unguard your heart
There's a wisdom that comes straight from the heart. A sort of heart intelligence that in my experience most folks are afraid to access. Mainly, because we've learned how to protect and guard our heart rather than listen, trust, and let it lead the way.
The story around us says that heart skills are weak - in business, in leadership, in life. But the opposite is true. They're powerful in their ability to connect us to each other.
Research done at the HeartMath Institute suggests the heart is more than a physical life giving organ. It’s an access point to a source of wisdom and intelligence that we can call upon to live our lives with more balance, greater creativity and enhanced intuitive capacities. All of these are important for achieving greater fulfillment.
So when your heart sends that text to the rest of your body, you should definitely pay attention.
And if you allow your heart to just beat to the rhythm of life, which it does so well, you have the ability to feel fully alive. Feeling. Loving. Connecting.
Yup. There it is. The thing that gets in the way. Where there’s connection there’s the possibility of hurt. The possibility of pain.
We train ourselves to move away from pain. Seems the right thing to do, doesn’t it?
But life is more than rainbows and sunshine.
And a meaningful life, a fulfilling life, is when you can fully accept that pain, sorrow, grief, confusion, is just as important to your human experience as joy, happiness, laughter, and love.
But what do we do? What do we teach our children? What do we teach ourselves to do after a lifetime of big and small hurts?
Guard our heart to the painful parts of life. The parts that hurt.
But in doing so, you also end up guarding yourself from the beauty it has to offer as well. Because you can’t guard one part without also guarding the other. And that’s a real bummer.
You are a feeling being. This is your gift.
You can be discerning though.
And you can allow for the surprise when your heart skips a beat in that good, good way. Savour it and harness it for later.
I remember when each of my babies were handed to me, wet and beautiful ~ surprise!
Or when my breath has been taken away with the sight of a sunset over the mountains ~ surprise!
Or the warmth of a hot cup of coffee, with a splash of cream, trickling down my throat in the mornings ~ mmmm, surprise!
My heart tells me clearly, MORE, MORE, MORE!
Then there’s the mystery, the ever-present uncertainty that flows through us and around us. Allow for it when it happens (cuz it always does). Let your heart lead by leaning into the discomfort.
The other night I cried watching mothers, sisters, fathers wait and grieve over family members lost to an earthquake. I wanted to turn away but instead I put myself in their position and let the tears fall.
My heart whispered quieter, “Lean in. Feel it. It’s ok. It’s a moment.”
I’ve learned not to trade my heart breaking open from pain over joy. There’s wisdom in both.
Learning to first, hear and second, trust what your heart wants to say is powerful, sexy, and super hot. Think Ryan Reynold’s + Beyonce. It’s authenticity wrapped in sparkles and a red suit (throw in a couple of swords, no problem).
But it comes with risk doesn’t it?
Isn’t the only reason we guard our heart because it’s vulnerable? We’re afraid of it breaking but aren’t we just afraid to feel the hurt?
Yet, our heart teaches us to rise. It teaches us about resiliency. How to feel and fall, then get back up. Or, how to feel and soar, then come back down.
Sounds pretty brave if you ask me.
In fact, the latin root of courage, cor, means heart. Courage in it’s original meaning meant, “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
We really are AMAZING creatures, aren’t we?
So fight for it.
Or better yet, get still and listen.
Then be brave.
And put your heart on the line.