Heart Song

It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day do something that makes your heart sing.  Marcia Wieder

What makes your heart sing? Taken literally, this is an absurd question; the heart is an organ in our body; a song is a story set to music or the vocalization of a bird; real live human hearts don’t sing. And yet everyone I talk to understands the question and has answers for it. Of course, this is because much of what is most important to us is more easily expressed as metaphor than as rational explanation. It would take a million words to describe the experience literally, but only two words to communicate in metaphor. We are deeply aware of the metaphorical truth of the heartsong experience. We have felt our hearts sing.

And we also know that this experience is different from every other experience in important ways. It’s not precisely happiness or satisfaction or contentment or even joy, although joy is probably a close relation. I have come to believe that what sets these moments apart is that they uniquely evoke and unify our emotional, psychological, and spiritual selves firmly within our physical bodies.  They remind us of our wholeness. And, in so doing, point the way to living our truest lives.

Take a moment and ask yourself what makes your heart sing? Most people have 1-7 responses. I’m not at all sure why those numbers, but that has been my experience. Once you have that list, take another moment and reflect on the times you felt your heart sing. What were you doing? Where were you? Who else was there? Where in your body did you feel it? Let yourself recall each experience in as much detail as you can. These moments are teachers.

They teach us more about who we are, where we belong, and what matters. They teach us where to go next. For while we can’t force our hearts to sing no matter how hard we try, we must allow it. We allow it first by making room – we don’t feel our hearts sing when we are too busy, too distracted, too angry or worried, too caught up in the past or the future. But we allow the possibility when we can be here in this moment, really paying attention to the experience of now, and when we are open to possibility.

We can’t force it, but we can create contexts and opportunities for our heartsongs to emerge by doing the things we know enrich us, by being present to each experience, and by stepping in with an open heart.

Listen carefully when you hear your heart singing. There’s only one you and your song matters. If you don’t sing it, no one else will because no one else can. We each have our part to play, our songs to sing, and it’s just possible that your song is the one the world needs now. And, for sure, someone else needs you to show the way so they too can learn to let their hearts sing.

The only thing better than singing is more singing.  Ella Fitzgerald