How Following my Heart’s Calling Led Me To Discover Gifts I Never Even Knew I Had
I believe we all have hidden gifts and talents that we don’t even know we have. In this post I share how, by following my hearts calling, I first discovered I could write.
Written in celebration of the three year anniversary of this blog, I hope that it can inspire others to discover their own hidden gifts and encourage them to share them with the world, in what ever way is right for them.
It has been around three years since I first sat down to write my first blog post.
Previous to that moment, I hadn’t written anything creative since I was at school. I had no idea what was going to come out or if it was going to be any good. But it felt urgent, like it couldn’t wait any longer.
My hands were clammy and I was nervous. I almost felt embarrassed about the fact that I even dared to think I could write something that could be of value to someone.
To whom was I writing? To publish where?
I had no idea who my reader would be nor where my article would be homed, all I knew was that I had to write something.
To tell you the truth, I had known that I was being called to write for some time. The idea of starting a blog had already birthed itself in my mind several months before.
I felt the push to share the journey I was about to embark on, of leaving the city in favour of a more earth-centred life in the countryside. Instinctively I knew it was going to be something that many people would be able to relate to the coming years. The idea excited and inspired me. It seemed like a new, fun and creative venture that lit something up on the inside.
It was September 2019, and I had just come back from India. I still had some time on my hands before I started work again, so I would spend my morning down by Madrid Río, my nearest park, and do my new yoga and meditation practices that I had learnt during my trip.
I felt inspired by the changes in my life and felt excited and curious about this new project.
However, as much as I knew what I had to do, I did nothing.
Truth be told, as much as the idea excited me, deep down I was scared.
It felt like too big of a leap, going from zero social media to starting a blog and the visibility that that brings. I found the whole idea so far outside my comfort zone and the confines of my identity, that I buried the the idea under other ‘more important matters’.
Instead, I convinced myself that it was of utmost importance to commit myself to my new yoga routines that I had learnt in India and dedicated every morning to my practice with upmost diligence.
After all, what could be more important than my spiritual practice?
I continued this routine for a while, and at first, I felt great. But then a few weeks passed and I still hadn’t started to write. In fact, I was doing everything possible except sitting down to actually write something.
What happened next was that all that great energy that I had been feeling after returning from India began to turn against me. I was still doing my yoga and mediation everyday but slowly my energy was dissipating. I began to feel a heaviness that I couldn’t shake, almost like a depression.
Nothing seemed to penetrate the feeling; lunch with friends, bike rides, yoga…I began to feel like a ghost walking through my own life. (In one of more first posts, ‘A Declaration to the World’, I wrote about this).
It was unpleasant and unenjoyable, as you can probably imagine. When I spoke to friends about it, I told them I didn’t know what was wrong.
“Maybe it’s just a come-down after being in India for so long”, I would say. “A case of traveller blues”.
Yet, deep down I knew that that wasn’t the real reason.
The real reason was that I was avoiding doing the thing that I knew I should be doing: starting this blog.
Finally, enough was enough. I decided that the next day, as soon as I woke up, I would write something. What exactly, I didn’t know. I just made the decision that I was going to sit in front of my computer and write whatever came to me.
That was going to be my spiritual practice.
All I had to do was show up. Easy enough, isn’t it?
I woke up the next day and dutifully sat down at my computer, still in my pyjamas, cup of tea in hand. I was nervous and tense.
To be completely honest with you, I was scared stiff.
I had no idea what was going to come out.
Making my private inner world public felt frightening. Even if no-one ever read what I wrote, I was scared to even admit to myself how I really felt about the world. Seeing it written down in black and white meant it was real and action would surely need to be taken as a result.
Maybe I should just leave it for another day and instead go back down to the river and do my yoga practice? There was safety in that. I didn’t need to reveal myself to anyone, I could just enjoy my practice and be present in my body.
I contemplated getting up, grabbing my yoga mat and heading for the door.
But then I remembered a quote I once read:
Creativity requires courage.
So I made a decision that, for that morning at least, writing was going to be my practice. So, true to my promise to myself, I started typing.
Surprisingly, once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. My fear and self-consciousness made the words pour out of me in a dramatic and frantic way. I wrote with no plan, no map, and no idea where I was going with the post.
A few hours later, I emerged from my room, feeling like a small child who had just done something new and scary for the first time.
“I’ve just written something!”, I announced to my then-housemate, feeling exhilarated and surprised.
The result of that first meeting with myself as a writer was my first ever blog post ‘Dinner Time Dreaming’.
Contained in that first post are the seeds of this dream of moving from the city to the countryside; the seeds of this entire journey.
As I have nurtured them, those seeds have sprouted into a blog with three years worth of posts. They have blossomed into new relationships, connections and community, even a new identity.
It is amazing how one small decision – in my case, to write or not to write. – can have such a transformative effect on your life.
Indeed, after taking concrete action and starting creating this blog, the heavy, disconnected feelings I had previously felt disappeared as quickly as they came. It was clearly the avoidance of following my heart’s calling that was causing me to suffer.
I had been denying my soul what it was yearning for most: self-expression, connection with others, and to be allowed to be seen and heard. As I committed to making this vision a reality, my depression was replaced with joy and excitement, as I discovered that writing came naturally to me and I actually had stories to tell that could be of value to people.
Since then, the making of this blog has taken me to a whole level of personal transformation that I had no idea was possible when I first started out.
This is why I wanted to share this story with you, dear reader. How many people are suffering as I was, purely because they are avoiding their heart’s calling because they are scared of the implications?
Who might you become if you take that first step towards your heart’s calling?
Life is too short to stay in the confines of the known and the comfortable. For me, this journey so far has taken me beyond the realms of all my previous ideas about life and what is possible.
Starting this blog has been a huge part of that; I feel that my dream of being in the countryside and this blog go directly hand in hand. I am literally writing my dream into being.
If I had decided on that day to put off my writing for another day, who knows, maybe I would still be working at my 9-5 academy job.
For sure I would never have connected with the readers who told me about the Permaculture Women’s Guild and therefore would never have completed my permaculture design certificate. I would never have got more involved in the community garden, and wouldn’t have made new friends and connections.
Perhaps, as time went on I would have got more and more wedged into my comfort zone and my dream would become more and more distant. Eventually, I would be living a hollow shell of a life that would get less and less authentic as the years passed.
Drained of joy and vital energy, I would relegate myself to the sidelines of life, where I would look on in bitterness as other people went about making their most authentic dreams a reality.
Am I exaggerating? Perhaps.
But then again, perhaps not.
It is my belief that many people today suffer because they are leading lives that are so inauthentic that they lose touch with their own soul.
After so many years of making choices that are not really aligned with who they are, or avoiding doing the things that they really want to be doing, they live in a state of constant anxiety and unease. Their energy and vitality gradually plummets and life loses its colour.
Their avoidance of their own heart in favour of comfort is what is really causing their suffering, yet as time goes on, they are unlikely to make the connection.
Indeed, avoiding the call can have painful consequences. If we keep shaking our heads in fear when we get called into a new phase of life, we risk betraying our own soul and what it is longing to express and experience.
Juice of Life
For me personally, this small taste of what can happen when you choose not to honour the call of your soul was enough for me to keep going with this blog and putting myself out there.
The juice of my life over the last three years has come from this challenging and sometimes mighty uncomfortable activity. The growing pains have indeed been painful but with growth has come greater expansion and joy, and for that I am grateful.
Thanks to this blog, I have learnt to love myself. I have learnt that those hidden parts of myself that remained part of my inner private world are in fact the thing that I came here to share. Whereas once I felt ashamed of my deep spiritual and reflective nature, now I see that that is in fact a gift.
No teacher or careers advisor ever suggested that this could be the case. Writing was not ever something on my radar, neither blogging or social media or presenting myself in such a public way. It just came to me, bubbling up from my core as I evolved as a human being.
This should come as a great comfort to you dear reader. Because what this means is that we don’t need to have all of our talents developed and honed by the time we are thirty. Our special gifts can come online at any time. They work on a different schedule and don’t recognise the time frames of the outer world.
When the time is right, the time is right and nothing can be done to control or hurry it up. This is the beautiful nature of human life; it is a gradual unfolding as we discover more and more of ourselves and what we have to bring to the world.
But, when the time comes, we have to say yes.
And follow it up with action.
We have to show up and do our part.
In doing so, we are stepping into the ring of transformation. Hold on to your hats, because this means one thing and one thing only: you will transform into someone you had never thought you could be.
Bringing a New World into Being
I believe that it is human nature to want to share our gifts with the world for the betterment of humanity.
I also believe that we are at a time of human history where our unique gifts are needed more than ever before.
And so, dear reader, what is it that you are here to bring?
What is the medicine that only you can offer?
May we all have the courage to weave our sacred medicine into the tapestry of our shared humanity, for the upliftment and benefit of all.
Together, let’s co-create a more beautiful world!
A big thank you to my family and friends who have been a huge support to me during online blogging adventure. Especially my partner Sergio, who continues to listen to me talk about the ups and downs of blogging much more than he would like to without (much!) complaint 😉
And a big thank you to my readers. It has been your appreciation and support over the past three years that has kept me believing in the worthwhile nature of this project.
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Hi Olivia, you are right. It takes a lot of courage to share your thoughts and feelings with complete strangers, though it seems obvious to me. That during the time that I have followed your writings, your confidence has grown. It must be fascinating reading your followers and friends thoughts and comments, on your journey that you are sharing with us all. Your journey is keeping us interested with all your twists and turns, we are all keen to see you succeed and enter into this lifestyle that you are looking to achieve. To answer your couple of questions, I believe I only bring you my own kind of support. In which you measure in your own understanding of seeing a situation from my perspective. Medicine wise? Mainly placebo’s, nothing that’s addictive. In my own mind, the power of positive thought can usually fix many ailments. Stay focused on achieving your dream Olivia.
Hi Tim, thanks a lot for your comment 🙂 you are right, it certainly is interesting! It never ceases to amaze me when people like yourself write such perceptive comments.You are right, my confidence has grown and I feel like I am coming into my own. No doubt that your open appreciation of my writings and support of journey has been a part of that. Thank you!
Things are slowly moving in the right direction, yet sometimes it feels like at a snails pace. As you said in your last comment, sometimes you are just round the corner from great change but you would never know it from the outset.
Thanks for the placebos, they might just be working 😉