What is Your Heart Work?
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A childhood friend recently sent a picture of a letter I wrote to her as a teenager. In it, I asked her what she wanted to study in college. I had a pretty good idea of what I would do.
“I think I would like to be a Psychologist/Architect,” I wrote in the whimsical script of youth.
More than two decades later I’m neither of these and yet I’m both. While the cellular body of my youth is obsolete, the letter confirmed that our cores never change.
The primary work of a psychologist is to support the promotion of healthy behavior and improve the quality of their patients’ lives. Similarly, an architect creates structures that protect, inspire, and nurture the individuals who inhabit them. At my core, I always wanted to help people in a formal and organized way: I helped people as a passionate bookseller who eventually oversaw marketing for a hip, independent bookstore; as an executive producer eager to share Southern literature and music with the world; and as a brand strategy consultant draw to beauty and sustainability. By the way, I would work in an amazing architecture firm, but as their marketing maven.
In late 14th century, the noun “core” came from Old French coeur, meaning heart. So to get to the core of something implies getting to the heart of it. Over the years, honoring my core/heart has allowed me to navigate a landscape that celebrates who I am and nurtures me. Sure, some people are perplexed by my work. They are unable to draw logical connections between my marketing background, art, and recently, TCM enthusiasm. That's okay. The people who truly know me understand, and most importantly, I can make sense of it. It is my heart’s work.
Whenever I was true to what motivated me, I felt good and burned with energy. The times I let things like fear or money lead, I paid the price. My health suffered. I felt drained. Life was far from fun. Choosing your core over the things that scare you is a practice. Like doing asanas, meditation, or morning prayer, it takes time for it to become an integral part of your life rather than something you check off on a to-do list. — M W
Some people are super in-tune with their heart work. Staying in constant connection with our core makes it easier for use and direct flow. Whether in our relationships, our work, creative projects, or even at rest, honoring what makes you tick — especially when it is for the greatest and highest good — will serve everyone. This is a wonderful exercise I created to use when you need to reconnect with your core. Try it today!
Grab a pencil and piece of paper.
Draw a circle (about 2 inches) at the center of a piece of paper. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Break down what that profession or vision requires. For example, a dancer requires discipline and patience. A firefighter, bravery. Write those words in your circle.
This is your core. This is your heart.
Draw another circle around the core leaving about half an inch between the lines.
What elements of your childhood vision are relevant today? Are you writing or teaching. Traveling a lot. Being a mom or dad? Write those down in the outer circle.
Add more circles. In those outer circles, write down aspects of work, whether volunteering or helping a friend, drawing up plans, or anything that you enjoy!
Now looking at your outer circles, how do they relate to your core? Do you see synergy between your core and what you are doing now?
If your outer circles don’t relate at all to your core, what are some layers you’d like to change? Erase them and write down what you would like to be doing instead to reconnect with your core.
All these layers and your core are YOU.
How do you feel looking at this illustration?
Coucou Home is a place to feel refreshed, find heart sustenance, and heal your spirit. For this reason, it will always be ad-free. If you enjoy my work and value creativity in the world, please consider becoming a patron by making a donation in any amount. Your support is greatly appreciated! Thank you!