Listen To Your Heart (there's nothing else you can do)
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a sucker for good rhythm, guitar solos, and meaningful lyrics. I can think of a lyric or song for just about any topic that comes up during the day. So naturally, this also came easy to me for this month’s blog… You remember the Swedish rock band Roxette? I am listening to them right now! It’s been so long… they were a huge hit during the summer of 1991 with Joyride. One of the songs was “Listen to Your Heart”.
I don't know where you're going and I don't know why,
But listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye.
Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile.
The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea.
They're swept away and nothing is what is seems,
The feeling of belonging to your dreams.
I have been listening to my heart.
Over the last two months, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on defining my business so I can be of best service to women! But before I ever had a chance at starting this business and growing it into what it’s become, I had to learn how to follow my heart, and let me tell you, it wasn’t a bed of roses.
Last month, my focus was heart protecting and opening – about creating healthy boundaries and growing a strong sense of self-belief in the face of tough relationships and judgment from society that impacts your heart. I talked about how to do all of this while keeping your heart open. If you tuned into last month’s blog and are feeling discouraged because you still feel closed in and are not sure how to apply this concept into real life, here’s the first step: Take a deep breath. Forgive yourself all the way down to your toes. Know that this isn’t an easy task, and that just by being aware, you’re already doing it.
As women, we’re used to being doubted and “man-splained” to about obvious things, whether it’s at our jobs or in our personal lives. Most of us have encountered so much subtle (and not-so-subtle) resistance to our ideas and dreams both big and small that we’ve built armour around our hearts. Depending on our personalities, we either become defensive and steel-like in our determination, or take those voices too seriously and abandon our ideas and dreams. Both of these reactions are harmful to us.
Our sacred feminine has been suppressed for many years, and this has slowly broken down our self-confidence, our intuitive urge to create, and our in-tuneness with our femininity. We don’t feel safe or free. However, we still seek collaboration and wisdom, which is why you’re reading this blog right now. It’s why we seek parenting advice, recipes, art classes, zumba classes, coaching, and support groups. We don’t really believe we’re supposed to live this life alone, and we don’t want to, so we naturally reach out and seek advice, knowledge, examples, motivation, and love by connecting with other people.
Which brings me to following your heart. Having personal boundaries in place and keeping your heart open is absolutely fundamental to following your heart– otherwise, you’ll experience bursts of determination and move forward with your dream, but at the same time feel like your dream itself is a delicate glass statue that you carry everywhere with you.
Dreams like this are easily shattered by a judgmental comment or obvious doubt from anyone, no less from someone you trust and respect. I know you know what I’m talking about. The more times your dream shatters, and the more times you have to glue it back together, the more you close your heart around it to protect it, and adversely, the harder it becomes to make that glass dream into a reality.
With your heart open, the whole situation changes. When someone you trust and respect doubts your idea or dream, it’s ok, because you’ll know they’re dealing with a “them” problem, or that they are indeed worried about you, but that they have no need to be. You understand something they don’t about yourself and what you’re capable of. Even more, you’re pickier about who you open up to and how, so this situation happens less and less.
We receive two huge bad messages from society. The first one is that as women, we’re a source of shame. That we must always strive to be better and prettier and smarter and fitter, that we’re never quite enough. Women, far more than men, worry about our appearances, doubt our intelligence, and go on damaging diets and exercise binges that leave us ragged. The real kicker is that after all this effort, we’re still a source of shame in society’s eyes, for trying too hard.
The second bad message is that we can escape the shame (O, good news!) as long as someone else comes along who can save us. Somewhere out there is a person who will accept us and all our faults, so that we can begin to accept all our faults too. The only thing left to do is be as attractive as possible. Because of this subliminal message, we’re in a constant state of Damsel-In-Distress mode, waiting for someone to come along and give us permission to take certain action or be ok with ourselves, because they’re ok with us. BS, I say!
So what can we do about this? We can take back our power. We can reconnect with our natural abilities to create and birth awe-inspiring things into this world, whether that means children, ideas, discoveries, art, food, love, or business.
As a woman, I am very in tune with all the ways I’ve been held back, and I continue to learn and struggle against the reality of society. As a business coach, I urge– no, I DARE– you to stop waiting. Seriously, you beautiful woman, it’s time to take hold of your dream and do something about it.
One of the concepts I took from my childhood was the difference between “mother” and “not mother”. In my growing mind, I was either going to be a mother, or not a mother, which meant my road looked either like that of a go-getter corporate CEO who works 12 hours a day and is never seen without her phone, or as a doting mother figure and nothing else. These two visions of womanhood are both so damaging. I want to show you how you can break out of these stupid boxes and become whatever the heck it is you want to be.
Here are a few things you can do:
Meditate. I know meditation is always on every list I make, but I will keep putting it there, because meditation brings clarity to you and what you want to do the most. On my part, it took a lot of meditation to reconnect with what I wanted after years of training myself to go with other people’s flow: “What do I want for dinner? I dunno, what do you want?”
Listen to the voice of Truth. Start paying attention to moments of clarity. Sometimes what you want comes in the form of what you don’t want, for instance: “I don’t want to lead a team of people. I do so much better on my own.” We usually push these thoughts out of our heads the moment they arise, because I mean, if you don’t want to be leading a team, it means you’re in the wrong job. It might be a hard truth to face, but one that will free you if you let it.
Be aware of the Inner Critic. We’re not only receiving unhelpful messages from society, we’re coming up with them because we know them so well. We’ve been trained to turn the “not good enough” statements on ourselves and actually believe they’ll boost us into a better state. This is not so. You are good enough. You are perfect as you are. Without changing one hair on your head, adding one molecule to your brain, or having one more dollar in your bank account, you have what it takes to start taking action now.
Come to my free mini LEEP workshop! It’s in Calgary on March 24th, and I’ll be talking all about following your heart and overcoming your fears and resignations. It’s a crash course for the LEEP (Lotus Emerging Entrepreneur Program), a 90-day bridge to take you from being stuck in an unfulfilling and draining existence to laying the groundwork for freedom. Join me and see if what I’m all about resonates with you!
Give me a call. Seriously, do it. You have your plans and processes, but having a business coach gives you the courage and clarity to make decisions right now that might take you weeks or months to make yourself. If you were to train for a marathon, you would do it by yourself if you wanted to “see how it goes”. You would join a marathon team and pay a coach if you wanted to not only finish that marathon, but be your strongest self. This is the same for succeeding in the business world.
So the next time your heart is trying to tell you something, don't brush it away, listen. Take a moment to write down the reoccurring thought that comes up. Likely, it's something that has repeated many times before.
My work with women focuses on overcoming fears and blocks unique to women, from following your heart, having it all (family and career), navigating money fears, owning your own value, and banishing the almighty "not good enough" line from your vocabulary, all the way to developing technical skills like branding, social media and accounting. If this speaks to your heart, book a free call with me today, and we can start at the beginning: with your dream.