For many years, I have tried my best to live a life with a pure heart. It’s a phrase you can hear me reference occasionally, but mostly it sits in my subconscious mind and soul. Level of engagement, emotion management, and decision-making all come from doing what’s right, regardless of feelings, ego, or pride.
Living with a Pure Heart means many things, but at its core, it involves getting to the heart of a person and the heart of the matter at hand while reconciling the situation in ways that are authentic to ourselves and constructive to others. It has been in development for over 20 years. It combines psychological principles, demonstrated authentic leadership approaches, a fusion of mindfulness techniques, and a few Shanaisms (my quirks). But I didn’t just wake up one morning and create an approach with a cute title and bohemian flare.
While I authored a book titled Pure Heart Leadership: An Authentic Approach to Leadership, I share the importance of finding your style and understanding and utilizing situational awareness while looking inward to your core values, beliefs, and practices. But these same principles can apply to our personal lives as quickly as our professional lives. My intention is to provide a pathway to knowing yourself, your leadership approach, and your ideal best life to see if your route is clear for joy and success.
Starting with Bandera, Maslow, and Rogers, these three shared principles serve as one of the foundations of PHL. Maslow proposed that we desire full self-actualization with individual levels consisting of needs to be met to reach the desired goal. Rogers held similar beliefs while pushing for more authentic discovery. He further proposed that by engaging in congruence, self-actualization, and positive regard, we also reach a destination of self-awareness. Bandura provided a structure around the power of influence and how we shape our behaviors and engagements due to social forces.
So here starts my series of inquiries for you to consider your mindset on how you are living your most authentic and, hopefully, best life:
- Are you living authentically or following predetermined norms?
- How are you living your ethics, values, and beliefs?
- Are you engaging fully, open and receptive, and unjudging? With your family? Friends? Life in general?
- When you have moments of joy, do you recognize it and allow yourself to just fully immerse?
- Pertaining to life: Are you living? Existing? Surviving? Thriving?
Sometimes we become so focused on chasing ideas, norms set by society/cultural tenets, or other stereotypical canons that we rarely consider challenging those ideals or whether or not they are heart-centered with our own individual values and philosophies. We are so busy creating that we sometimes lose sight of just being present and letting life happen organically.
Living our most authentic form of self means we are connected with those beliefs and ideals that best represent our faith (either as an idea or as a religion/spiritual practice) and are based upon concepts we have accepted as truths in our perspective. Building upon that foundation, we add elements that strengthen our beliefs (self/feedback from others) about who we are, our gifts, our ideals of expression, and our demonstration of our knowledge and personality.
My challenge for you is to examine how you are living your life. Is it one of authentic fulfillment? Are you aware of your dreams and goals? Are you making those a reality? Or, to some degree, are you following a path set forward of ideals and someone else’s choices and goals? If you need more clarity on the boundaries between those options, call us, and let’s discuss how you start creating a more authentic life for yourself.
Living with a pure heart is a way to authentically connect with yourself and others. It is a pathway of honesty, respectfulness, and true interactions in its pure form- ask for nothing and receive genuine engagement.
If you want to learn more, let’s connect at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Until then, be well, my friends!
Dr. Shana Garrett