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Part 4 of my 4 part series: The key to lasting wellbeing and happiness

Listen to the whispers in your heart and follow your soul’s true desires

In other words DO WHAT YOU LOVE, listen to your inner most dreams and desires and live the life you imagined. DO what makes your heart sing!  

As many of you are aware, I have started writing my first book. I am following my deepest heart yearnings and living out my life-long dream to become a writer. I can’t wait to share it with you and birth my heart’s work into the world. It has something I have been wishing for a very long time. I feel like I am finally on my soul-inspired path, and listening to the whispers in my heart (even with the doubts, the fears, the self-sabotaging beliefs and the voice in my head constantly trying to talk me out of it). And, I am learning to TRUST the process.

I am a therapist,  a mental health practitioner, and an integrative wellness practitioner. But, to truly live out my inner most creative essence and desires – I must also follow my heart to be a writer. To use the beauty and soul-stirring essence of words and language to express all that I am, all that I do, and all that flows through me – mind, body and soul. And to inspire others, to live a life that is full, and healthy, and rich and fulfilling. This, I know, is my heart’s true yearnings, which have been whispering to me since as long as I can remember.

A seed was planted a long time ago…

I wrote my first fictional short story when I was 13 years old, and submitted it as part of a creative writing project to my year 8 English teacher, Mrs Curnow. My teacher made a special comment about it, puts some encouraging notes on my paper, and told me to keep working on it. It had potential.

I worked on this story for another four years, and submitted it again as my final creative writing submission for my high school graduate assignment. It received top marks and my teacher made a special remark about how mature my writing was, for such a young student. I was chuffed. Thinking back now, it really was a story that carried a lot of depth for someone so young. It was a story about a young, lost girl, trying to find her way in life. It was called “Little Fish”.

I still have this story and every now and then I pull it up onto my computer again, to read through it, to feel its truths, to work on it, to massage it a little more, to add to it, to trim some things away, to help it become all that it is to be.

It’s a story that seems to have a life of its own, and from time to time it literally ‘calls me in’ and pulls me onto my laptop to start working on it again, and massage a little more love into its pages. I wrote the original version of “Little Fish” 21 years ago. It’s been my ever evolving story, and its still in progress. I am going to publish it one day as a short story for children, but something keeps telling me, it’s not finished yet. There is more to come. More of life to be lived before I know the ending, before I can birth its true potential.

I will share more about the story of “Little Fish” another time but first let’s talk about the reason for this post, which is all about sharing the joys and wonders of following your dreams and living out your heartfelt soulful desires.

This is what I am doing as I piece together the chapters of the most recent book I am working on. My soul inspired health and wellbeing book that captures the wonders of mind-body medicine, fuses science with traditional healing wisdom and carries the reader along the path of unlocking their own inner capacities for ultimate wellbeing and happiness – including filling life with more joy, meaning, and purpose simply by doing more of the things we LOVE.


So, why should we listen to our heart’s whispers and follow our soul’s true desires?

Because, this is what life is about. This is the juicy good stuff, the sweet nectar, the honey that flows through our veins and makes us connected to something much deeper than we ever thought possible. This is the reason why we are all here. This is the reason for LIFE itself.

Life is so precious. We’re not here on this earth for a long time, but we are definitely here for a good time, and following your heart and doing what makes your soul soar, definitely makes for a very good time. In fact, it is essential to our innate happiness and Whole Life wellbeing.


When a part of who you are is yearning to come out – don’t let anything get in the way  

My great Aunt was a writer. A very good writer who published several incredible books and won a number of literary prizes for the amazing creative work that she did. My beautiful Aunty Nola passed away several years ago but I still feel her creative spirit living through me and urging me on to follow my writing dreams. Every time I sit to write, I feel her with me. She is my inspiration and my comfort.

Aunty Nola suffered with a very aggressive and debilitating form of rheumatoid arthritis from 18 years of age (Arthur – as she so affectionately called it) and was forced to spend most of her adult life in a wheel chair and endured several painful and invasive operations to help her remain as mobile as possible. But, despite her difficulties and health challenges, she was always so positive and so brave and so deeply alive from the inside out. She was an amazing loving woman; an incredible inspiration to so many people who were touched by her courage, her bravery, her creativity and her love of life. Even against all odds she had 4 beautiful children (who are now all successful adults with children of their own) and went onto follow her dreams to become a published author, despite the incredible challenges she faced in her own life. And even now, some 15 years since her passing, she is still an incredible inspiring comfort in my life.

 I always feel my Aunt’s presence when I hear the call of the Australian Kookaburras. She was always so deeply connected to the Australian bush, and the Kookaburra was one her favourite animals. Every time I hear the Kookaburras making their joyful, laughing calls in the trees above us, I know my Aunty Nola is here, looking over us, living with us and laughing along to the humour of life. I feel like a small but precious part of her, is still living within me, coaxing me along on this wild and wonderful adventure of life. It’s like my DNA is wired to write, to create, to be brave against adversity and to share my heart’s music with the world. It’s part of who I am. It’s in my blood.


Doubting your heart’s whispers is normal – let the doubts come and let them go – they are here to make us stronger

A number of months ago, I was having some doubts. I was doubting my life path, I was doubting my role as a therapist, and a wellness practitioner, and  I was doubting my dreams of being a writer. I was doubting everything in my life and started feeling like following your heart is all just one big fat juicy fantasy. A nice story. A pipe dream. A fairytale that’s unattainable. I was frustrated, I was shitty, I was having an identity crisis. I was ready to chuck it all in.  I started doing what I always do when life gets confusing and messy, I started to rearrange my house, de-clutter, clear out old stuff and clean out my cupboards. I started throwing stuff out. And then, I found something (actually, I think it found me) that completely bold me over and stopped me in my tracks.

And it was because of this serendipitous discovery, that I will never look at doubt the same way again.

As I was going through my house, de-cluttering and clearing out stuff I no longer wanted, I found an old plastic storage box tucked away at the back of one of my cupboards. It looked to be filled with a whole bunch of old school stuff. As I pulled it out, and started to unpack it, an old school project literally fell out onto my lap. I picked it up starting looking through it. I was gobsmacked.  As I started to read, tears started to spill out over the handwritten pages that lay in front of me. I couldn’t believe the words I was reading that had been handwritten by my 17 year old self, exactly 17 years ago, almost to the month (I am 34 years of age now). 

Let me share with you what I uncovered that fateful day, just a couple of months ago (some of you may have read it already on one of my FB posts – but I had to share it here in my blog today). Reading it literally felt like the Universe was gently tapping on my shoulder and telling me “keep going darling, keep listening to your heart’s whispers, don’t ever stop pursuing your heartfelt desires, follow your soul’s destiny”.

I wanted to share this with you, to remind us that to truly be happy and free, we must follow our true heartfelt inner whispers; our yearning intentions of how we want to live our life, even with all the doubts, the fear, the unsteadiness, and the lack of self-belief we all wrestle with. It was my huge Wake Up call and a big bold message from the Universe –  “Don’t die with the music still in you”. Let me share with you a bit more about this school project that ‘found its way back to me’, some 17 years later, at the perfect Divine time in my life.


Our soul knows – even at the tender age of 17 …

It was the summer of 1999 and I was completing my final year of high school. I was school captain at the time and juggling a bunch of other responsibilities. I was busily finishing off my final grades that would help me follow my aspirations to study health sciences at University.  I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders (as you do when your 17!) and was going through some pretty unsettling things in my personal world. Life had not been easy and I felt like I was juggling a million balls in the air.

For one of our final assessments we were required to complete an end of year “Reflections Project”. It was aimed to get us to think about the life we had lived so far, and the next chapter we were going to take for ourselves, as we graduated from high school.

It was a pretty ‘big deal’ assessment that would determine our final grade in English, and as I did with all my school projects, I put my heart and soul into it. We had to share our “reflections” in front of the whole class. I was nervous about what my classmates would think of me. But, I did it anyway. Shaking in my boots I got up and bared my soul.

And now, 17 years later, reading my grade 12  Reflections Project sweeps away my self-doubts of what my true path is, and convinces me; the soul ALWAYS knows. We just need to be brave enough to listen, courageous enough to TRUST, and vulnerable enough to lean in with curiosity and an open heart.  

This is what I wrote, 17 years ago, at the tender age of 17.


{It started as just a small trickle, a gentle flow of water crawling through the small cracks in the ground.
A hint of life beginning its journey
A hint of a journey beginning its life.
And as it bubbles and gurgles and makes its way through, around and over the rocks, the beginning of something has emerged.
It is unknown where it will go
Unknown to itself, unknown to others.
Will it become a small stream?
Will it become a surging, flowing river?
Will it be powerful enough, strong enough to reach the mouth of the ocean and burst forth into its great depths free to become as big and as beautiful as the sea itself?
or will it end, before it has the chance?
No-one knows, only time will tell
I think of myself as that small trickle of water starting its journey. I push myself forward, gaining strengths and ability along the way, picking up experiences with every inch, taking in memories and growing within, learning from my mistakes. And as I travel along my road there is one destination that I am heading for and that one destination is the beautiful vast ocean.

Metaphorically that ocean can mean so many things and to other people it can represent so many different places. But, in my heart, the ocean I am heading towards is the one where I will feel complete and utter fulfilment, where I will experience a happiness and a gratitude of life, it will smell of success and it will be somewhere I will want to call home for the rest of my life. This is where I want to go, this is where I want to be at the end of my journey.

Having reached my ocean. The one I am heading towards each day, I will leave the pieces of my life to float on top of the water, eventually finding their way to the edge. The edge of the sea where they can be left on the beach for others to see and to find. And in just the same way that beach combers find beautiful shells, interesting artefacts and old pieces of driftwood for their inspiration, I also want people to find my life pieces. The beautiful, the interesting and the old and be inspired. I want to leave them all behind so people can learn from my mistakes, they can see where I have gone and what I have done, and they can have them as an inspiration for their own life. This is what I want. When I die, I want to be remembered. }  ~ Jess McGarrigle (October 1999)


And today, all these years later, as I write this post, this is my wish for you.

May you listen to the whispers in your own heart and TRUST. Trust in the knowing. Trust in the beauty and mystery and wonder of your own heart’s whisper’s, and to let go of the how. This is not for us to know.

Don’t die with the music still in you. Share your gifts and inner essence with the world and follow your heart’s yearnings.

Much heartfelt love always