6 Principles Of Following Your Heart

follow your heart intuition obstacle is the way receiving Feb 04, 2023
How to Follow Your Heart

Did you know that 2023 is the year in which it will be easier to live your soul’s purpose and follow your heart, according to astrology forecasts?

But how do you know what your heart really wants? 

By deeply listening to a deeper calling - intuition. 

Intuition is deeply connected to something bigger that we cannot understand or see, but that we can directly experience in every moment as 'Truth', or as a 'pull' into a certain direction or towards a theme without knowing why. 

I didn't know much about intuition or soul purpose until I had my first 'ego-death' experience, which is when our attachments to our identity and our construction of the world as we know it disappears. 

After having watched Avatar 2 a few weeks ago (highly recommended!), I remember this wild part of me that was obsessed with protecting parts of the ocean and the species in it. 

This is a picture of me on my first dive almost 20 years ago in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. 


But, similar to many environmentalists, I had a strong identification with the 'rescuer' - the one who tries to rescue and support people and nature, while often failing at supporting myself. 

I became engaged with an alcoholic, chronically depressed multi-millionaire (to rescue him), whose mental health issues took me down with him. The war between us broke me spiritually, emotionally, personally, and financially, and I survived.

That was one of my soul initiations. 

A soul initiation is a moment in time when our soul enters a higher state of awareness, maturity, and aliveness. 

From then onwards, I followed my heart. 


1. See the obstacle as the way


Instead of seeing this experience as an obstacle, I flipped it on its head and saw it as an opportunity to reinvent myself. 

I turned my back on working as an environmentalist, and instead followed my heart: understanding systemic change - understanding how we can shift culturally and collectively towards living a more meaningful, connected life with ourselves, each other and the Earth. 

I learned that at the heart of our systemic challenges sits not only capitalism but foremost toxic patriarchy.

Toxic patriarchy is defined as the dominance of unhealthy masculine values such as overpowering, forcing, and controlling others, taking without consent (raping people and land), shaming emotions and humanness, devaluing pleasure and 'slowing down', perfectionism, and lack of presence (absence), and unrighteous killing. 

Patriarchy affects all people, men and women, queers, gender non-conforming people, and all life on Earth.

 I began to recognize how important the healing of love and sex is and started developing myself personally, and professionally in that area.  

2. Follow the unknown and take the next step without knowing it is there 

One thing is for sure, the universe tests us every day all the time. 

Since I left my career in environmentalism, I spent much of my time surrendering to the unknown and developing deeper and deeper trust that I was always at the right time and the right place, saying the right things. 

If you want to follow your heart truly, then do not judge or second guess your intuition.

It won't feel safe, when you step into the unknown where you can't even see the next step. 

You need to take the next step with faith and then the universe will build you a step where you expected it the least.  

Who is this universe that guides us and who builds something out of nothing? 

Maybe you gain something from the analogy with Eywa from Avatar. 

In Avatar, Eywa is the Great Mother - the ‘mycelium network-like' intelligence that has a collective consciousness and feels and sees everything.

For me, Eywa is real.

I am aware that some of you may not believe in a collective higher awareness. 

But what if this collective consciousness speaks to you through your heart? 

What if you'd follow your heart in 2023 instead of trying to achieve your goals and new years resolutions? 


3. Develop trust in yourself 

The question is not whether or not you'll be safe in case an unexpected situation becomes challenging. 

The question is whether you'll be strong enough to face the challenges, and that is what it means to trust in yourself. 

I developed this trust quite brutally, throwing myself into risky situations to see if I could cope with the fear and the pain. Every time I did that, I had a better handle on embracing difficult emotions. 

However, I have also used other, more nourishing practices, especially in the realm of relationships & sex.

One way is to learn to commit to your own boundaries. To do this right, I recommend the '3 Circles' approach: 

White Circle: Ask yourself, what you are committed to in regard to deepening an intimate relationship with yourself. Eg. Daily spiritual and movement practices, healing work, challenging your inner critique, shadow work, etc. and write this down. 

Red Circle: Ask yourself what you do not want to be part of your life anymore. Eg. Doing something that isn't actually good for you. Write this down. 

Grey Circle: Ask yourself where you are crossing your boundary because of life's circumstances, but you are not doing what's truly nourishing for you. Just by getting clear about what's in the grey zone, it becomes much easier to handle. Write this down. 

Put these '3 Circles' somewhere where you can see them every day. 

The more you are committing to your boundaries, the more you'll trust yourself.  


4. Commit no matter what 

As I followed my heart, I found myself often faced with a lot of internal and external resistance. 

It still isn't easy for my family to understand why I turned my back on my career as a Marine Ecologist, and instead became a Coach. 

Working with sexuality brings up my own shadows in this area, and allows for enough material for people in my neighborhood - the English country side - to judge and ridicule my work. 

I had phases where my income was next to nothing, and many times I thought of giving up. 

However, a few years ago I made a vow to follow my heart. This vow isn't anything less than my comitment to the life that I have received. I believe that life feels that, and that it will always have my back as an offering in return. 


5. Learn to listen 

Listening to inner guidance and signs is one of the key skills. I know I can listen better when I am not afraid, anxious or overwhelmed. The more grounded, heart-open and nourished I am, the clearer I hear messages that go beyond the daily chatter in my mind.

For many years now, I have followed the clear, calm voice within myself, that feels like I am experiencing truth. 

Truth for me leaves no doubt. It feels peaceful, solid, and often like a deep relief or even pleasure. 

When my heart said, I should go back to England when I was in Bali, I felt truth even though I couldn't make sense of it and didn't want to. It is here that I have found the community and the partner I have been looking for all my life. 


6. Learn to receive 

My biggest challenge was to learn how to receive. It takes a lot of humility at times, as well as the willingness to surrender what my personality (or ego) wanted. 

I had a story that my father (the Masculine) didn't support me financially because he didn't support my student years. Whenever he wanted to give something to me, I refused, because I had another story that he wanted to buy me. He was emotionally distant and unavailable, and he wasn't reachable when I wanted to talk to him either. 

When I started my business in Bali, and soon had literally eaten up all my savings, I needed to call my father to help me out, and I had to drop the stories and open myself to receive. 

It was painful and shameful at times. I felt irresponsible, judged myself harshly, felt 'needy' and 'parasitic', and even hated myself. These are the wounds that laid bare underneath 'receiving'. 

As I continued to follow my heart, I had to ask for help another thousand times, to heal this wound. 

It changed my relationship to self-worth and deepened my trust and love for friends and family. 

I learned that sometimes receiving is giving. 



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