Discovering your heart’s design

Facing your own heart is hard and even painful. But the precious ridges and valleys of our hearts were all designed by a loving God on purpose. He is the master builder of our natural talents dreams and personalities. Do you know what your heart was meant to do?

Some lucky people have known since day one. Shortly after I got married, we took my engagement ring to be appraised for insurance. As the appraiser peered at my ring through her microscope, carefully turning it over and inspecting it, she told us her story of how she became a gemologist. She said she had known since she was old enough to appreciate the lovely glints off her grandmother’s shiny dress jewelry. For 18 years she was obsessed with gemstones, geology, and jewelry. When it was time to choose a college, there was no contest – she was off to the gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. She had known her whole life the goal to which she was pointed. And what’s even better than knowing what you absolutely want to do with your life, is actually getting to do it. For money.

Sadly, we don’t all get that kind of conviction. Some of us just have to mine a bit, but once you start to unearth raw diamonds, you will find that you always knew all along. It just takes an honest look, and a willingness to separate your original heart-design from the world-facing facade.

What does your heart design look like? Here are some questions to help you get started:

1. Can you remember a time when you felt most “alive”? What were you doing? Where? With whom?
2. How do you prefer to “recharge”? In the safe company of friends, or alone?
3. Name 5 things that inspire you: (rolling green hills, an unexplored island, an ancient library…)
4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
5. What would you want to be now, if money and education was no issue?

My heart feels most in its element when I write.
I prefer to ponder and take in beauty alone, in a meditative way. I need alone time to recharge. If i don’t get time to myself every few days I become cranky and dissatisfied.
My inspiration comes from art, historic buildings and artifacts, ancient sacred music, a private space to write, and a brand new notebook.
When I was a kid I always told my dad I was going to be a writer and an artist. (I could never decide between the two so I said I wanted to write books and draw the pictures.)
Now that I’m a grownup, I want to be a writer and an artist. I still can’t decide so I’ll just have to do both.
I am content to stay still for long periods of time. I’m a total homebody and very patient. (I think!)

I have played violin for 21 years, but only just this year discovered the secret skill of resetting the bridge. The bridge is the thin wooden stint on which each of the 4 strings rest before being stretched down the long black finger board to be wound around the pegs at the top of the instrument.

For years I have hated to practice because my sound was so flat and clangy. Not pleasant to my ears, and assuming even less pleasant to those around me. I was recently browsing the internet to see how much it might cost to buy a new one. (After all a pro with 21 years of experience like me could surely substantiate the purchase of a second violin…)
One video on bridge alignment caught my eye and I was shocked to discover that not only was my bridge in the complete wrong position, it was on BACKWARDS. I, the “pro”, had not been working with a bad instrument, but an incorrect alignment.

I loosened the pegs, causing the strings to naturally try to recoil, freeing the bridge from the tension and falling into my lap. I set the bridge up exactly between the center of the F holes with the tall side on the left. I then re-tuned my violin and plucked a string. Instead of the tinny flat sound I had been struggling with for so many years, a beautiful rich ring sounded in my ears. I played a few notes with my bow – like butter. I excitedly found my husband, made him stop what he was doing and listen to the incredible pure sound I had just discovered. Not being a violinist, he didn’t really notice the difference. But I did so much that I couldn’t even be offended that he didn’t appreciate it. It was so beautiful to me that other opinions and comparisons became blurry and unimportant.

I was already working with everything I needed to create beauty, I just needed to rearrange some things. And I don’t think it is by accident that my heart beats faster when it gets to indulge in all of the above. When it hears the beautiful sacred music, when it stands in the same spot that a historical figure once stood, something in my heart-design recognizes its counterpart and rings clearly and brightly.

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