Over the years, I’ve tried on many different personas, all while learning how to follow my heart. From my teenage years until now, I’ve been preppy, a wanna-be skater, a hippie, a slacker, a party girl, a Type-A corporate person, and now, a yogi/blogger/writer/trying-to-figure-it-all-out-er.
And that last one—a trying-to-figure-it-all-out-er — is the common thread among all these seemingly disparate roles.
I feel like a lot of times we define ourselves from the outside in. The mind decides, “I want to be a well-dressed public relations professional,” and then does everything it can to reach that goal.
Do we ever check in and ask ourselves if this is really what we want?
Often, the answer is no, until our soul — always patient with the mind’s shenanigans — gives us small signs that something is amiss, that this new role doesn’t mesh well with who we really are.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that listening to the soul’s whisper is much better than facing the consequences once the soul roars. It’s important to follow my heart, not only for mental health, but physical health, too.
So lately, I’ve been listening to my body, heart, and soul instead of my mind, and working to follow my heart. And not just for big, monumental changes. For everything. What do I want for breakfast? What type of exercise should I do today? What do I want to wear?
Naming the heart captain instead of the mind has some consequences, and not all of them are good.
Your bank account can take a big hit. You might do a lot less in a single day and face the wrath of your mind before you gently tell it to shut the hell up. And it’s really freaking scary.
I recently wrote on Instagram about how this is a time of graduation for many people (according to astrology insights on Mystic Mamma). And that can feel like we’re fully planted in a new reality, but it hasn’t completely taken shape yet. Our minds may have shifted, but the material plane in our lives does not yet fully reflect this change.
It’s been about one year since I challenged myself to 30 days of gratitude and a 40-day yoga practice that ultimately changed my life. Over the past year, I’ve been cataloging my personal growth and insights on Instagram.
As I worked to release old definitions, a new one took hold: I’m healing and writing about that journey. I’m learning to follow my heart.
And now, I’ve arrived to a new place. A more peaceful and accepting place. Am I perfect, happy all the time? No. But I don’t care anymore. I’m learning how to follow my heart, and that’s what’s most important.
I feel the purpose of life is to feel, to learn, to practice radical self-love and acceptance.
To honor the things that I love and the ones that bother me too because everything has meaning.
To me, that is a life well-lived.
I’ve been through a lot of stuff — cancer, family members dying, menopause at 27. This is my burden, but also my blessing. These are the things in life that force us to dig deep and find out what really feels meaningful. That digging is how we truly learn to live, how we learn what it is to be alive. To take risks. To be our own best friend, no matter what. To have the chutzpah to do whatever you want, regardless of what others think.
This is a long way of saying that I’m reinventing myself yet again, this time from the inside out. I’m learning to follow my heart.
The things that I write about are shifting because I have shifted. When I was in college and depressed, I realized one reason I held onto my depression because I feared happiness would make me less creative.
And now, I realize that I was holding onto the struggle, holding onto this process of healing because I am afraid that I will become shallow or forget what it is to struggle if I move on. I pray for compassion as wide as the ocean without needing to live in the mud.
We never know what tomorrow brings. But today is full of peace and happiness. I want to enjoy this peace and happiness. We can’t enjoy today’s peace if we’re always “healing” or “figuring things out.” When the heart is ready, we must move forward and let go. Embrace the peace of today knowing that it could all end in a moment. This is the fragility of life. That’s why it’s so hard.
But trusting this moment, letting ourselves feel joy when joy comes, is part of the path.
Fully feeling joy means fully feeling pain.
I’ve worked so hard to get to this place. And now I let go. Move on.
I don’t know what the voice or tone of this blog is. I don’t quite know how to express myself at this stage in life because I’ve never been here before. It’s free and fun, but scary too. To put my authentic self out into the world and risk rejection.
Some people will unsubscribe or unfollow because that’s what happens when you put yourself into the world. But you know what? It feels so good to be authentic. And the more authentic I feel, the less I care who resonates with my message. I have faith that my existence has meaning, and that my words will impact lives. Will they impact everyone? No.
But I feel like when we try really hard to please others, that’s when it stings to feel rejected. When we submerge our true selves in an effort to achieve the impossible and make everyone happy, it’s the ultimate insult to be rejected. Because in the process of trying to reach this arbitrary and impossible goal, we pay a tragic price: the wild expression of our true selves.
When we value authenticity and courage, the way we live lifts our hearts so wide that there’s no room for hurt when rejection comes.
Yes, maybe it sucks when our true selves don’t resonate with other people, but when we’re true to ourselves, validation comes from within. We don’t feel lonely when connected to the core of our being.
So this week’s post is not 5 ways to do this or How to do that, but instead a love letter to life. A love letter to risking it all, exposing yourself for the chance to live authentically. To let go of old dreams, old roles and definitions if they no longer fit.
To hopefully inspire someone out there to tune into their hearts and body and out of the mind. This is how we find the new dreams that do fit.
Namaste. May we all find our inner light. May our hearts lead the way.
What ways have you defined and reinvented yourself over the years? What is the most authentic version of you?