52 Birds: Week 15
Explore: 7 Tools for Finding Your Heart's True Path

Learn: 3 Ways to Your Heart's True Path

Your heart's true path is paved with activities you are wired to do and love, given your unique interests, strengths and personality traits. Following your heart's true path gives your life meaning.

Do you know what paves your heart's true path? If you live your life following your heart's true path, you probably feel a strong sense of meaning and fulfillment. Or, instead, do you find yourself continually searching for your life's meaning? Feeling a lack of fulfillment may indicate that you've stepped off the path of your life's meaning—that you're "off track."

Path - Peace GD
If you're searching for meaning and fulfillment, try these three ways to discover your heart's true path:

Pay attention to how you feel.

  • In her 2011 TED Talk, actress Thandie Newton suggests paying attention to those moments when you "lose yourself." For Newton, this happens when she's dancing or acting. "And over time, and with practice," she describes, "I've tried to live more and more from my essence." Similarly, losing track of time might be another signal that you’re in the midst of a heart’s-path activity.
  • You know those special activities that light you up and make your heart happy? What are they? Pay attention to what you’re doing when you feel the blossoming of that heart’s-path love. When writer Karen Walrond set out to find what she loves, she listed every single one of the activities she thoroughly enjoys and categorized them as she describes here. (In her online Path Finder course, Karen guides people through this exercise, among others.)
  • Think of a few successes and joys in your life—recent events as well as those further in the past. What about those events makes your heart swell? Life coach Lisa Alessi, in this podcast, advises that past successes and times of joy offer clues to the patterns of your heart’s true path. You'll find the clues if you pay attention and examine your joyful events.

Explore out of bounds. Color outside the lines. Ignore your "limits."

  • What would you do if you had all the time, money, courage or whatever in the world?
  • When you were younger, what did you love doing that you no longer do for whatever reason (maybe because someone said you couldn't or because your friends didn't want to join you)?
  • What dreams have you abandoned?

Listen to and embrace your answers to your unique questions.
In her book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life, psychotherapist Dawna Markova poses a number of probing questions, including:

  • What’s unfinished where you can contribute by giving, healing, learning or experiencing?
  • What are your inner gifts and talents? In what settings or situations do you enjoy using your talents?
  • Where do your talents and the needs of the world intersect?
  • What are your core values? Where do you take a stand?
  • What environments bring out your best? What influences, activities and people allow you to shine?
  • What question would evoke the deepest wonder in your mind at this time in your life?

 

Paying attention to how your heart feels, investigating your life events, imagining possibilities and answering your own tough questions can help lead you to the treasure that is your heart's true path. You can think about these things or talk about them with your best friend, but writing it all down in a journal will allow you to look back at your thoughts and feelings, uncover patterns, recapture ideas and solve the riddles obscuring the way to your path.

When you discover what paves your heart's true path, you take a step toward leading a fulfilling life. Whether you add a dash of joy to your life by nurturing a heart's-path hobby or whether you flood your life with joy by making a career of your heart's-path activities is up to you.

Where are you in terms of your heart's true path? Are you off track? Do you straddle your true path or weave across it now and then? Do you follow your true path completely? Share your experience in the comments below, or connect via twitter.

 

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