I think there are two ways of determining if you are ‘following your heart’. The first is whether or not you are following the desires that your heart is calling you towards, and the second is if you living in your heart. Being in it.
One is about the actions you are taking and one is more about the person you are being. You can do what you love and you can also be love. Both are equally as powerful.
Both require you to tune in to your heart, to connect with that loving energy inside of you, and to then live from that place.
Doing what you love means you listen to your intuition, you take actions driven by what you love, you follow your passions and you express your unique gifts and talents to the world without fear.
Being love is about seeing the world, others and everything in your life through the eyes of love – no judgement, no criticism, no ego.
Both require you to move from living in your head to instead live in your heart.
This way of living sounds beautiful right? So, if it is so wonderful, why are there still so many people not doing it?
Why Don’t We Follow Our Hearts
Our society today is driven by our minds, our fears and our ego. We do not place as much value and emphasis on passion, love, fulfilment and spiritual purpose. Rather it is about external success, money, security, stability and reputation. As a result many of us do not feel it is that important to really tune in to our hearts and hear what it wants. We are too busy trying to get ahead and make something of ourselves in this world.
The heart is free and wild and is driven by love.
The head is practical and analytical and is often driven by fear. Your head will tell you what needs to be done to remain safe in the world – to get the money you want, the approval you crave and the predictability you think you need.
Head Vs. Heart
This is why when you attempt to start following your heart, you head will be very quick to thwart your actions. This fearful mind, often called the ego, will bring up all of the reasons why you cannot do what you desire, and why it is a ludicrous idea to even think about it. It will trigger memories and feelings from the past of failures, hurts and rejections that add even more power to the case that it is better to just stay where you are.
The path that your heart calls you towards may be an unconventional one. It may be scary and involve taking risks. Following your heart often requires us to take a detour from the well trodden path, and rebel from societal or family expectations in order to find our inner fulfilment. It can be a long and lonely road initially.
Often we must be willing to look at our life honestly and really evaluate what parts of it we love and which parts we do not.
Your heart’s desire may not have an initial guarantee of income, or it may require a pay cut. It may mean that you have to go against what your family wants for you, or what your friends expect of you. It may mean facing your fears and doing something that you love, yet are petrified of at the same time.
It may mean forgoing the approval you received from always doing what others wanted you to do. It will require you to be different, to do things differently.
It will mean learning to listen to a deep inner voice, rather than the loud forceful voice of the outer world.
The decision to follow your heart is a journey. If you have been living a life that is not heart driven, the decision to follow your heart will most likely turn your world on it’s head. It may be scary road, but in my opinion this is what life is all about.
Are You Following Your Heart?
I come across people all the time who have these amazing, beautiful dreams and desires, but they suppress and ignore them and tell themselves they can never have them. For most people, it is much easier to live in denial than actually face what it is that they really want. They would rather pretend they are happy with what they have and justify to themselves that their inner dreams are not really that important anyway.
Is it time you got honest with yourself? Is it time to dig deep inside and find out what you really want from this life? Is it time to stop pretending? Take a look inside your heart and ask yourself what you would love to do more than anything else in the world. Really honour what comes us for you, and give yourself permission to acknowledge those feelings.
To get started, you must begin by finding the courage to discover what your heart wants. It may be a scary process, as you may likely reveal that what your heart wants is in fact the complete opposite of what you are actually doing.
You may experience feelings of confusion, self-doubt and even regret as you begin to challenge everything you have come to know about yourself. If you are ready to connect with your heart and follow it’s calling then you will need to let go of everything you think you know.
Take inventory of what you love in life. These things may not necessarily culminate in to a complete picture or path, but that is ok. Simply start to connect with your heart energy. Start to get curious. Turn inwards and ask yourself if you are living authentically, truly in line with your values. Is your heart singing with passion, fulfilment and purpose every day?
If Following Your Heart Is So Challenging, Why Do It?
Sometimes I watch people as they go to work or go about their daily lives. You can see it in someone’s face, eyes and body posture whether or not they are following their heart and doing what they love.
I believe it is time for each of us to wake up and connect with what we really want. And then we need to act on it. We need to take risks and have the courage to move towards our goals fearlessly with 100% commitment.
In order to do this, we must be willing to be different, to do things differently and to challenge the expectations that others hold of us. When you begin to follow your heart, you must realise that anything that is not in line with your heart’s calling will start to fall away.
If nothing in this post resonates with you and you are happy in your life, then that is ok. Or maybe you are already living a heart driven life, and if so, then that is awesome. But if reading this stirs something inside of you, births new dreams and creates feelings inside your heart, then you know it is time to listen. A life of following your heart may be challenging, but the rewards you will receive will be enough to make it all worth it.
Are you on the path of following your heart or are you still finding the courage to pursue your dreams? Share your experiences in the comments section below.