SPEAK: Fortify By the Spirit – An Open Heart is the Door to Your Strength

SPEAK! … By the Spirit™ with
Erica A. Hawthorne

An Open Heart is the Door to Your Strength

© 2010 Erica A. Hawthorne

March 23, 2010

If you want to become whole,
let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything,
give everything up.

Tao Te Ching

Open your heart...true strength comes from a position of openness.

I find myself having to quiet my fears and apprehensive thoughts and to remind myself that releasing and allowing are unspoken gifts of the Spirit, and my response to perceived mistakes and setbacks are opportunities to press pass my levels of resistance and discomfort into true fortitude.

I have come to know that we are not weakened by having our arms open wide.  That in fact, we are more unstable when our arms are folded … in this position we can neither catch ourselves in a fall, nor catch the overflow of blessings in grace.

This month in SPEAK By the Spirit, the theme has been about allowing and releasing…and even embracing our weaknesses in order to be fortified by the Spirit.  It is our ability to be open, even when our emotional reflexes would have us draw inward and away from challenges that sometimes serve as catalysts for our strength-building.

A life lived with an open heart, not only allows more love to come in, but it becomes a way of experiencing the world from a place of emboldened passion, which can lead to a more enriched and fortified life.  And it doesn’t mean dropping everything and going on  an “Eat, Love, Pray” mission … unless that is the level to which you must go to press yourself wider and more expansively.  But I believe there are uncharted territories in our lives right where we are where we can practice living more openly.

I think of my yoga class and how many poses are accented by the simple act of pushing your chest (heart) outward.  This is the position in which you are most open and energy flows more freely.  Our heart chakra is located in our chest area, and there are yoga poses that can be done to encourage openness in this energy center of the body to encourage better circulation…physically and spiritually. Not only do I get a good stretch when I do these poses, but I am encouraged to breathe more freely.

How differently would we live if we were guaranteed that by pressing through challenges and keeping our eyes (and hearts) wide open, that the other side promised a more strengthened life.  Well, it is already true.

Sometimes there is indeed a thing or act to do, and sometimes the answer lies within in us simply opening our eyes to the very moment.  It is possible to practice openness using a bit of both of those approaches. Try them…the yoga poses, and opening your heart in small ways, in every day life…make the call, allow the discomfort to come and go, let the tears flow…be present for all the miraculous ways in which the emotions show up, acknowledge them and then stretch a little further, reach once more into the next moment no matter how difficult the one before has been…and even when it seems difficult, even when you are afraid…press yourself to open the door to your heart even wider…there is something beautiful waiting on the other side: The empowered you!

Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up and so the door of my heart can be left open,the door of compassion.

excerpt from: Call Me By My True Names
by Thich Nhat Hanh

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4 Responses

  1. This is super. Thanks for this. Yoga is alchemy. I have been out of practice for sometime and where I am currently docked I don’t have much options but for a home practice. And we all know how those go…..at least for me..they don’t go.

    But the ultimate point of yoga is to “connect” with yourself. So, by the help of Zenpeacekeeper I have been able to cultivate a custom made, no music in the background, video just for me for 30 days. I discovered her via twitter when someone I “follow” had retweeted something she said. She is an amazing spirit changing lives from Afghanistan to New Zealand to here. Her custom made video for me is great without being of those videos where you are just sitting there staring at how in the world will I ever look like Rodney Yee doing those amazing flips.

    It’s a journey and some days are not as empowering as others…but there is still me waiting on the other side if I bring myself to the mat.

    Very timely post with heartfelt words that are much appreciated and I can feel their resonance will last long after.

  2. Yoga changed my whole perception of self at one point in my life just by listening, accepting, and loving. Excellent! Thanks

    • You’re very welcome! I too fell in love with the practice of yoga both on and off the mat. Learned so much just by the simple practice of following my breathe with each movement and how I was able to truly open up by remembering that in daily life…thanks so much for reading!

  3. 1 Corinthians 13
    1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
    4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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