Wholeheartedness

“Being wholehearted isn’t just an inside job. (It is and it isn’t). It would seem like it if I lived alone on a mountain, but even then there is wind to be felt and trees to climb and canyons to shout into. And if I only turned my eyes inward, who would pick the wild blueberries and think to share them with a friend? Being wholehearted is as much about our interaction with the world as it is our conversations with ourselves.
 
Wholeheartedness has been on my mind so much lately. It floated across my consciousness one day when, weary and worn down, I asked “What do I really need right now?” (because I knew it wasn’t that candy bar on top of the fridge.) I thought I was wholehearted until I saw all the ways I had been dismissive and delaying when it came to the little things that tend to my heart. I confused wholeheartedness with focus, desire, and doing my best to be satisfied with all the ways things were just meh
 
Meh.
Flavorless chamomile tea when I really wanted a vanilla chai with almond milk. 
Checking in on Instagram when I really wanted to have a heart to heart conversation with a friend. Like, a real one. Voice to voice.
Free (lean) training when I really wanted a mastermind group of steady possibilitarians who were devoted to helping each other expand and grow. Taking on excess weight – of many kinds – when I wanted to feel light and free.
Spending so so much time in the studio making art when I also really needed some fresh air and totally “unproductive” time outside.
 
For me, wholeheartedness is about tending to our fringes – the parts of us we push to the edge when we believe something else matters more. It’s about taking a deep enough breath to float above our lives for a minute to get the arial view of the edges of the garden that we are and, noticing the withering vines, tending to them. Even if just enough to revive them. We might see water-sucking trees that need to be chopped down or compost that needs to be spread on the vegetable patch. When I take this arial view, and then swoop down and put my feet where the soil has been neglected, I am usually relieved to know that it doesn’t take much for my heart to feel more whole again. An indulgent nap, reviving a pre-dawn devotion ritual, driving downtown to get that perfect vanilla chai with almond milk. Calling a friend. 
 
And then being really present with it (which is so much more than trendy talk. For reals.) Tasting it slowly, breathing in the tiny granules of gratitude that will sustain you through the next push. Stacking some rocks to serve as a trail marker so you can find your way back to this place whenever you need to.
 
So dear reader, I invite you to love on your heart today. To swap out one “meh” for something warm and real and substantial to your whole, beautiful heart. And then come back here and tell me about it. I would love to celebrate with you. 
 

P.S. 

The WholeheARTed Artist is a new, 12 week course written by me and delivered straight to your inbox starting January 2017. Registration opens soon. Sign up for my newsletter below to register at a discount.

Stephanie