The short answer, who cares. The long answer ...
I was talking to my coach a couple of weeks ago and I said something like "I want to impact the world in a way that we all fundamentally get that we are loved. I see a world with more love". Then I immediately followed that with, "But there is not a chance in hell I am going to walk around pronouncing that to everyone."
And at the time I meant it. No way. My thoughts were in no particular order "Love. How woo woo! You can't build a business on something as intangible as love. And I swore I'd never be woo woo. Plus I have all these other skills to offer that are not heart based. What will I do with those! Am I just going to be another cliche of heart-based living. What will people think? Will I be taken seriously?".
Jeez. That is a lot of noise. For three days that conversation played out in my head and my self-critic had a field day.
Then Orlando happened.
As I watched the outpouring of sadness, love, disbelief, anger, blaming, hope, community, political pointing, and more - one question kept popping up for me.
If love (in all its forms) isn't the answer to the issues our world is facing, then what the hell is?
And then the second question.
If I'm not going to stand for what love and a heart-based life can provide, do I just settle for what is?
Here's the thing - a heart based life doesn't mean a mind-free life. I have it that a full life is one in which you blend heart, mind, body, and soul. A heart based life just means that you allow your heart to be a factor in your decisions and the way you live. It requires vulnerability, intimacy, trust, love, acceptance, generosity, resiliency, warmth, compassion. It requires your humanity. It requires courage.
I've lived a life where my heart got to have very little say. Was that life bad? No, not at all. But looking back now, there was an emptiness I couldn't seem to fill. I often felt like I was hiding in plain site. That I was often mis-understood. And that I was chasing after something I couldn't quite reach. It made me more susceptible to fear, hate, anger, control, and shutting people out.
Over the past three years I have gained more facility with blending my mind and heart. I can tell you as someone who has walked through life in both ways - adding your heart to the mix is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, the ones you love, and this world.
Can that be scary? Yes. Risky? For sure. Worth it? Absofuckinlutely.
Is there something your heart wants to create, stand for, say - that you haven't allowed?
If it is a resounding yes - awesome, go take an action this week that honors that.
For some of you - you may be thinking ... wtf, heart, where do I even begin. I get it. A few years ago, shit even a few months ago at times, when anything about love or heart was brought up my eyes would roll into the back of my head (I'm actually shocked they didn't stay there).
Three tips to get you started
- List out all of the things that you would say, stand for, create, go do if you weren't being logical, reasonable, responsible, strategic, analytical, driven by what is currently possible, or giving a shit about what other people thought.
- Circle the ones that have been gnawing at you for a while. The ones that have creeped up before but you've dismissed them for all the reasons in step 1.
- Pick one of the circled items and ask yourself - if I allowed my heart and mind to work together to create this - what would that look like?
I believe that as leaders (oh, yes, you are all leaders) one of the most powerful things we can do is to embrace our own humanity and one of the greatest ways in which we can do that is to allow our hearts to show up as much as our minds.
Wishing you a week of courage, love, and showing up fully as you.