the path of an open heart

Post by Kevin Wood for the Kind Kindred series.


the path of an open heart

You’ve just been hurt and can feel your heart bleeding. You feel as if your heart and stomach took a vacation without informing you of their plans.

Instead of feeling through this pain, and letting it pass through you. You close off. You let the events of the past shape the direction of your future.

After all, it’s easier to close down parts of yourself, instead of having to face the full frontal assault of the world around you. It’s easy to numb yourself. It’s easy to neglect yourself. It’s easy to forget your divine calling.

You dream of the day you can grow out of pain, and evolve your being to new heights. Transcending your humanness. However, deep down this isn’t the true solution you seek.

Instead of growing out of the problems we face, what if instead we took them at face value?

This means no more running. No more repressing. No more hardening your external shell.

It’s not an easy path to walk, but the gems you’ll uncover as you bear your heart to the world, will be well worth the struggle.

when we face struggle we let our conditioning run wild

Growing up in the modern world, we become cultured and conditioned. There is no way around it. We have subconscious programming that directs most of our thoughts, beliefs and actions. So, when we’re faced with hardship, or even uncertainty, where do we turn to first?

Our mental conditioning. We begin to run automatic responses to situations we find uncomfortable. Instead of breathing space into a situation we simply respond in the same way we acted in the past. There’s nothing wrong with this, unless your response isn’t serving you.

Most of us shut down and hide our hearts from the world. We mask our true callings, passions, and thoughts for fear out of being hurt. Maybe we’ve been hurt in the past for doing something similar and instead of facing that situation head-on, embracing it’s newness, we rely on how we acted in the past as a guide for our current decision making.

This is completely flawed.

Relying on programming you didn’t create immediately takes away your power. Instead of choosing, or deeply feeling out a situation, you simply respond. Life loses its beauty and becomes a game of ping pong, back and forth we go.

However, this conditioning can be changed, all it takes is the illuminating light of our awareness to begin the process.

we are taught to lead from a different source

The source we usually draw upon when it’s time for direction or decision making, is our mind. We attempt to think our way out of our predicaments and out of our feelings. Just as we can never think our way into the present moment, we will never be able to live our fullest lives with our minds consistently in the directors chair.

We need a balance of both our hearts and minds. However, we much shift our spectrum to our hearts if we want to make up for lost time.

Our hearts are constantly plugged into the deeper essence of life. In this current we find creativity, love, passion and direction residing. The way our gifts are revealed to us is never in a logical progression. Just as the pain in our lives doesn’t make sense, but is necessary as a learning experience in the long run.

We must change the source of our living. It’s time to dive deeper and play with the guiding force of life. We are learning to simply allow life to happen, instead of forcing every aspect of her being into existence.

setting the intention of fierce openness

We must lead and live with our hearts wide open. This is the only true way to fully take on the world.

This means exposing our fears and vulnerabilities. This means sharing our truest selves (the ones we’re slightly afraid of).

Having this sense of fierce openness means you are a warrior.

It means you operate with courage in the forefront of your life. Never again will you restrain yourself, never again will you reel in your light. You must promise to never let a sad event close you off the world. Maybe you’ve lost your one true love, or put your heart on the line only to have it snatched away. Whatever the circumstance, learn what you must, cry as much as you need. But, please do it all with your heart completely faced outward.

You are brilliant. You are beautiful. The world deserves to see you in your fullest form. This means being courageous with your life. This means switching your operating mechanism from your head into your heart and letting it ride. This means flowing with the ebbs and flows of life.

True, deep living is possible from this point.

Set this intention within your heart: From this point forward I will walk with my heart open to the world. I will act with a fierce openness towards every situation. I will see every situation as new. I will seek the beauty of life, as I allow my heart to guide me.

checking in to maintain an open heart

Maintaining a sense of direction and openness along your journey is no easy task. The challenge is worth the reward, as your life with being to unfold in beautiful, unplanned ways. The following will help to keep you aligned and operating from your heart.

Any time you feel stuck or unsure, try to engage with one of the practices below.

1. check in with your body

Your body has an innate wisdom that runs really deep. If you want to plug into this power, just see how you are feeling at any given moment. How does a certain task feel in your body? What about a thought, or something you think you should be doing?

When we engage with activities that are in alignment with our hearts and truest selves, they feel good. Every fiber of our being enjoys them. It’s a pleasurable experience and should fill you up. Basically, if something is in alignment it will feel good most of the time. When you are acting in a way that is closing you off and not in alignment you will feel blocked, and knotted up.

Get used to making these subtle distinctions.

2. find the fear

Your emotional waves will do a lot to tell you which direction you are heading in. The biggest trigger for your direction is fear. Most actions and decisions you need to make for your soul’s evolution will have the undertone of fear.

There will be the nagging voice that will try to keep you comfortable. Do your best to say “thanks, but no thanks”. The mere presence of fear means that act is something you need to do. It might be sharing yourself deeply even though you’ve been hurt before, it might be reaching out to a mentor, it might be sharing your words with the world. You know the fears that stop you in your tracks.

Remember, when you feel stuck, find the fear. Your heart will be close by, patiently waiting.

3. move

If you are feeling stuck, stagnated, or numb the best thing you can do for yourself it get up and move. By engaging the body you release your mind and thoughts. You give yourself freedom to break free and explore. So run, skip, play, and walk.

The answers will arrive, the feelings will flow. Just make sure you are willing to listen.

Where do you struggle most in listening to your heart? Share in the comments.


Kevin Wood is a writer who helps you consciously rebel from the norms and create a meaningful life. Connect with him at at Counter Culturist.


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