The (Somtimes) Tough Decision to Follow Your Heart


“Follow your heart” sounds so wonderful, so blissful, so dreamy, but that is not always the case. While the statement implies that there is a faith and goodness in following your heart the decision to do so is not always an easy one. “Following your heart” sometimes means venturing out into unknown emotional and life territory, with the intention that it is for a higher good. However, moving into different areas in life means that we must let go of “things” to make space in our heart for other things. Letting go can be scary, especially if it means letting go a concept, a belief, an identity that we have built for ourselves over many years. Good God that can be very scary! At least it is for me it is…scary, exciting but necessary!

When we (I) are in the process (key word “process” because nothing happens overnight) of letting go all the anxieties quotes-letting-go-eckhart-tolle-480x480and questions flood in. If I change to be someone or do something thing different what will people think? Can I do this? Will I still be important, significant, or valid to others if I am no longer a ___________ (insert label of identity here…for example, “triathlete”)? However, from experience, if we do not honor this process and acknowledge what is going on we may struggle internally. I know because I’ve been there. We get confused. We may rationalize, talk ourselves into, and try to convince ourselves that “it’s just a phase” or that we are “burnt out.” It’s all a part of the process. Not an easy one but it is a part of it. I’m learning that the more you fight the process the harder it is to feel good about certain things in your life, and you notice that even the innocent, well-meaning things in your life change meaning. If you do not let go you desperately to trying to make them mean to you what they used to. This too is a part of the process. For me it is the necessary process to grow with awareness. Nothing and no one stays the same forever. Sure we go through phases, get burnt-out, but we also change and evolve- spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually. It’s not always easy to know the difference of am I going through a “phase” or changing on a whole other level? Guess what? This too is the process. For YOU to develop the wisdom to know and trust the difference for YOU.
“Impermance means that things keep changing; they never stay the same. When we meditate on impermance we start to realize that moment-by-moment there is limitless opportunity.” (Buddhist teaching) I also think that what this Buddhist teaching is saying is that when we focus our lives on permance and strive to keep things the same and unchanging then we limit ourselves of new opportunity.

Recently I made the decision to pull out of training and racing for the California International Marathon in December. This was not an easy decision but it was the right one for me. I am an athlete and I love competing. But as much as I tried to talk myself into investing into months of training my heart was not there, because my heart is in other places of growth and focus right now:) I went through “the process” over the last couple of months (really since Vineman 70.3.) and gained the wisdom and courage to follow my heart. I, more than anyone, do not like backing out of a commitment and a goal that I set for myself, but I, more than anyone, am learning to know and trust when life is leading me to let go.

So wonderful people if you find your self confused, upside down, or stuck remind yourself it’s apart of the process of growth. Give yourself time but learn to trust yourself and your inner wisdom to not delay a much needed decision. Have faith that on the other side there is something waiting, growing, and developing for your higher good. God and the Universe loves you too much to let your time and gifts go used however you must be willing to make space in your life for it.

Shine on beautiful people and Namaste!

Dr. G




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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.