By Anu Martinson
Life is often described as a journey, and like any journey, it comes with a multitude of paths to choose from. Some paths are well-known to us, while others are less traveled. Amidst all this network of choices, there exists a concept called: "a path with a heart."
Many think that walking one’s path with the heart means doing all the things that the person likes or enjoys. But a path with a heart is more than just a career choice or a life direction. In reality, walking the path with the heart may be quite challenging because your heart will always lead you to learning - learning about yourself, learning about the world around you, other people, nature, and the universe. And learning means that you will continuously encounter something that you do not know yet - the unknown.
A few years ago, I had a very prestigious job that gave me lots of recognition and a good salary, my opinion was valued, my thoughts and ideas were sought for in the management, I was able to run the projects and the team that had been my dream at that time. Yet, something was not quite right, I was not content and happy. Then, one day, when the feeling inside me had grown stronger and stronger, I quit that job. I stepped into the unknown, I did not have new job waiting for me, in fact, I had no idea what I should do next. But the minute I made that decision - despite the scary unknown I will follow this feeling - I felt relaxed, and the tension was lifted off my shoulders.
The journey ever since has not been easy. I have had to face many of my insecurities and fears. But it has brought me here today doing what I feel I need to be doing, what I love to do. It has given me many answers to the questions I used to have, it has brought people into my life that I connect with on a very deep level, and it has brought into my life the relationship that is so warm and loving that I have never experienced before.
Finding and walking a path with a heart is a personal and ongoing journey. In a world filled with noise and distractions, there exists this quiet but powerful voice within each of us—the voice of the heart. It speaks to us always, very clearly, yet very softly. But it speaks only once, you cannot really have a discussion with it. The discussion is already with your mind trying to rationalize whatever it heard or wanted to hear.
And yes, of course, I tried to have this discussion in myself, rationalize it all the way through - that I had nothing to complain about, that despite some minor inconveniences, my life was good. But this was exactly just my mind speaking, not my heart. My heart kept nudging me very quietly but very persistently.
Walking on the path with the heart means that you are fully connected with Life. Connection with yourself and parts of your higher self goes always and only through your heart, not through your mind. This journey can be tough, requiring perseverance and determination.
To walk the path with the heart is to listen to what your heart tells you. This means listening to even the subtlest of subtle feelings.
It takes all of one's blood, sweat, and tears to walk the talk. And it is not a path of only joy and laughter. You will encounter challenges and hardships. You will need to give up the decision to act only when you like it, rather it is more of acting despite whether you like it or not - you act because your heart tells you to, it feels right.
Sometimes, this is something we like, the other times, we do not like so much of what we feel we need to do. But every time we act as our heart tells us to, it will uplift us, ease our burden, and bring us joy. The challenges and hardships will not shake you, for you know that there is guidance and support, and challenges are nothing more than just experiences, valuable learnings on the way of getting to know yourself.
It goes without saying that to be on a Path with a Heart requires one to be wide-awake and fully aware. Only then is it possible to meet the peace and joy, the sense of wonder and mystery that life has to offer. Success and happiness, inner peace and fulfillment, cannot be bestowed upon one by any other being but are the product of having learned to accept and to love oneself.
So, how do I know I am walking my path with the heart?
Listen! What is that inner voice of yours telling you? Walking a path with a heart means being true to oneself. It involves acknowledging and embracing our strengths, weaknesses, and quirks and not trying to be someone we are not to please others or fit societal expectations. When our actions are in harmony with what we hold dear, we experience a deep sense of fulfillment and integrity. At the heart of this path lies a passionate pursuit of something that gives life meaning.
It took me a while to understand that this feeling that is not making much sense is something that comes from within. I had to meet myself in order to "hear" it, and I had to accept and acknowledge that the way I am and the skills I have will also be there for me in the future. And so, it became easier for me to make the decision to quit my job, even though people around me did not understand why. There was this knowing in that decision that everything will work out - after all, I had my hands and my head and all my experiences and knowledge.
Walking a path with a heart equips us with the inner strength and resilience needed to navigate life's challenges. Our strong sense of purpose and commitment help us persevere in the face of adversity. Aligning our actions with our values and passions reduces inner conflict and fosters a sense of inner peace. We no longer struggle with the constant battle between what we should do and what we want to do.
As a comparison, the path with no heart will make you stumble no matter how hard you try, it will break your spirit and make you lose your trust in the world, finally, it will cause you to look upon your life with anger and bitterness.
Ultimately, walking a path with a heart is about living a life that is true to who you are and what you value most deeply. It's about finding your own unique way to make a positive impact on the world while experiencing the joy and fulfillment that come from living a life aligned with your passions and purpose.
You can do a quick check-in with yourself by answering the following questions:
What activities or causes make your heart sing? What truly matters to you?
What distractions or commitments do you see in your life right now that do not align with what your heart desires?
When you have found what makes your heart sing and what makes you stumble, create space in your life for what truly matters. Be open to change, accept and cherish all the parts of yourself, embrace these changes as part of your journey.
And do not leave yourself alone. As said before, a path with the heart may not be easy, so reach out to mentors or individuals who are walking on similar paths. Their guidance and wisdom can be invaluable in finding your own way.
Last but not least - your Intuition, listen to your inner voice. It often provides valuable insights and guidance to you.
If you are curious about Path with Heart and would like to learn more or get clarity on yours, let's chat! .Contriber School has many opportunities to design time to look at your life in a bigger plan and support you in solving your challenges, small or big.