A field of Tulips at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Melbourne. Photo taken by Anna.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
~ Ian Thomas
Following your heart in a world that is constantly seeking your attention and dragging you away from what is most important to you is not only an act of defiance, but an act of rebellion.
It's not rebellious because it's wrong; its rebellious because you are championing something that so few people choose to follow.
You are choosing to take the road less travelled, to carve a path through the wilderness and create a trail for others to follow.
Your heart is always giving you cues on what matters and what doesn't.
The challenge, is to silence the incessant chatter of outside forces and the doubts of the mind.
Once you can do this, you will be able to hear the silent whispers of the heart.
Why do many struggle to follow their heart?
Because it beats silently.
It sits there quietly and knowingly trying to guide us to our bliss.
But our mind and others opinions and expectations are so much louder.
And so our heart's truest desires get left at the wayside.
But hope is not lost.
There are ways to tune into our heart and tune out the foreign voices.
You too can yank your hand back and say, "No. This is what's important."
When I started doing this, I felt so empowered and eventually, more at peace.
And you will too.
I first read that quote at the beginning of the blog, three years ago while I was reading Arianna Huffington's book "Thrive - The Third Metric to Success." I was so enthralled by it, that I took a photo of it and wrote it on my heart.
Over the next few years, I have had many situations (some were even disguised as opportunities), yanking my hand this way and that way.
I became ...
Until I yanked my hand back and put it on my heart and said, "No. This is what's important."
It wasn't always easy.
But it was worth it.
And over time, this process of saying 'no' and 'yes' based on what I feel most aligned with, has became an exercise of trust and faith.
I have had to re-learn to trust myself, my intuition and my heart.
None of them yell.
They all whisper.
I've learnt to trust these whispers.
What about you?
When was the last time you listened to your heart?
Did you hear it over the yells of the world?
Did you listen to it?
Did you choose to ignore it?
Like I mentioned, listening to the heart comes with silencing the mind.
For me, meditation has really helped with this. I'll write a separate post on this another week.
Another way I tune into the whispers of my heart is through journalling.
If you've been following me for a while, you would know that I am a huge advocate of the written word, especially keeping a daily diary.
Often when I feel overwhelmed, overworked or burnt out, pen and paper have been my saving grace. They slow me down and this tunes me into the natural rhythms of my mind, body and spirit.
And when I do this, it is easier to recognise where I am not serving or following my heart. This process makes it much easier to yank my hand back, put it on my heart and confidently say, "No. This is what's important."
Here is one such diary entry.
I don't remember what happened in August when I wrote this entry. All I know, is that I was pulled towards writing this letter of appreciation to my heart.
It's pretty much word for word from my diary.
I share it with you in hope that it impacts you to also start journalling and listening to your heart.
This rebellious act may help someone else take the road less travelled.
And that, in a world where so many blindly follow the masses, makes a world of difference.
Dearest heart, I love you. I love you so much. I send you healing and so much love and affection. May your pain pass.
Lovely, beautiful heart of mine, are you so resilient and giving and loving. I want you to flourish.
You’re precious. You’re my gift. I’m grateful for you. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for healing. Thank you for holding space for me. Dearest blessed heart of mine, you’ve been played, stabbed, betrayed so, so many times. And yet you’re so full, so rich with life. Thank you for always being mine. I know you’re hurting now, because some just can’t play nice, but that’s their shit, not yours or mine. So keep your face towards the sun and the gratitude in your heart and know that no matter what, you’re filled with love.
So dearest, big heart of mine, I know today is hard. But like your friend said, you’ve been through worse, so just keep swimming and know your worth. And when someone ever puts you down, it’s only out of fear because you stand your ground. And they feel threatened by your presence because you really bring the best heart and so much love to every moment.
So dearest, biggest, heart of mine. Cry the tears, if you have the time, but then wipe them down and keep going forth.
You have mountains yet to move. And you have hearts and lives yet to fill with all the joy from within.
So when someone ever drags you down, don’t ever fall to their level. You see, they don’t like you to sit so high and it’s not your burden to help them fly.
So dearest, beautiful, heart of mine, let’s move on and just surrender to our flight. Because we still have so much to do. So let’s go and find the courage to pursue it all. Because you’re here and you are here to give. And make an impact on all those who you draw therein. And not all will understand you and that’s ok too. Because you weren’t meant to fit in anyway.
Founder and director of The Butterfly, Anna believes that everyone’s pain has a purpose. On a mission to spread hope and healing like wildfire, she teaches people how they too can transform their traumas. She is the author of Unmasking Depression and Lovely - Poetry on Love and Loss, workshop facilitator for “Own Your Inner Light - A Transformation Workshop” and 2016 semi-finalist in the Australian Women's Weekly and Qantas Woman of the Future. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram for more stories and insights.