You’re walking through the woods on a warm, bright Spring day. Everything is a lush green color highlighted by the sunlight’s rays streaming down through the branches. The path is grassy and wide and curves down a small hill. At the foot of the hill is a stream, running full and strong powered by the heavy winter’s snow melt. The water runs over the pathway, and the grass that is covered by the water sways with the current. There are several large rocks carefully placed by nature to allow pedestrians to cross. You carefully step on each of the rocks as you make your way across the small stream. You stop to watch the water flow and reach to touch it. It is cold and clear and rushes past your hand. You can see everything beneath the water: the rocks, the grass, the leftover fall leaves, and other small plants that hold on tight to keep from being swept away. The scent is intoxicating, fresh and clean. The sound is mesmerizing and your senses struggle to take it all in. When you are ready, you continue past the brook and up the hill leading in to the woods. Where will you go today? How will you know when you’re there?
Sometimes I find myself struggling to figure out where I “should” be going in my life. The first thing I pick up on in that sentence is the word “should”. If I hear that word, then I am operating on an expectation that is not my own. How can I sift through the “shoulds” and identify my true voice? I read the following statement (author unknown) the other day that offered me a new perspective on this: “If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”
In hindsight, I can say that my heart has been telling me what it wanted all along, I just chose not to hear it. As a coach, I help others uncover their heart’s desires by listening to what their mind is telling me. When I hear someone mention something over and over again, I see it as a clue to their purpose. My job is to help uncover what is keeping them from going to that place. Here are some questions to pose when this happens:
- Tell me about a moment in your life when you have been completely engaged in doing something, where you have no concept of time. What are you doing?
- How would you feel if you were living your ideal life? What are some of the components of that life? (i.e. it would include time outdoors, I would feel connected to…)
- Where have you made the greatest impact in your life?
- What are the barriers that prohibit you from living your dream?
Connecting someone to their heart, to their feelings, takes them out of the place in their mind that keeps them from going there. Dreaming is a way to wander to the places we would like to go. It creates a mental picture to connect with those feelings. When we dare to wander where our heart leads, we become who we are. Dreaming also allows us to identify the gaps between where we are and where we want to be. Obstacles can only be overcome if they are known. It is a good place to begin.
What is your mind telling you? What have you heard yourself say over and over? Use those questions as guides to your heart’s desires. Spend some time and wander to that place. What do you see? What do you feel when you are there? Identify the sights, the sounds, the sensations. Each is an important piece of the bigger picture. What is preventing you from going there? Identify the gaps and consciously work to overcome them. Coaches are a great resource to help you with this process.
Where is your mind wandering today?
Yours in transformation,