If you’ve ever felt lost, lacked a sense of direction or have believed that there is more to life but you’ve never quite known where to look, or perhaps you’re telling yourself stories about not being good enough, smart enough, fit enough or wealthy enough. Then my story is for you.
My story started with me getting lost, not lost in the navigational sense of the word but I’d certainly lost my road map and that roadmap was my identity. Just over three years ago when my marriage ended, I found myself immersed in confusion and feeling a sense bewilderment – I’d been so wedded to my identity as a wife, that I’d lost a sense of who I was.
I learned, by navigating that confusion, that it is ‘not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.’
Steve Jobs once said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking back.” When I look back now, I understand now that I found myself by following my HEART. Today I’d like to share how, in five simple steps; you can follow your HEART and find that what you seek is simply within you.
The first step in following my heart was having Hope:
Where would we be without hope? We all hope for a better future; a better life; we hope that what we’ve been through has served some purpose; and we hope that our lives make a difference in this world. In tough times, without hope, we feel helpless; we feel the full force of our fears and we have no respite from the pain.
I learned about hope through my mum’s journey, my dad left her to raise two daughters on her own. She was twenty seven years old and had a three year old and a one year old to look after. To add to the challenge, her English speaking was limited. She had moved from India to England only four years prior for an arranged marriage with my dad.
It was her hope for a brighter tomorrow that kept her motivated to get up each morning and work sixteen hours a day to put food on the table. It was her hope that he’d come to his senses that kept her love for him strong. It was her hope that her daughters would always feel safe and loved that led to her sacrificing her own needs for love.
Hope is a powerful motivator – without it your goals are meaningless. Hope is the voice that says the best is yet to come.
The second step in following my heart was having the right Energy:
Can you picture what hope looks like with negative energy? Well, it looks like pleading and desperation. With the right energy, however, hope stands strong. Whilst courage may ROAR, the quiet voice of hope, with the right energy, say’s I’ll try again tomorrow.
Your energy can be altered with the power of your thoughts and therefore to keep your energy up you need to train your thoughts to stay positive. I did this through several different methods but there were two approaches that have worked best for me.
The first was the power of a podcast ‘Life is a Marathon – so let’s train for it’ is a podcast by Bruce Van Horn, through his podcast I learned about this wonderful kind hearted man that had been through his own life struggles. He survived stage four cancer and is embracing the beauty of his life, giving himself the gift of him and gracing the world with his gift too. I listened to Bruce’s podcast every morning on my drive to work and his kindness, love and energy lifted my energy and strengthened my hopes for a better tomorrow. Now you don’t have to listen to his podcast but know there are plenty of others that can help lift your energy. Find the right one for you.
The second approach is writing stories, I wrote two each day – my old story the one I woke up with and my new story the one I wanted to create. Writing the old story helped me purge the negative thoughts and free any negative energy trapped in my body. The habit of writing a new story every day did wonders for my mind-set and energy. Have you ever noticed your energy change based on the stories you tell yourself? I started to see how disempowering my old stories were and how they kept me stuck and trapped in the past. My new stories were creative and inspiring and were limitless in their reach and I began to believe in the possibilities of achieving my dreams.
Now that I believed anything was possible the third step in following my heart was taking Action:
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ In physics this means, that if you drive your car into a wall (which I do not recommend!) that the force you hit the wall with will be the force that the wall will match, and push you backwards.
From a more spiritual angle I took to this to mean that if I focus on giving in abundance then I will receive in abundance too, that my results would match my efforts.
I tested this theory with a dream that I’d held for a very long time. Ever since I first visited Australia in 2003 I’ve wanted to live and work here. I had tried to make it happen, several times over the years but had not succeeded. But this time was different. Firstly, I’d decided I wasn’t going to give up and secondly I had acknowledged I didn’t need to make anything happen I would just let it happen. I listed all the different ways that it would be possible, five in total, and I went about allowing those options to determine my actions. Most importantly, I allowed no doubt in my mind. I told everyone I knew I was moving to Australia and six months later I was here! In Feb 2018 I received my permanent residency and I am grateful again for knowing my actions have been rewarded with re-actions.
The fourth step in following my heart was Resilience:
Resilience is the bed-rock of my story. It is inevitable in life that you will hit road bumps along your path. Building resilience when times are good serves you well when times are tough. My resilience was built when I was growing up, my mum raised us as a single parent, my dad was largely absent from my life. Life wasn’t easy but looking back now I see how my mum’s strength contributed to building my resilience.
I mentioned earlier about the hope my mum had, that my dad would come to his senses – by that she hoped he’d return home to the family. Her hope extended twenty three years. But eleven years ago I got the phone call that nobody wants; my dad was tragically killed in a car accident. Yet, that wasn’t the worst part of my day; the worst part was breaking the news to my mum and shattering her hopes of him returning. It broke my heart telling her the news that he was gone. When my marriage ended, I remembered the resilience my mum showed, and how even now, she always carries a smile, her dream was shattered that day but she’s shown me every day since that there is still meaning in her life and that she has a purpose to serve. I’m not sure she knows but I have a pretty strong feeling her purpose is to show the world how living in gratitude gives you peace in the darkest of days. Ask yourself, do you have the resilience to serve your purpose?
The fifth and final step in following my heart was Trust:
Trust in my journey and trust in myself. Everything that has happened in my life has led me here, to this moment, to share this story. Whilst there was many a time I didn’t understand why things in my life were unfolding as they were – I learned to trust that the universe was working for me and not against me. I learned to surrender and let go of expectations, to embrace uncertainty knowing that by doing so I was choosing love & trust and connecting to my truth. Through trusting, my heart has expanded more than I could ever have imagined and as I result I live a life truly abundant.
Life is uncertain and not without its challenges.
But follow your HEART (HOPE/ENERGY/ACTION/RESILIENCE/TRUST) and find that what you seek is simply within you.
Let your story continue, with you giving yourself, the greatest, most valuable gift you’ll ever receive….the gift of you.