Today's Draw: Harmony from the Osho Zen Tarot. Have you ever put the aspects of your life to a "heart test" to see what's authentic to you? What parts of your life make you feel larger? What parts make you feel smaller?
For the last day of "overcoming false limitations" week, we get a card about listening to your heart. This card wants us to forget what we've been told about who we are and what we're capable of...to ignore all the "yes, buts" in your head...and let your heart guide you through the world. Of course, the difficulty is learning which voice is that of your heart and which isn't.
One thing I would suggest is to get quiet and become aware of your heart center. Think of that space as a muscle that can expand and contract. When it contracts, it closes. When it expands, it opens up. So, in this quiet time, focused on that heart center, visualize different possibilities. Visualize yourself as you are today. How does that feel? How expanded or contracted is your heart? Get familiar with where there's tension inside. And consider this your "control" heart feeling.
Next, visualize yourself doing something you love...snuggling with your puppies, hiking in the woods, etc. And feel how the tension releases. Doing this will help you feel how things feel differently when you run them past your heart.
Now that you've got that down, start trying out different scenarios from your life. What makes the heart contract? What makes the heart expand? What feels more neutral? Take note of the things that make your heart contract. Let's say your job makes your heart feel tighter and harder. If that's the case, then we know your job isn't alignment with your heart. Now test your overall career. If that feels good, but the job feels bad, then that's as "simple" as getting a new job or changing some aspect of your current one that is holding you back. But if your career is also out of alignment, then you know you've identified a place where you haven't made a decision authentic to you.
I remember my father wanted me to join the military because it would be a stable career. He tried to steer me in that direction many times. And he really didn't like me working in advertising. He saw it as dishonest work that paid poorly. And I suppose it can be. I suppose most careers can have a slime factor. But my experience is that most advertising people are ethical and really want to serve their mission, just like in the military.
My father died before I really had any sort of success in my career. I can see him forever maintaining there is no value to the industry, but I can't imagine he wouldn't be proud of my self employment and all the awards I've won. And the whole tarot thing wouldn't make him happy either, but I also think he'd be proud that his daughter is a published author. But for every person out there that ignored their parent's advice because they knew what they wanted from life, there's at least one other person who didn't know what they wanted. So they made choices based on criteria other than what their heart said.
Further, there are people who get married because it's what people do. People who have children because their spouse wants them. People who make choices based on status. People who make choices just to be defiant. And people who choose NOT to do something, because what would people say? Every nuance of our lives is subject to being shaped by outside pressure. And because we develop monetary dependencies, buy into long-term responsibilities or even just develop habits around these aspects of our lives, we sometimes feel trapped. I mean, people my age have devoted half their lives to becoming an expert at their career. They can't change now!
Well, they can. These things are all false limitations. And if these things don't open your heart, then they're not authentic to you. At least not anymore. In the case of children, I think you need to just suck it up and be a parent, unless being a parent makes you so bitter and toxic that it's harmful to the children. But in most other cases, your heart check will point right toward someplace where you're not being true to yourself. And if you don't know what you want, you can heart test options to find something that can work for you.
This all comes back to my favorite quote, which I heard from David Whyte, the poet—"move toward that which makes you larger." An expanding heart makes you feel larger. Moving toward a neutral heart just keeps you a blah rut. And if you keep moving toward things that make feel smaller, you've really got to stop to ask yourself why. Yet it's a choice many of us make every day in some aspect our lives. And it's a situation we should literally take to heart.