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"Gonna let my bleeding heart take over,

and the wind blow me around." I found a mysterious cd in my car recently. I don't know where it came from but that quote is lyrics from one of the songs. I have enjoyed this cd during my driving to and from San Andreas. I have a lot of time to think which I love. One topic I keep returning to is awareness. By this I mean paying attention to what your heart, the Universe and other people are trying to teach you.

Since having kids and feeling like a real adult (though not always acting like it) I have spent a lot of time thinking about what our family needed to be successful and happy. What I have found is when I let my head make the decisions the result often leads to depression.

Here are some recent examples...

Thinking I needed to go back to school to pursue something that was meaningful

Thinking selling my house was a good idea

Thinking leaving Sacramento was going to be for the worse

In reality moving to Oakland was a wonderful thing for our family in many ways.

Here is what has happened since I started letting my heart make some decisions...

I am finding something I am truly passionate about

I am more confident

I am more fulfilled

I have made meaningful connections with other people

I have learned a lot on new, interesting and exciting things

The more I experience these things the more clear it is to me what really does make me happy and it is simple. Family, friends, and helping others.

Following my heart is one thing I have been trying to do. Paying attention to the Universe is another. If I encounter something unexpected I am learning to go with it. If I encounter an obstacle I am learning to walk around it. If there is literally a sign, I am learning to follow it.

Here are some recent examples,

I was driving through Stockton and stopped in bad traffic. I checked my Facebook (I know I shouldn't have!) and saw a message regarding a tool someone needed. They had found a great deal at Harbor Freight. I looked up and there was a Harbor Freight Store. I have never even heard of this store before that message. I thought, Well I guess I am supposed to get that.

I was driving to meet a woman in Sonora for the first time in an area I had not been. I noticed a sign for Nancy's Hope. This is the woman I had talked to about getting the rest of the things from the Flea market and about a community Thanksgiving dinner. I had no idea where she was located. I stopped and she let me pick out clothes for the woman I was about to meet. She also told me to send her back for anything else she might need.

Lastly, learning from the people that enter my life is another thing I am trying to do. Even when the encounter or relationship seems negative I find in the end and reflecting back it was often valuable as well.

Challenging situations or people benefit us the most when it comes to personal growth. If we allow it to. There is one woman I have connected with recently and I find what she has to say very powerful. This was her response to me when I told her I admired her for working so hard.

"As for me and being hardworking.... I have often been told that I work too much. My husband tells people, "she doesn't sit well". I enjoy working. I enjoy progress. That's why this experience has floored me so much. All my hard work has been ruined. My retirement plan failed. And in the aftermath, left me in a zombie like state. Unable to care for myself and my needs. That is changing however. Each day my acceptance of the situation grows and my resolve not to be swallowed up by it become stronger. It didn't happen TO me, it just happened. People try and make sense of tragedy. Some times things just happen, and there is no sense to them. The key is, how do I respond? Will my marriage break down, or grow stronger? Will I give up, or change directions and learn from this? Will I shrink from pain, or offer someone else in pain a hand?"

I found out the CD is The Wind and The Wave. I can't find the song from the title but this is a good one too with a pertinent title.

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