When’s the last time you had time to hear your heart beat?
This morning, I nearly missed the window of time I carve out for myself- my “quiet time.” The very thought created a knot in my stomach. I’ve become addicted to this hour of time to listen to my heart, get back in touch with the longings of my soul, laying down all else for the sake of caring for my spirit. Going without means a day out of kilter.
As a solo parent for the better part of twenty years, I had to learn that I needed this and to fight for it. I fought not only the clock but also the natural inclination to say “yes” to what everyone else wanted me to do, and “no” to my own needs. Even more difficult was the fight against the fear of being alone, an old issue that required years, workbooks, great counselors, prayer and the hand of God to overcome. I finally enjoy the company of one– myself. This skill (and yes, I do think it a skill) has been invaluable in me moving into my “Second Act” years; if bearing and raising children was my “first act,” becoming a successful Life Coach is my second.
I’m writing content for my workshop “Writing Your Creed,” for women who want to discover the work that they love. As I reflect on how I came to find my own “Second Act,” I realize one very important thing: I could not have found the work that I love without first listening, long and hard, to my heart. This takes time. It requires solitude. It requires taking stock, looking both backwards and forwards at your own life, your own choices, and how you’ve felt along the way. What will it take for you to do this?
“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy, and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” This was not written about the Facebook world in which we now live; C.S. Lewis penned this many years ago, referring, in fact, to the fact that the new “wireless” (the telephone) is partly to blame! How much more true is this now than when interruptions to our time were not Facebooking and texting every five minutes, but a telephone ring a few times a day?
I’m not challenging you to a duel, but it will be a fight. I challenge you to decide you are worth the time, worth listening to, worth turning off your smart phone. I challenge you to carve out 10 quiet minutes a day, morning or night, to listen to your heart beat. Listen to your thoughts and feelings; write them down. Take stock of what matters to you- and what doesn’t- in a day’s time. Rediscover your longings, and the dreams you never told anyone and shoved under a rug. Bring them back out, shake them off, and take a good look at them. What does your spirit long for? Hope? Immortality? A greater power? Take time for these things.
This, my friend, is the first step to living the life of your dreams. Let me know how this helps you!
- Turn off smart phone, iPod and computer
- Sit alone or take a solitary walk
- Listen to your thoughts
- How do you feel when you think about your past, present and future?
- Write one “pipe dream” you don’t share with others
- Pray or meditate