Tag Archives: heart work

Heart Work

What is work of the heart? Heart work falls into two categories – work in the world that represents our passion or something we love, and inner work that empowers us to reclaim the strength and vision of our heart or most essential self.

Social acknowledgment is directed almost exclusively to our work in the world, whether it is motivated by money and/or affinity. The true measure of the ‘success’ of a maturing person, however, is their level of commitment to the inner work of the heart. Dedication to that requires courage in the face of daily demands for our time, energy, and service to others.

The word “courage” can be traced back to “c.1300… from L. cor  “heart,” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength” (courage. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/courage, accessed: 13 Feb 2011).

What gives you the courage to sustain your inner work? For me, the inner work itself provides the courage to sustain my work in the world. My most significant work in the world is not my career in academic librarianship or my vocation to writing. My signature work in the world is encouraging others. To encourage is to hearten or uplift. Through deep listening, appreciation, kind words, and insight sharing, I find that I am able to both encourage others and hearten myself. What a sweet practice for the second half of life!

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