Search Your Heart, Discover Your Dream

One way to find your true path, your dream, is to search your heart by doing a self-appraisal. Buried in this exercise is one way to find your dream.

A self-appraisal is like a performance evaluation. You do it to ferret out your thoughts, beliefs, actions, and behaviors. The point is not to beat yourself up, but to discover your core self.

When you uncover and follow what lies in your heart, you are well on your way to peace because you will be following your dream.

I believe this is because your heart and soul are connected, and when you are doing what your heart urges you to do, you are doing what your soul’s purpose is.

When you do your soul’s purpose, you are in synch with your true purpose in life, and that brings you peace. All this from looking within.

When searching yourself, look first at your positive points, actions, words, and thoughts. Look at ways in which your behavior helped another, or made them feel better about themselves. Then look at how they helped raise you up so that you learned some positive points about yourself.

Then think of things you said to another to build them up. After that, think of your self-talk and determine what you are saying to yourself. Are you positive and encouraging? If not, this is your goal.

Your goal is to identify your positive points and then acknowledge your goodness.

Now it is time to look at your negative thoughts, words, and deeds.  In what ways have you torn down another, said disparaging words to them, talked badly of them behind their back, denigrated their spirit?

How do you talk to yourself? What do you believe about yourself and do you denigrate YOUR spirit? 

When you shine the light of awareness on your shortcomings, you can begin to heal and change your negative behavior toward others and yourself.

While you are doing this exercise, keep in touch with a friend, spouse, or family member so they can offer you support and clarify your behavior by offering their unbiased perspective. Ask them to provide that for you.

You will find that you uncover some delightful and beautiful things about yourself. You will also discover some embarrassing or damaging things you thought, said, or did. Take ownership of them all. Apologize as indicated if it will not be hurtful to another. 

This may be a difficult exercise to complete, as it may bring up some uncomfortable emotions. Stick with it and try to be present through it without self-medicating for a set period every day.

What you find will eventually lead you to peace in your soul and that is one of the things you are searching for, right? Look honestly but fairly at your heart. What do you see? What are you doing to follow your heart’s longings, your dreams? 




How to Do a Performance Appraisal of Yourself

Today it is time for a performance appraisal of yourself, a search of self. This is the next topic in the book. It is the second reference to looking at yourself, your behavior and your actions. The first was in the blog about honesty.

Search of Self

But this time, when doing an appraisal, take a look at yourself with the eyes of the soul. You are looking for your heart, right in the middle of everything you are, which is sometimes muddled, sometimes messy.

We are all human. We all have swirls and shadows, shades of tan and rust… darkness and light. Do you recognize and acknowledge your humanness, your good, your bad?

You see, resiliency of spirit lies in the ability to see yourself as a falable human being, who is not perfect, who makes mistakes. The beauty of it all is that among all these swirls and shadows, your heart is there in the middle, shining brightly, truthfully. It knows the truth of who you are.

All you have to do is find it, to feel it. In your heart, you know when you are treating yourself or another poorly. You know. So, after being honest with yourself about it, you can do a  do-over, a retake. You can get humble and apologize.

How do you apologize when, during a performance appraisal of yourself, you find that you have wronged yourself? You can acknowledge it, first of all. Then, you can see yourself with compassion, trying to get to the root of why you are treating yourself poorly. Is it an old message of worthlessness that plagues you? Do you not feel worthy of better treatment, taking good care of yourself?

Once you ferret out the reasons behind your poor treatment of yourself, be sure to apply compassion, but not humiliation. Do not beat yourself up. Smile at the small and child-like person you were when you did whatever it was you did, or did not do. Like I said before, apologize and change your behavior.

This applies to the appraisal of yourself, as well as to an appraisal of how you treat others. They key is willingness to look at yourself, again and again, and to correct what you find. You will always find darkness. But it is changeable, if you choose.

There is always light, also. Always. And sometimes you have to find the courage to recognize and admit to your positive points. If you were bullied or told you were no good at any point in your life, this may be difficult. Stick with it; it will come with time and commitment.

To find the recesses of your heart and its kind and gentle nature, it always helps to ask that greater power to assist you in your search.

Do you have trouble finding the bright knob of your heart when you do a performance appraisal of yourself? What does it feel like for you to acknowledge your goodness? How about your dark side? Can you adjust your thoughts and behavior when the dark side comes out?

Can you let your heart overrule that darkness? I hope you are able to see in yourself that shining heart, right in the middle of all that you do and all that you are, and that you can let it override your darkness.




Openness of Heart

openness of heart“Do we spend our lives behind the barriers of a closed gate, protected from the hurt and pain that might come to us?

If we allow our hearts to open, will we see things in a different light?

Will we grow through the barriers of our heart and be able to fully experience the richness of life?”

This prose was written at a point in time when I was overcome by both sadness and wonder… Sadness for myself and others, because I suspected many of us go through life with pieces of our heart closed, to protect ourselves from hurt and pain. Wonder, because I was beginning to learn how awesome it felt to open my own heart to all that was around me… other people, events, nature, designs of buildings… everything.

The ability to open my heart is a process which has happened over time. It started with having an open mind to all that was different and new. For me, this started occurring after I read the book Conversations With God, by Neale Donald Walsch. This book gently, yet powerfully, presented the concept that a higher power, or God, was behind everything, that experiences were opportunities, not coincidences, that God speaks through other people, through songs, billboards… everything. Everywhere, and in every thing, there is that guiding force, God, or whatever you choose to call the powers of the Universe.

I liked this concept; it was soothing to my soul. I relaxed and looked at those around me with less fear, more love and tolerance. My heart had followed my head and it continues to do so. And it’s the little things that bring joy and openness to my heart… noticing a mother smile at her child in a grocery store, watching the eyes of a homeless person light up when I smile at him/her, seeing the delicate bloom on a flower, a rainbow on the wall… The more I am open to all around me, the more joy and wonder I feel and the more my heart opens. It is an ever-present, ever-peaceful spiral.

Early on in the opening up process, I read voraciously and the second author who touched my heart and helped it to open more was Oriah Mountain Dreamer and her book The Invitation. The book is an invitation to open one’s heart… After that, it was Iyanla Van Zant and her book, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. I identified strongly with the experiences she described. Then there was Eckhart Tolle and The Power of Now. When I live in the moment, I am more open, I live from my heart more.

Today, opening my heart means being available to all that life has to offer on the spectrum of feelings. It means being open to experience polar opposites… joy, sorrow, hope, despair, courage, fear. Openness to feel all my feelings has led to a richness of life I cannot describe. My heart is not always open, and sometimes it is difficult to be open and I struggle. Yet, I can say that it is definitely a peaceful and awesome place to be when I’m there. I have been truly blessed.

What are the joys you experience when your heart is open and receives?

Thank you for joining the journey through my book. Join me next time for Key of Willingness.