We can find ourselves getting stuck or feeling lost during times of change and transition. Such turbulent times call for an inner GPS to help us move in the right direction. Luckily, we all have that inner GPS, otherwise known as our Heart Magnet*. Rather than showing us the fastest way from here to there, our Heart Magnet helps us make decisions that are in tune with who we are and what we most value. It communicates to us using six channels to that help us know what we’re drawn to (our “go” signals), what we’re are unmoved by (our “wait” signals), and what we’re are repelled by (our “stop” signals).
Times of Change and Transition
Thirty-five year old Janet** was contemplating a major geographic move. Her satisfying social life and secure, well-paying job contrasted with her deep dislike of the area in which she lived. It was not the right climate for her; neither the weather, nor the dominant political or social culture felt right to her. And despite the security of her job, she disliked her micro-managing supervisor, and the lack of creative opportunity in her department. Yet moving would be a major disruption. It meant leaving behind all she had now and establishing herself anew. Contemplating creating a new home and new friendships was daunting to her. What if she couldn’t find a satisfactory new job? How would she find the right home in the right neighborhood? Every time she started seriously planning to move, she got mired down in details, fears and what-ifs.
When Mike’s** position was redefined, his employer of the past 15 years urged him to continue on in this new role. But Mike knew it wasn’t right for him. The new job description didn’t make use of his strengths and talents. It called for abilities that he felt were not his strong suit. He knew he couldn’t meet its requirements to his own satisfaction, and it pained him to think of himself doing just a “good-enough” job. At mid-life and mid-career, he made the major decision to resign without knowing yet what would happen next. He felt himself at a crossroads, with no clear idea which direction to take.
Barb**, a 30-something law enforcement officer, had decided she needed to make a major career change. She enrolled in an MBA program, which she enjoyed and did well in. As graduation neared she began to realize that she still didn’t know what she ultimately wanted to do with her degree. She asked herself with some trepidation, “What am I going to do after I graduate?”
Tuning in to Your Heart Magnet
Each of these clients was in a different situation and at a different time of life, but they had some things in common. They each were dealing with a major life change. They each, for different reasons, were feeling stuck or lost as they navigated these changes. While they each were able to partially tune into their Heart Magnet, it was as if there was some static interfering with it’s signal. Without full access to our Heart Magnet, it can be hard to decide what to have for dinner — never mind the big life decisions!.With it, we can make decisions and take actions that are in full alignment with our deeply held core beliefs, values, and desires.
Our Heart Magnet communicates information to us through six channels: our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, our voices, our intuitions, and our physical sensations. Consciously tuning in to what we’re thinking, how we’re feeling, how we’re acting, what we’re saying and the sound of our voice, what our intuition, or “gut feeling” tells us, and how our body feels, gives ust a lot of information about what is right for us, and what is not.
I helped Janet, Mike and Barb tune into their Heart Magnets’ messages. We did this through some guided experimentation. I had each of them practice picking up information from their Heart Magnet’s six channels, using objects they could see in their environments, or by recalling recent experiences. This cleared the static, allowing them to recognize the messages they received from their Heart Magnets as they focused on something they are drawn to, then on something they feel neutral about, and next on something they are repelled by. Once they clearly recognized their own go, wait and stop signals, they could use their Heart Magnets messages to guide their decisions and actions.
These stop, wait and go signals don’t always contain everything we need to know. Janet found that while she was clearly drawn to moving to a new location, she needed to do some work before committing to that decision. While it was an area she had previously visited, she wanted to have more than a visitors’ impression to go on. She researched the job market in the region she felt most drawn to. She looked into the cost of living there, and used her network of friends and relatives to gather more information about what living there would be like to live there. As she continued gathering information she kept checking in with her Heart Magnet’s messages.
The Heart Magnet’s Help
During the four months that we worked together Janet’s Heart Magnet “check-ins” and the information she gathered helped her decide she wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest. Using her Heart Magnet helped her identify the kind of job she hoped to find. She started applying for jobs that appealed to her in the cities she felt most drawn to. Two months later, she had applied for ten jobs, and had gotten interviews for four of them. Soon her house was on the market and she was packing to move to her new home and new job in Washington state.
Mike’s Heart Magnet helped him clarify what he wanted to do, and what he did not want to do in his next position. He decided he needed to earn a graduate certificate to gain entry into the work he felt most drawn to. This was not a purely “heart’s desire” kind of decision. He was aiming to for a job that would make use of his education, experience, his strengths and talents. He chose an area of interest within his field that had good employment prospects. Within six weeks of our first meeting, Mike had honed in on an area of work related to his knowledge base, skill set, and previous education. He had located the certificate program he wanted to attend. In addition, he found a temporary job to bring in some income while he completed his studies.
Barb’s Heart Magnet helped her to distinguish her own interests from others’ ideas of what she should be doing with her life and her career. She realized that she most wanted to help community-based small business owners learn and use sound business practices that would help them flourish and succeed. After several of our coaching sessions, Barb spoke with the owner of the car repair shop she used, and got an unpaid internship with him that fulfilled a requirement of her MBA program and that helped him restructure his business practices to enhance their effectiveness. She has since completed her degree and is pursuing her interest in helping small business owners succeed.
As each of these clients, and others have found, our Heart Magnet helps us see what we are most drawn to, and guides us in making practical decisions that get us where we most want to go. It can help you make decisions that are in alignment with your true self, and give you the courage and persistence to find your way forward, even in the midst of the challenging changes that life inevitably brings our way.
*Carol McClelland, psychologist, coach, author and trainer developed the Heart Magnet coaching program and wrote Awakening Your Heart Magnet. I’ve been trained by her, and her colleague Karin Marcus, in guiding others through life’s inevitable changes. I am a certified Heart Magnet Coach and a Seasons of Change Master Coach.
Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Contact me to learn more about my Heart Magnet coaching, and other coaching programs.
**Details of clients’ identifying information and stories have been changed to protect privacy.
Photo: Andrik-Langfield Unsplash.com