How to Follow Your Heart in 3 Simple Steps

This is a guest post by Phil Hosmer the Founder and Executive Director of Nature Worx, a Baltimore-based non-for-profit organization that helps people connect to the healing properties of nature.

Wisdom is often revealed to us gradually by the long lens of accumulated experience, but sometimes it comes to us through a dramatic event that alters the course of our lives.

My father’s death in 2017 was such a deep, painful loss for me. It also changed my path, and imparted a jolt of wisdom that guides me every day.

I realized if I was lucky, I will have about 30 more years to live. And I knew I didn’t want to spend it doing what I was doing.

We are all aware, at least intellectually, of our own mortality. But are we actually aware, on a daily, practical level of how our very limited lifespans inform our decisions, our chosen paths, and our appreciation of our brief time on Earth?

Would you like to read more inspirational posts like this? Click the “follow” button on the Anna Hope Coaching to automatically get Wisdom Wednesday posts right to your inbox!

A loved one's death can be a catalyst for introspection and significant life changes.
A loved one’s death can be a catalyst for introspection and significant life changes.
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I will admit to being fairly out of touch with this wisdom, until February 12, 2017, when my father passed away.

On that day, the course of my life changed, and for the better. His death was a visceral reminder of the brevity of our existence, and the shock of it shook me into action and spurs me on to this day.

I realized if I was lucky, I will have about 30 more years to live. And I knew I didn’t want to spend it doing what I was doing. I commuted an hour each way to my corporate job in a downtown skyscraper. It was an existence of endless meetings, conference calls, committees, reports, and project plans. But it paid well, and the people I worked with were decent, so I did it for 20 years, and the time flew by.

Now that I am following my heart, I have never been more happy professionally than I am right now.

But when Dad died, I set to work figuring out what I really wanted to do with my remaining time.  I made an inventory of what I loved to do, and what I didn’t like to do with my time. I knew I wanted to help other people. I knew I didn’t want to work for a corporation in an office building. 

Would you like to read more inspirational posts like this? Click the “follow” button on the Anna Hope Coaching to automatically get Wisdom Wednesday posts right to your inbox!

I knew I wanted to be outdoors, because my father instilled in me an appreciation of the simple joys that our world offers us. The sound of leaves underfoot in autumn. The warmth of the sun on a cold winter day. The scent of pine trees in the morning. The mist from a moving creek against your face on a summer afternoon. 

These elemental pleasures, scientific research shows, are vital components of our physical and mental health. But society has veered sharply away from being outdoors. The average American adult spends 93 percent of their time indoors, where they are looking at a computer or TV screen for 10 hours and checking their phone 80 times.

Can the digital world replace the mood-lifting properties of the natural world?
Can the digital world replace the mood-lifting properties of the natural world?
Photo by mikoto.raw on Pexels.com

After much taking inventory, soul searching and talking to friends and family (see my suggestions below) I realized that my heart is drawn to bring the healing, restorative properties of the natural world into the lives of others. 

Inspired by several friends, I founded Nature Worx, an organization that designs and delivers experiential outdoor programs that invite participants to deepen their relationship with nature. We blend mindfulness, meditation, forest therapy and natural interpretation into an engaging exploration of the physical, mental and spiritual
benefits of connecting to nature. 

After the organization was established and had clients, I left my corporate job to devote my full time and attention to Nature Worx.

I’m proud of our new organization, but mostly, I’m incredibly excited and refreshed by the talented Nature Worx guides I am working with.  Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds like social work, substance abuse counseling, education, outdoor recreation and natural interpretation.  Each one is highly skilled and committed to helping people connect to nature.

Now that I am following my heart, I have never been more happy professionally than I am right now.

Have you forgotten that you can choose in each moment how to live your life?
Have you forgotten that you can choose in each moment how to live your life?
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

How to Follow Your Heart In 3-Simple Steps

I offer these suggestions to those who are seeking similar happiness.

Whether it is a job, a relationship, a lifestyle, living situation—anything you are not happy with, you don’t have to wait for a dramatic life event to spur you to make a positive change.

Step One: Take inventory and make a list of things that make you happy. Think of tangible tasks, experiences, challenges, people, activities ANYTHING that you enjoy. Look for a common thread.  For me, it was helping people and being outdoors.

Step Two: Make a list of things that make you unhappy.  Again, list tangible tasks, experiences, challenges, people, activities ANYTHING that you do not enjoy. Look for a common thread in this list also.

Step Three: Brainstorm ways you can get more of the things you like in your life and less of the things you don’t enjoy. Treat this process like your life depended on it—because it does! You may not be able to quit your job or leave your partner or move to a new location tomorrow, but you can start to map out a process with specific steps that will get you there. The main thing is to treat this process with the sense of urgency it deserves. None of us know how long we have here.

So Carpe Diem– seize the day and follow your heart!

Pictured: Phil Hosmer Founder and Executive Director of
Nature Worx

Phil Hosmer is the Founder and Executive Director of Nature Worx, a non-for-profit organization the helps people connect to the healing properties of nature. He worked in journalism and corporate America for two decades previously.

Contact Phil at:

Email: natureworxorg@gmail.com

Phone: 443-686-2087

Upcoming Events: Sunset Mindfulness and Yoga

Published by AnnaHopeCoaching

Your Baltimore-based Life Coach helping you become the best you can be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: