Tag Archives: heart

You Are Stronger Than You Know

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Do not lose heart, we were made for these times. —Clarissa Pinkola Estes

It might seem inconceivable to feel joy and gratitude
when so many others are grieving
but I promise you that your happiness
is a great medicine that this world yearns for.
Open your eyes, look around you,
let your heart open and be glad.
The events that cause so much suffering
give you an opportunity to know who you are,
what you stand for,
what is important to you,
what you are capable of,
what you must do.
Let the world’s sadness
awaken the soft spot in your heart
that you may feel compassion for all beings.
Breathe deeply, and let this breath of peace
stream out in all directions
blessing the world with your presence.
It might seem to you otherwise,
especially in moments of crippling doubt—
but you are a magnificent, talented,
powerful, unique, essential part of the whole.
Your job is to be yourself,
because we need your joy to know our own.
Don’t become lost in your grief;
this sadness is one drop in the infinite
ocean of consciousness.
But if you must, let yourself grieve
until you feel the sun on your skin again.
Let your grief open your heart
to the suffering of others.
You are stronger than you know.

Irresistible Heart

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The pressure is off.
You don’t need to be perfect.
Just work hard
to discover who you really are
then share that with the world.
Your voice is unique,
so is your mind
and your spirit…
there will never be another
exactly like you.
The world longs to know you,
the real you.
Would you deny us that?
Have mercy on us,
give yourself completely to us,
know who you are,
and shine that self
into the world,
illuminating us
with the radiant beauty
of your irresistible heart.

The Universe Opens

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Valentine’s Day is coming
and I want to teach a class
on heart opening.
So I research this and that pose
that helps to open the heart…
backbends, twists, forward folds,
lunges…
And I don’t have time
to practice a sequence.
And I want to be more prepared.
And I worry that I’m not good enough
as a yoga teacher, as a mother…
And it strikes me
I’m missing the point.
How can we open our hearts
to the world
if we haven’t opened our hearts
to ourselves?
So I start to open my heart
to myself.
I let myself feel compassion
for this woman
who tries so hard to be good,
this woman
who worries that
she never quiet measures up,
who compares herself to others,
who dreams about
being far away from the noise
somewhere in nature
somewhere quiet
and peaceful
and beautiful.
Now let me keep my heart open.
Let the compassion
continue to flow.
If I can help my students
reach this place
the postures really won’t matter.
What our bodies are doing
seems far less important
when seen from a perspective
of limitless connection
with all that is.
When the heart opens
the whole universe opens.

It Takes Great Courage

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If someone questions
what you do,
take a breath,
pause,
reflect.
Becoming defensive helps nothing.
Can you stay in your integrity
and open to the other’s point of view?
Without reacting,
can you speak your mind?
More important,
can you listen, really listen
to the thoughts between the words
and discern your own truth
from all the conflicting motivations?
Close your eyes,
be still,
breathe.
It takes great courage
to awaken to your true self;
let your strong heart
do all the talking.
It is so much more eloquent
than mere words,
and in this noisy world,
so much more powerful.

A Deeper Joy

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There is no enlightenment switch.
We weren’t meant to be happy all of the time.
There is nothing wrong with you–
you are not broken,
you don’t need to be fixed.
Just let your heart open
to the suffering of others.
What is this life about anyway,
if we can’t reach out and help one another?
What is our purpose really,
if all we do is pursue ephemeral pleasures?
There is a deeper joy,
a kind of sunlight that radiates
from our hearts.
Our first job is to find it.
Our second is to let it shine into the world
and illuminate the hearts of others.

Nurture Peace

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I look into your eyes,
I see your pain.
What can I do?
Recent events
serve to reinforce
what we already knew.
At first I feel powerless,
but then I stop and remember.
The outer world is
a reflection of the inner
always,
without exception.
If I want to see
a peaceful world out there,
I need to rediscover and nurture
the peace in my heart,
right where it has always been.