It was Book Club night again! How I appreciate this wonderful group of ladies who are willing to share and look within their souls, ask questions and grow. We covered chapters 6 and 7 this evening, titled “The Secrets of the Spiritual Heart” and “Transcending the Tendency to Close”.
Although the entire book is life changing, I love these two chapters especially, as they reveal the phenomenal power that the heart has to open and stay in a place of love and growth….or close and allow energy to become blocked, creating problems in life. I had time to re-read chapter 6, in preparation for the club meeting. And as I drove around town showing property I listened to chapter 7 on Audible, on my phone. It is amazing the difference in reading the words myself, and hearing the words read. Different truths and “ahas” stand out when I am listening, so much so that I often believe the audio edition has words included that are not in the book. I’ve checked many times….the book and the recording are identical.
Reading The Secrets of the Spiritual Heart opens my heart even more with each pass through the chapter. Michael Singer shares that the heart “is one of the most beautiful and powerful energy centers, and one that affects our daily lives. An energy center is an area within your being through which your energy focuses, distributes and flows. The heart controls the energy flow by opening and closing.”
My heart is open and energy is flowing easily and readily when I am experiencing love and being present in the moment. When something happens, for example, someone says something to me that I dislike, my heart closes, and the flow of love stops. My initial reaction is that I no longer like that person, at least, in that moment. The truth is, all through our lives, from our babyhood on, we have been experiencing situations that hurt us and cause us to close our hearts, over and over again. That energy doesn’t go away though. It gets stuck, in the region of the heart, and because energy must move, it circles around and around. We can push that looping energy away, to the back of our awareness, and there is stays….until something triggers that old hurt, that old fear, that old energy. Then the old but still very real energy, which tries to pass through the heart energy center again, is felt and experienced, creating the same emotions that the original hurt or fear caused. Until that energy is at last released, let go, it will continue to be felt anytime a similar experience triggers it.
One only has to be out and about in Joplin, when the tornado sirens sound, to immediately see this truth in action. That energy of fear that occurred as a result of the 2011 tornado gets triggered by the sound of the sirens wailing. The fear stirs and people react, big time. That has been true for me as well. I am still working through those layers of energy, releasing the fear, allowing it to pass through, each time the sirens sound or a severe weather alert appears on the tv. Currently, I experience a mild anxiety, felt more as restlessness, whenever the weather gets severe. I hope to eventually react in an alert, yet calm way, without fear, without anxiety, without that “flight or fight” surge of adrenaline.
Transcending the Tendency to Close is a wonderful chapter that teaches exactly what the title says….moving past, growing past, the tendency to close at all. Two experiences cause the heart to close: resisting and pushing energies away because we are bothered by them, or clinging to energies and keeping them close because they make us feel good. In both cases, we aren’t allowing the energy to pass through and we are wasting precious energy by blocking the flow, rather than just enjoying life.
Closing down is a way of trying to protect the heart from further hurt, further fear. The problem is, if the heart is closed down, all energy has a difficult time getting in or out. Closed is closed. Our joy is limited even as our pain is limited or confined. Singer points out that to be closed is to stop growing. He shares, “Once you close, you have to make sure that what you protected doesn’t get disturbed. You then carry this task for the rest of your life. The alternative…is to give yourself the ultimate gift by deciding not to do that anymore.”
I gift myself by watching what causes me to want to close….and stopping myself from doing that by relaxing and opening my shoulders and heart area and letting the energy pass through. And by being aware of what triggers old energy. I admit handling the triggers is much more difficult. I tend to want to react, and wallow in the old energy, the old hurt…rather than allow the energy to be felt, to be experienced again and then allow it to pass through. I am learning. And trust me, life brings plenty of opportunities for learning and growing, opening and releasing.
Michael Singer says, “The reward for not protecting the psyche is liberation. You are free to walk through this world without a problem on your mind. You are just having fun, experiencing what happens next.” Imagine, not allowing anything to cause a closure of the heart, a restriction of energy. That is what I desire, to stay open, and never close. To allow love and joy to flow through me, filling up and lighting up my heart, and then flowing out to touch those around me….without ceasing. That is experiencing life…and finding freedom, indeed.