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Being “Realistic” Includes Doing What Your Heart Desires!

How many times I’ve heard, “Laurie, you can’t do ALL of that.” In 2009, I received a 6-month Rotary scholarship to study Spanish in Panama; I also got accepted into a PhD program in Health Education. I was told I needed to “pick one” because the dates overlapped, and I wouldn’t be able to do them both. But I wanted them both. So I CHOSE THEM BOTH. Instead of spending 6 months in Panama, I was granted permission to spend 3 months there instead so that I could begin my PhD program in the Fall. So yes….I was able to do them both….in a slightly different way….but I did them both. (And then I became a PhD dropout later on because….well….that’s an entirely different story that led me to an even deeper heart’s desire….but you get the point.)

In 2005, I had an invitation to travel back to Africa to work with children in Zambia. I had visited Kenya in 2000 and worked with orphaned children there, and I REALLY wanted to return to Africa to work with them again….it was MY HEART’S DESIRE. But finances stopped me from going. I was working 2 jobs at the time while putting myself through grad school making barely enough to pay my monthly bills. My heart felt so let down.

In 2006, I received a second invitation to travel to Zambia to work with orphaned children. I was in the same financial situation. But I DECIDED I was going to go….some way….some how. I identified the barrier (finances) and thought of solutions. I did something that my co-workers deemed “pretty bold”….and ”I can’t believe you had the audacity to ask that!”….I wrote a letter to my landlord and asked if he’d waive my rent for the month that I’d be volunteering in Zambia. I thought, “The worst he can do is say ‘no’”. People around me thought that was “too much to ask”. Turns out my landlord was a philanthropist and was eager to support me in my heart’s desire to work with children in Zambia. He effortlessly waived my rent that month with glee, and I fundraised all of the remaining funds required to cover my travel expenses.

In 2007, I returned to Zambia again to volunteer…..because why?…..because it was my heart’s desire. And my fundraising story for that trip is incredible!….I’ll save it for another time.

Fast forward another decade….I wanted to start my own business. Nobody in my family had ever done that before. I was “clueless” on where to begin. But I had a HUGE heart’s desire to help people heal emotions holistically, and I wanted the freedom to run my practice in a way that aligned with MY core values, not someone else’s. I found a beautiful office in Benicia, California and signed the lease agreement. I went to the county to register my business name, and then was told I need to do “this” and “that” and “register here” and “do this next”. I didn’t have it all figured out from the start….BUT I knew in my heart I was to start my business. Things unfolded, and here I am a decade later; I am STILL figuring things out in my business, but I love that about being an entrepreneur….it’s like a spiritual journey of deeper and deeper discovery.

There are going to be plenty of nay-sayers telling you to “be realistic”. Be careful with whom you share your heart’s desires. My personal opinion?? I believe your heart’s desires are there FOR A REASON….WITH PURPOSE. They are the magnetic forces that are pulling you to step into the unknown....into your purpose where your deepest heart’s desires reside. What I’ve found is that as scary as that may be, there is ALWAYS something or someone there to support you, your dream, your vision, your heart’s desires.

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