November 04, 2017
If you’ve been reading the Eve Organics blog for a while, you would have heard me mention before that I’m lucky enough to have a group of female friends who also run businesses, and we meet up regularly to chat about our businesses & help each other work out problems.
Seeing as we’re also friends; these chats often detour into other territory and we end up talking about life in general (of course!). A few weeks ago, we somehow started talking about “following your heart”, and what exactly that means – and one of the girls brought up Danielle LaPorte’s 'Desire Map' as a good place to start.
If you haven’t heard of the Desire Map, it’s an excellent tool whether you’re a business owner or not. Essentially, it’s a technique for creating goals (whether it be a daily to-do list or a life dream) based not on what you want to achieve, but how you want to feel. You pick your core desired feelings; and then you build your schedule/work/life/activities around them, and you do that every day.
This conversation really got me thinking. How easy is it to follow your heart in the society we live in; when it seems we have so many restrictions? For most of us, we have to be at work at a certain time; we have a home to tend to, friends, a partner, perhaps children to take care of – and a whole load of things we ‘have to do’ on a daily basis. So how do we make sure we’re truly fulfilled; doing what we want to be doing, and feeling the way we want to be feeling? Why is 'follow my heart' not on our daily to-do lists?
It's such an interesting talking point, and probably worth a lot more than a single blog post. For now, I'm sharing just three simple things I've used myself to 'follow my heart' and make sure I'm regularly doing the things that make me happy. Here they are!
1. Create your happy list
It starts with paying attention. What’s something you do that always makes you feel really good? (And when I say good, I don't mean the temporary high you get from watching your favourite Netflix show, or buying a new pair of jeans. I mean the things you do that are guaranteed to lift you up and make you feel strong/grounded/great about yourself.) I’m sure there are lots of them. Three of mine are yoga, taking baths, and walking or hiking in the outdoors.
Now write those things down – see if you can get 3-5 of them. Once you have your list of ‘things that make me feel good’, have a think about how often you do those things. My guess is, not very often at all. Why is that?
The truth is, most of us spend a whole lot of time doing things that make us feel ‘meh’ and the tiniest amount of time doing things that make us feel ‘hell yeah’. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
2. Make the time
Take each of your feel-good activities, and commit to doing them at regular intervals. It might be a yoga class each week, or a hike once a month. Organise it, put it on the calendar, and make the time for it. That’s the most important step! If you’re anything like me, unless it’s on your calendar it’s not going to happen; so do that first. There it is, every day, staring at you and reminding you that you need to do it - and you can't schedule anything else for that slot of time.
3. Listen to yourself more closely
This is something I’ve been trying to do much more of lately; and it’s teaching me a lot about myself. When someone asks you a simple question like ‘Where shall we go for dinner’, what’s your usual reply? I normally answer these questions with something automatic & reactive like, ‘I don’t know. What do you feel like?’ – that’s my instant reply, and I’m sure it is for a lot of us.
The thing is, these everyday conversations might seem like tiny questions about trivial things; but each of them is an opportunity to ask yourself what you actually want – and if you don’t take that opportunity to at least think about it, you’re passing it up without even giving your desires a chance to air themselves. Like a muscle, the more you exercise this ability, the easier and more automatic it will be to know what you want quickly, in all kinds of situations; and follow your desires accordingly. It’s simple, but it’s really effective!