Business as Art with Heart

What is your art? And how do you bring your heart into it?

Whether you are a healer, coach, consultant or craftsperson… If you own your own business, you have an art.

Is it how you talk to people?… Or how you listen? …Is it the websites you design? …The reports you write? … Or the blog posts?

This week, I had a million possible articles in my head that I want to write and share with you. Then I just came across this brilliant poem that expresses (as only poetry can) at least one or two of those things…

So I’m inviting you to read this short poem. Published in 1883, its message remains as true now, as ever.

Try reading it with your own business – your art – in mind.

After, I’ll share my take on it… and I invite you to share your art with us as well.

Art and Heart

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

From Poems of Passion (1883)

Though critics may bow to art, and I am its own true lover,

It is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

Though smooth be the heartless prayer, no ear in Heaven will mind it,

And the finest phrase falls dead if there is no feeling behind it.

Though perfect the player’s touch, little, if any, he sways us,

Unless we feel his heart throb through the music he plays us.

Though the poet may spend his life in skilfully rounding a measure,

Unless he writes from a full, warm heart he gives us little pleasure.

So it is not the speech which tells, but the impulse which goes with the saying;

And it is not the words of the prayer, but the yearning back of the praying.

It is not the artist’s skill which into our soul comes stealing

With a joy that is almost pain, but it is the player’s feeling.

And it is not the poet’s song, though sweeter than sweet bells chiming,

Which thrills us through and through, but the heart which beats under the rhyming.

And therefore I say again, though I am art’s own true lover,

That it is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

Beautiful, huh?

I agree with Ella: without our hearts fully engaged, our art falls flat (that is why I never pay much attention to all the “make money now!” invitations I get on email and especially twitter!)… Yet I would also say that without the art, the heart is lonely. Well, maybe lonely isn’t the right word. But it has no way to express itself. It remains hidden and unknown. So Heart and Art are more like two dancers, working together.

As a business consultant and healer, my own art lies in the synthesis of the spiritual and the practical… In helping other business owners to disentangle emotional blocks, while at the same time finding practical business solutions to their problems.

I’ve spent many hours studying and developing what I do (Thank you Mark, Brandon and others) and many hours working through my own “stuff” so that I can be a clear conduit of truth, wisdom and compassion when I am working with people.

In the end, it is that truth, wisdom and compassion (you can call it Divine presence, or God if you like :)) that does the real work – which, as Ella says, “into our soul comes stealing“. On the other hand, without the skill – my training, the tools and the practice… That divine presence would not have a vehicle on which to travel!

What about you…

What is your art?

And how do you bring your heart to, and through, it?

I’m lookin’ forward to your replies.

Blessings, Yollana

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4 Responses

  1. Isn’t it amazing yet at the same time a little bit concerning that true wisdom, through the ages, is always relevant, always appreciated, always deeply heard….and here’s the bit I find concerning….always needed! Do we ever learn? I would like some evidence that we do but then I guess that’s down to me….
    Joni Mitchell, the amazing artist who sings so from her heart wrote and then sang;
    “Everything comes and goes,
    marked by lovers and styles of clothes,
    things that you held high and told yourself were true,
    lost or changing as the days come down to you.
    Down to you
    constant stranger,
    you’re a kind person you’re a cold person too,
    it’s down to you”

  2. yollana says:

    @Fiona, yes! Always amazing…

    But perhaps not so disconcerting – that it is always needed. The Sufis have a teaching about this: That it is our need for love, wisdom, truth, peace, belonging, safety, acknowledgment… and the list goes on… that actually keeps us in ‘right relationship’ with the source of all that is good. Basically, it keeps us humble!

    … And that humility keeps us polishing the diamond of our heart. You – and Joni – are right. It’s down to each of us.

    And it’s okay that we keep refining. And maybe even a great blessing that we get to keep finding ourselves anew?

  3. natalie says:

    Yollana, I think you have absolutely hit the nail on the head in terms of what people are lacking today in their business endeavours. I believe that bringing heart in to your business to a great extent, removes the presence of fear when moving forward and progressing your business idea. When you involve your soul in your decision-making processes, life becomes so much easier because what you do forms part of your soul’s purpose, you are working from a state of harmony and this synergy is what propels your business forward.

    Of course, it is an ongoing challenge to not allow the mind to rule and to listen to the subtle guidance from our souls. To me, this is true business art with heart.

  4. yollana says:

    Natalie, Thanks for your comment.

    And yes, it’s funny that subtle skill of learning to listen to your heart…

    I’ve found that over the last couple of yeares particularly, my ability to listen to and trust my inner guidance has been getting stronger and stronger… But I’m stumped at how to express that to the next person in a “how-to” that is understandable!

    …Another thing I guess I’ll just have to listen for guidance on!

    Love Yollana