We spend half of our precious time analyzing how we are doing, comparing ourselves to others and our own ideals. The next big chunk of time goes into “yelling” at ourselves for one reason or another. We are not good enough. We are not living to our full potential. Not to mention that we yell at ourselves for not being spiritual enough (whatever it means), while the Western view pushes us to find the greatest meaning and success (whatever that means) in our lives.
The remaining time is wasted in complicating things like getting involved in activities that should fix us and engage in social or familiar activities that might bring us ultimate meaning.
We often do this because we think we are broken. So, we are trying to justify our existence by complicating things.
Perhaps, the better use of our time would be to live our lives based on what inspires us, to act from the deepest core of our heart, and to follow our heart’s desire.
It is not always easy, but just like building muscles, cultivating the inner antenna muscle comes with practice.
How to Follow Your Heart’s Desire
Do you have enough fun in your life? If your answer is “I am too old for that.” Then you are, regardless of your age. You might be 10 or 100 years old; you stop playing, you get old.
A few years ago, I really fucked things up. I stopped playing; I gained 20 pounds, I got depressed, I stopped reading and writing. As soon as I came out of my haze, I committed never to stop playing.
Of course, you have to find your play.
For me, it is playing with my dog, listening to music, jumping on a trampoline, writing, reading, watching sci-fi sitcoms, reading for pure fun, occasionally indulging in chocolates, music, going to shows with my hubby, and spending time outdoors.
And no one defines play better than one of my favorite writers.
“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
The legendary yoga teacher, Richard Freeman, coined the term. And I enthusiastically stole and adapted it.
In a nutshell, it means to have mental fun with fundamental things. So before we go any further, take care of your basics: eat well, move, practice some form of mindfulness, be kind to yourself, do things that fill your heart with joy, make love, smell the roses.
You don’t need to complicate anything here. Joy can be found in the pages of the book, magical nature, musical notes, between the little hairs of your pet’s behind, and in the falling snowflake.
Start a journal. Write like no one is watching. Never share your notes with anyone. Do this for ten days or so.
Spend between five to ten minutes but do it daily. After ten days, review what you wrote. Then, continue this practice by starting every day with five things you are grateful for.
Every morning I start with writing. I’ve been keeping journals since I was ten years old. Only a few days ago, I dug out my notes from all these years. I learned that I yell at myself a lot. Sometimes, I have fabulous ideas. Other times, I follow through.
And this is how I was able to lose over 30 pounds, move to Colorado, complete 800 yoga and Pilates certifications, learn how to use a gun, climb the mountains, ski, and overcome my fear of spiders and heights.
But, most importantly, I learned my heart’s desires.
If I don’t write, I don’t know who I am.
It would help if you prioritized your life. Create a plan that works. It should have things you do daily, weekly, and yearly. What about your finances? Get your house in order. Your plan must have play incorporated as well.
What is the biggest bang for your buck?
I don’t believe in free will. Instead, I am keeping systems—simple, doable steps. For example, my goal is to lose weight. Simple. I need to create a daily plan of my meals to fast, eat, and cut. Next, I like to add a bit more movement (note: you can’t ever over-exercise your mouth), but exercising helps curb my appetite.
Another important note here, multitasking doesn’t work. Instead, it creates a scattered brain and fuck-ups.
A few days ago, I needed to renew my passport while scanning my taxes and getting ready for a meeting. So, I ended up scanning my taxes twice, gave out my information on some bogus website, and totally fucked up the work meeting.
Prioritize, do one thing at a time and do it well.
5) You Are What You “In-Take.”
In computer lingo, we have input, processing, and output. You take some data (input), run it through the program or process, and get some output. I feel like our human mechanism is quite similar.
You eat crap, hang out with toxic people, watch the depressing news. You get a bloated belly, splitting headache, with waves of negativity and dust of assholeness.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Be aware of your input.
I’d rather read a book than spend time with negative people.
So, pay attention to your input, from what goes into your mouth to what goes into your skin and your head.
If you can’t digest a horror movie, lactose, or your asshole uncle, say no to it!
Nothing is ultimately right or wrong. You have to figure out what’s right and wrong for you at any given moment. Something that worked in the past might not work in the future. Give yourself as much success as possible by knowing your patterns.
Reality is relevant and negotiable. Every day, we get to re-write our stories to find our heart’s deepest desires. So instead of being pulled and pushed by teachers, parents, neighbors, children, co-workers, why not find your own song and story?
Thanks for reading. So, what makes your heart tick?