What Living an Inspired, Heart-Centered Life Looks & Feels Like

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“I just want to be inspired.” I remember those words that Renee Zellweger’s character (Dorothy Boyd) said to Tom Cruise’s character in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire.  Oh, how I related to that feeling then; oh, how I wanted to live an inspired life, but that was not my reality. Not yet, anyway.

Do you sometimes feel like your life lacks the inspiration, fulfillment, and deep joy you want to experience? Then it’s time to reclaim your inner spark; one of the best ways to do that is to start living a heart-centered life.

Adopting a heart-centered approach to living has been transformative for me, but it didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a multi-year voyage deeply rooted in gaining greater self-awareness, cultivating self-compassion, and practicing self-love. It’s about waking up each day with a commitment to living with intention and choosing actions that resonate with the deepest parts of my being. 

While I can’t claim I’m perfect at heart-centered living, I’m much better than in 1996.  This path has taught me the power of turning inward, listening attentively to my heart’s whispers, embracing unconditional self-acceptance, and stepping into a new level of kindness toward myself and others. 

In this post, I invite you to explore what it truly means to lead a heart-centered life.

What Does It Mean to Be Heart-Centered?

Being heart-centered means orienting your life around the values of love, compassion, and empathy. It involves making decisions and taking actions aligned with the most profound expressions of your authentic self and your capacity for caring about others. 

A heart-centered approach to life emphasizes the importance of interpersonal connections, emotional intelligence, and the pursuit of harmony within oneself and in relationships with others.

“Come from the heart, the true heart, not the head. When in doubt, choose the heart. This does not mean to deny your own experiences and that which you have empirically learned through the years. It means to trust yourself to integrate intuition and experience. There is a balance, a harmony to be nurtured, between the head and the heart.”

How a Heart-Centered Life Is Different from a Life Driven by Your Ego or Mind

The opposite of a heart-centered life could be described as a “mind-centered” or “ego-driven” life. These approaches to life prioritize logical reasoning, personal gain, and external achievements over emotional connections, compassion, and altruistic values.

In a mind-centered or ego-driven existence, decisions are often guided by the desire for recognition, power, or material acquisitions rather than by compassion, authenticity, or the mental well-being of yourself or others. You think material things and accolades will make you happy — and some might spark joy for a while —but you end up feeling unfilled and waiting for that next thing to bring you pleasure. 

Heart-centered living embraces connection, authenticity, peace and fulfillment, whereas mind-centered or ego-centered living is more attached to achievement and materialism. Ego-centered living sometimes satisfies intellectual needs for a while. Still, it frequently leads to a sense of disconnection from others and one’s own deeper self and seldom leads to true life satisfaction.

Seven Tips for Living a Heart-Centered Life

As you embark on the journey of aligning more closely with your heart, certain practices can guide you toward living a life that is not just fulfilling but deeply transformative

A heart-centered life grows from the seeds of intention, service, gratitude, and authenticity. Those who live from the heart tune in to their inner voice, practice generosity and nurture that which makes the soul sing. 

Below are seven ways to enrich your daily life with heart-centered practices, each acting as a stepping stone toward a more joyful and fulfilling life.

7 correct Tips for heart centered life graphic

1. Live Your Life with Intention

Many of us are accustomed to living on autopilot, and we get stuck in habits and behaviors that do not support an inspired life. Living with intention — where you deliberately plan for how you intend to direct your focus and efforts — yields far better results.

In his book, The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyers writes, “When you’re connected to the power of intention, everywhere you go, and everyone you meet, is affected by you and the energy you radiate. As you become the power of intention, you’ll see your dreams being fulfilled almost magically, and you’ll see yourself creating huge ripples in the energy fields of others by your presence and nothing more.”

Setting intentions is like drawing a map for your heart’s journey. It’s about consciously choosing the values and qualities you wish to cultivate in your life. Living with intention means every action, no matter how small, is infused with purpose and aligns with your deepest desires for who you want to be.

"Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others' choices make us." — Richie Norton
"Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others' choices make us." — Richie Norton

2. Be Generous with Your Time and Attention

Generosity of spirit is a hallmark of a heart-centered life. It means being fully present for others, offering your time and attention as gifts of love. This practice strengthens connections and fosters a sense of belonging and community.

Service is the heart’s expression of love and compassion in action. Helping others connects you deeply with the humanity that binds us all. Being generous doesn’t have to be grand; it’s found in everyday acts of kindness and in recognizing others’ needs; after all, we’re all in this together, and everyone needs a smile from a stranger or a hand up from time to time.   

“It’s through giving that we receive; it’s through acts of kindness directed toward others that our immune systems are strengthened and even our serotonin levels increased.” -Wayne Dyer, The Power of Intention
“It’s through giving that we receive; it’s through acts of kindness directed toward others that our immune systems are strengthened and even our serotonin levels increased.” -Wayne Dyer, The Power of Intention

3. Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude enhances positive emotions, improves physical health, reduces stress, strengthens relationships, increases empathy, and boosts self-esteem. It shifts focus from what’s lacking to appreciating abundance, promoting overall well-being and resilience.

Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine can be simple, such as maintaining a gratitude journal, mentally acknowledging the good in your life, or finding new and unique ways to express thanks to others. 

Cultivating a gratitude practice opens your eyes to the abundance that surrounds you. When you take the time to be grateful for your blessings, it transforms your perspective and invites self-love, more joy and more blessings to arrive in your life.

"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." - Eckhart Tolle
"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." - Eckhart Tolle

4. Listen to Your Intuition

Your intuition is the voice of your heart — your higher self — guiding you toward what’s best for you. Listening to it means trusting the gentle nudges that guide you, even when they defy logic. It’s about aligning with your authentic path and making choices that resonate with your innermost self.

Often, your logical mind and your gut feelings are at odds. When that happens, pay attention to the messages your intuition is sending. Your “thinking” mind can be corrupted by biases from social pressures and expectations, and may not fully comprehend what is truly best for you. Your inner wisdom expressed via intuition is often better aligned with your true needs than your thinking mind. 

“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” - Steve Jobs
“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” - Steve Jobs

5. Cultivate Self-Awareness and Self-Love

Cultivating self-awareness and self-love are foundational pillars of living a heart-centered life. Self-awareness involves a deep dive into understanding our thoughts, emotions, motivations, and behaviors. It’s about observing yourself without judgment, recognizing patterns, and discerning between what serves you and what holds you back. 

This introspection allows you to navigate your inner world more clearly and make choices that resonate with your authentic self. As you become more attuned to your true self, you create space for growth and transformation.

Self-love is the natural progression from self-awareness. It means accepting yourself wholeheartedly and embracing your strengths and vulnerabilities. Self-love involves treating yourself with the same kindness, compassion, and understanding that we would offer a dear friend. 

Self-love requires setting healthy boundaries and prioritizing your well-being through self-care. Committing to self-love opens the doors to forming stronger relationships and recognizing opportunities that reflect your true worth. 

Together, self-awareness and self-love enhance personal well-being and deepen connections with others, creating a ripple effect of positivity and love in the world around you.

“Write it on your heart you are the most beautiful soul of the Universe. Realize it, honor it and celebrate the life.” – Amit Ray
“Write it on your heart you are the most beautiful soul of the Universe. Realize it, honor it and celebrate the life.” – Amit Ray

6. Be Authentic

Authenticity is the courage to be yourself unapologetically. It’s about taking off the “masks” you’ve been wearing to reveal who you truly are rather than conforming to others’ ideas about who you should be.

Authentic people are in touch with their deepest feelings and values. 

When you’re authentic, you speak your truth, even when your knees might wobble as you know others might not like what you have to say; the price of not being true to yourself just isn’t worth it to you. You let people get to know the real you.

Living authentically invites genuine connections and allows your true light to shine brightly.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

7. Nourish Your Spirit Daily

Nurturing your spirit involves engaging in activities that bring you joy, peace, and fulfillment. Whether it’s through meditation, nature walks, creative pursuits, or spiritual practices, daily nourishment of your spirit keeps you aligned with your heart and enriches your life with deeper meaning.

Quote “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” - Jean Shinoda Bolen
Quote “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” - Jean Shinoda Bolen

Are You Ready to Live a Heart-Centered Life?

On your heart-centered life journey, remember to embrace intuition and live intentionally while cultivating a deeper self-awareness and self-love. 

Remember that each day offers you a new opportunity to nourish your spirit and live authentically, making decisions that reflect your true self. By practicing gratitude and extending generosity to others, you not only enrich your own life but also positively impact those around you. 

The decision to live a heart-centered isn’t a choice you make one day; it’s a decision you make every moment of every day.  The process is continuous and ever-evolving — each step you take in authenticity and love leads to profound growth and fulfillment. 

When I started this post, I referenced the Jerry Maguire scene where Rene told Tom, “I want to be inspired.”  Well, the decision to live an inspired life is up to you. Cherish your heart-centered journey, for it is the way to live the inspired, joyful and fulfilling life you’ve always wanted. 

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