Another lovely piece by blog reader Sylvia Montesinos (see previous post “Getting Over” Having the “Perfect Life”).
Your Heart Can Learn to Sing Again
By Sylvia Montesinos
Posted on her blog http://livingheartandsoul.com
What is it that inspires us and makes our heart sing? What is it that excites us and motivates us to action while filling us with joy? Listening to what moves us can be one of the most important things we can do to nourish our happiness and our well being.
It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day doing of things, often to the detriment of our own passions and happiness. Over time, if we neglect our need for inspiration long enough, our life may become dull and gray. This may even be start to plant the seeds of depression within us.
There may be other things that distract us from ourselves and our own growth and drives. We may jump into a relationship with wild abandon, to the point that all focus has shifted to the other and we have all but forgotten ourselves. It can also be easy to do this with a job, with our children, or any number of other things that we may allow to distract us and lead us completely away from our core.
A lot of times, we start believing all the messages we are receiving from society about what success means and what we “must” accomplish. In doing this we become disconnected from what really makes us happy. I have had moments when I have been so involved and focused on my job or my studies, that I have had trouble remembering what it is that really brings me true joy. I think many of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. I have met many during my work as a psychiatrist who are pursuing a particular profession because it is what their parents want them to do or they are staying in a job they hate because that is what they think they need to do in order to survive. This is what I mean by losing our focus and really getting away from our true inspiration and heart’s desire.
The true and lasting cure is for the individual to really look at their lives honestly, to really find what drives them and makes them feel joy and inspiration, and then start living this truth.
Unfortunately, for some people, an abandoning of their dreams can mean the development of some form of depression or a perpetual nagging anxiety that seemingly comes from nowhere. If this sadness or anxiety goes on long enough, it can turn into a more perpetual and serious form of depression. For some, medication may need to be prescribed so that they can find their way out of this gloomy place. However, unless it is a purely biologic depression, that is a depression with no apparent psychological cause, medication may only be a band-aid and its effects may only be short-lived. This is true especially if a person continues to choose to do things that deplete them and that bring them no real joy. The true and lasting cure is for the individual to really look at their lives honestly, to really find what drives them and makes them feel joy and inspiration, and then start living this truth.
Giving ourselves permission to explore is crucial and so is allowing ourselves to express our inner child.
Reacquainting ourselves with ourselves may take some time and practice. Sometimes we may need to dig way back into our past and try and remember what made us quake with excitement as children or what made up our dreams as young adults. Going to an art gallery or a museum or watching a live band may help us get in touch with our inspired side. Maybe walking into a hobby store or going on a walk in the woods will start to ignite that spark for us again. The important thing is to make sure we do not get stuck in our thoughts about what inspires us. Each of us is unique and we will have our own individual passions that may not be like anyone else’s. A good way to know for sure if something is inspiring us is not what we think about it, but how it makes us feel.
Giving ourselves permission to explore is crucial and so is allowing ourselves to express our inner child. It really is ok for us to giggle with joy and laugh so loudly that the people at the table next to us are staring in your direction. It really is ok for us talk quickly due to our enthusiasm or to skip through the halls if we are brimming with joy.
How do the choices we make about how we spend our time and money limit or enhance our ability to live an inspired life? We could ask ourselves, “Do I really need this new (insert what applies to you)?” or “Do I really need another (insert object)?” What are the things that really stir our heart and truly nourish our soul? How do we create a life for ourselves that focuses more on what inspires us? The answers to these questions are what will lead us to finding real and lasting happiness. Listening to our hearts desire and following our inspiration is what will nourish our souls and our minds and body too.