Hey Friends! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday (if that’s your thing), along with an extra-long weekend. I surely enjoyed every minute – good food and sweets included. Yummy! Oh, and SLEEP. My favorite!
Lesson #3: Listening to my heart
For me, this lesson is a combination of heart and intuition. It’s no secret I’ve spent most of my life bottling up my emotions, but over the last few years, I think I’ve come to identify with the expression “I wear my heart on my sleeve”. This expression basically means that one openly expresses their feelings, allowing themselves to be emotional and vulnerable. Yikes! This is still super scary for me – no doubt about it – but I’ve done it and I’ll continue to do it.
As you know, it was about 3 years ago when I began allowing myself to feel and acknowledge my thoughts, emotions, wants, and needs. You know how when a thought keeps coming up, but you keep pushing it back down? Like, uh no – not today! Well, I learned to stop doing that. And unfortunately, as a result, my life began to unravel. But it was at this time, and with making the decision to ALLOW and FEEL, that I began tuning into my heart and listening. I began trusting my intuition – you know that gut instinct you get? Listen to it.
Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.
Over the last few years, here’s what it meant for me to listen to my heart and intuition:
- Leaving a 13-year relationship and marriage.
- Living on my own for the first time…ever!
- Continuing to help others regardless of the mess I was in myself.
- Walking away from someone with many good qualities, but on the flipside, was really detrimental to me.
- Knowing and understanding that I deserve better than what I was allowing.
- Allowing a good person to enter my life – despite all I’d been through up until this point, I never let the negativity destroy my outlook on the good in life.
- Letting go, even when I didn’t want to. But knowing it’s for the best – that everything happens for a reason. And mostly, that what’s meant for me will never pass me by.
- Quitting my job of 8+ years – a job I LOVED. This was hard, but it was the right thing – even if I miss it still most days.
- Moving from Maryland to Michigan – which meant leaving my place of complete comfort and solitude and uprooting everything to move back to my small hometown with family. Honestly, I didn’t really want to, but my heart and intuition said it was for the best. On hard days, I question it, but on good days, I know it was the right thing.
- Starting this website – Ah, I was so nervous and out of my comfort zone, but hey, THAT’s the point. I did it and I’m doing it!
- Applying for Yoga Teacher Training (This girl is off to Greece!)
In my life, I’ve learned to always do the next right thing (thank you to Glennon Doyle). I don’t have to do everything at once or get everything “right” the first time. Life is a daily practice – we live and we learn. What I’ve learned is that I am always learning, and it feels good. It’s nice to know that things are always moving forward and that I’m not stuck. The only way I’ll ever be stuck is if I convince myself that I am. And I’m simply not of that mindset.
Listening to my heart has been the most heartbreaking thing in my life to-date. It’s not easy – there isn’t much on that list above that was easy. Well, applying for YTT was certainly easy. I absolutely listened to my heart and knew in my gut that it was the next right thing for me. And it’s also a happy right thing – it didn’t result in hurt for anyone, you know? Oh, and of course helping others – that’s just who I am. But everything else? Heartbreaking, hard, difficult, trying. Yes, even allowing someone new into my life resulted in hurt, but that doesn’t change the good that came from it.
Like I always say, take the good with the bad. Take the lessons and leave the rest. Listening to my heart is what lead to me learning how to love myself. And once you learn to love yourself – well, everything else just eventually falls into place.
If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. -Eckhart Tolle
Everything isn’t perfect, because nothing is. But, I’m in a good place. Yes, following my heart and listening to my intuition was hard. And my life absolutely unraveled. Are there things I would choose to do differently along this 3-year journey? You bet – without a single doubt. But again, everything happens for a reason and as it’s meant to. And all is well.
Had all of this not happened, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have this story – my story – to tell you. To encourage you, to inspire you, to remind you that you’re resilient. So, it all happened, and I’m still here. I’m still standing, stronger now than I was before. And I will always come back to that. And to self-love. Because loving yourself is so important, and for me to learn how to do that, it took all of this I’ve told you about so far and more.
So, follow your heart. Do the things you think you cannot do. Listen to your intuition – tune in and really listen. Then make the moves that are best for you. And trust yourself, you’ll know the next right thing you need to do and when. Maybe, like me, the road will be bumpy, the tunnel long, and the journey dark. But you do it anyway. It won’t feel like it in the moment, but things will get better, you’ll come out of the dark and into the light, and you’ll see brighter days.
Before I go – if I’m being honest, there is one thing I have chosen to not follow my heart on. It’s not that I’m not listening to my heart, I am. I’m just also trusting my intuition. And ultimately, God. So now, I choose to allow my life to unravel in a different way – because there is beauty in the unknown. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that what’s meant for me will always be mine. ♥