What makes your heart sing?

by Annie Kaszina on January 29, 2007

For me the New Year started in Venice Italy, the place I
love most in the world and the place that has wrought the most far-reaching
changes in me.

Now, I do not believe that change is linear or even
regular. Change, as far as I can tell,
happens in fits and starts, twists and turns. There are, additionally, two kinds of change: the change that is thrust
upon us and the change we choose for ourselves.


The change that is thrust upon us is, almost always,
awkward or painful, dramatic or alarming, because it takes us out of our
familiar comfort zone. The change that
we choose for ourselves can be exciting, empowering. Only as a general rule
we don’t know that, because nobody tells us that.

Broadly speaking, human beings are not very good at
choosing change. One argument is that
familiarity equals safety. Since safety
has kept us alive this far we’re not going to kick the habit in a rush. The downside is that sticking with safety
keeps us small; it keeps us feeling small and playing small. True as this objection is, it probably
doesn’t knock your socks off. It
probably doesn’t make you say: “Ok, you’ve convinced me. I’ll go for change.”

But here’s the thing: if you have a clear picture of your
destination, the journey stops being an issue. If you have a clear,
irresistible picture of what you want to have in your life, you stop balking at
the thought of the steps you have to take and just do it.

What holds most people back is that they do not have
a clear, irresistible picture of what they want for themselves. Everybody, pretty much, knows they should
have goals and dreams and they do their level best to come up with some.

Too many people have ‘politically correct’ goals and
dreams. They come up with the kind of
things that everybody wants and they struggle to move towards them. Why? Because these are not their
dreams. These are not the things that
make their heart sing.

Maybe nobody ever told them that they have the right to
explore and choose what makes their heart sing. Maybe they haven’t given themselves the emotional space to
discover what makes their heart sing… yet.

I say this not as an expert in the field but as a slow
starter. I couldn’t get a handle on all
of this until I stopped thinking about what might possibly fall within my reach
and opted, instead, in a heartbeat, for what I truly desire. For me that was Venice. I want to, and will, live in Venice. That realization has been enough to set cogs
whirring in my mind and start me moving in that direction.

More to the point, that realization has enabled me to move
a lot of other people forward, people who have previously felt utterly
demotivated. Once they grasped the idea
of going for the specific thing that made their heart sing, it took them
no time to realize what that was. The
only time consuming part was allowing themselves to dare to think those
thoughts. The changes in them were
often immediate and dramatic.

In an abusive relationship you lose sight of yourself and
your dreams. It’s easy to assume you
need to reclaim your identity before you can reclaim your dreams and
goals. Often the reverse is true: it is
by reconnecting with dreams and goals that had been put on hold, that you find
your way back to your authentic self.

So, before you get any further into 2007, I would urge
that you take yourself somewhere where you can be relaxed for 5 or 10
minutes. Ask yourself: “What makes my
heart sing?” Then listen carefully and
respectfully to the answer. Whatever
the answer is, it is right for you.

Allow that answer to take root in your psyche. Take a few
minutes each day to imagine it and flesh it out. In the days and weeks ahead you’ll find that you start taking the
small effortless steps of change that will move you closer to that goal or
dream.

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