Question: How does one pursue their heart’s desires? You talked about our inclinations being bumpers that keep us in line, moving towards happiness. Truthfully, I don’t see a lot of people thriving the way I think they would if they were living out their heart’s desires like you talk about.
Higgins: Yes. You are right about that. Most of you do not express exuberance regarding life. Let’s take your dog for example.
(Note from Cheryl: I asked this question. My dog is a seven or eight year old chocolate lab that I adopted from the Everett Animal Shelter when he was about 6 or 8 months old.)
This dog does everything happily but when it comes to tennis balls he leaves absolutely whatever he is doing to fetch that ball. He will fetch to exhaustion with joy and then beg for more. This fellow does the same job, ball fetching, every day of his life and yet each time you show him the ball he responds with the same intense enthusiasm.
His job is simple. He goes to where the ball is. Picks it up. Brings it back to you. Yet, he performs his job with joy every single time despite any hazards. Blackberry bushes, hot weather, cold weather, rain, snow, ice, cold water, coyotes and porcupines add a certain dimension of danger to every hunt. He has from time to time cut himself on sharp objects and hurt his feet. His muscles certainly must ache with the effort he applies. Still, he leaps with joy when you show him the ball.
This is a dog that follows his heart’s desires. He differs from you and most people in that he knows what makes him happy and he doesn’t EVER think, “Woe is me. All I do well is run after a stupid ball and bring it back. It’s totally pointless.” Or, “Ugg. This is so stupid. I want to do something meaningful.” This dog finds his greatest joy in things people often consider too small and insignificant to count.
Let’s think back to your mother’s last dog. Oliver was a love machine and wouldn’t chase a ball. It wasn’t in him to do that. But he loved well. He never once felt bitterness because he wasn’t an enthusiastic ball chaser. He just loved everyone he came in contact with in the best way he knew every day of his life. That was enough for him because loving was him.
This is the point you are missing as you follow your heart’s desires. So many of you pass over the parts of yourself that love well or find pleasure in simple things in order to express a part of you that produces income. You sacrifice your happiness to pay the bills.
It is entirely possible for each of you to gain financial support doing something you love to do. The birds do it, the fish do it, your dog does it and you can do it.
We want you to start today by unapologetically taking time to do something you enjoy. Take the time to do it thoroughly and well. Rediscover how much fun it is to play Frisbee or take a walk with a friend. What you will discover is you are the only thing getting in the way of you enjoying life. You will start wanting to make change and blame not being able to have more time to enjoy yourself on your job or the system. Stop that. The world will shift to accommodate your desires as you simmer in deep and abiding appreciation for the activity you are engaged in.
That is the clincher. You must allow the world to get up and move for you while you immerse yourself in deep and abiding appreciation for the activity you are engaged in. Like a dog, you will feel that deep and abiding appreciation for everything that comes your way. When you are lucky enough to spend a little time doing the thing you really love to do you will do it with gusto. Then you will do all the rest of the things you have to do with gusto, too. While you are doing this the world will shift and more and more of the time you will find yourself doing things you truly enjoy.
This is an important aspect of following the heart’s desires.
Received December 14, 2014 at Lake Goodwin, Washington
Oh what a lovely image I have of your dog! A brilliant example from Higgins.
How wonderful it would be if we could all feel that pleasure in everyday tasks. I was lucky enough to find a career that (most of the time!) gave me that kind of joy. How great it would be if everyone followed their heart’s desire.
I just love your posts, Cheryl. x
You are so kind, Jan. Thank you.