I’d Follow My Heart…If Only I Knew Where It Was Going.
Follow your Heart! Do what makes you Happy!
It sounds so easy doesn’t it? Nearly all self-help advice is founded on this premise and for good reason – it is a simple and common-sense approach to wellbeing. We all KNOW deep within us that we are here to find contentment and meaning in our lives. Yet this simple advice to follow your Heart and do what makes you happy can become altogether annoying and frustrating when you have NO CLUE where your Heart is headed and NO IDEA what makes you happy. How do you follow your bliss if your Inner Compass seems to be broken?
Allowing Negative Attitudes and Feelings to Happen
Positive thinking, it can really screw you over. When you’re in the middle of a meltdown how do you feel when someone tries to persuade you to look at the positive or to be positive? Do you thank them and say ‘yes you’re right, how silly of me, let’s chant an affirmation’? NO - you want to tell them to shut the $#@% up and shove their positivity where the sun definitely isn’t shining…
Recently I was telling a lovely friend about the time I met Oprah and I was reminded of a few things. Woahh…back up, did I just say that? Sorry to name-drop so casually, but yes, it’s true, I have met Oprah (if you’d like to know the full story, call in for a cup of tea some time). One of the things I remember about Oprah (now we’re both just too busy to catch up so regularly) was the aura of complete peace that surrounded her. I remember thinking ‘blimey, this woman has done some work on herself.’
What is the point of pressure? I pondered this as my recent holiday came to an end. I’d spent a week living on the beach, exploring places of natural beauty and enjoying a freedom-fueling road trip. Driving through lush rain-forests and along coastal roads, I felt a sense of freedom and expansiveness. But as I reached the outskirts of the city, getting closer to home, I felt my energy change – my body began to feel heavy and tired, it was almost as if I could feel this sense of freedom coming to an end. My body was literally sensing that I wasn’t in freedom-loving territory anymore. I was coming back to routine, responsibilities, work and commitments, it was the sensation of…pressure.
Mindfulness seems to be everywhere. Touted as the new-age solution to all of our problems, the messages to be ‘mindful’ and ‘in the present’ are liberally plastered across all forms of social media, self-help blogs, magazine and books. But what does it even mean to be ‘in the present’ or ‘mindful’?
The other day a lovely client was telling me about how she had invested in a Mandala Colouring book. She was busily colouring away when her husband walked in to the room and asked her what the hell she was doing in that typically direct and judgemental tone that husbands seem to have. While she wanted to reply that she was ‘mindfully colouring’ in order to relieve worry and stress, achieve blissful levels of inner peace and present-moment nirvana, she felt the pang of a panicked reality check as she looked down at her pencils, it was a good question – what was she actually doing? And why? Was she mindfully colouring or colouring mindlessly?
By the time something has manifested as an ‘issue’ or ‘problem’ in your life it has already had an interesting life span. It has enjoyed life as a thought, an intuition, a gut feeling, a gentle nudge or a quiet whisper. How many times have you had an inkling about something that turned into a fully blown problem? When you just knew something was going to go pear-shaped. In fact, if you step back from any problem that you have right now, you might find that this problem has only become a problem because you didn’t listen. To yourself. The quiet whisper that originates with your Heart (your wiser, all knowing self) and is delivered by your body in the form of a ‘gut feeling’, emotion or symptom, is unfortunately something that you have been almost trained to dismiss, ignore or override.