There are times in your life when you feel like you are at a crossroads. The weight of the decision that you are trying to make can be crippling. These decisions can be about:
- your career path and what to study
- your relationship – whether to leave or stay
- a friendship – deciding to let it go
- your job – do you leave it?
- the weight of a pregnancy that is unplanned and possibly unwanted, etc.
I have been faced with all of these forks in the road in my life. What I have learned is that the best compass to use when navigating the journey of life is to learn to listen to your heart.
If you find yourself making lists, analyzing this angle vs that angle, evaluating the pros and cons, etc, then you are listening to the voice of the egoic mind whose copilots are fear, pain, suffering and protection. These decisions are really matters of the heart, therefore, we need to allow the voice of our heart to speak.
In order to listen to our hearts, we need to quieten the voice of fear coming from our mind and get still so that we can hear the whispers from our heart. This is a fundamental aspect of the work I do with my patients, and what I teach my colleagues who seek guidance from me.
A common concern is differentiating between the voice of the heart and the voice of the mind. If you aren’t used to tuning in to your gut feeling and trusting it, you might doubt its message at first.
It would be nice if we could just call 1-800-DOUBT for assistance. Since that hotline doesn’t exist, we end up calling someone who knows us for help and advice, often a parent, sibling, best friend, colleague or therapist. By talking to someone who knows us, we hope to get clear answers. The key is to learn to trust yourself for the answers versus searching outside of yourself.
When it comes to “matters of the heart,” the answer resides in you. It requires listening. Start by having a conversation with your heart around simple decisions, such as: “Tonight, would you like brown rice or quinoa for dinner?” Or, if you are paleo/keto and don’t eat grains, then ask yourself “chicken or beef tonight”? Slowly work your way up with these small decisions so that you can build your confidence when it comes to making bigger life decisions. I encourage you to check in with your heart for the small decisions you make every day, such as what to wear, which route to take when driving, what to order if you are eating out, what to watch on TV or what to cook for dinner.
I find it helpful to remind myself of this quote by Joseph Campbell: “The heart must usher the mind into the zone of revelation”. We must use our mind for to implement the “how’s” of the heart. Not the other way around. I am here to help you with the process. I have created a course that dives deeper into these teachings. I hope you will join me there.
Dr Chris Bjorndal is a Naturopathic Doctor focusing on mental health in Edmonton, AB, Canada