As a coach, I’m in the business of helping people get answers to their most pressing decisions in life. Now, it’s not uncommon for a client to come or call and say, “I like gardening, playing the cymbals, hiking in the backcountry, helping people, and learning about color theory, healing energy techniques, and Russian Poetry. So how do I put that all together?” Then they pause and wait for their magic answer. They will be pausing a long time, I assure you.

I will tell you what I tell them. You don’t have a thousand different directions. The mind has a thousand directions. But your heart has only one or two. You don’t even have a decision to make. It’s already been made and encrypted within you, like the rhythm of your toes soft padding on the floorboards and the delicate, determined map of your fingerprint. It’s just there, strange as the moon, yet familiar as your breath.

Remember, the mind likes to window shop. It fancies the life in this boutique, then wants to try on the boots in another. But the soul invests all of itself. It’s not as casual or as distracted by fashion, sales, promises or ease of acquisition. It’s not interested in possibility. It pitches toward destiny. That’s why you will never know a sense of ease, even when you come up with answers, unless you choose to listen to the answer that will take away all questions.

So how do you get to the answers of your heart, gut or soul?

First, I have to tell you a story.

Recently I was snorkeling in Cozumel. On the beach, the resort blasted Mexican music and country western music from huge speakers just in case we Americans, straight from the cruise ship, might find it too arduous to be alone with our minds and gazing at waves. I found myself annoyed and then annoyed with myself for being critical, go figure, even while on vacation. I took my snorkel gear and waded into the ocean. The surface of the water was choppy and looked the same in every direction. My mind felt jangled and over-stimulated, churning like the water, and muttering to itself like an unattended irate patient pacing in a psych ward.

But when I dove below the level of surface, my view and experience changed dramatically. I entered this other dimension of swaying blue neon fish, lilac colored coral, silence, movement, and expanse. It was magic. It was no longer Monday. I felt myself jolted into wonder. In this dimension, I could see things I would never see from the surface. The sight of them took away all prejudice and preference. I beheld life as it presented itself. Curiosity and delight kept me discerning even more.

I loved this metaphor for how we will discover our truth. Beyond the noise and below the surface of the choppy water, another world awaits, a living world of color, texture, and spontaneity. That’s what’s going on when you have decisions to make. You feel unclear. You’re scrabbling around for clues, arrows, reasons, and even a brochure with a guarantee. But you’re trying to find the big fish in the shallow waters or at the concession stands where they will never come. You’re looking with the mind for answers of the heart.

So let me offer you 3 tips to beckon the answers of the heart:

Find Peace, then Answers:

Most of us want to harness a sense of clarity, so that we can feel a sense of peace. But it works the other way around. When you are relaxed or surrendered, your soul can speak in its own fluid language and you will have ears to hear. Lao Tzu says in the Tao te Ching, “No desire is serenity. And the world settles of itself.” Where do you find stillness? Where do you most often feel your feelings? Is it in prayer, nature, the shower, journaling meditation, walking in the park, or talking to a friend, therapist or coach? Stop badgering yourself for answers. Instead, commit to spending time in ways that bring you closer to a sense of presence, a sense of calm or one of opening your heart. Peace is the gateway to intimacy, insight, conviction and self-knowledge.

Forget Answers, Uncover Desires:

In our fast-paced culture, we want quick results. I’ve seen many people patch together answers just so they could leave the wilderness of not knowing. These answers will come apart with the first strong wind. I’d suggest letting go of the need to figure out what you will do with the rest of your life. What do you crave in this moment? If you could do absolutely anything, what do you want in this moment? That’s the place I’d start. You may want a vacation or time off. You may want to paint the portraits of daffodils. Listen to what you truly want, even if it seems silly, unrealistic, or fragile. Begin by doing what is asked of you and you will find out more about yourself and your next step than anything else you could ever do.

Trust the Process:

How long will this take, my clients want to know. It depends, I think to myself. How much will you resist yourself? How long have you resisted your own wisdom in the past? Will you trust the genius of your soul, your guidance, your God, your joyful instincts and your creativity? This is a process and one breadcrumb will lead you to the next and then the next. Where you start off is not where you will end up. It’s dynamic, alive, healing and exponential. Of course you’re trying to be careful. But I urge you to be care-filled, care about the desires of your soul, and they will help you navigate even the complexities of living in challenging times and commercial urgencies. Trust that your soul has your best interests in mind and would not take you down an idle or unfruitful path. The more you trust and stay actively aware of your changing responses, the more you will enjoy grace, communication, and startling and unparalleled co-creation. The heart may look silly to the mind, but the mind looks ineffective to the heart.


Remember, when you’re trying to make a decision, your heart is not saying a thousand things. It’s not complex. It doesn’t have an agenda. It simply knows. Sometimes it knows it doesn’t have enough information to make a conclusive decision. But it knows what it knows with neutrality. Your heart is not in confusion. Your mind is in confusion. Your mind is in confusion because it refuses to listen to your heart.

Copyright 2009 Tama J. Kieves. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Tama Kieves is the founder and president of Awakening Artistry, an organization dedicated to inspiring and supporting a global family of creative souls, visionary minds, daredevil entrepreneurs, and empowered leaders. Visit her popular website at and sign up to receive her free monthly e-newsletter filled with support for living your best creative life. Download her free transformational report on “Finding Your Calling Now” at