3 Big Questions. First one: what does it mean to follow your heart?

Via on Jun 12, 2011
Holding it ALL together!

In those moments when life feels pinched and synched like a tight corset that struggles to keep everything from spilling out messily, my fanatical fantasy goes something like this:

Oh how I wish I had a supermarket cashier’s job where all I had to do was to scan items over a bar code reader and engage in light, frivolous, mundane chatter like “these are on special this week, buy two and get the third one free,” announce on the intercom that I need a price on isle 3, wish my 60 second friend a nice day and move onto the next.

Then at the end of my day, I’d go home, microwave a meal for my family, watch re-runs of some sitcom through which I live vicariously, and for variation on Friday nights predictably after 10pm, I may oblige my partner with his weekly dose that we both want to be over and done with as quickly as possible; him for release and me for relief.

Clearly, this is neither my dharma nor my karma.

Throughout the week, three pivotal questions confronted me:

1. What does it truly mean to follow one’s heart? Hell, on some days, I’d rather jump out of a helicopter, live in war and poverty-stricken zones, and travel halfway across the world with no idea of where I’m going to sleep than to follow my irrational and uncontrollable heart.

2. What is grace? I tend to associate its virtue with dignity, integrity and humility.  A quick Internet search reveals it’s meaning to be of Biblical origins.  Hmmm.  I am none the wiser nor any more enlightened.

3. Who says that we need to know where we’re going? Can’t I just hang out here and let clarity find me when it’s ready?

Dwelling in the past keeps us stuck and escaping into the future keeps us in flight. The only place where we can ground and center ourselves is right here, right now in this present moment.

Saturday morning 11AM, I step onto the research library of my emotions that is my yoga mat.

As the teacher begins what my kindred spirit refers to as the rap or pep talk, I know that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

“This past week, where I’ve been stressed to the max, I [re]-discovered that by going inward, I was able to calm myself down,” she shared.  I can totally relate, having cocooned myself into the arms of my scattered thoughts.

I’m surprised when suddenly anger arises, however I acknowledge his presence and permit him the space that he needs. Anger gets a tad more furious when we’re invited to partner up for a couple of postures. Today is one of those when I’d rather be with my thoughts, on my mat, by myself working out my shit, thank you very much.  Whew! Where’s the yoga in this?!

Obediently, we flow through the motions, at the end of which she comments, “you guys are great, you never complain.”  My inner voice of wisdom responds, “when I complain I don’t learn and I stunt my own growth.”  Bye, bye Mr. Anger, exit stage right.

Next thing I know I’ve emerged into a most elegant standing half moon pose with a smile gleaming across my face. Aha moment:  it is grace that brought me to where I am now and it is in allowing my heart to guide and lead me that I am opening to what is, Love.  Spirit will [continue to]  guide me to wherever it is that I am destined to be.

Goddess me, I’ve been liberated from my corset!

To close, she wraps it all up when she says, “there is beauty in the balance between concealment and revelation.”  For me, it is that intricate moment where we emerge, chrysalis-like.

Oftentimes when we’re shifting gears and moving to another level, we become overwhelmed by what appears to be a lack of direction.

These are moments of surrender that invite us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Enter fright or flight.  Embrace their presence for what they are; indications that we’re alive.  In time, remember that they too shall pass.

The true essence of morale lives in the ability of knowing how to wait. ~Inspired by Mary Irvine whose heart lives forever in love.

About Nadine McNeil

Yogini. Humanitarian. Spirited. Compassionate. Storyteller. All of these words conjure up aspects that make Nadine McNeil the person she aspires to be: an evolutionary catalyst committed to global transformation. Now fully devoted to expanding the reach of yoga through what she refers to as the “democratization of yoga,” she designs and delivers workshops to a wide cross-section of communities who ordinarily may not be exposed to nor reap its benefits.To join her mailing list and to learn more about her work and receive special offers, please click here.

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5 Responses to “3 Big Questions. First one: what does it mean to follow your heart?”

  1. tanya lee markul says:

    Hi Nadine! Thanks for sharing your inspiration! Wow, I'm not sure where your heart is taking you if somedays you feel jumping out of a helicopter and living in a poverty stricken war zone would be better. :-)

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  4. Candice says:

    In reading your bio and the work you do, it's no wonder you would sometimes like a job that seems more repetitive and mundane. In no way did I read your opening paragraph to be disparaging towards others at all!

  5. Nadine says:

    Thank you for your insightful comments Cheekie. Here's what really resonated for me and which I've made reference to in my response to Working Class:

    ….that we sometimes group people together and fail to see the diversity in the working class.

    I would further add that when we group people together we miss the opportunity to see our diversities irrespective of impositions placed upon us by others.

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