Picture yourself at age 11. What did you like to do at that age? What were you into? My friend recently mentioned she learned from a podcast that what you loved doing at around age 11 may be what brings you happiness or even a career as an adult.
When I was 11, I was obsessed with horses and my Ouija board. My family now includes three adorable horses, and although I don’t play with the Ouija board anymore, my work has become rather metaphysical.
What this speaks to me about is passion, and as we round the corner to Valentine’s Day, why not explore it?
I want to live with my heart on fire, and I’m guessing you do too because when clients work with me, their questions are almost always an expression of this desire. Many seek direction on their next steps in life or how they can live their soul’s purpose. Some are seeking their soul mate. Others, guidance on what to do when a relationship has lost its spark. And so on…
With varying details particular to the person, a part of the message that almost always comes through revolves around living their passion. We are, I believe, consistently urged by Spirit to move toward what lights us up from the inside, which is what makes us feel expansive and free. When we do so, we not only live a more fulfilling life, but we also allow our hearts to burn for something greater than our own individual needs and desires. And this is how we co-create a more beautiful world.
But how do we discover what lights us up from the inside if we don’t already know? Well…by spending time there. If you want to hear your heart speak, dedicating time in your day to get quiet and listen is non-negotiable. Yes, I know we are all busy. And yet we somehow manage to watch a tv show, surf social media, or answer a text from a friend. It’s possible to spare a few minutes a day to unplug and communicate with our own heart.
I think we get tripped up by the misbelief that we need to spend hours and hours in meditation with a completely silent mind to touch into the heart. And if meditation is part of your practice, that’s awesome. (It’s part of mine, too.) But the best meditators will tell you that their minds will always try to take over. And I will tell you that you can hear your heart’s whispers any number of ways, but they all include removing yourself from distraction. You can begin with a deep breath in.
Another way to live passionately is to pay attention to how your heart feels, without regard to others’ opinions. Or your own opinions that are rooted in fear or limiting beliefs. These are often accompanied by the words “what if?”, “I can’t” or “I should (or should not).”
I realize I ponder this idea of living a passionate life from a privileged place. I do not, for example, live in a war zone, or have to work several jobs, or live with a disability. My health is solid, and I have agency over my time. But, like you, I have challenges. And when things get rough, one of my mantras (that I learned as a Qoya teacher) is this: No matter what is going on in your life right now, how willing are you to open your heart to it? I guess it’s really a question and not a mantra, but it always drives me back to where I want to operate from–an open heart.
It’s also beneficial to ask this question when things seem to be rocking along okay. Because a passionate heart helps us live our purpose to the fullest, whether that purpose seems grand or ordinary. Notice that I wrote “seems” and not “is”. That’s because I believe our purpose in life is simply to be the best possible version of ourselves. Grand and ordinary don’t matter. Our purpose is a way of being, not what our job title is, if we even have a job.
Living with a flaming, open heart sounds sort of scary, doesn’t it? And, yes, it does require a certain amount of vulnerability. It also means that we sometimes need to burn things down, a.k.a., let go, in order to expand. I’ll admit that I’m sometimes too afraid to take this kind of risk. But when I do, I’m rewarded with a heart that grows even more passionate and more capable of opening.
There’s a lot about being 11 that I don’t remember. But I do recall feeling things very deeply. If my little brother messed with my Breyer horse statues I would rage. That Ouija board had me scared out of my mind. And if I had a crush on a boy, I was hopelessly in love.
I was one big blazing heart. That’s what I want to be this Valentine’s Day. And every day going forward.
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