The past few months have really made me stop and take notice in my own life. Perhaps you are in need of doing the same?
You see, I was so busy "doing" that I almost forgot about simply "being" a person—and when we give little notice to being, the doing starts to have less importance. So I made a deal with myself (an unofficial contract of sorts) to wind it back to the moment, to ease off the gas pedal just long enough to pause and take in the view.
What I have found in the past eight weeks is that "being" allows me to live more authentically.
Leading with my heart simply feels right, and brave, and confident. It makes me transparent and real in all that I do. The result? Comfortably uncomfortable.
Let's face it. No change comes without work and adjustment. Yet, every time I catch myself in the "being" of me, rather than in the tasks of busyness, I want to pat myself on the back. Leading with my heart is not only about being good to myself; it's also about being of service to others. It is about connection.
This connection is much less about being a mom, or a wife, or a volunteer, or about taking on tasks in my business—it's so much more about being in the moment and following what feels right. Part intuition and part empathy, leading with my heart has kept me grounded through the loss of my mother-in-law a few weeks ago, through some challenging personal events, and through a pivot in my business.
Leading with my heart allows me to love fully. Here are four ways that this is true:
Leading with my heart puts me in a position of power.
Not over others, rather, over myself. Leading with my heart allows me to make my own choices and decisions, based on my own thoughts and expertise. This type of self-leadership builds respect and emotional intelligence that translates from the bedroom to the boardroom. In contrast, it can be easy to wear our hearts on our sleeves. When we show up doing so, we begin every relationship—and every aspect of our day—with expectation and tolerance. Our energy is low when we wear our hearts on our sleeves because this is the type of vulnerability that fuels anger and resentment, and an emotional bleed. We relate to others from a place of need when we hold our hearts out to view, versus to guide.
Leadership of any kind begins from a place of self.
When we lead from the heart, we take up residence at the crossroads of fear and love. That is exactly where hope, possibility, and renewal live and come to life. We make decisions (or don't make decisions) from our hearts, or from our heads. The sweet spot is at the intersection of both; mot black nor white, but shades of gray streaked with rainbows of opportunity. Leading from the heart positions us to be the best version of ourselves, no matter what the adversity.
Heart-centered thoughts take busy down a few notches.
We have all become addicted to being busy that we often use this as an excuse not to go to lunch, attend the funeral of a loved one, call a friend, and sip the wine at happy hour slowly. Sound familiar? Our peoplehood has us spitting out our calendar to anyone who will listen. My advice? Stop. Just stop. Some things in life are not only about you. Where can you be there for someone else? Where can you make an impact, a difference? I caught myself in the web of to-do, and I have traded it for abundance. My calendar is no longer full, it is abundant; and the reason it is abundant is that I make the time to connect, to be there, to go the distance for others, the way that I most want them to go the distance for me. Sure, not everyone will respond to me the way that I give to and respond to him or her. Yet, somewhere, in leading from a place of love, I am manifesting exactly that. At the end of the day, the only person who I need to meet up with is myself. Did I show up as the best me?
If the legacy I most want to create for myself is one of not only inspiring others but being inspired as well, then it starts with leading from my heart.
Can I get hurt? Sure. Can I make a mistake? Absolutely. In this thing we call life, that is exactly what is necessary in order to succeed. Without sadness, we cannot fully understand happiness. Without loss, we cannot understand abundance. The challenge is to learn to accept others. Trust me, this has been a long road for me as well! Yet, when we see people in the light of day for who they are today, not who we expect them to be, or who they were 20 years ago, we begin to understand that to really love someone is to accept them for who they are—NOT who we desire them to be. Once we understand that, we can turn that same acceptance back to ourselves. What makes us each truly unique is not our perfection, but our imperfection. Lean into that just a bit more!
No matter where you are in the scope of your love life, your personal life, or your career, leading from your heart is a shift that can alter your perspectives, create joy and self-acceptance, and aid you in embracing what you can control and change within yourself.