To live your inspired work, you have to risk a broken heart

I turned in my chair to face my friend, whom I had known my entire adult life, opened my mouth to say “I love you”, but no words came out. I just stared at her with my jaw agape. I tried again, but there was cotton in my throat. My friend just smiled at me with her eyes. She knew. She knew I couldn’t say it because I couldn’t feel it.

This was decades ago now, but I remember the incident as being the catalyst to my heart opening. For much of my earlier life, I had enclosed myself in a cage of protection. As a child, my heart had been so shattered that I withdrew to the relative safety of my mind. Without the necessary coping skills, I made the unconscious choice that feeling nothing was better than feeling pain. I managed to get by in that state for years, but I can’t say it was much of a life. When I came to recognize that I couldn’t even feel love for my cherished friend, I knew it had to change.

That event was also the genesis of this business as I came to learn that only with an open heart can we discover, create, and live our inspired work.


Our hearts open when we release resistance to feeling

Many of those who work with me tend to suffer from similar limitations, which is they have been operating from their minds and not their hearts. Every person has their own motives for doing so. In general, it’s a form of self-protection. They end up in my chair, so to speak, when they have made the decision that they can no longer live in this way. They may not yet be consciously aware this is what’s occurring. Usually, they come because they think they hate their job, however, the reason they hate their job is because they entered into it from their mind and not their heart.

Before we can even begin to conceive of a new form of work, one of the first things we set about doing is reclaiming work as an act of love. This means venturing into the dangerous territory of feeling. Most of us live in resistance to our feelings, at least partially. This is changing, though, which is why life seems to be getting more and more intense in recent times. But traditionally, to deflect our pain, we would distract or numb ourselves from experiencing emotions and physical sensations in our bodies. We denied ourselves the juicy, sensual experiences of life and dwelled in the arid desert of our minds because we believed it a “safer” place to be. But to love our work requires an open heart, and that invites us to open ourselves to all feelings.

If it is newer to you to embody the full spectrum of feelings that accompany being open-hearted, you’re not alone. It can take a lifetime of practice to become at ease with allowing the intensity of sensations that can arise without shutting down and retreating to our minds. We must have compassion for our tender hearts and allow our nervous systems to adapt.

To allow ourselves to fully receive all of our feelings requires patience as it can be a long time until we can be comfortable with experiencing the full range of sensations in our body.

This practice may not seem like it belongs in the realm of “career coaching”, but that’s not what’s happening here. My role is to help you discover your inspired work, which is an expression of you. So, if you want to love your work then you have to love yourself. That may seem like a given, but what I find is that most people are in an adversarial relationship with their own being. The things I hear them say about themselves are wrenching. They inflict a form of self-cruelty that they would never even consider imposing upon another. One of my clients refers to those voices as his “assassins”. Whereas our minds may have started out as a refuge, somewhere along the way they mutated into a den of derision. My work is to help my clients tiptoe out of their minds and back into the harbour of their hearts. If we can stop terrorizing ourselves with our own thoughts, self-love naturally arises.

When we open our hearts, we establish connection with the most powerful source of energy that exists, the energy that creates all existence. When we allow that energy to flow through our hearts into the manifest world, this is what it is to be inspired. This is what is necessary to create our inspired work.


Open hearts allow us access to creative energy

When we are dreaming up new forms of work, we have to open our hearts to be able to receive energy in the form of potential ideas and opportunities. We must allow that same energy to flow through us and move us into action so we can bring those ideas to life. This is not metaphysical fluff, this is the science of creation.

In physics, energy is defined as how much potential for change a system holds. The greater the space of potential, the greater amount of energy is available with which to create. Each of us, as human beings, is a space of infinite potential and when we allow energy to flow through us, we are birthing new potentials into existence. Scientifically, this ability to use energy also happens to be called “work”. 

When people tell stories about the work that “lights them up”, it means they’ve identified a creative potential that wants to be brought forth. We refer to this as “receiving inspiration”. We also describe inspiration as the feeling of source energy radiating through our open hearts into the world. The more energy we allow to flow, the more luminous we are.

Each and everyone one of us has access to this creation energy at all times, but it requires practice to become aware of it and receive it.

Ground yourself in your body through any form of physical movement that is enjoyable to you, whether it’s simple breathing or singing to your favourite song. Be present within your whole being and notice the energy arising within you.

Once you become adept at flowing that energy through you, it will dance you toward realizing your creative ideas. The next right step, and the next right step after that, will be obvious to you. After you have birthed your work into some tangible form, here comes the risky part – sharing it with the world. This is when our hearts can get really crushed.


Open hearts are vulnerable to being broken

Putting your work out into the world is perilous, especially when it is an expression of your whole being. When you create from your heart, there’s nothing left to hide behind. Your work is simply you. Which means any potential rejection is also yours. In all likelihood, at some point you will face disapproval, judgment – or the worst – disinterest. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? But the creator is the one who has the courage to risk a broken heart for the sake of the fulfillment of their soul.

There are no guarantees in the creative life. I encounter some kind of heartbreak on the regular: I reach out to a client to say hello and I don’t get a reply back; I spend three days of my life writing a blog post and it’s ignored; I host an event I am truly excited about and it’s forgotten; I spend a month creating a resource that turns out to be helpful to no one; I invest my heart and soul into a client’s journey and they give up. Every instance is like a dagger to my heart. Yet, every agonizing stab reassures me that I am fully alive. I refuse to let my own oppressive voices shut me down.

Nowadays, I keep my heart open even though I am constantly having to mend it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because when I allow myself to feel the pain of heartbreak, I also get to feel the warmth of love, the joy of creation, and the thrill of success.

Keep your heart open, no matter the pain you endure, because you are worth it.

Everyone knows that any love relationship requires you to be committed with your whole heart. I am all in with my inspired work. I love my work. I love my life. Most importantly, I love myself. And if you were sitting in front of me, I would say I love you, too.

Inspired work is the most intimate relationship there is, the one with your own soul. It’s the only work that’s worth a broken heart.


If you’d like to open your heart to your inspired work, apply for your Discovery Session here.
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