‘Follow your heart’ is common happiness advice. Even Steve Jobs famously said it. Less common is effective ‘how to follow your heart’ advice.
Chinese medicine has this sorted. Its lineage is the spiritual seeking sages of ancient China, and the heart is not just a pump, it is the seat of spirit (shen), or the home of your soul. And it is your connector to the Dao, and to universal love and chi. It is known as ‘The Emperor’ and it holds your aspirational dreams. These are connected with happiness and joy.
To follow your heart is simple: stop thinking about what you need and start thinking about what your heart needs! This is the secret to remembering who you are, reconnecting to your dreams, and to making your dreams real.
All your organs make offerings to your heart so it can rule in peace. If you envisage your heart as a sacred ruler, not some squishy organ, and make everything you do (food, thoughts, actions) an offering fit for an emperor, you will start tapping into with what is in your heart and following your dreams.
Don’t unfollow your heart
So that’s the theory! The reality is our lifestyle regularly makes us ‘unfollow’ our heart. Being out of synch with the natural forces and the cycle of yin and yang creates worry, anger, exhaustion, burn-out, demotivation, and disillusionment. These are automatic unfollows.
Dismissing your dreams as unrealistic, but simultaneously feeling unhappy or dissatisfied with how things are, is an unfollow.
“I don’t have time to work on my dreams” is an unfollow.
If distractions, disruptions and obstacles unsettle you, and pull you away from your centre you can you lose sight of your dreams, and thus unfollow your heart.
What’s in your heart is different to purpose and success
As the heart is also the organ that makes us feel emotions, pursuing dreams can be painful (depending on your constitution). You might be working really hard on your vision but “not getting anywhere” (I hear this all the time) and getting frustrated and throwing blame around.
Only we can make the path to fulfilling our dreams smoother, because it all comes down to how we respond to circumstances and people (the heart / emotion thing).
And that comes down to how healthy our organs are, and what they are offering the heart which, in turn, comes down to our lifestyle. It’s all on us and what we do every day.
Success is seeing the value and meaning in what you do regardless of outcomes.
When Steve Jobs said “follow your heart” it was in the context of meaningful work: “like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on”. This is exactly what we want from following heart and dreams. The ability to perceive every day as meaningful, to have something that pulls us forward each day. To feel each day that we are working towards an unfolding of an idea or vision.
Your heart is a hub for consciousness, mind, chi, and emotions. It is connected to mystery of life itself. In this time of transition to make sure we head towards something better, individually and globally, we’re going to need to show The Emperor some respect. Because our dreams are connected on a higher level to a higher plan for universal love., and this is exactly what we want as the platform for change.
We are made from cosmic energy, we are way more powerful than we can imagine. Our actions create ripples that can shape how the world unfolds around us. But we’re like newborn superheroes, we don’t know our own power and do the emotional equivalent of accidentally knocking down buildings.
According to the Tao all crises start within. That means if we think the planet is in crisis, or life is falling apart, look inwards because it starts within us. For example, we have an energy crisis, we can make external changes to save energy, but we can also start living energy efficiently internally. This is where following our heart and finding our power comes into the picture.
Following your heart is energy efficient. Constantly complaining, criticising, being angry or negative costs us energy, living without rhythm costs us energy and not nourishing destiny costs us energy. it harms our heart, ourselves and others and it affects how we treat the earth.
But if we follow our heart we are engaging with our heart and it is the main organ in our internal energy production cycle (Blood and Chi production is regulated by the Heart). Powerless and weak is not the wellspring of solutions. We’re here on a mission to develop our super-powers and then we will see solutions. Following our heart gives us energy and gives us power.
Following your heart is not about huge change, throwing everything in and becoming a writer or artist or healer, but about nourishing your destiny. Keep chasing and following that spark of what draws you forward from within. Nourishing your destiny means you see yourself in the process of doing something. You move towards Tao but never get there.
To follow your heart you always need to be at the start
It’s important to have no expectations otherwise you are at the end not the beginning. Outcomes and expectations are affiliated with a mental concept and, as they say, ‘mind is the enemy of Tao’. It’s your destiny you are nourishing, it’s in your heart, so you don’t want it to be shaped by the expectations of people around you, or to be responding to an underlying / subconscious drive, like trying to prove something.
Now is the ideal time to prep-up to follow your heart in 2023. I’ve done a series of webinars on this, on activating dreams, bouncing back from burnout and nourishing destiny. The recordings are available.
Webinar recording Follow Your Heart: The emotional story
This discussing the emotional aspects of following your heart, the struggles and how to handle them. And how to follow what you can’t see yet!
- Working hard on your dreams but not getting anywhere
- Thinking the world is not ready for what you have to offer
- Thinking no one wants what you have to offer
- Feeling too exhausted
- No time to work on your vision
Unfollow your obstacles
- What are the obstacles and why
- How to navigate your internal obstacles.
- How to deal with unfavourable circumstances
- How to deal with the BS of making it happen
- The necessary mundane parts and how deal with them (apply chi magic)
- How to keep going when you can’t see anything
- How to deal with disappointment – eg constant rejections – and the reason for rejections.
- How to deal with the anguish of trying to manifest your dreams – and the reason for anguish
TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) insights into following your heart
Webinar Saturday 26 Nov 10:00am – 11:30am. Follow your Heart and Prevent Burn Out: The dynamic story
This webinar will be all about the dynamics of following your heart. Knowing yourself, identifying your elemental type and how to negotiate following your dreams in a relationship
- Know who you are, before you begin
- The elemental types: Metal Earth Fire Water Earth
- Quiz to identify your elemental type
Following your heart in a relationship
- How to sync ‘following your heart’ with your relationship
- How to harmonise two different elemental types
- What to do if your partner is completely different
- How to avoid ‘elemental’ dominance by one partner
Don’t go it alone
- How to generate power to follow your heart
- How to prevent burn-out, and generate power by aligning with cosmic forces that
- How to enjoy the journey and get rewards
Webinar Saturday 2 Dec 10:00am – 11:30am. Follow Your Heart, Mission Possible: the practical story.
I’ll be getting into the application in this webinar. Tips and templates for seeing and following what’s in your heart. Working with your Emperor and the internal organ support team.