Through personal experience, research, paying attention and participating in different courses, I've identified five guideposts that have helped me discover and honor joy on my own heart's true path. Clicking on the corresponding image will bring you to the archive of blog entries focused on each guidepost. An overview of the guideposts follows.
The first guidepost is the foundation for the entire path. Until I established a connection with myself, developing a habit of mindfulness that I can practice as I walk through my days, I was going in circles, asking myself questions without hearing the answers. Practicing mindfulness helps me be grounded; helps me focus on my own answers and my own truths; and helps me return to my heart's true path when I've gotten off track.
Listening is recognizing your heart's truth and accepting it as such; centering yourself on your truth, your values; and acting from your truth versus your thoughts. To me, listening means noticing what my heart is trying to say and recording its messages. My main way of listening is through journaling. Sometimes I also record my heart's truths through art. Some people might practice listening through music or dance.
The act of discovering your heart's true path—discovering your passions, your strengths, your values—happens when you identify the patterns your heart reveals. There are many different ways you can collect information and listen to your heart, but the cream of your life will always be revealed in the patterns of your essence. Studying and analyzing your heart's truths allows you to put the puzzle pieces together in order to see a whole picture of what activities are most important to you.
What I call "heart maps" are visual, tangible reminders of my heart's path. Through mapping I can create an external reflection of my heart's truth; I can chart my direction as well as my current position; I can find my way back to my path when I get off track.
To me, connecting with my heart's true community means investing my time and energy participating in a group that allows me to honor my heart's truth in a setting that is safe, supportive and encouraging. Each person has different needs for connecting; for some, a few times a year might be enough while for others, weekly or monthly connections fill their hearts with positive energy. Connecting with community can help motivate me to stay on—or get back on—my path.
That, in a nutshell, is my formula for discovering and honoring what brings me joy.
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