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  • Writer's pictureJill Brocklehurst

Follow Your Heart

I partake of the nature and bounty of the All Good and I am now surrounded by everything which makes life worthwhile

Ernest Holmes - The Science of Mind

Right now, without giving it a thought, can you answer this ‘skill testing question’… “What do you want?”

If you are like most people, when you get right down to it, there isn’t a clear answer. Oh sure, someone might chime in with fluffy stuff, like:

  • new car

  • dream job

  • soul mate

  • win the lottery

  • perfect health

… as if, by having such ‘stuff’, their lives would be better. I know (and I think you do too) that it doesn’t work that way. I might get a temporary high from shopping, eating, drinking, working, exercising… but at the end of the day, what would my life look like, in every way, if I was actually living ‘in the zone’? (Funny that this article is coming on the tail of my, “I Just Bought a Truck”, blog post, hey? Here’s a reference link, if you didn’t see it:

Athletes talk about performing “in the zone’, meaning a ‘flow state’, sometimes described as effortlessly ‘letting it happen’. Understanding this, then, the question is, when I am living my life from a place where it is ‘effortlessly happening’, what am I actually doing? What do I want to be doing?

My neighbour loves going to Mexico for most of the winter. He sent me a picture this year of a lovely pool with poolside furniture and people bobbing around, and he told me how sitting there, enjoying a drink and reading another book was the best! Cool for him, and… nothing about it tickles my fancy. In return, I sent him a picture of a tulip, bursting forth in my garden.

Last weekend the weather was offering us the first feel of Summer. My husband was away on a retreat and, now that I have my own truck, I loaded up my canoe, tent and dogs and headed out to the lakes on Quadra Island. I was so excited! It was all I could do to contain my joy.

There was a couple on the ferry with kayaks on top of their car. “Where are you going?” I asked.

“To the lakes,” they replied.

I started jumping up and down. “Me too!!”

As I arrived at the boat launch, the air was still and calm, and I enjoyed a leisurely paddle to a sandy beach where I knew I could catch the sunset. The afternoon included setting up camp, sunbathing, nibbling on a bit of food, cold water dips in the lake, sunbathing some more and watching the sun set. As I did much of nothing I thought of my neighbour in Mexico reading his book, and I wondered if I could sit and watch the sun set….

WOW… it takes a long time! I kept asking myself if I wanted to do something else. ‘Self’ said, “Nope, I’m good.” So, I sat and watched.

Before it got too dark, I took a picture of the stillness…

…and, in time, I caught the journey of the sun setting.

I have to laugh at myself…. A little later, the dogs and I were tucked in bed and, honestly, there was not a sound to be heard… so an old ‘friend’, “Fear of the Dark”, showed up to greet me. It was so still, and I was so alone… maybe the evil “Man in the Blue Canoe” was going to come and get me… or maybe a bear was waiting to rip open my tent, or…. I took the opportunity to ponder the ridiculousness of these thoughts, and turned my attention instead to the feeling of awe at Life Itself. Within moments, I settled down and was drifting off to sleep.

Later, suddenly awakened by… no sound at all… I found I had to go pee. So I got up. I love getting up in the middle of the night while tent camping, to explore the sky. Well, you would never have believed it, but there was the moon, setting in the sky exactly where the sun had left off! I snapped a photo but I couldn’t capture what I was seeing. Pictures never do justice to what it is to live a live experience. I guess that is the point when buddhist monks make sand mandalas, only to blow them away upon completion. And … I’m not a monk, so here is my picture of the moon and its reflection on the lake:

The next morning, afloat on the still water, I enjoyed breakfast in my boat with my dogs watching a goose land nearby, and a loon swimming the coastline. The whole experience was intoxicating for me, and out of it came this blog.

The point is, nothing is more important in life than to follow your heart. We spend so much time trying to get from the outside that which can only be accessed from the inside. Heartfelt revelation can only be achieved when we align with our desires and live fully immersed in the moment we are in, rather than dwelling on the last moment or the next. This moment - now!

Daily, upon waking, I remind myself of the infinitude and complexity of Life that is orchestrating this day. This day is for me to enjoy in whatever way that I choose as best for me.

It is not through an act of duty to others that true joy emerges…. It is through the tireless awakening to ourselves, listening deep within and trusting that, when we are fulfilled first, this lays a foundation for others to discover their joy. First we must give up the belief in sacrifice and truly live this day.

So I ask you again, “What do you really want?”

~ Make a list of all your trivial desires first.

~ Keep going deeper and deeper, until you start finding the core of what brings passion and excitement into your life (a feeling that isn’t just short lived, but has long-term euphoric effects).

~ Make a commitment to yourself to add moments of bliss to each day, expanding your capacity for true joy into a lifestyle. This is your life worth living!

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