By Kat Byles, True Business School
Steve Jobs, one of the most prolific business people of our time, implored us to:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”
Yet still business orientates around the head and gut with the heart dismissed as woo-woo, over emotional, misguided, dangerous or weak. It is none of these things.
Business conducted from the head becomes distorted by misguided ego agendas, assumptions, limiting beliefs and what worked in the past. Disconnected, our soul’s calling and creative expression ignored in pursuit of profit, our relationships and health deteriorate as we burn out.
This is where I found myself as a global communications director working with some of the biggest names in sport at just 42. Leaving my career behind I followed my heart to Antigua and Barbuda. Immersion in nature restored my wellness and fed me with inspiration for True Business, a ground breaking business model that leads with your heart.
Taking this radical leap of making the wisdom of your heart the creative engine of your business liberates your true nature and purpose, who you are and what you are here for. It is home to your natural talents and gifts, creative potential, and contribution to the wider world that brings you joy and fulfilment. You are free to bring your whole and authentic self to business.
Your heart is also a gateway to Source, universal energy that delights in creating worlds, the oceans, rivers and trees. Tapping into your lifeforce energy and creating in harmony with support from the universe ensures burn out is a thing of the past.
As your heart guides you to focus on what matters most, resources of time and money are directed efficiently and effectively with minimal waste and distraction.
Your relationship with yourself improves as you reconnect with your values and meet your needs to flourish. Then relationships with others deepen as you bring your true self and the heart’s higher nature qualities of wisdom, understanding and compassion to business relationships.
Bex Shindler, plant-based chef and founder of The Mindful Kitchen, was stuck from a fear of failing. By following her heart, just nine months later, she was hired as the chef for the Black Eyed Peas and had a fully booked diary of Ibiza retreats fulfilling her purpose of providing compassionate food for a compassionate world.
Simon Haas, yoga philosopher and author wanted to secure book reviews. By following his heart, he has become an international speaker at the United Nations in New York, yoga festivals in Mexico, Holland, France, Lithuania and Costa Rica selling thousands of books sharing ancient wisdom for the modern day.
Maddy Cooper, founder of sustainability marketing agency, Brilliant Noise was burnt out. Listening to her heart Maddy reconnected to her purpose of creating a sustainable world for her children. She fell back in love with her business, pitching and winning big global brands aligned with this purpose.
5 ways to listen to your heart & transform your business
- Turn down the volume.
Cut out as much external noise causing irritation, overstimulation and stress to your mind as you possibly can.
Turn off social media, news media, newsletters from experts telling you this is the way to do it, any campaigns you are subscribed to. Turn off phone notifications constantly beeping, interrupting your focus and flow, distracting and pulling on your attention. Cut out stimulants, such as caffeine that can amplify your thoughts, exacerbate unwanted, exhausting thoughts on repeat.
This doesn’t have to be forever. For now, turn down the volume so you can hear your own heart’s wisdom speak to you.
Step away from the computer and into the forests, rivers, oceans, meadows and trees. Breathe in the fresh air, move your body, stomp up the hill, get your feet on the earth or sandy beaches, feel silky cool ocean water on your skin. Swim, surf, walk, climb, kayak, snorkel. Let go of your busy, overactive mind and come back into your physical body, natural rhythms, rebooting your nervous system.
Scientists working tirelessly on a problem find inspiration reaches them effortlessly with a solution when they go for a walk around the lake. In nature your heart’s wisdom and inspiration more easily reaches you.
Burnt out, over worked, crippled by thoughts he was failing as a father, South African filmmaker Craig Foster began to immerse himself in nature, freediving. Here he encountered an octopus, inspiring him to pick up his camera again. He went to the sea daily, chronicling the life and intelligence of the octopus and their evolving relationship. This footage became the Oscar award-winning film ‘My Octopus Teacher’ shared with millions globally on Netflix. The natural world opened Craig’s heart, restored his wellness and began feeding him with creative inspiration bringing forth his life’s best work educating us on the beauty of the natural world.
- Practice Meditation
The ancient practice of meditation allows us to connect deeply with the calm, wise, sacred centre of our hearts, our true self.
If your instant thought is ‘I can’t meditate, I don’t know how, I can’t sit still,’ take a moment to be the compassionate observer of your thoughts and feelings, no judgement, simply notice them. As the witness you can step beyond your thoughts and feelings into innocence like the Rumi Poem: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Here you are curious, open and deeply receptive. Ask to receive your heart’s wisdom and wait a while in the quiet stillness and to listen. You will hear the calm, wise, deep, direct voice of your heart. The more you practice the more you can discern your heart from your mind.
- Get your pen and paper out
Journaling is a powerful practice for receiving your heart’s wisdom, intuition and creative inspiration. It can help you become aware of and clear any limitations, doubts and fears and connect you back to your heart’s wisdom and creative flow.
Julia Cameron’s book, The Artists Way, introduces the morning pages, three pages or 20 minutes of writing a stream of consciousness on waking to restore and revive your creativity. Try this. Or put pen to paper and journal around what is working in your business, what you appreciate, what you are grateful for. Soon enough you your heart’s wisdom sharing your next clear step forward.
- Just breathe
Join a group breathwork session a trained breathwork facilitator guides you through breathing exercises and techniques focusing on your inhales and exhales, to move beyond your mind and into your heart’s clarity and wisdom. Breathwork can also help you move through experiences of anxiety, stress, trauma, pain, grief and depression into deep connection, love and joy; to release stuck and stagnant energy returning you to creative flow.
Try one or try them all. Find your preferred practice to listen to your heart. My personal favourite is a morning swim in the Caribbean Sea from our local village beach. Warm, gentle sunshine on my face, crystal clear cool water on my skin, immersed in divine natural beauty my heart’s wisdom is loud and clear.
Follow your heart. It knows who you are and what you are here for; it is always serving your flourishing, creative freedom and humanity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat Byles is the Founder of the True Business School, for creative leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists and healers who want to do business differently. She works with people to find and align with their purpose and creativity to build a happy, healthy, wealthy business and world.