If you’re one of those people who firmly believes that you know how to follow your heart, today I’m going to challenge you.
In fact, after you read this, chances are you might conclude that what you’re truly following is your head instead – or other people’s ideas of what it means to ‘follow your heart.’
And the reason is quite simple: most people will never follow their hearts because they fail to take the four preliminary steps required to do so. This has been true in my life, and in the lives of each person I coach.
How to Follow your Heart
Learning how to follow your heart is a lot easier than you think. The process is very similar to how a single computer normally connects to the unlimited amount of information and resources available in cyberspace.
First, you must open the computer by turning it on. Next, you must connect it to the internet through a cable or wireless connection. Once connected, the computer begins to ask for information by sending some request, question, or command. Then, the computer listens, or receives data from the Internet, and begins to receive information with the infinite resources available trough the internet. Finally, the computer begins to follow or execute the commands receiving from the internet, that will result whatever experience you’re looking for… logging into your favorite social network, reading your favorite online newspaper, an inspiring YouTube video, etc.
Let’s look at how you would follow these five steps to access the intelligence, wisdom and guidance of your own heart.
5 Steps to Follow your Heart
According to Dr. Bradley Nelson, author of The Emotion Code, the majority of us have built a protective wall around our hearts he calls the “Heart-Wall.” This wall is made of the accumulated energies of emotions we did not give ourselves permission to fully feel when growing up. This is the results of many years of being hurt by others, where we closed our hearts to protect ourselves and keep others from hurting us again when we felt threatened.
The key to opening your heart is vulnerability. Being vulnerable means giving yourself permission to dissolve this layer of protection by first becoming aware of its presence, and then allowing yourself to feel those emotions you’ve disowned such as guilt and shame, by deeply allowing them into your heart. Your heart is the center of your emotional system, and when fully energized, it is capable of clearing or transmuting any emotion that enters its inner core of unconditional love.
Once your “Heart-Wall” is beginning to dissolve, you can now start exploring the energy, quality, and power within your heart. You do this by focusing your attention in the heart area, then breathing deeply and evenly into it, imagining that with every breath you take your connection with your heart center begins to grow. If to this, you add the energy of love and appreciation, by thinking or remembering someone you deeply love and allowing these feelings to expand, your heart’s magnetic field will begin to expand, creating a holographic field that has the capacity to draw towards you all of the resources, information, people, events, and circumstances that will support you in creating the life you love. You can think of this field as kind of magnetic presence that results when we feel fully alive.
The Key to Connecting with your Heart is Presence. Being connected to your heart is being present to what is real, and true at any given moment for you. What is real at the level of your thinking, feeling, longing for or wanting. What I’m talking about here is developing the ability to be tuned in, and fully present to yourself, and what is unfolding at any given moment in your experience and grow this presence so that it includes others around you.
Now that the connection has been established, it is time to send your request in the form of a question. There’s no right way or wrong way of doing this, but what you want to do here is simply make an inquiry by asking what I call your “Big Heart,” or the heart behind your physical heart, a question you’d like an answer to. In essence, you’ll be asking for guidance or direction regarding any particular situation or area of your life, or what the next action steps are.
The Key to Asking is Specificity. Through your heart, you’re connecting with a vast, limitless intelligence that requires specificity if you’re going to connect interact with it. Just like a virtual server that requires specific information from a computer like it’s IP address, and the specify URL you’re requesting, so does this Big Heart you’re connecting too. What you want to remember here is that asking clear, specific questions, will give you clear, specific directions or results.
What are you listening for? The heart speaks in many different ways. It can speak to you in thoughts, feelings, sounds, images, ideas, physical sensations or simply a deep knowing. You must be willing to let go of any pre-conceived ideas as to how or when the answer will come, and simply accept or allow all the answers that come.
The Key to Listening to your Heart is Acceptance. Accepting all of the many different ways in which your heart can speak to you, even if it makes no sense at all, and allowing it all to be part of your heart’s message to you, is the key to good listening. Your job is just to be present and listen. Listen with such undivided attention as if your life depended on it, because it does!
Once the answers begin to flow, how can you then tell which guidance to follow? In my experience, there’s no rules or guidelines here. It is up to you to discern what feels right, what makes sense, and what scares you a bit because in that mix is the risk factor which results in you taking an action that will lead to the results you want.
The Key to Following your Heart is Action. The life you long for, the life you will love, can and will only be created with action. Action may not always lead to success, but there’s no success without action. So get out there and take some action, no matter how small or big that action might be! It is time to ACT now!
Are You Following these 5 Steps?
Are you taking time on a regular basis to open, connect to, ask and listen to your heart? If you answered YES, then, congratulations! You’re part of a small group of people who knows how to follow your heart.
But if your answer is NO, then I invite you to create time and space each day to open, connect to, ask, and listen – truly listen – to your heart. This is probably the best gift you could give yourself, your family, and this world.
Feel free to leave your comments below.
Photo by Margot Pandone