Sunday, January 20, 2013

Your Will

The next aspect of heart driven work that we'll discuss is your will. In organizational language we might speak of the will in terms of power or influence. At the individual level we can understand the will as a mechanism for building, storing and moving energy. The will is possibly the most misperceived and misused aspect of the being. We mistakenly perceive that the seat of the will is the logical, rational mind or the brain, when in fact the will is centered in the body in the area of the solar plexus. Those folks who say 'go with your gut', or 'I just had a gut feeling' are talking about the will. A couple of characteristics of the will are that it operates constantly in the present. It's not concerned with the past or the future. It also tends to be either open or closed. It doesn't operate with maybes. 'Let your yes be yes and your no be no' is a statement that accurately depicts the will.

Not only is the will misperceived, it's habitually overridden by shame driven beliefs and actions like seeking approval, fitting in, belonging, avoiding failure, commitment, and rejection, among others. There are some symptoms of an overridden or bound will that are often not seen as such. Depression, rage, cynicism, criticism and other "shadow" behaviors are frequently outward indicators that a bound will is attempting to move. We'll talk more in depth about the personae and shadow in another article. For now understand that the will is integral to the embodiment of your gift. It is the aspect of your being that is energized by your imperative and path to and moves you into action.

My favorite way to describe the relationship between the path and the will is "Where there's a way, there's the will" In heart driven work we are interested in discerning the "next best step". The will is uniquely able to reveal this. Out of all the possible movements, the will is able to discern the one that is most appropriate in the present moment. Although reason and logic have their place in our lives, the will doesn't operate according to either. The will is a free agent and has little concern for what the mind thinks. It responds more to how the imagined reality feels. As you work more from heart awareness you'll begin to see that your vision is expanded to take in a more complete view of the whole of your work. Most often the will becomes energized when the gift, the imperative and the path are aligned. One clue that your will is open and charged is that you'll find it very easy to engage in the actual manifestation of your gift.

If you notice that your motivation for getting a project off the ground is low, that is an indicator that the will has not been energized, which in effect means that there is one or more of the previous aspects that isn't in alignment with the others. An example of this is in the story of one of my clients who was endlessly creative in the vision and planning phases of his work, but when it came to actually making the project happen he would invariably find himself stuck. The systems he designed to realize his vision always seemed to either fall short or devolve into chaos and he couldn't figure out why. In our work together we were able to discover that his core strengths were in the area of vision and planning, aka the path. But his tendency was to neglect the imperative aspect of his work. While he loved the creativity of imagining different ways of reaching a goal, he hadn't taken into consideration that he didn't have a clear sense of purpose in his work, so in effect he was running in place. His great imagination didn't have a desired impact in mind so his will was not engaged.

As he became more clear as to the desired impact of his work, all of a sudden he couldn't be stopped. He was able to create functional systems that allowed him to actually move projects toward completion. As we engage more deeply in this work these kinds of patterns will become more apparent to you. You'll see how one aspect of your work affects all the others and how they tend to flow into each other. While the linear, rational mind tends to focus on one aspect at a time, heart awareness expands the perception to include internal and external circumstances and every aspect of work as it is happening. As you move into this perceptive field, you'll be able to not only see how your will is affected by the other aspects, but you'll also become more adept at discerning and trusting your own will's direction. There will be much more to say about the will as this material unfolds.

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