Stop for a moment, close your eyes, take a long, slow breath and ask yourself the following question:
What is my heart’s desire?
What comes up for you? Is your heart’s desire to land your dream job, to meet a life companion and fall in love, to travel the world, live abroad, buy a cottage by the sea or be a mother? Is it to sing, dance, paint or write?
What is your heart’s desire, and how close are you to achieving it?
What is standing in your way? Is it something practical like money or time; something significant like the absence of a partner; or is it something deeper like fear?
Fear is such a short word, but it has such a huge impact on our lives.
For years, fear kept me enslaved to a job I no longer wanted to do, a job that served me well but which I outgrew. Fear kept me single into my forties because I was terrified of the consequences of commitment and too scared to make a choice. Fear delayed my move out of London to the coast because I was afraid of change and because I didn’t trust myself to make the right decision. And fear stopped me from speaking my truth – in my personal and professional relationships – and from pursuing the desires of my heart.
That is all changing, but it hasn’t been easy. It has required me to transform from the inside out. I have had to get to know myself on a deep level and to understand the roots of my insecurities and fears, of my anxiety, ambivalence and indecision. Along the way, I have shed many tears but the rewards have been incredible.
Some eight years ago, I found the courage to leave my full-time journalism job to work for myself, despite being terrified of running out of money and ending up on the streets.
Two-and-a-half years ago, I dug deep and found the courage to commit to a relationship – something I had run away from because the little girl inside me thought love and intimacy would bring loss – she remembered the heartache she felt when her dad moved out when she was eight and she was terrified of repeating that experience.
One year ago, my partner and I bought a home together, sending my anxiety levels skyward for a while as I embraced a new level of commitment.
Then, this year, I took the hugely courageous step of publishing a book, something I had wanted to do for years but that had felt too exposing and too much for my inner perfectionist to bear.
In order to write and publish How to Fall in Love – A 10-Step Journey to the Heart, I had to dig deep and overcome my inner blocks. I had to face my fears head-on and wrestle my demons to the ground. I had to do whatever it took to stay the course because on so many occasions, I wanted to give up.
In the book, I ask you to do the same. I ask you to dig deep, to feel whatever feelings you may have been running from for years and to explore your past and your childhood relationships. I ask you to identify whatever is stopping you from finding love and from living the life of your dreams and then to remove those obstacles and make a bold choice.
This book is a milestone on my own journey to authenticity. Writing and publishing it was one of my heart’s desires. I truly hope that by walking through my fears, I can help women like you walk through yours.
So what is your heart’s desire? Can you identify it? And can you take steps to achieve it?