Guest Post: Heart Language

by Melissa on May 31, 2013 · 7 comments

When I first moved to rural Hunan province as a volunteer teacher, I had just graduated from Boston University. I spoke no Chinese and knew little of the culture. My path was supposed to take me to New York to pursue the road I started as an intern the summer before at InStyle magazine, but my heart pointed in a different and quite inexplicable direction.

I faced the incredibly difficult decision of defying everything that was expected of me in favor of something only I knew to be true. My head and many others couldn’t understand, “Why are you doing this? It makes no sense,” but my heart just smiled quietly, “You know.”

heart language I’m sure fellow travelers reading this have had similar experiences. You’ve gone somewhere for no ‘logical’ reason, but you knew you had to go, and I’d be willing to bet an incredible journey unfolded in strange and beautiful ways.

My decision to follow my heart forever changed my life. It opened me up to connect with people in ways I didn’t know were possible. When language, culture, and one’s story are stripped away, there are no more masks, identities, or accolades to hide behind. It’s simultaneously terrifying and incredibly freeing.
heart language
I fell in love with a local tai chi teacher who didn’t speak English. He looked at me 2 weeks after knowing me and said in broken English, “I know your heart.” I was taken back by his words at first and then saw, he did.

He taught me the Chinese word 心里话 xin li hua  inner heart’s language. I soon realized that this language was universal and that we all have access to it. I noticed it in my students with how open and excited they were to learn about the world I came from. I saw it in my friends when we laughed while playing volleyball. None of it required actual words.
heart language
I’m currently writing a book called Heart Language, which is part travel memoir, part exploration of a new era for humanity. Heart language is everywhere.  It’s on planes across the Atlantic. It’s in Panamanian jungles. It’s on a sailboat crossing the Sea of Cortez. And it has the power to change the world.

Travelers. Wanderlusters. Fellow explorers. We’re the new diplomats! Countries aren’t about borders and passports. They’re about the people. The culture. The language. The food. The experiences. The unexpected. Being alive!

Each of us are bridge builders. Whether you travel the world or travel your town. We all have access to heart language and to the power of truly connecting with others. As readers of my blog, 6 Months to Live, know, I’m fond of life experiments. What if you tried a life experiment today? The next person you meet, speak through your heart, and see what can happen…

* * * * *

Heart Language Jacqueline Boone is a writer, explorer, and entrepreneur. Her deepest passion is connecting with people all over the world, sharing their stories, and helping people get clear about the unique gifts they bring to the world, so they can live their passion, be abundantly supported in doing so, and most importantly, make a difference. Her blog, 6 Months to Live began as a personal life experiment that started with the question, “What would you do if you had 6 months to live?” and has transformed into a life philosophy centered around living each day and following one’s dreams! To learn more about Jacqueline and her upcoming book, Heart Language, visit

Photo credit to: Vanessa Hellmann


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicky May 31, 2013 at 10:37 am

“Travelers. Wanderlusters. Fellow explorers. We’re the new diplomats!”

Wow! I love this!
I am definitely keen to check out your book when it’s done.



Melissa June 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I loved that quote too! Jacqueline is absolutely incredible and inspirational. I love her outlooks on life and how she’s chosen to advocate for living life to the fullest. Needless to say I’m proud to have her featured on my site.


Jacqueline May 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Thanks so much for featuring my post, Melissa! You are an incredible woman who I draw so much inspiration from! 🙂
Jacqueline recently posted..Live an Extraordinary Life on Your Own Terms by Melissa ShearerMy Profile


Melissa June 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Jackie, it was a pleasure to feature you on my site – and thanks for sharing my post on yours 🙂

You also inspire me, and I truly wish you nothing but the best for your book and upcoming RTW travels 🙂


Jacqueline June 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Thanks so much, Nicky! So glad to hear that you enjoyed the post! 🙂
Jacqueline recently posted..Live an Extraordinary Life on Your Own Terms by Melissa ShearerMy Profile


Joy November 2, 2013 at 8:10 am

Jacqueline what a great post! I couldn’t agree more that we can / should speak through our hearts anywhere and everywhere. We have human interactions every day – we don’t have to be in China to practice it. It does take practice though! It’s something I’m always trying to get better at. Can’t wait to read your book!
Joy recently posted..The Two Sides of Jakarta, IndonesiaMy Profile


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