The Tracking Wonder #Quest2015 led by Jeffrey Davis continued its crescendo climb this past week. Although my tangible presence was less, my mind and thoughts were active in the questions of what makes your heart leap, what do you need to stop doing, and what emotional window are you willing to open as you do your courageous work. Grateful to Pam Houston, Charlie Gilkey, and Todd Kashdan for the thought-provoking questions.
Heart Leaps: Doing
Heart leaps are those moments when your soul smiles. You are in the moment fulfilled. Simple conversations. A lasting hug. A positive glimpse into the future from your children. I experience these just as you do. We just need to breathe them in and try to create more moments of fulfillment. Challenging to do yet necessary.
The other side of heart leaps is their temporariness. A blimp on a heart monitor is just a blimp unless we can string them together continuously. In between, there will always be peaks and valleys. Consistent fulfillment needs to be present in both. It is much easier to recognize the fulfillment in the up moments than the down ones. We need to present in both, learning, and continuing forward in our life’s work.
Most importantly, we cannot get stuck in the down moments or just rely on the momentary heart leaps. We need both. We need to learn from both. We need to continue forward through both.
Continuing forward is cluttered though. We experiment with new activities, and we may stick with them even when they are no longer working or serve our mission. We create a false fortitude of will when the path may be better paved by someone else leading the way. We need to stop doing the things that are no longer centered in our purpose. This isn’t about abandoning our responsibilities. It is about finding better owners or really discerning the value of the results.
Before the question was posed this week, I have been on this path. I am ditching things by finding new owners. I am focusing on the initiatives where I can better contribute, learn, and serve my purpose.
If there is a fortitude we need, it is the willpower to stop, adjust, and renew. (tweet this)
Open Window: Feeling
Emotions enter in our life path often. We get the idea that participating in certain things will make others happy. We gain acceptance. We feel some fulfillment. However, gaining their acceptance may mean we are now living their life mission rather than ours. Our fulfillment will eventually feel empty. We need to place our emotional needs in the right places.
The danger is we become more self-centered than community-centered. We can and should lend a hand and ear as often as we can. This is what community is about. This is what empathy is about. Our community time will embolden our personal mission time. In our human connections, we strengthen each other’s core. This is a tempo we need to discern and get right.
Our emotions are very tricky. We want to feel accepted but we also want to stand out. To stand out, we need to put our work out into the public. When we publish and highlight our work, there is a big tug between humility and pride. We want to show our work but we don’t want to seem boastful. We want to publish our work or present our thoughts but we don’t want to damage our pride.
The question of what “emotional window” we want to open is a good one. An open window bears all of what is inside and out. We are exposed and we hear and see the results of that open emotional window. The reality is this: We need to open our emotional window but we need a screen to keep us connected and centered.
Closed windows keep us too protected and enclosed. Few dreams are realized behind a closed window. Open windows moves us to be too prideful and we begin to lose our bearings, getting caught up in all that is coming at us. An open window with a screen in place keeps us creating, listening, engaging, and learning. We keep our mission in a semi-protected state while engaging with our community in order to become a better person while continuing to move our dream forward.
Many will say that overcoming fear is the emotional window we need to open. This is true in that we do not know how our work will be received until we present it to a larger community. Many will get through this window. When we pass through this one, the challenge will be do we become more enamored with our mirror than the next window. Too much pride stunts. (tweet this)
Our emotional window needs to be open. We then need to put a screen in place. Our work is not as bad as what some will say. Our work will not be as good as we think. We need to be mindful in both. We need to determine what to ignore, what to embrace, what to improve, what to learn, and what we can create next.
Our Life Quest
Life dreams are messy. As much as we know this, we want too much neatness or we want to wallow in the mess. We need to organize what will keep our soul purring along while cleaning out what is getting in our way. We need to have enough pride to take the next step forward but not too much pride to become enamored with ourselves. Through it all, we need strength in our humility. (tweet this)
Are you ready for your next step forward in your life quest?
Join the Conversation
Your Life Quest: Doing. Stopping. Feeling.
Magnificent post, Jon! I love the work you are doing and I love that you are sharing the process with us. Working on my 2015 goals, I am trying to be brutally truthful of what went well this year, what just kept me busy but provided me with a living and what I am most interested in pursuing next year. It is such a difficult process but your Heart Leaps, Clutter and Open Window are such a helpful strategy to help me clarify my thoughts.
Thanks for being so open and wishing you a great new year!
I had a call tonight with my long time accountability partner and one of the things we discussed, without putting it quite as eloquently, was the emotional window on social media. One of my goals for 2015 is to remain true to my desire for humility without fear that sharing accomplishments will change the winds to boastful and insincere connection.
Thanks to you for sharing each of these thoughts and giving your readers (like me) the space to reflect and grow too.) Like it or not, the change of years is a time for reflection, assessment and a renewed commitment to change with intention – from the inside out.
Thanks to you!
Agree, Alli. The new year is a good point to re-set, evaluate, and renew our intentions, ensuring we are leading and living with the right blend. Finding our tempo is vital. Thanks for jumping in here and providing your perspective. It is always valuable! Jon
“Our work is not as bad as what some will say. Our work will not be as good as we think.”
Fantastic line, and great post!
Thank you, Danny. Appreciate. Good questions being posed through Quest 2015. Thanks! Jon
Another rich post Jon. Since I have yet to write posts for this week, I’m going to attempt to be BRIEF! (grins)
Heart Leaps: Your comment reminded me of the scene in the movie City of Angels…where Maggie is losing one of her patients on the table and she is pumping the heart in her hands trying to get it to start. And as she does so, she looks up into Seth’s eyes, and says, ‘You’re not going anywhere!’
While this movie is rich with meaning for me and for a number of reasons, the scene reminds of your comment. The struggle we have with wanting to cling to our heart leaps. And unable to let go because we fear the unknowns, the loss, the grief, death…whatever that is for us.
The heart leap is a transient visitor and it is wise to learn to treat it with mindful gratitude that is is only a temporary guest. Just as the heart stoppers are…temporary. Coming and going like the weather.
Clutter: Stopping – I love how you mention recognizing when someone else may better serve leading the way. I totally believe in this and accept it as a way of recognizing each of our respective gifts. It takes both humility and maturity to understand this. We aren’t diminished by standing aside to allow someone else to lead. Nor are we elevated when we are the ones leading or in the spotlight. It becomes a matter of doing what WE are called to do, and allowing someone else to do what THEY are being called to do. And collaborating with one another to support our various strengths and weaknesses.
Open Window: Feeling – the open window scene reminds me of a scenario I learned in one of the books i have by David Richo. A buddhist scene where we envisions a room with four windows, each representing the four directions. From east to west represents what is ending and beginning in our likes. North and south has to do with our values and our ‘north start’ aspects.
I recall one of the questions being something along the lines of…
‘Who or what shuts your windows when you are with them? Who opens them?’
You’ve shared so many great points Jon. Our life quest contains many highs and lows along the way. Perhaps it is learning to accept what is at each stage of the journey. Embracing both the neat and messy aspects of our lives.
Thanks for opening your heart and sharing with us Jon.
Grateful for all your insights here and comments, Samantha. Many great points, especially how when we are in good relationships, our “windows” can be open without much contemplation. We work well together no matter what is flowing through. These are the relationships that make a life of purpose really go to the next level!
Thank you for your perspective! Jon