In the fourth and final week of Quest2019, Jeffrey Davis challenged us to revisit our vision for 2019, to connect with our compassion, our loving-kindness for ourselves and others, and to let that love help us shape experiences of wonder and delight for the communities we engage.
Jeffrey’s thoughts, and his interviews with Susan Piver, Chip Heath and Chris Fink lead me to consult my Heart Magnet in this final week of Quest2019.
In her book The Seasons of Change: Using Nature’s Wisdom to Growth Through Life’s Inevitable Ups and Downs, Carol McLelland Fields first described this as our Early Warning System, which gives us stop and go signals to help us recognize when things need to change, and when we’re on the right track. In her more recent work, she used the term Heart Magnet, comparing it to a muscle that can be strengthened by through using it consistently to recognize what we are drawn to, and what we’re repelled by.
As a certified Heart Magnet coach, I’ve discovered for myself, and shared with others how important it is to keep our Heart Magnets strong. It helps us identify what to move toward in our lives, and what to avoid. It guides us in making decisions and choices and guides us as we navigate change and transition.
What You Can Learn from Your Heart Magnet
Using my Heart Magnet helps me cut through the noise around me, the confusion that can be created by over-valuing what others tell me I “have” to do, and what others think I “should” do, what others think I should want to achieve. It allows me to tune into and be guided my own true voice, which I think of as my inner encourager.
My inner encourager knows what I most believe, value, think and feel. Unlike the voice of my inner critic, my inner encourager helps me to align my life/work choices with my strongest interests, passions, and sense of purpose.
What My Heart Magnet is Telling Me to Move Toward for 2019
Our Heart Magnet sends messages through six channels: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Intuitive, Behavioral, and Vocal.
To create a template that will help me recognize what I am drawn to as the focus of my work for the year ahead, I call to mind an experience of doing work I love, on behalf of people for whom I have great regard, respect and compassion.
The example I chose: facilitating my online Writing for Resilience group,something I’ve been doing since 2017. Here are the Heart Magnet messages that I notice:
- My body is in a state of alert, relaxed readiness. It’s kind of like the feeling of playing tennis, or even Ping-Pong. Your movements are fluid and your stance allows you to move as needed and to return what is served to you, without under- or over-responding.
- Emotionally, I feel totally attuned, centered, present, curious, connected and grounded.
- I am able to think clearly, make connections, create an environment that is supportive to the work, summarize and highlight important themes that arise, and bring in relevant information that goes beyond what’s in my notes. I am aware of and responsive to each individual and the group as whole.
- Intuitively, I sense the adaptations I need to make in the moment, in order to be effective and responsive.
- My behavior is me at my best, accepting, nonjudgmental, compassionate, calm, reflective, humorous and creative.
- My voice is engaging. I speak at a relatively slow pace, in a pleasant tone and at moderate volume. The feedback I’ve gotten from others is that my voice is inviting, soothing, calming, and even “Like Mr. Rogers!”
These Heart Magnet messages tell me I am on the right track in again offering this monthly workshop series.
They guide me in planning what I will be doing in the coming year. They help me choose what to say yes to, and equally importantly, help see what to decline.
Noticing my Heart Magnet’s “stop” signs has already helped me say “no” to work on a project that I realized would not serve me well.
What were those stop signs?
- Physically, I tensed up when communicating about the project, and as I thought about the information I was getting.
- Emotionally, I felt unsafe.
- Cognitively, I knew that it was questionable to have been emailed out of the blue and expected to be able to interview the next day.
- Behaviorally, I was hesitating and holding back on what I was willing to share.
- Vocally, as I discussed it with my husband, I was using words like “It’s unlikely that this will work out,” and “There are a lot of red flags here.”
After I withdrew from consideration, I felt relieved. I had kept from getting entangled in what would have been a frustrating drain of time and energy. I had protected time and energy for doing what I do best, what I am valued for and what matters most to me.
What Does All this Mean for 2019?
- More one-on-one coaching.
- More Reflective Consultation.
- More writing facilitation with groups, focusing on building resilience and transforming health.
- A new writing group for cancer survivors.
- More work with nonprofits interested in supporting their staff members’ resilience and well being.
- More learning, more professional and personal growth, so I can bring my best self forward.
- Doing the work I love, bringing forward what I know works, positively impacting the people I love.
I’m grateful to Jeffrey Davis for creating Quest2019, an experience that helped me step back, look inward and appreciate what the past year has been, and then look ahead in order to prepare for what is to come in the year ahead. New Questers are welcome to join throughout the year!
And I’m grateful to the Inspirers Chip Heath, Chris Fink and Susan Piver and whose interviews with Jeffrey sparked my understanding of what it means to strengthen the love in my heart and to use that love to shape my work.
In Other Questers’ Words
Alicia Anderson will cut her to-do lists in half in 2019!
— Millie Jackson (@mljackson) December 7, 2018
Catch Up on My Previous 2019 Quest Posts
- How a Quest Can Bring Out Your Best
- Bring Your Young Genius to Work
- Whimsy and Hope
- Do Something You’re Not Good at to Unlock Powerful Insights
- Dedicated to Freedom, Peace, Life, the World
- Dedicated to Being a Good Human
- Dedicated to Love
- Dedicated to Fairness
- Dedication and Devotion