following your heart

When was the last time you felt most alive and in your joy?

If your interested in doing more of what you love in your life this is a great question to ask, a great starting point – especially if your struggling to connect to your passion.  I will be writing a whole series on ‘connecting to your passion’ in the future, but for now this is a great place to start.

Trust me there’s a lot of power in taking the time to ask yourself this.  In getting quiet and really listening to your answer, or the brain blank that follows……or the fact you can’t say you’ve every felt really alive and in your joy.  Don’t judge your response, what ever comes up is gold dust for your future.  Oh and keep an eye out for your internal chatter which may want to poo poo your response……“Your joking right?  Baking with grandma, thats your answer?  That can’t be it, what about when you………” . Watch out for that voice.

I have the privilege of my last most alive and joyful moment being captured on film, by me!  It was nine long years ago in 2004 and I was on the back of a motorbike in Vietnam.  Ho (my awesome Easy Rider) and I were part way through a four day trek from Ho Chi Minh city to the Mekong Delta.  We were hurtling along a road in the middle of nowhere, the sun was setting.  I think I was in week four of my six weeks in Vietnam after having travelled through China for 7.5 weeks.  Solo.  Thailand was up next.


I remember standing up on the back of the bike, hurtling past rice fields taking this photo.  Of looking around and thinking ‘remember this moment’ remember this feeling.  I was SO alive and so very happy.  Inside my helmet was an uncontrollable grin that had formed all by itself (you know the kind).  It makes me smile now thinking about it.  I felt SO good and joyful.  I was in total adventure mode, in total unfamiliarity.  I was absolutely free and I loved it.  Loved it to death.

Everybody will have a personal definition of what ‘most alive’ and ‘joyful’ means for them.  For me ‘alive’ was being totally in the moment, transfixed by my love affair with what I was doing.  My body so open to the experience, so light, happy.  And ‘joyful’ was the grin on my face, it was the feeling I got from being so alive.


Freedom + adventure + unfamiliarity + great food* = a very alive, joyful maree  


Whats the equation that works for you?  Heres a few pointers to get you started……

  1. Make some time, remove distractions and get comfortable.  Have a wee pen and paper at the ready.  
  2. Close your eyes if it feels right, keep them open if not…..if you need music play it, you get my drift.
  3. Ask yourself – when has been a time I’ve been my most alive, in my joy? (note: they maybe two separate questions for you)
  4. Listen to your response, what came up? – a time, an experience, memory, feeling, smell, a person, a blank…..nada, nothing?
  5. Write it down.  Write down if nothing came up, if you drew a blank, if you think the questions is ridiculous.  write that down too.
  6. Now take your answer and colour in the scene, what was going on in your life at the time? – how old were you, where were you living, what was your job / study, how did you feel about yourself at the time, were you in a relationship……you get the drill.
  7. Describe how it made you feel and in particular what you loved about it.
  8. If nothing came up thats okay, it just means theres room in your future to have that experience.  If you want too.

You don’t have to do anything revolutionary with your findings right now.  The power is in starting the dialogue and listening to your response.  Its a first step in exploring what brings you joy on the road to building a life doing what you love.  A little food for thought, to get you warmed up.

It’s not lost on me that nine years has past since I last grinned uncontrollably like a cheshire cat.  I got pretty close last year when rolling around in Sonoma, but that moment on the back of the bike and my time in asia stands out.  It has become the bench mark that I’m building my future around.


So what was your answer, what came up for you?  When were you most alive? I would love to hear.  


*The food in Vietnam was a continual source of absolute exquisite delight.  Im a foodie so I was in heaven.






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