So as it seems with me, art is always imitating life. Last night while waiting for the T to whisk me from work to tap dance lessons I saw a sign for Boston University that read “Because to Lead with Heart takes Guts.” And it made me think of the process that leads one back to their heart. While BU was speaking of courage when they used the word “guts” I thought to myself “well to embody courage means that you are standing in your truth.” This is a process which I have been finding myself working through bit by bit. Creating a website has to be the penultimate moment of standing in your truth for all the world to see. It’s raw, revealing, vulnerable as well as empowering, exciting, and exhilarating. It has brought my attention to many ways in which I have played small in my life which has never really suited anyone. This morning while thinking about sitting down to have tea with all of you, all these thoughts were swirling around in my head. And it all came together in the above film clip. This scene in the Wizard of Oz encapsulates it all. The Scarecrow wants brains, the Lion courage, The Tin Man a heart and Dorothy wants to go home. And what does the Great and Powerful Oz do? He shows them that what they were seeking was already right there within them. They already possessed what they were seeking. They just needed someone to point that out to them. Wow now those are some deep thoughts, right? So true for all of us who can get caught up seeking outside what is truly already right there. The question is how do you come to realize that you already possess what it is that you are seeking? You may have had instances where someone has pointed that out to you but unlike the powerful moment in this film, you were not ready to believe them.
All of this pondering brings me back to the sign from BU. Where do we find the guts to follow our heart? How do you even know what your own truth is? Well I have found, not unlike most people, that my own truth gets lost and jumbled up when I step into fear. It could be fear of not being accepted, fear of there not being enough, fear of failure. You name the fear, I probably have struggled with it. Weeding through all these false beliefs can be exhausting and overwhelming. Analyzing it has never worked for me. As much as I work in the field of analyzation I do not believe it has gotten me very far. In fact I think analysis paralysis is what eventually occurs when you go down that rabbit hole. What has helped is something that ad from BU spoke of….guts. Not just guts in the sense of courage but guts in the sense of listening to my gut: my intuition. I have found that underneath all that paralysis I am a very intuitive person. I pretty much know what time it is as they would say on the street. It’s something my clients have reflected back to me many times over. There can be a lot of ways of understanding this skill and at the moment I am still cultivating more of an understanding of it myself. Suffice to say, it’s there. The cool thing that I learned about this gut instinct is that it actually is biologically connected. Our enteric nervous system or ENS resides in the gut and is known as the second brain. It’s actually far wiser than the one we overuse. The vagus nerve (a cranial nerve and the longest nerve in the body which begins behind the eye moves through the organs including the heart and ends in the gut) receives information from the outside and translates it to the gut. This is why you may get subtle signals from your body about people or events that may occur. Those signals are the information that the vagus nerve has sent to the ENS. The para sympathetic (responsible for the relaxation response) is activated with the vagus nerve. This is why when you receive those subtle signals they are usually right on. They are coming from a very relaxed and receptive process in your body. Mind blowing right? What this connection tells me is that we all possess the ability to have keen insight. The key to it all is connecting with the gut.
Cultivating a connection with your gut comes from an integration of self care skills. When I am calmer, clearer and treating my body right I get messages about my truth all the time. The process of getting clear is one of self care. It comes when you eat foods that nourish your body, spend time with people who are nurturing, engage in activity that spark your passion,, etc. As you decrease the inflammation in the body and create a loving relationship with yourself the truth naturally comes to the surface. The second phase of following the yellow brick road is to practice walking in it, swimming in it, embracing it all. This takes practice. It took a while for you to ingrain the pattern to follow your fear so change doesn’t happen over night. As I stated in my post Circle of Trust…are you in or are you out?: we open up our circle of trust first by having a trusting and loving relationship with ourselves. When we love who we truly are, we have an easier time trusting that others in the world will love who we are too. Art imitates life. What flows from us is in direct connection with the relationship we have with ourselves. For me walking it is trusting that who I am not only is enough but is amazing just like all of you are amazing. We all possess such interesting and unique qualities that are needed in the world. When we embrace our own awesomeness we can easily see that others would embrace it too.
So the question remains, how will you embrace your awesomeness today? What you seek is already right here inside you. What are steps you can take to stop playing small and show the world your awesomeness? Just like Dorothy, we are all just trying to find our way home. And as the saying goes….Home is Where the Heart Is:)