Say yes to your heart!

Don’t let fear hold you back another day.  Make 2010 a year of powerful possibility and passionate purpose, says Lara Phegan

Every day and in every area of our lives we have a choice to make – to live in fear or to let ourselves fly.   Our gifts, our purpose and our heart are constantly calling to us.  It’s up to us whether or not we heed the call.   There are things you were created to do.  There are things you would love to do.  There are things your heart is prompting you to do.  Are you listening?   Are you saying yes?

Every summer I go back to the town where I grew up.  I catch up with family and friends and enjoy finding out what has been going on in their lives.  One friend in her late fifties has a beautiful gift of songwriting and singing.  Some songs are inspired by Bible verses, some, “come through trials and tribulations”, and some are songs of personal victory.  

The first thing I ask when I see her is if she has received any new songs, and will she please sing them for me.  I want to be blessed by them.  And I want to encourage her.  She hasn’t been able to see the beauty or value of her gift.  She hasn’t considered her songs worthy of sharing.  She hasn’t believed her music touches people the ways it does.  

The last time I saw her she didn’t play for me, but what she told me made both our hearts sing.  She had written a new song and felt lead to sing it for a woman from her church group who was in the hospice close to death.  She responded to this heartfelt prompting with a firm and resounding “no!”   Who did she think she was going around showing off, forcing ill people to listen to her song?  What would people think?  What if people laughed at her?  What if she got there and the woman didn’t want to hear a song? 

The fears and doubts came thick and fast.  And kept coming.  And kept coming.  But no matter how many excuses filled her head, she could feel that still, small voice in her heart prompting her to do it.  Finally she prayed for courage, offered it all to God and went to the hospice to sing.
The experience was life-changing for her.  The dying woman shared that a deep peace had filled her during the song and now she felt ready to let go.     For the first time my friend realised that her gift of song was not just for her.  Yes it helped her in her own life and healed her own hurts – but it wasn’t for her alone.  She realised that she is meant to share her gift – that her passion and love for singing is also a calling.    She saw what it means to be the hands and feet of God.  And she knows now that she is meant to sing, made to sing, and designed to bless others through song.

And when she feels afraid?  When the doubts come and her head tells her to keep safe and play small?  She must sing anyway of course.  When the promptings come she must heed the call, pray for courage, and respond with a resounding “yes!”.

I wonder whether you respond to the promptings of your heart with a resounding yes!  I wonder if there’s a passion, gift or prompting that you’ve been struggling to embrace.  If you’ve felt repeatedly drawn towards a particular idea, activity or path you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about

It seems that very often the direction our heart wants to go in is the very direction that brings up our greatest fears.  And rather than face what feels too daunting to face, rather than take a risk and be open to new possibilities, we respond to the ideas that come from our heart by saying, “No - not an option!”  We slam the door shut, silence our spirit and refuse to let our heart speak.

But there is a reason why certain ideas capture our interest, awaken our spirit and spark the flame of passion inside us.  These inklings keep showing up in our lives time and again, tugging on our hearts because we’re supposed to pay attention. Our heart is trying to tell us something and we’re supposed to listen.  Our spirit is prompting us and we’re supposed to follow its lead.     

But I’m guessing you don’t always do that do you?  No, you probably come up with reasons for why you can’t, won’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t.  Maybe you dabble and do a little bit of investigating or make a few half-hearted attempts.  Maybe you say you’re waiting on God when it’s quite obvious that he’s waiting on you.  Maybe you tell yourself you’ve tried before and it didn’t work out – but your heart keeps insisting that you’re not done yet. 

It’s never easy to listen when your heart is trying to tell you something you don’t want to hear. 

Listening to your heart and acting on its guidance is seldom the easy option.  It takes courage.   It feels risky.   It requires faith and a willingness to go beyond your current limits.

Fortunately you don’t have to listen to your heart if you don’t want to.  You can take a safe, familiar, logical approach instead if that’s what you want to do.  We all get to decide how we’re going to live and what we’re going to do with the life we’ve been given. Your heart can prompt you to step out in faith, but it’s up to you whether or not you heed that call.

But if you sense there is more for you to do and contribute in your life, then you will make the choice to listen.  If you’re tired of feeling stuck, stale, and unfulfilled then you will be open to hear what your heart has been trying to tell you.   You’ll be willing to open new doors and explore new pathways. 

Can I encourage you to make this year the year that you finally say “yes!” This year, when something keeps tugging at your heart and calling to you, have the courage to acknowledge it.  Don’t silence your fears with the excuse that you don’t know what to do or how to start.  Have the courage to face the truth.  Admit that there are doors your heart keeps calling you towards, that you’ve been too afraid to acknowledge, let alone open.

Take your focus off your fears and surrender once and for all to the promptings of your heart.  When you find yourself thinking yet again about that idea, topic, thought or path, try a new approach.    Instead of denial, slamming the door shut, saying no or coming up with all the reasons why it’s impossible, decide to open the door of possibilities for your life.  Decide to trust your heart and have faith that your spirit knows what its doing. 

The next time (and every time), “that” thought comes into your mind this year, simply say yes: “Yes heart, I hear you.  Yes.  I may not have a clue what to do, I may be terrified, I may have doubts but yes, I hear the call and my answer is yes.  Yes!”

To start with don’t do anything else.  Only say yes.  You don’t have to come up with ideas.  You don’t have to make any plans.  You don’t have to get into action or work out logistics.  That’s thinking too far into the future. First of all you need to deal with where you are right now - stuck in fear and resistance. The more you affirm your willingness, the more you’ll find the courage to act.   Then you can take one small step, then another, then another, saying “yes” to the promptings and guidance you receive as you go.

So are you willing to be willing?  Will you say yes to your heart this year?

Saying yes will open doors you didn’t even know you longed to walk through.  Saying yes will reveal secrets you didn’t know were hidden.  Saying yes will turn your passions into gifts, your talents into blessings and your heartfelt dreams into reality.  

This year, say yes.

It seems like such a small step but it’s not.  It will change you and it will change your life.  

Never underestimate the power of saying yes to your heart.


If you’re tired of feeling stuck, stale, and unfulfilled then you will be open to hear what your heart has been trying to tell you

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