After coming back from Italy having spent some time with the creator of Eremito, the hermitage style design hotel that’s made it to the list of top 5 hotels to visit as a solo traveller, I started thinking about what it really means to follow one’s heart.
After establishing a famous clothing brand in the eighties, Marcello decided to follow his heart and quit the fashion business. Embarking on a 2 year round the world sailing trip, he found his inspiration to open first an eco hotel in Mexico, and then later, Eremito in Italy where he continues to redefine luxury in terms of what we really need; harmony with nature, sustainable luxury and spirituality.
He talks about following ones heart in order to be happy. Not an entirely new or original idea and yet there’s truth in it, or is there?
I found a kindred spirit in my new friend Marcello, but I thought it worthwhile looking a little bit deeper into, dare I say it, the practicalities of following your heart.
What does it actually mean and what can we expect if we do look to the heart as opposed to the brain for direction.
When answering this question, I found myself having to debunk some myths that seem to be married to the notion of heart following.
Myth Number 1
You need to have already made enough money to pay your bills to follow your heart.
Probably sound advice for those not willing to throw it all away and live hand to mouth while doing what we love all day long. Nothing can suck the life out of your passion, like not knowing how you’re going to pay the rent or your dentist bill. However, there is something between throwing it all away at once, and a careful, considered plan to do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. Yes, it’s trickier, yes it requires a lot of work and little bit of faith (ok, heaps of faith) but you do not need to be a millionaire to take the first step, and then the next one, to follow your heart.
Myth Number 2
Following your heart will make you happy. In my experience, following your heart will make you miserable, heart broken and challenge every ounce of your self confidence at first, and then, once your heart has mended in a way that makes it stronger, more resilient, more whole and soft and open all at the same time, then comes the happiness; the kind that lasts. There is no wholeheartedness without a little bit heartbreak. If you’re lucky, this happens all at the same time and you simply feel more alive. What’s the alternative to living more alive? I don’t know exactly but I do know it’s nothing for me.
Myth Number 3
It will be easy.
It will be fun, but it won’t be easy
Myth Number 4
The answers all lie within your heart.
False. The heart can be an illusive, unclear, misleading, bitchy little cretin with (if your heart is like mine) a huge sense for irony.
The head and the heart are so often in conflict that it can be very hard to know who is saying what?
And like I said, sometimes the heart can you lead you on all kinds of crazy adventures, not always good (Immediately) BUT, the heart is always serving the soul and the soul is always, ultimately what will make your life meaningful and yes, even pleasurable.
Myth Number 5
Your sex organs are not your heart.
Don’t confuse lust, desire, distraction and avoidance for following your heart.
Your heart is in your chest, the other things are lower than that, and definitely have less intelligence.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t follow our desire. Our desire can lead us into deeper realms of self-knowledge and exquisite vulnerability, but not if we’re using it as a means to distract or avoid ourselves. Careful with that one.
If you’re truly interested in understanding your purpose, what gives your life meaning and how to intelligently follow your heart using some time test ancient wisdom from yoga philosophy, modern psychology and a touch of mysticism, then get in touch with me to start your journey to what I call Self Mastery.
This is my work, this is what I’ve done and continue to do for others, but you’ve got to be ready, and how do you know you’re ready? Your heart will tell you.