How many “To Do” items do you list and complete each day? What are the books or articles on your reading list? Who are you networking with? Why are you not utilizing every minute of every day to move your projects forward?
I lead with these questions as they used to be the daily internal routine that I faced and answered. When my heart would calmly say, “But where is it you need to be? Look around.” My mind would stamp out any insurrection with a quick response that, “I am an over achiever and to achieve I must overly plan my life.”
About eight years ago I was staying the Taj Lake Hotel after traveling to Udaipur, India for my best friend’s wedding. The exotic luxury enticed me beyond my comfort zone and I decided to have the concierge arrange an astrology session. A genuine and gentle older man arrived at that hotel with a print out of my astrological chart from information that I had provided the day before. His English was excellent but his second language so the colloquial vernacular was a tad off. Like sharing with me that I was born on a full moon, which I hoped meant I had mystical powers, only to be told information I innately understood. He said, “You can be crazy.” His delivery was of such a true nature that I often think of that moment and smile. We had stopped discussing my questions that I had prepared. He looked into my eyes as if he could read my thoughts and said, “You are too hard on your heart.” That comment left a footprint on my soul and then we were finished.
I took many moments from that encounter but it was this insight that took me many years to really understand and integrate into my life. Being a Western woman I equated “heart” to my relationship at the time and that I was not investing more emotion into it. I learned in the last few years that was far from his true meaning.
Heart is the rutter of our ship. The quite yearning that guides our body to be well treated and maintained. The voice that warns us against saying hurtful things to loved ones. But my lesson has been recent. Heart is the creative power that lies behind my momentum to make a difference in my lifetime.
I understand now that gentle man wanted me to STOP controlling every detail of my life and thus preventing my creative heart from allowing the moment to moment enjoyment that opens the door to achievements beyond my dreams. By not living in the “real time” experiences of my life with thoughts only of tomorrow, I lost the joy of seeing opportunity outside my “plans.” My “ah ha” insights were few and far between. By letting go of my strict regime of how I saw and achieved in my life, new adventures opened to me. My books, speaking opportunities and the people that entered my life unlocked a door to a world I never imagined I would live in. In the eight years since that encounter my life has expanded to fulfill my dream of making a difference.
The 48 Verse of the Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell shares the idea this way, “Less and less do you need to force things.” Consciously stop in the moments of rushing or during the pressure to “do,” for tomorrow’s success. Pause. Breathe. Make a space in time for your heart to guide you. You may see a sign for a course change into the unimaginable.