Gathering Together

Your Heart Is Everything

 

I placed this quote on my social media accounts recently, “If you’re going to write, do it with your heart, not with your head.” Immediately, I saw it gathering attention and it made me stop and think about what I was attempting to say. The answer is simple: it was just something that came to me while closing my eyes and letting my inner soul do the talking.

Now, for some that might sound a bit corny, or conceded. But truthfully, that really is how I write and am learning to live my life. Our actions and reactions should reflect what our heart, and passions are saying. To do otherwise, is a true waste of our talents and time.

When I sat down and wrote, Sons In The Clouds I had no idea what I was doing. All I had was a blank computer screen staring back and some characters who wouldn’t leave me alone. But, why wouldn’t they leave me alone? What was it that made me want to spend literally thousands of hours writing, and re-writing about the lives of some fictional, unknown characters? Answering this is so easy for me now: It was the feelings I had for these people and the emotional bond I developed for them over time. You see, I liked them, cried for them, carried them with me to bed, and did my best to protect them when dangers were lurking around every corner. When one was young and facing horrific abuse, I wanted to dive inside my computer to save him, literally throwing his abuser out the window. I truly loved all of these people, and felt sad when I finally let them go. My heart was with these folks, making them come to life on paper became easier the longer I knew them. My wonderful editor throughout this experience, Susan Malone helped me see them on a much grander scale, directing and guiding my words so their storyline could be visualized and much more believable to those who read it. Without her putting her heart into it as I was trying to, the book would’ve never been finished.

                                              

I’m a new writer, and am learning on a daily basis how to improve my craft. But, what has struck me so hard since starting is how much REAL feelings, heartfelt words, emotional bonds, and natural opinions have shaped who I am. If you listen to what your heart is saying, your written words on paper, relationships with other people, performance on your job, avoidance of many problems, even your general attitude about life will greatly improve. And you’ll see it materialize right in front of you on an unimaginable level.

People are increasingly stressed today and are just trying to get by. Many feel the need to become someone else in order to gain acceptance from others, therefore helping them overcome the problems we are all facing. They’re not sticking to what their insides are telling them. But, no matter what drives you, doing it with passion and heart provides the key to living your best days. It helps us determine the difference between right and wrong, paving the way for much greater happiness.

I’ve had some negative people come into my life, and I’ll admit, I’ve driven down that road sometimes myself. That’s what happens when everything you do is head-driven, and not heart-driven making us see things in a cloudy haze instead of breaking for the nearest sun-kissed beach. So, how can you tell when someone is driven by their heart? How do you know when something or someone is actually, real?

                                                                                             

I love movies and have seen just about every one that fits onto a silver screen. What I really love about my favorites are the ones which make my cry, and laugh at the same time. One of the best, for me, was the original, Rocky; a movie which can tear apart your emotions like the smile of a newborn baby.

When Sylvestor Stallone wrote the screenplay he was basically an unknown commodity, struggling to break into a really tough industry. Then, he went and watched the heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner in 1975. Wepner went 15 rounds with Ali until he was TKO’d, but it was 15 rounds longer than anyone ever expected. It was an incredible display of heart, and what raw determination can do when faced against incredible odds. Wepner lost and took a brutal beating, but his heartfelt boxing display has become legendary. It impressed and moved Stallone so much that he immediately started writing the screenplay, and the rest, as they say, is history producing one of the most beloved movies ever made. My point here? When we see actions of the heart, we just know it when we see it. They draw us in, stirring us to take notice while moving along the edge of our seats. And what happened in that ring with Ali and Wepner symbolized it to a tee. Funny, it always amazes me how sports come to the forefront while discussing emotional drama.

We all know the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” and this is so true. Our actions almost always tell the tale. If you’re in a relationship, no matter if it’s a marriage, boyfriend/girlfriend courtship, or casual acquaintance, how you treat them for better or worse is a direct reflection of what your heart is saying. If someone treats you badly and with disrespect, their heart is in the wrong place and their actions will shout it out loud and clear. However, when both of you come home and greet each other with open arms and big, sloppy kisses…it’s so crystal clear, both your hearts are meeting in the same place and same time.

No matter what your profession is, you can always tell if what you’re doing stirs up your passions and it’s so easy to figure out. Do you enjoy doing what you’re doing or dread dragging to work? Is there a fire in your belly to continue on, or are your thoughts filled with visions of another career? Are you spending your days really enjoying life, or is waking to the sunlight in your eyes a dreaded event? Listen to your heart. It knows exactly what you love and are meant to do.

Many who read my articles are writers, and most of us have one thing in common: a love of inner expression. We write because it makes us feel better, exposing what’s built up inside, releasing our emotional boundaries. If you write fiction as I do, the words you express on paper must reflect what your heart is thinking, otherwise, the writing will suffer a horrific death. You simply can’t go against the grain, knowing that what your creating doesn’t jive with what your feeling. But, when the keystrokes start flying fast and furious, you’ll have literally hit the nail on the head.  If you’re like me, several book ideas are always circling inside your kaleidoscope. You start them, even churning out several pages before the ink runs dry. Then you go back when you feel the time is right and continue on, sometimes blowing through another hundred pages before your imagination says that’s enough for now. Once again, your heart just knows when it knows.

Everything in life is about coming to the dance, that’s the easy part. The hard part is deciding if you want to stay. Letting your heart decide this is the easiest thing to do.

By Randy Mitchell