How to Follow Your Heart

monarchs1_21What’s a blogger to do when all she wants is to be quiet? Words seem to impose on the space of supreme happiness that is already brimming over without anything in it. I am at peace.

And then the fears come. Will they abandon me and my blog if I follow my heart and just be quiet? What if I don’t publish when I’m expected to? What if I fail to say that one golden nugget that will help someone live a better life?

I love each and every one of you more than you will ever know. My heart melts at the tenderness of your comments and emails…water falling from my eyes and a smile on my face. I support you immeasurably, always.

And right now, in this moment, I need to walk in nature. I need to listen to the birds and watch the waves caress the shore. I want to be unscheduled, free to follow truth, love, and beauty. And it’s not writing that is calling me, it’s silence.

So I’m doing something some would call radical. I’m not going to push myself outside of my truth. I’m going to stay close to the bone. I’m going to meet my Tuesday morning deadline, but not with the kind of post I usually offer. What I am offering is my willingness to respond not to external or mind-made demands, but to the inner teacher in its infinite wisdom.

I wish you well, my friends. I’m off to the beach.

Love,

Gail

PS: The photo is of me taken by my beautiful friend, Marilee.

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57 Comments

  1. Posted November 2, 2010 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Gail,
    May the beach nourish your soul…

    Peace and love,
    Lance
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..give =-.

  2. Posted November 2, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    Hi Gail,
    I Hope that you enjoy the beach. Life’s demands and the pressures of a career have provided me the circumstances of my own sabbatical from writing. And I have felt more than a little guilty about that. Rest assured that your post was exactly what I needed to see this chilly Tuesday morning. So know that whatever and wherever your truth leads you, it will have meaning for you and your readers too!
    .-= occasionallyserene´s last blog ..Living Life in America or Why I choose not to complain =-.

    • Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much, OS. I can see how I have been turning away in subtle ways, but that is over now. And who knows what’s next – even in the next moment? Guilt is a sign you have done something wrong, and it is never wrong to live our truth. May we inspire each other…

  3. avatar andre
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    You are such a source of inspiration Gail, even when you go to the beach. Stay true.
    Andre

  4. avatar Deb
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    As Andre says, you are a source of inspiration. Taking care of yourself inspires me to do the same, when I need to.
    May you live with ease.
    Deb

  5. avatar Bob Wilson
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Gail,
    I LOVE the honesty of your post! I’ll be sharing this post with many friends and I know they’ll love it as much as I do. We all deal with this conflict and bless you for taking a stand and sharing it. I hope the beach is awesome and nourishes you in ways you didn’t even anticipate!
    Bob

    • Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      A warm welcome to you, Bob. The beach was exquisite. I support everyone in taking whatever stand is calling them.

  6. Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    This is a powerful article, Gail. The message comes through crystal clear. We can learn more from your sincere deliberate action than any amount of words could convey.

    blessings.

  7. avatar marilee
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Yes!!!!

  8. Posted November 2, 2010 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Absolutely perfect. :)

    • Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to you, Michael. So glad my choice resonated with you…

  9. avatar Rand
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The Peace of Wild Things
    Wendell Berry

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rest in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    I am off work today. I planed on going for my barefoot run from the South Mission Beach Jetty to Crystal Pier and back this evening… will finish up at sunset amongst the surfers, seabirds, maybe dolphin outside the surf zone. We are all truely blessed to have health and these beautiful gifts.

    Peace be with you all,
    Love Rand

    • Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Big love back to you, Rand…

      Thank you for this beautiful poem.

  10. Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Hi Gail.

    Since this post was 100 words too short for my standards, I am completely done with this flourishing life and will look for a site called An Average Life.

    Aside from that entertaining entrance, I like the message you are sending here. When you don’t have a certain item you want to say, but you want to maintain your routine, this is the way to go about it. Also, the beach is just wonderful. If the beach were running for office, I’d probably support it. I think about being at the beach like being next to the edge of a huge bowl of water, and so the microscopic ripples that would occur in the bowl show up on the edges, just like waves that we see in our big version of the bowl.

    Cool picture there, and I have done the same as you are doing in that picture many times.
    .-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..Outdoing Failures =-.

    • Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      LOL, Armen!

      Yes, that place where the waves meet the shore is magical…

  11. Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Gail,

    You are a wonderful role model! If we aren’t true to our self, how can we be true to anyone else?

    Glad you took time for you.
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..The Heart of Reality =-.

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Sandra. Your sentiment bears repeating: “If we aren’t true to our self, how can we be true to anyone else?”

  12. Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    When you take such good care of your own heart and soul it inspires us all to do the same. How cool are you? Utterly butterly cool. :)
    .-= Clearly Composed´s last blog .. Grace in Action Dare- The Thank You Flower =-.

  13. Posted November 3, 2010 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Oh Gail, y wiith your honesty and infinite wisdom to just BE. May the beach enhance your internal silence…that which you crave so much. Believe me, sometimes this silence holds the keys to many a Divine secrets. Ones I’m sure you will share with your readers(me) when you return ….
    Lots of love and blessings,
    Z~
    .-= Zeenat´s last blog ..Healing HUGS ExperimentRAOKA =-.

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Hi Z!

      So glad to see you over here. Thanks for visiting!

      I appreciate the depth of your comment. When we listen to the call of silence and let it take us, who knows what wonders lie in store? May we all honor this call…

      Love to you…

  14. Posted November 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Good for you Gail. Superb post. What could be more important than following that nudge deep within our own heart that knows what’s really appropriate in the moment?
    .-= Christopher Foster´s last blog ..6 steps to contentment — your “natural wealth” =-.

  15. Posted November 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ll echo the sentiments provided before me. Sometimes, the most direct and effective way to renew the Spirit, is the pursuit and attainment of Stillness. In my case, that’s usually found in a nearby forest, for you it’s apparently the beach. Enjoy your moments.
    .-= Phil D. Malmstrom´s last blog ..I’m Sorry- and Thank You =-.

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to you, Phil. I am enjoying the moments, and I hope you are as well.

  16. avatar Rusty Jones
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    That which truly flourishes rests in silence anyhow, right? ;-) That lovely welcoming peace….that’s who we are. Sometimes all the “doing” distracts us from that fact.

    • Posted November 4, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Yes, Rusty. This is exactly the point of my post. The silence is always here – how could it not be? It just is. We just are. Doing which comes from that is ease. Any other doing is ultimately exhausting.

  17. Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Gail,
    Hope you had a great time at the beach. You’re a shining example for all of us. Let me know when you want to be my guest and post at the bold life. No pressure!

    • Posted November 4, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for your invitation, Tess. A post will be forthcoming…I’ll be in touch.

  18. Posted November 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Gail: I agree with Rob. This is such a powerful message to all of us. You have to always listen to your inner wisdom and find your own answers. When we look within and listen, we will always be guided in the right direction. Thanks for directing us to that truth. I am such a fan of your blog and appreciate all of your wisdom and insights.
    .-= Sibyl – alternaview´s last blog ..Why You Should Judge Your Own Performance =-.

    • Posted November 4, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Sibyl. I am discovering that when I look within, I don’t always find the answer I want. Sometimes life is giving me something different than I expect or desire. Does anyone else have that experience? We get what we get, and in the end, I have found it’s best to put our personal preferences aside. So, as you say, “when we look within and listen, we will always be guided in the right direction.”

      Big hug to you….

      • avatar Rand
        Posted November 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Hi Gail,

        “We get what we get” or may be this is
        “AS GOOD AS IT GETS”
        If anyone needs a primer on “Getting Close To The Bone” just rent, or buy the movie.
        Everything is all there: Little Lies-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Ridicule-Gossip (lesser), and Manipulation.

        The ending is so beautiful with Melvin and Carole out on the steet at 4:00 a.m. getting close to the bone while waiting for the bakery to open with some “warm rolls”.

        We all expect and desire…we want to preserve something from the past…we want to make something bigger than what we already have…we want to give more than we can…or take more than we need.

        Example: I grew up in a good size family, had an Aunt and Uncle with all the cousins. We had many large family get to gethers. That’s all gone. I always “desired” to have my own gatherings for my married family life…never happened. But in a sense I do have a large family when I take a look around…my Union family, my little brother on his boat Renaitre (Rebirth) down in Thailand…will always be a second home, my two daughters, my fishing buddy, my neighbors, and now the good people whose post here reflect a general much larger family.

        Yes when we look within and listen we are guided. There are many things that we want and desire that are already in our midst. I feel humble, gratitude, and blessed.

        • Posted November 6, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          This is so beautiful, Rand. You didn’t accept this thought as true: I don’t have the large family get-togethers I want. You looked beyond the ideas to see the facts of the matter. And what do you find? Family everywhere.

          And the family of people who read and comment here – well, we are all so blessed.

          This statement captures it beautifully: “There are many things that we want and desire that are already in our midst.”

          Love to you, brother…

          • avatar Rand
            Posted November 6, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

            Thanks Gail,
            I will try to upload a pic of me for the family photograph album.
            Love ya!
            Rand

  19. Posted November 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I can totally understand. The peace that I found in Belize for one year on my boat dock looking at the ripples in the Caribbean, the clouds forming a meaning, is something I have rarely been able to duplicate in southern California. I do believe in nature’s healing powers. Enjoy.

    • Posted November 4, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Sonia. Mmmm… on a boat in the Caribbean. I’ve done that too, and it’s yummy. My time at the beach was beautiful. It’s perfect to allow the peace and silence within to guide me.

  20. Posted November 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I know what you’re talking… And I believe that each and every one of us loves you, your blog and your articles Gail!

  21. Posted November 8, 2010 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    If walking on the beach doesn’t work, you can always silence your monkey mind , and reduce stress that way.

    • Posted November 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to you, Jonathan!

      The beach walk was beautiful because it was just the thing my heart, mind, and soul wanted.

  22. Posted November 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gail,
    You and Katie Tallo have both melted me with the freshness and beauty of stepping back and reclaiming yourselves. Blogging is so rewarding, but it can consume you if you don’t take these pauses every now and then. Beautiful writing; lovely idea. I think I may try it!

    • Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to you, Barrie! So glad to see you over here – thanks for the visit.

      Yes, it seems that Katie (Momentum Gathering) and I have reached the same point at the same time. This is a time of renewal for me – renewing my commitment to live so close to my truth, to not be pulled away, to stay with what is fresh and real and not be ruled by fear of what the consequences may be. From where I sit at the moment, it’s the only sane way to be. The fire is being stoked, and I don’t know where it’s taking me. Could be a wild ride…

  23. Posted November 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Dearest Gail,

    I know I am late to this post, but I HAD to comment. I feel so passionately about this topic.

    I recently decided the same thing. I am setting a “heart” pace, not a “should” pace. I have not even posted each week. I am having FAR more fun. Feeling my creativity rushing back. Needing to stop the world, or rat race, get off and walk my own path at my own pace and with my own style.

    And I am only beginning to explore this. I haven’t been visiting as many blogs, or commenting as much. I am letting go. I’ve never lived in the way that I have the last 3 years blogging, and it was good at first, and a very WONDERFUL learning experience in so many ways. However, I now am exploring other options, choices, inspirations and more.

    I rarely base my life on anything but my own heart, but this quote fits so well lately that I probably read it each day and am trying to live it more because it matches what is in my heart. It goes like this:

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman.

    I LOVE THAT!! That is ME. That resonates and just feels “right”. I am really with you on this, and you encourage me to keep following my own heart path because, for me, it is the ONLY path worth living.

    I love you dearly, always will, and think of you often,

    Robin xox
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Naked Laughter – Video and Contest =-.

    • Posted December 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Robin,

      I love your willingness to explore your truth, to be true, to live true. Be you, for when you are, we all benefit. I’m trying to do the same.

      I support you and love you always.

      Your friend in truth,
      Gail

  24. avatar Rahn
    Posted November 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    You do not surprise me – I have always appreciated your ability to be aware and respond to reality in your life. I enjoy the thought of you taking this time.

    • Posted November 14, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      That means so much to me coming from you, Rahn. Sending you lots of love…

  25. Posted December 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Gail,

    I just clicked over from Robin’s site ( Naked in Eden). Have you read her post? It is so powerful.
    As she recommended, I came to your site and just read this post. Your words touch me deeply and offer solace to a stressed soul.

    Thank you so much.
    .-= Keith´s last blog ..From Whence I came =-.

    • Posted December 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Keith, for your words and for telling me about Robin’s post.

      The internet and blogging can be like quicksand, drawing us in, little by little, until we have to struggle to get out. Whether it’s the internet, conditioning from our families, or our own self-created mind webs, may we all have the courage to live our truth.

      As Robin quoted Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

      Love to you, Keith, and much support on your journey.

  26. Posted December 8, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Hi, Gail,
    Like Keith, I came over from Robin’s post. I applaud you both! For so long, I felt the subtle undercurrent of fear you mention—all the “musts” about blogging seemed to have a thread running through them. Capture, gather, pull in, harvest readership or else… Else what? Failure? Hm. I’m all for nonconformity, for doing what feels right for ourselves. Even so, like Robin and perhaps others, it took me awhile to make the break. I’m SO very glad I did. I hope your break serves you just as well. Always follow your heart! :) ~Julie
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..My Song =-.

    • Posted December 8, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad to see you over hear, Julie. Somehow I just recently found out about you. Ironically, the first post I read was My Song, in which you so beautifully express your willingness to stay true to yourself – and stop blogging.

      When we are faced head-on with following our hearts, the fears inevitably arise. This is where the rubber meets the road – what are we going to let our precious life be about?

      It’s wonderful to have the support of kindred spirits. I wish you well with whatever life brings you. Love…

  27. Posted December 9, 2010 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    The beach a healing place for me and your words are on it….STOP…LISTEN….MEDITATE…..enjoy the beach!

    • Posted December 9, 2010 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Nancy,

      A fellow beach lover – and silence seeker. Welcome to you!

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