How to Get Everything You Want In Life
Out in the wilderness of southern Utah, the Red Rock Canyons served as a
makeshift Atlantic Ocean, giving me enough space to think about moving in with
my old friend Gary. I let the questions come: Was I breathing deeply? Was that
happy nervous excitement in my voice, or abject fear? For the life of me, I
couldn't be certain.
Barb, a simulation analysis engineer from Minneapolis, says that for her, fear
is always part of the equation, but if she is doing something not because of
fear, but despite fear, then she is doing what her heart desires. "If I
don't hesitate, if I don't start trying to come up with all kinds of logic that
will support my decision, it is probably the right one. If I have to talk
myself into something, it's usually because I am trying to convince myself to
do something that doesn't feel right in my gut."
Gail Harris has written a book called Your Heart Knows The Answer: How To
Trust Yourself & Make the Choices That Are Right For You, which outlines
strategies and simple practices to help you tune into your truest voice.
"The voice of the heart is always positive and loving," she says,
"even when it is asking us to change. It is direct and specific,
empowering, grounding, centering, and relaxing. It is unwavering. It will keep
telling you the same thing over and over, but it won't use your own logic
against you. If it is negative and critical, it is not the voice of your
After all the soul-searching and second-guessing and the final banishment of
lingering doubt, Harris notes, the execution of our plans can seem like the
easy part. Once you let yourself know that what you really want is to start a
catering business, you head to Kinko's for business cards and flyers, check the
want ads for kitchen space, and call up those rich friends who always rave
about your cooking and see how much they would like to invest. If you've always
wanted to write a novel, but have three kids under 6, you look into day care,
call in a favor from your sister, and set the alarm for 3 a.m.
As the 10 of us heaved our packs on our backs for the final time on that
backpacking trip, they felt lighter. (They were lighter, of course, after all
the food we'd eaten, but we felt even more deeply unburdened.) The
decision-making was behind us. Danika had a grade school to build in Pakistan,
Sarah was off to find a new place to live. Tami had her brand new business to
attend to in Sonoma. And me? I had to go clear shelves and drawers for Gary,
and welcome him with a big, generous, open heart. And if I failed, if any of us
failed, we would know we had tried our best to listen to our heart's desire,
and moved forward, with honesty and commitment, and enough belief in ourselves
to spread some around.
We have the right, the tools, and the capacity to live precisely the lives
we want to. We are the gender that lifts cars off of babies, wins the Iditarod,
and swims the English Channel, after all, and anyone who gets in the way of our
heart's desire once we have really made up our minds better watch out.