I heard the term “Wholehearted” for the first time from Dr. Brene Brown, best-selling author and researcher. I re-read her 10 guideposts and decided, yes, I am living a “wholehearted” existence. I continue to grow and expand as a wholehearted being.
As I re-read the ten guideposts, which are “Cultivating: authenticity; self–compassion; a resilient spirit; gratitude and joy; intuition and faith; creativity; play and rest; calm and still; meaningful work; and finally laughter and song, I can see why many of us strive to live fulfilling lives, but are stopped in our tracks. Perhaps, we refuse to look at our lives honestly, to really look at where we are and why we feel stuck; and then make the necessary changes. Perhaps, we are not willing to make a decision to live a wholehearted life.
It takes great courage to live a wholehearted life. For example, in order to be authentic, we have to be willing to “let go of what others think.” Can we say that we really do not care about being liked or disliked? This was a big one for me at one time and I still can struggle with it. However, what I’ve come to understand is unless I can speak my truth with compassion (a practice I received from Marian Head’s “Revolutionary Agreements”, I am hiding behind my unwillingness to be vulnerable.
I remember when I divorced after 27 years of marriage. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and much of it had to do with my concern with what others would think of me. Perhaps, I would be thought of as a failure or not a nice person. Finally, I had to proceed with what I knew was moving my life forward. I was jumping into the unknown, which is another guide post, “cultivating intuition and trusting faith.” I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t made that decision. My former husband has moved into his greater self because of that difficult decision that we made.
Another one of the guideposts that strikes me today, is “cultivating the resilient spirit.” This includes letting go of numbing and powerlessness. I consider myself a really resilient person. I learned this from all the rejection I experienced as an actor. I continually had to hear the word no and still get up and go to my next audition or project, giving my all, even though I still feared rejection. I had to listen to the reviews and sometimes be misunderstood. I had to get over the idea that it was me, personally, that was being rejected. What did I do after those rejections? I didn’t numb myself. I had a really good cry and felt all the feelings that were there before I could rise like the phoenix.
I believe that those years, prepared me for bigger challenges of resilience that would come. Resilience is the ability to still believe in Life and Love no matter what we are confronted with. We can walk through it to the other side, knowing all is well. This comes from trust in a Power greater than we are working through us aback of all of it. Resilience is such a gift of Spirit.
There is so much to being a wholehearted person living a wholehearted life. I do believe that if we would practice these principles, maybe not all at once, we would be on the road to wholeness and living the life we say we so desire. There is a circle of giving and receiving. In order to have the life we want, we have to become new, giving up our old ways for new and more empowering ones.
As Dr. Brene puts it: “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”
I am enough just because of who I am – a unique expression of God, the Divine. I am doing my best in every moment because I am present with who I am, maybe not perfect in the sense of everything I do, but perfect just as I am in this moment.
Love and Aloha,