The reality is that we all know when we are following our passion or our heart’s desire because it feels right. Everyone has experienced this feeling of ‘rightness’ at some time in his/her life. It’s called integrity. And it’s easy to recognize. It’s a sense of real comfort. A feeling that life is good and that life is moving freely in and through you. It’s that feeling of ease, when you experience no discomfort, no obstructions, no limitations, no doubts.
You know it’s good because it’s the free flow of life through you, as if the whole universe is working in and through you. And in truth, this is what is happening. This is the reality of it. Because when you are in the flow, everything in life is working in and through you and with you. And that’s what makes it feel so right.
The Cause of our Suffering and Discomfort
So we discover that what all our arbitrary beliefs and belief systems really do is block the free, spontaneous expression of life in and through us. And this is why we suffer. This is why we feel discomfort. This is why we experience what we call a conflict of interests. Something is blocking the free flow of life in and through us. Something is limiting our freedom. Something is preventing us from expressing the will and creativity of the universe. And this makes us suffer. This is what suffering is. Limitation.
When we understand this, we understand that what we call our true desire, our heart’s desire, is really our becoming conscious of this free flowing life that is working in and through us. Or you could say we become aware that our heart’s desire is actually the will of the entire universe or of the great universal creativity expressing itself through us.
The Pain of Not Listening
What happens when we don’t listen? When we don’t follow the inner voice and listen to our heart’s desire. When we do what other people want us to do or what they say we should do or when we follow our uninvestigated beliefs and ‘shoulds’?
I can only speak for myself and tell you that in my experience, trying to live up to my own uninvestigated ‘shoulds’ and beliefs has caused me so much unnecessary anguish. It’s easy to say this now when I am able to see what I was doing so much more clearly, but when I was in the midst of it, all I can say is that it was truly hell! I guess that is what hell is – unconsciously causing ourselves so much pain and suffering! Until we wake up and discover that this is the only suffering there is. The pain and suffering we cause ourselves.
The only suffering there is,
is the suffering we cause ourselves.
My Deathbed Technique
Many years ago when I began contemplating the challenge of following my inner impulses and my heart’s desire, I developed what I called “my deathbed technique”. I found that the deathbed technique is a great exercise when I’m feeling insecure, weak or shaky and uncertain about following my heart’s desire, especially when I fear the disapproval of others.
The exercise is a kind of creative visualization technique in which I imagine myself on my deathbed, looking back at this moment where I lack the courage of my convictions! And then I try to envision how I will feel on my deathbed if I do not honor the highest and best in myself at this very moment in time. For me, it’s always a devastating thought and makes decision-making a lot easier!
The technique helps me envision how I will feel if I do not take the road which can lead me up higher and closer to being fully aligned with who I am.
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When playing around with this technique, I also discovered that you can use it to strengthen your resolve in the little, everyday situations of life that also demand courage. Take an ordinary situation like this:
You are a woman sitting in a café with your girlfriend drinking a cappuccino. At the next table, there are some interesting men and you’d really like to talk to them. Your shyness, your fear of disapproval, your ideas about what women ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ do, and your fear of making a fool of yourself prevent you from turning to them and saying something. If you remember the deathbed technique at a moment like this, it can really help.
You can ask yourself how you will feel when you are 92 and leaving this planet if you look back at this moment of your life? How will it feel to realize that you had the gift of life but didn’t dare to follow your impulse to talk to the men (who are just human beings like you) at the next table because you were afraid of disapproval? Because you were afraid of doing something that would take you out of your comfort zone.
You will probably discover that you will feel rather ridiculous when you view this situation from the larger perspective of your life. And from the larger perspective, what is the worse that can happen if you follow your inner impulse and step out of your comfort zone? The men at the next table might ignore you? They might laugh at you? They might think you are dumb or not be interested in talking to you and your girlfriend? And if that happens, so what?
Not following your inner impulses in all the little situations like this in life also means you miss so many great opportunities to meet new people, have fun, make new contacts, and widen your circle of friends.
You can never know where following your heart’s desire can lead. But being inhibited or limited by your concepts will most certainly prevent you from acting spontaneously and prevent you from finding out! So in situations like this, the deathbed technique is the perfect tool to show you how limiting your concepts may be when it comes to living a happy, fulfilled and exciting life!
©2013 Barbara Berger. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author. Published by O Books,
an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. www.o-books.com
Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life
by Barbara Berger.
About the Author
Barbara Berger has written over 15 self-empowerment books, including her international bestsellers "The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul" (published in 30 languages) and "Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life" (published in 21 languages). She is also the author of “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind” and “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass”. Her latest book, “Healthy Models for Relationships – The Basic Principles Behind Good Relationships” will be released in late 2022.
American-born, Barbara now lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition to her books, she offers private sessions to individuals who wish to work intensely with her (in her office in Copenhagen or on Zoom, Skype and telephone for people who live far away from Copenhagen).
For more about Barbara Berger, see her website: www.beamteam.com