Heart happy, heart healthy, heart crazy…well, hearts are funny things – they allow us to live, feel emotion and make decisions. It can be difficult to decide between your head and your heart when moving forward with your life, but in the end, it could pay off. Listen to your heart and you might just find everything you’ve ever wanted.
By Joanne St. Clair
A decade ago I took a leap of faith by finally accepting the whisperings of my heart. It was a process that had started a couple of years earlier, albeit one that seemed difficult at the time due to the fact that it meant walking away from a promising career I had spent my lifetime creating. In addition to this, I knew there was no one I could turn to for guidance or support because the time had come for me to literally stand on my own.
Upon graduating with a degree in Aerospace Manufacture Engineering, I gained a postgraduate secondary teaching certificate and, at the age of 24, secured my first role as a lecturer of engineering. It was an achievement, the reason being I had applied for a post that I wasn’t qualified for. I did not secure the original position, however the interview panel offered me a part-time role as a lecturer and, after six months in the job, they created a job description around my qualifications leading to my first full time position.
A Patient Heart
Wanting to make a rapid climb up the career ladder, I committed to two years before moving into another position, this time in a multi-national company and at middle management level. This role saw me overseeing the training requirements of approximately 130 technical staff whilst managing a six-figure budget.
Being in a male dominated environment, there was a constant feeling of the need to prove myself and eventually this took its toll. Coupled with issues in my private life, I found I was slowly losing my confidence, the effect of which was anxiety and depression. The common route to address my problems took me to counselors along with a prescribed course of anti-depressants. However, deep down in my heart, I knew there had to be another way because nothing seemed to get to the root of my problems.
Intent on finding an alternative approach, I discovered an ancient healing technique based on the principles of Universal Energy. This technique introduced me to a philosophy for living that I had never before encountered, and it ignited a passion in my heart that continues to this day and one that forms the basis of my work. When I discovered this technique, I suddenly realized that I could reprogram my beliefs; my thought patterns; that I could choose to let go of all debilitating memories that served no function to growth, and I finally understood the difference between success and failure in life and how we, as individuals, can choose either option.
Heart filled with health, happiness, love and laughter
I chose success, my personal notion of it having health, happiness, love and laughter in every area of life. I also realized that the yearnings of my heart, ones that had called to me when I was a child, had to be embraced if I was to genuinely experience these feelings of success.
Those deep yearnings were to write: to teach people by the written word. But it was not about teaching engineering, rather the principles of success and failure and how we all create our own world by our very attitude towards it. I knew my approach in this field had to be done in a way that embraced the loves of my life, tying together my love of music, my love of laughter, my love of people, and my genuine want for others to embrace their innate callings.
Committed to nurturing my writing skills, I started every day with a series of morning pages (random writings that encouraged my creative flow). This grew into documenting observations, prayers, experiences, poetry, and basically anything else that I could write about.
In 2003 I followed my heart and gut with a spontaneous trip to Los Angeles. This led me to my husband, a homeless singer songwriter who I married nine days after meeting. We shared the same vision and values in life, and this year we celebrated nine years of marriage with our two children. Our meeting took me into the music industry, where I learned aspects of running a record label along with all the associated tasks involved. This was a huge learning curve, for I was forced to face (again) all the idiosyncrasies of my personality that were still lurking beneath the surface (and ones that didn’t reveal themselves until I was totally outside of my comfort zone).
In 2010, my first book Statue in the Square hit the shelves, regularly charting in the top 20 of its genre on Amazon in both the States and the UK; and this year, in September, my husband and I launched our very own women’s empowerment brand, one that creates music, books, art and (eventually) fashion, our goal being to uplifts the hearts and minds of women in a way not currently done in society. Our aim is to make this aspect of life so cool that our ‘gracefully empowering women’ motto is at the heart of our fashion conscious culture. My second book, Naked Raver (The Meaning of Life) is due for release, and it was this book that gave us our clarity of vision with regards presenting our business and personal ideals to the world.
Having come through the difficult times with a spirit of continuous learning and development, I now gladly look back and see that it has all been an achievement. There are no mistakes: I love even the dark moments, for it is these that have given me such wonderful lessons. Embracing my penchant for laughter and my affiliation with dance music has proved to be the quirky edge that has defined the nature of our brand. Both my husband and I are devoted to the spiritual potential within people, but we are also aware of the need for fun in life, this being one of our essential ingredients to success (and a foundation of our relationship).
I love my life and the direction it is going in. I love the fact that I have had the courage to embrace that which calls to me from within because I feel that I am now enjoying this high thrills roller coaster ride we call life. There are no extreme highs or lows in my heart anymore, it’s just a case of fasten your seat belt and enjoy the moment! Are you listening to your heart?
In keeping with the theme, Joanne St. Clair answers the Identity 5:
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I have accepted my innate desire to write, knowing that I can make a success out of it because it is where my true gifts lie. This took time mentally, because I had to rid myself of the preconceived ideals that life is about a good job and a pension route.
2. What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate my outlook on life and the belief structure I have in place. This has an effect on every aspect of my life and has furnished me with the courage to go for gold.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
Most rewarding achievements include my family and my marriage. Goals I still have include achieving best selling author status, and using my skills to work with political leaders to effect change that benefit many people.
4. What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
My not-so-perfect way is serendipity. I believe that every day presents me with all that needs to be done within that day. By planting great seeds today, I receive a bountiful harvest tomorrow. It smacks in the face to business planning but it works well for me.
5. How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I Love My ……. Approach to Life.
A founder of Naked Raver, Joanne St.Clair is an author, consultant and speaker. In addition to driving forward new business and licensing opportunities for the Naked Raver brand, she writes inspirational books and articles, as well as teaching individuals and organizations how to apply ancient wisdom and spiritual techniques to ensure love, laughter and success.