i #optin to believing that the open, unguarded and loving heart itself is the greatest protection - and potential - we have.
this morning, while scanning the radio, a station i don't usually listen to caught my attention. the speaker was riffing on building a fortress around the heart. at first, i assumed the message would continue down the path of why it's actually a really good practice to NOT build a fortress around one's heart. but as i listened, i realized the speaker, in fact, was advocating FOR the purposeful and intentional construction of a heart fortress - in order to keep bad/negative/evil energy out and to protect and keep purity in. i was stunned.
after my initial shock, and even passing judgment, i came back into a space of presence, embodiment and self reflection ("back to basics" as we call it at Shakti Rising and Sol Alchemy). i was able to remember when i, too, protected my heart ... at times, out of fear for what felt like survival reasons, and at other times, because i simply didn't know any different. i also took some time to own and take responsibility for the ways this unconscious habit still shows up for me, particularly in moments when i'm scared and/or not fully awake.
the inquiry - 'to guard the heart, or to not guard the heart' - comes up in most of the classes and workshops i teach. often, what people are REALLY asking isn't so much about whether or not to guard their hearts, and instead, is the confusion and unhelpful overlap that's happened between 'protecting the heart' and simply good energy hygiene ... they aren't the same. the former is not life-affirming, while the latter is (i'm a HUGE fan and advocate of the latter ... and would say it's quite necessary ... we take baths and brush our teeth, why wouldn't we care for our energy/essential/Soul bodies with as much care and concern?! but that's a whole other post!). this distinction is often all that's needed for people to take their own inquiries, explorations and practices deeper ... for example, as a parent/counselor/teacher/etc., do you really want to live with a guarded heart? or would you simply like to know and have smart practices about not taking on energies that aren't meant to inhabit YOUR prime real estate with you?!
so, as my day and reflections have continued, what feels like the point of Life is to trust and experience ALL of Life! and by thinking we can 'protect our hearts' from something outside of us .... well, how much are we trusting Life? and perhaps even more importantly, what lessons, gifts, blessings and joy are we rejecting and pushing away from us? literally, diverting the ways the universe has conspired on our behalf? not trusting and receiving what we have been given or are being given is detrimental to the Soul. by spending time 'guarding' and 'protecting,' we are inadvertently re-directing the very experiences designed to assist us in our unique path of transformation and awakening (AND, really, it's a bit foolish to believe we are in control of 'what gets in and what stays out' anyway, right?!).
on this day - in remembrance of MLK - let's connect in with and bolster those energies inside of ourselves AND at the level of the collective over-Soul that affirm experiencing and trusting all of Life and affirm living with wide open hearts. the energy of the heart, when it's open and aligned with the body and Soul, is the most powerful force of Love there is. when we be, live and act from THAT place, we don't need protection. in fact, the open, unguarded and loving heart itself is the greatest protection - and potential - we have.