even letting yourself know what you truly want – especially if it means changing your life?
So many people have that crisis of realising that they are not living the life they want, or even maybe just part of their life is not as they’d like, and then they bury the feeling for fear of what it means. They allow ‘I don’t know’ to be an answer because the consequence of knowing is too scary.
The first step is to start allowing yourself to see these missing bits of you and what you have denied yourself. To really touch in with your heart and find out what it longs for. And then to start moving towards creating that for yourself in your life. As I said to a client recently – don’t wait for your head and ego to say yes to what your heart wants – follow your heart now and let your mind and ego catch up!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica McGregor Johnson works internationally as a Life Fulfilment Coach is also a Certified Passion Test Facilitator.
She has written her first book Remembering Perfection – Everyday Inspiration for Living your Spirituality