Inspiration Series - Month Seven

Let Love Lead

 

You are just one breath away from exactly where you want to be.

 

road of concrete slabs through the field turns uphill to the sky at sunset

I’m so glad you’re here. Here on this page with me and here in this moment, with a clear intention to live an awake and inspired life. I honor your intention and trust its incredible power to move you in the direction you want to go.

The direction itself, of course, is rarely a straight line forward. You’ve no doubt noticed that the journey of living an awake and inspired life has countless surprise turns and unmarked detours.

Sometimes you feel optimistic, confident and happily striding toward a golden future from a golden present, reveling in the scenery along the way.

Sometimes you get a little bored when the scenery doesn’t change very much from day to day or year to year.

Sometimes you wish you were bored rather than feeling as if you have to run to keep up with all the things you’ve committed to do.

Sometimes the road you’re on forks in so many different directions you don’t know which one to choose.

Sometimes it may seem as if you’ve stumbled into unknown or even hostile territory, without a map or a compass or even the right pair of shoes.

The varied terrain is designed to give you the exact experience you need in each moment to awaken further to your magnificence. And regardless of whether any given moment is offering you an opportunity to shine your magnificent light or showing you how may have hidden your light under a bushel, there is one truth that will guide you through that moment:

Heart in the skyIn order to create a life you love, you have to let love lead.

It’s so simple that it’s easy to forget, so let this be a perfectly-timed reminder for you, right now.

In order to create a life you love, you have to let love lead.

This doesn’t mean you abandon your reasoning mind. In fact, when you lead with your heart, your ability to reason is extraordinarily enhanced. Rather than trying to sort things out with analysis and measurements and endless lists of pros and cons, your open heart opens you to the wisdom that reflects your deepest truth.

Let me share a simple and very recent example with you. I’m writing this essay on the day it needs to be completed and posted, which means I’m up against a deadline. I had the idea for the theme over a month ago, but didn’t sit down to start writing until yesterday.

And yesterday, I couldn’t write. Nothing was flowing. I ended up deleting virtually everything I drafted, feeling an increasing sense of frustration and becoming anxious about missing my deadline.

My inner disciplinarian tried to convince me to just stick with it until I completed at least one full draft. Sometimes that particular inner voice is a loving one, coaxing me not to give up on myself quite yet. But yesterday the voice felt harsh and, frankly, irrelevant. I was empty inside. I had nothing to write.

So I closed my laptop and walked away from the table. I had a relaxing evening with a dear friend and got a good night’s sleep.

Old diary full of travel adventures with a compassAnd here I am this morning, writing. I will complete this essay on time, without having wrestled myself to the ground in order to do it.

The key to creating this more ease-filled experience was being able to discern whether the inner voice coaxing me to stick with my writing last night was one I should listen to or not. And that discernment arose when I paused, got quiet, and asked myself, “What is my heart of hearts telling me to do?”

Had I not paused to consult my heart, I would have engaged in an ongoing debate with my inner disciplinarian, trying to defend my resistance to writing or demanding that she give me the inspiration to do it, already. Or both. The frustration and anxiety would have mounted, and any writing I would have completed would have been infused with that energy.

Letting love lead provided a more elegant solution. It always does. The beautiful challenge is in learning to recognize and honor the voice of the heart.

Meeting that challenge is more of an art than a science, because letting love lead is a fluid, ongoing dialogue. It is an act of creation. And the creative process is stifled by too many rules and measures. Yet it benefits from just the right amount of structure to provide support and focus.

You will discover your “right amount” of structure over time, if you haven’t already. For now, let me offer you the basics of my own structure for enabling love to lead me through life. They are quite simple.

 

Close-up of a sad and depressed woman deep in thought outdoors. toned image

Committing to pausing when I’m feeling anxious, frustrated, angry or afraid.

Uncomfortable feelings are always an invitation to pause and dive beneath their surface. They’re trying to get our attention, so we honor ourselves by giving it to them. I acknowledge and feel my feelings, and then do what I need to do to quiet my mind and go within.

Intentionally opening my heart.

Most of us have, outside of our conscious awareness, been conditioned to close our heart center when we’re feeling threatened in any way (such as by a man-eating tiger or a looming deadline). After I’ve paused to acknowledge the scary feelings, I place my hand over my heart and invite it to open.

Asking the right question.

I have a small bevy of ready-made questions that I’ve developed to focus my attention in the direction of my highest wisdom. Here are a few of them:

  • What is my heart of hearts telling me to do? (or, What do I know in my heart of hearts is right for me to do?)
  • What would loving myself look like right now?
  • How could I love myself through this?
  • What is the most loving, supportive thing I could do in this moment?
  • Where is love leading me?

Listening and feeling for a sense of quiet “rightness” in the response.

Sometimes when I ask myself a heart-centered question, a simple and clear response shows up and I can tell by the way I feel that it reflects the truth I need in that moment. Other times my mind continues racing, or it is blank. At those times I engage myself in something completely different so that the swirling thoughts can, finally, run out of steam. When my mind is calm I ask the question again, or ask a different one. Or I call a dear, trusted friend and ask her to help me see through the eyes of love.

 

Is this a flawless process that never fails? Of course not. There are times I push through my uncomfortable feelings rather than taking time to pause and go within. There are times when it feels like I’m just going through the motions of opening my heart and asking loving questions but I don’t really trust that it will work. There are times when I receive no responses at all and I end up making a decision using old-fashioned mental analysis.

But over time, these simple practices have guided me gently toward a more heart-centered way of living. When I get the felt sense of “rightness” in response to my questions, I feel immense satisfaction in knowing I am honoring my highest wisdom. I feel at peace. I realize that consulting my heart reinforces my integrity and eases me into the flow of my own life.

Door to new world. The door to paradise.

As it does for you, and will continue to do. Just intend to keep opening your heart and going ever more deeply into the loving intelligence it holds for you.

In order to create a life you love, you have to let love lead.

 

 

Inspired Practices

  • Listen to this meditation several times over the next month. Let each experience be a fresh one.

 

  • Set an intention to let love lead you on your journey of creating an awake and inspired life. Experiment with the simple practices outlined in the essay for shifting you to a more heart-centered way of living and create some of our own.

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