Be the Captain of Your Heart

Be the Captain of Your Heart

Be the Captain of Your Heart and You Will Be the Captain of Your Life

What kind of life do you desire to live?  All human beings want to be happy and live a good life, but what does that truly mean to you deep down?  I had the pleasure of speaking with a master and commander recently who, full of enthusiasm and expectation for a joyful, gentle, abundant and love-filled life (his words), explained to me how he had become not only captain of his ship but captain of his life.

I was impressed by the captain’s conviction that life was his for the asking and enjoyment of it, and I was curious about how he had come to his wonderfully enthusiastic perspective.

The commander told me that it hadn’t always been that way.  He had made a conscious choice to have a gentle, happy, easy life after losing a difficult battle with the sea while captaining his boat and a crew.  Following his ordeal, the commander isolated himself on remote islands off the coast of Australia, carrying a painful burden of despair. After going through some months of feeling distraught, questioning the value of his life, he discovered the voice of his inner explorer beckoning, becoming louder each day even as he focused on his pain. It took him a while to listen, he said, but soon his inner calling was just too loud to ignore.  He realized he needed to make some decisions about not only what he wanted next but how he wanted to feel. Would he continue to wallow in hurt and or use his pain as an opportunity to make some positive changes? Just that bit of soul searching put him on a better feeling trajectory where hope could enter his heart.

Pretty soon he was telling himself things like, “nothing but the best,” and “ignore the beast, follow the feast” (his words, again). That remarkable shift in the core of his thinking and feeling allowed him to slowly, consciously pilot his life forward; and that was the key difference – he was consciously piloting his life now. I could sense the power and truth of what his inner shift had led him to know because as he spoke to me I could feel his expectation of happiness resonate in my heart.

Challenges Are Opportunities

The captain commanded his desires into fruition because first, he came to understand and command the power of his own conscious, emotional awareness. Creative energy or creative expression is set through the energy of emotions (e-motion) and we have choices in each moment about how we feel. The captain recognized his inner power to feel good by lining up his emotional (or feeling) nature with his desires.   He made the important decision to keep his focus on inner (heart) happiness and from there everything else flows.

Beginning with just a slight bit of inner hope – the inner call to renew his adventure of exploring – and then openly questioning his path forward, the commander had simply surrendered resistance and became willing to recreate himself and his life.  The universe responded by offering evidence of the power of his decision to become a deliberate creator – his life is filled with wonderful new adventures but more importantly, his heart is full of the love that attracts all those adventures. He is a conduit for his own joyful energy, the same joyful energy each and every one of us can experience.

How do you become the captain of your heart?

Becoming the captain of your heart is not about the manifestation of things.  We tend to put our energy and effort into what we want to acquire rather than on feeling good first.   Captains of the heart are pleased with what they think about and feel as they come into harmony with their true, innermost creativity and desires.  That starts with being okay with where you are in this moment, here and now.

The captain made a decision to feel good in his experience of life, in the present moment where he was standing. That decision summoned the energy of hope and inspired him to use his growing conscious awareness to conjure his life on his terms.

The value of emotionally soul-searching for why you want what you want until you feel it is yours in your heart is that in the process your energy for creating your desires grows stronger. That is the eternal secret the captain discovered. Now he watches the manifestations of his joyful heart move into and through his life daily with surprise and delight.

Seeing With The Heart

In my new book, Seeing With The Heart, I take the reader through a guided journey of exploring and growing a heart-felt connection with their true self. Opening the door to loving oneself, finding compassion for where you stand and connecting with authentic power is the process for stepping to the helm of your joyful life. I invite you to take the next step and become the captain of your heart.

The Self-Transformation Path

The Self-Transformation Path

Part 1: Connecting With Your Inner Self

Recently while writing my book, Seeing With The Heart, I learned how deeply transformational taking a new perspective – a more relaxed, inner heart-filled perspective –  can be. Many of us have successfully reinvented ourselves at some point in our lives in an effort to get ahead in our careers, fulfill a dream like having a family, or perhaps become more fit to improve our health.  Unlike trying to make changes in what you do in order to achieve a specific goal, I am going to talk about a different approach, a paradigm shift approach to creating a life you love that involves shifting your perspective, opening your inner connection to your divine self, and consciously expressing inner energy in your thoughts, words and actions.

A Steady Source of Guidance Within

First, the perspective shift is awareness and understanding that any outer manifestation is determined by your consciousness in any given moment, and that you can develop your inner guidance to become your own authority and expand your consciousness.  Are you feeling emotionally balanced and enjoying your circumstances? Is your mood positive and uplifted? While ups and downs are normal in our daily lives, a general overall and pervasive feeling of hopelessness is a state of consciousness that usually means you are letting your happiness be dictated by outside conditions. The way to shift that is to solidly establish your inner connection with the ever-present energetic flow of your divine self, which is the co-creative source energy that guides you, rather than by taking actions to correct or make things happen in the outer world.  This connection has been referred to as intuition, soul awakening and universal energy and it can be realized when you expand your sense of self through heart-centered or spiritual vision. It is not a surrendering of control. By any name it is simply opening to your soul’s voice, living your path with an empowered consciousness that brings the ideas, energy, vision, clarity and connections you need to move forward with your goals confidently and in sync with your authentic self. By receiving the power, love, wisdom, peace and inspiration that flows as you explore and perceive with the loving guidance of your inner self you can dissolve thoughts, beliefs and limitations that might emotionally impede you from experiencing all the good things you desire. Inner alignment to the core energy of your divine self-supports you in transforming your life experience from fear to freedom, feeling the love and guidance of the universe billowing your sails on your journey.

The Gift of Inner Connection

Your connection with your inner self is the biggest gift you can offer to yourself and those who surround you. It is the cornerstone of awakening human consciousness and engaging in the work of personal transformation in our lives as well as contributing to the shift of living more harmoniously in our communities.  Through heart-centered and awareness practices like journaling, meditation, nature walks, and other mindfulness activities you usher in and strengthen your connection to pure, positive energy. You choose those relationships and circumstances that radiate similar energy and grow through joy rather than through pain. Your resistance is lessened and you no longer need be affected by other people’s opinions, moods or energy. Every level of your life and consciousness changes, bringing new perspectives on your life, purpose and relationships.

Standing in the center of your inner energy, aligned with your true nature, seeing yourself and others through your heart, is the most powerful path of transformation.  This is how you bring through what you want to create in its most beautiful form, and in the process, give back to yourself the energy of love and joy. Seeing With The Heart is intended to assist you in opening up to the gentle and sweet consciousness of the truth of your being at whatever level of receptivity you are currently experiencing.

Exercise for Conscious Inner Connection

Here is an exercise for lifting up to the light within that allows you to more easily change your life.

  • Start by relaxing and getting comfortable.  Take several deep breaths slowly in and out.
  • Affirm that you are wise, loving, confident and powerful.
  • If you are ready to enter a new chapter of your life, you are already experiencing inner changes.  Your divine self is motivating you to make changes and showing you the way. Take a moment to acknowledge your inner, true self.
  • Think of the area of your life you wish to change.  Feel your divine self within you permeating your being, calling you forward on your path. Allow the divine self to shower that area with light, feeling it fill up and brighten up with warm, pink, gold light.
  • Ask that any blocks, thoughts, beliefs, emotions that might hold you back be released. Acknowledge and give permission for them to leave.
  • Ask for and open to receive from your divine self the qualities to move forward – inspiration, clear guidance, motivation and opportunities.
  • Picture your inner light growing brighter resonating with your desire and all those you encounter you can benefit from this light. Visualize your light connecting with all the cells in your body, and going forth from you with love to light your way, radiating to the earth, others and the universe.
  • Now let your vision go and retain the feeling that it has happened, you have received the change with joy.  Be open and expect things to change.

Seeing With The Heart- Guided Inspiration Journal

When Joy Leaves……..Invite It Back

When Joy Leaves……..Invite It Back

Joy Is Good For Our Health

It lifts our spirits and relieves our stress. Scientific research has proven the benefits of a joyful disposition. Overall people who are joyful have reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, colds and flu, and high blood pressure. The brain of optimistic people is healthier, too. The part of the brain responsible for memory and concentration (hippocampus,) as well as the left frontal cortex is more active. There are no negative physiological or psychological side effects from joy.

Joy is also an essential emotion for feeling alive and living fully. It is our birthright; a natural state of being human that energizes us. Being joyful has an amazing power to connect with other positive emotions – freedom, inner peace, happiness, creativity, harmony – and inspire love for ourselves and our lives.

No matter what multitude of pressures have our attention in everyday life, full-of-joy is something we all seem to be desiring and striving for. The problem is we are so used to putting it aside that our default setting seems to be set to adding in joy only if we have some time. We treat being joyful as if it is an outside event that depends on circumstances or people lining up in a certain way before we give ourselves permission to let it in.

I have heard joy referred to as the oxygen of life and I really like that metaphor. Like oxygen, joy is ever-present and we all have access to it. When we give up expecting life to be a certain way, surrender inner resistance and struggle, and let go of the imbalance from constant activity, we naturally align with the reservoir of joy that is always available within us.

The Experience Of Joy

While we all go through challenging times, the good news is that inviting joy back into our lives doesn’t have to be a complete life overhaul. When life is hard, don’t run away from it. Use your emotion as an indication you may be blocking out the inner light of joy and make some small adjustments. Joy is an intrinsic quality of the authentic self that can be easily cultivated in daily experiences. There’s no need to have a special relationship, launch a new career, find a new place to live or really, to do anything special to experience more joy. The experience of being joyful is catering to the light that is already inside of your heart; what you already love.

When You Notice That Joy Has Left Your Life

Consciously invite joy back in by owning what makes you happy, by making space for it in your life, and living what speaks to your joy. While joy is a natural result of tuning into your good feelings, it is also the result of allowing it to flow through conscious choice to make it your natural inclination. In other words, practice it by appreciating the moments that inspire joy each day. It is up to you to see the loveliness of everyday things like birds singing, a creek flowing, the sun shining and flowers growing.

Here are a few tips to get you started with inviting joy back into your life:

  1. Allow yourself to experience joy. You deserve to be joyful because it’s a natural state of being, an essential expression of human nature. We all struggle with negative emotions. You are not alone.
  2. Ask yourself: Am I working too hard at pleasing others, taking care of others, or creating situations so I can enjoy myself? If your answer is genuinely “yes” then you are too stressed to fully enjoy deep connections with others.
  3. Fill your cup each morning with reasons you are joyful. Think of these as reminders that life is good. Appreciate when you notice one of these reasons pop into your mind during the day.
  4. Make time for joy in small ways. Ask yourself: What speaks to me that is joyful? Dancing with the music turned up in the kitchen? Sitting outside at sunset? Smiling more often? When you prioritize joy, life gets better.
  5. Think about how you might welcome joy to lead to the way during your day. You can just as easily learn new things through joy and have fun at the same time.



Seeing with the Heart
Inspiration Journal.
Available for purchase HERE.

Moving Beyond Low Self-Esteem

Moving Beyond Low Self-Esteem

We’ve all stumbled through periods of feeling “not good enough”. They can vary in appearance from emotional anxiety to self-sabotage to the experience of a “dark night of the soul.” Not feeling worthy or low self-esteem is actually a prevalent condition in our human existence. Not long ago I was a very different person. I did not feel worthy of any blessings or desires. While things appeared to working out okay on the outside, on the inside I doubted my capacity for experiencing the kind of life I wanted, free from struggle and living my heart’s desires. I recognized my low self-esteem in bouts of sadness and anxiety but it seemed that the more I became aware of it the more it haunted me. I got caught in a cycle of self-berating (Why couldn’t I just stop this?) which caused me to feel badly about myself, and then believing I was doomed to suffer through it; a very dark period. Low self-esteem became a major block disrupting the natural flow of positive energy into my life. It felt like I was in a deep hole with no exit. In the midst of the ups and downs I was experiencing I felt a tug from my inner self, “I’m kind of tired of this, I just want to be happy.” That was the pivotal idea that led me out of my pain onto a quest of inner transformation. More than anything; I mean anything else I wanted to be happy.

Responding to low self-esteem

There are lots of remedies out there for addressing self-worth issues. A healthy response might be one of self-compassion and self-soothing, telling ourselves internally that we’re human, that life ebbs and flows, or reassuring ourselves that some things are out of our control and this too shall pass. You can remind yourself all day long that you are a divine being but if you don’t feel the peace of your authentic connection with your inner self that makes you feel worthy of all the riches and goodness of the universe you are just spinning your wheels. The truth is that those who know they are worthy and deserving of all good things are tuned-in to the pure positive flow of their essence – the universal energy that offers peace, contentment and harmony. They have a perception about who they are that doesn’t include lack of self-worth. They accept themselves and love themselves without criticism or complaint, without ascribing a set of conditions that makes them feel worthy. They know they are worthy because they perceive life from a consciousness of heartfelt love and appreciation for themselves; and that’s the key to self-worth – it comes from the beliefs, about who we think we are, within each individual.

What are some of the features of the inner life of people
who feel worthy?

As I came to the realization that there was nothing I wanted more than to be happy I set about to do somethings differently – to focus on feeling happy on the inside, first. It was in reflection as I sat with a sincere desire to release everything that was holding me back from knowing the true natural flow of joy that I saw how pain represented my fear that I might just find out happiness doesn’t exist. My pain was not only a block but a protection against more hurt. Well, enough of the rabbit hole! There is nothing I wanted more than peace and if I was doing this to myself, I could take responsibility for shifting it.

Here are some of the perceptions of those who feel worthy and deserving of goodness, abundance, happiness and blessings:

  • I am innately worthy and my self-esteem comes from myself. I am a divine being having a human experience.
  • I am responsible for my creating my life and my experiences. There is no one to blame. Even if horrible things happened in the past, I have the ability and responsibility to know my value in the present moment.
  • I accept and appreciate myself without judgement or criticism. It doesn’t matter what I look like, what my achievements are or where I live. I do not live by the opinions of others but by the wisdom of my authentic self.
  • I allow the flow of love, peace and harmony to me and through me. I seek to balance my emotions, beliefs, and behavior, with the highest, most positive energy I am, and I intentionally radiate this energy into everything I desire.

When we align our desires with inner feelings and perceptions of worthiness, the richest blessings of the universe are ours without effort, struggle or uninspired action. Our awareness expands to transcend the limitations and reasons why we “couldn’t” have the joyful lives we want. We have surrendered the expectations of the past to embrace our inner light, our ability to experience all we desire in concert with our higher self. Appreciate that your periods of low self-esteem have offered you the gift of knowing true freedom and happiness.


Enjoy Meditation? Take a look at my Welcoming Change Guided Meditation

Stepping To Your Edge

Stepping To Your Edge

“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”


The idea of taking a step beyond our edge of comfort means we are willing to reside in a state of physical and emotional tension; to go to our edge and work directly with where we are stuck in order to move beyond it and realize far more than we thought was possible.  In order to step to our edge, we must leave the realm of thoughts and enter the experience through the heart.

Think of a difficult decision you may face at work – do you take the promotion that offers you reward but comes with more responsibility, greater creativity, longer hours and perhaps time away from family or do you stay with your current position where you feel safe and know what to expect?  What emotions arise in this situation?  Fear? Confusion? This is an indicator that you are at your edge. Getting touch with the emotional energy of the situation gives us the opportunity to get clear on what may be holding us back. Rather than weighing pros and cons mentally, use your emotional energy to understand if you are experiencing a habitual reaction to fear.  With this understanding, you can step toward your edge rather than avoiding it.

This takes courage, but courage isn’t about becoming fearless. Courage is the willingness to experience our fears, notice our edge and step to meet it with self-compassion.  Everyone feels fear in stepping beyond the illusion of comfort.  Stepping to our edge also takes practice and sometimes a series of small steps is all we need to let down our guard and make the shift beyond our fears.

Your Edge is Your Path of Transformation

Where we meet our edge is actually our path forward.  If we use our self-awareness to notice that we shut down or do not feel ready for the prospect of moving beyond current conditions, it’s possible to view our edge as an opportunity to work with the emotional reasons behind our limitations. We discover that our edge is the next step in personal growth on our path.  When you reach beyond your boundaries is when your inner qualities start to shine. You are growing through self-discovery, where transformation and change occurs, creating new experiences beyond the edges in your life.

With an attitude of curiosity and an openness to step beyond the familiar, conditioned patterns of reacting, we open the doors to living a genuine life.  Richard Branson famously said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”  Your edge lives in you and you must meet it yourself. Once you do, you’ll discover an enormous satisfaction from creating life as you desire it to be, not as a reaction to conditions. It’s about being present, not perfect.

How to Step To Your Edge

Don’t look to the future to step your edge.  Let go of the future and the past; choose to find your edge in the present moment. Your attention is on purposefully and intentionally stepping toward and over the line of comfort alert and completely present. This builds up the power of being in the moment – conscious awareness – when challenges arise.  Stepping to your edge is also about meeting challenges in a totally different way.  You don’t react out of conditioning in the mental realm which is reacting to the present from the past. Instead, you approach your edge with the inner wisdom and truth that arises in your consciousness in the present.

Here’s an exercise for stepping to your personal edge, walking the parameter of perceived safety and comfort, and crossing onto your path of living the braver, more authentic and bigger life you are meant to have.

  1. Take a deep breath. Identify a challenging situation in your life and something about it that feels like an obstacle on your path.  (Remember your edges show up in real life!) Take a piece of paper and draw a “T” line down the center of the page. Across the top of the “T” write down a sentence that describes the challenge, decision, choice, dilemma or situation you want to work with.  Leave a couple of inches at the bottom and draw a line across the page.
  2. In the left-hand column write down things you could do to address the situation but would be a little uncomfortable or fearful for you.  E.g. Having a conversation about it with someone; Taking on a 60-day health challenge; Getting up a half-hour earlier to meditate.
  3. Now, take a moment to go within and listen as you ask yourself what you would really, truly like to do from your heart-wide-open consciousness to overcome this obstacle, but perhaps they seem a bit impossible for the moment.  Intentionally ask yourself:  Is there another way? A more authentic way?
    Write those things down in the right-hand column.  E.g. Start my own business; Write a book; Take a trip; Change jobs.
  4. Across the line at the bottom of the page write ‘Steps”.  Here is where you outline your inspired “action-steps” toward moving beyond your edge. Intentionally recall your challenge or obstacle, and your goals. What can you do now that is a bit uncomfortable but that would get you closer to your “impossible” goals? E.g. Can you set up a time and date for that uncomfortable conversation? How about going to bed a half-hour earlier so you still get your 8 hours of sleep but stay on track for meditation time in the morning?
  5. Do it.  By doing it and the other steps you’ve outlined you’ll come closer to knowing you can do the “impossible.” Every time you reach for new heights, you’ll feel less fearful and more empowered.
  6. Don’t beat yourself up and if you backslide. Accept your fear. Embrace the edge as the opportunity it is to know yourself better and transform. Get in touch with your inner self and take that next step outside of your comfort zone.  You’re off!
  7. In real life, challenges happen.  Why not use them to break through to living more authentic, more present and more in alignment with the fantastic life you are here to enjoy?

Are you ready to step to your edge and discover your authentic self?

Living In an Awakening World

Awakening World

If I was to believe that the chaos of our political system, the violence of mass shootings, the conflict of beliefs between religions or much of the suffering we witness as a society are evidence of humanity on the road to ruin I might lose hope in the future of our world. As I look at these events through the eyes of media or the voices of “authority” I see a reflection of life expressing as discontent, fear, disconnection, separateness and ego; but I also sense a deeper collective yearning, inspiring us to be more and experience life more fulfilled.

Life is Precious

The truth is life is precious and magnificent, but we are going through a massive shift in consciousness. As we become more aware of the role divine consciousness plays in our world we begin to see our challenges as opportunities to seek a better life – for us and planet earth. The creative energy of life in all its’ forms is forever calling us forward to be more, know more, experience more. As part of All That Is, we are more powerful than we imagine. We exist in a sacred, eternal energetic process of breaking down, replenishing and expanding.  There is a hidden creative magnificence to the nature of things in the world, and within each of us and now is the time to awaken it.  The breaking down or crumbling of the old is part of the life-affirming cycle of pre-paving for the new, more expansive experiences.  Each moment is an opportunity to experience the fleeting gifts of life; and the gift of life.

This understanding is a distinguishing factor for the way I choose to live.  My own inner connection with the force behind this creative life advises me not to buy into an old paradigm of expressing through fear, but rather inspires me to seek a vision of the world awakening to a paradigm of living through love.

Personal Awakening

I believe that there is a soul of the world, a force behind our collective, creative spirit that is awakening in this moment, here and now.  It’s the beauty of our divine essence inspiring us to appreciate one another, see the goodness of our humanity, create through the power of inner majesty and live through feelings of joy. The soul of the world provokes us to life, to feel our connection with all that is – the earth, our spiritual essence, and fellow creatures – and feel the potential of being a co-creative aspect of the eternal universe.  Our true nature.

I experience this awakening when I am persuaded by an exchange of the eyes, the recognition of true beauty of some sort within each other; and I want to move from negative thinking toward expressing my creative potential in a positive way. I am transported to the sacred realm of living where I think, create and experience inspired by the radiating energy of love.  The soul of the world and its call for alignment with our inner essence is provoking us to transform ourselves and our world.

The Shift is About Connection

The old paradigm is shifting to allow us to recognize something powerful and it isn’t passive. A lot of people have become more conscious of the need for our authentic voices to be heard; to let go of the struggles and fly. By going deep into the human condition, acknowledging the changes taking place and celebrating our creative gifts like music, art, athleticism, imagination, technology and our propensity for joy, we honor our energetic potential to uplift and awaken that life-force within.  Make it a practice to spend a few minutes each day sensing the aliveness that is you. Be present with those things that are changing within, and be willing to know who you truly are and be yourself.

Life can be cruel and destructive, but if we see those negative experiences as opportunities to recharge our will to go on, we open a space for the soul of the world to enter, take us out of our discontent and experience some beautiful and unexpected shifts into the new, awakening paradigm together.

I’m a Springsteen fan…he wrote this song after 9/11 and I believe it captures a piece of the awakening world beautifully.

Bruce Springsteen

The Rising

Can’t see nothin’ in front of me

Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind

I make my way through the darkness

I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me

Lost track of how far I’ve gone

How far I’ve gone, how high I’ve climbed

On my back’s a sixty pound stone

On my shoulder a half mile line

Come on up for the rising

Come on up, lay your hands in mine

Come on up for the rising

Come on up for the rising tonight

Left the house this morning

Bells ringing filled the air

Wearin’ the cross of my calling

On wheels of fire I come rollin’ down here

Come on up for the rising

Come on up, lay your hands in mine

Come on up for the rising

Come on up for the rising tonight

Spirits above and behind me

Faces gone black, eyes burnin’ bright

May their precious blood forever bind me

Lord as I stand before your fiery light

I see you Mary in the garden

In the garden of a thousand sighs

There’s holy pictures of our children

Dancin’ in a sky filled with light

May I feel your arms around me

May I feel your blood mix with mine

A dream of life comes to me

Like catfish dancin’ on the end of the line

Sky of blackness and sorrow (a dream of life)

Sky of love, sky of tears ( a dream of life)

Sky of glory and sadness (a dream of life)

Sky of mercy, sky of fear (a dream of life)

Sky of memory and shadow (a dream of life)

Your burnin’ wind fills my arms tonight

Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)

Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life (a dream of life)

Come on up for the rising

Come on up, lay your hands in mine

Come on up for the rising

Come on up for the rising tonight

Are you ready to find your own personal awakening?
Click here to schedule your FREE Discovery session

Marilyn Decalo Logo, Phoenix

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