Home, Hearth, and Heart
This post provides 7 powerful practices of courage to help you find your place of refuge. These 7 practices is a path that will point you home, be it the physical heart at the center of your chest, or the metaphorical hearth, where you might hang our heart.
First, the physical: Aside from functional necessities like furniture, appliances, and clothing, home is where we display our lifelong collection of memories, trinkets, and mementos that have meaning to us. We surround ourselves in our home, with reminders of the journey we have been on: meeting people, places, and challenges that mold us to being the person we are today.
Home is not simply familiar, it is safe. We create a safe space for ourselves to exhale, where we can relax and simply be.
Here, we are free to roam about naked, both literally and metaphorically. It is a tiny corner of the universe where we can exhale, release, and be totally ourselves, however, we wish to be, in the confines of our own space.
The immediate feeling of home, through our senses of taste, sensation, sight, smell, and sound, create an environment that is familiar. Everything around us is a reflection of where we’ve been in life, or is a reminder of who is important to us, perhaps even what (or who) inspires us.
By definition, the Hearth is simply an extension of a fireplace. The hearth is the immediate area around the fireplace or the area of floor in front of the fireplace.
It is in this area, directly before the fire that we feel comfort, coziness, and warmth. The hearth is a source of light, life, and safety, keeping us cozy amid the wintery weather outside. It is here that we might feel the palpable comforts and inherent safety associated with our home.
The sound of crackling and popping of kindling, the smell of firewood burning and permeating our space, and the delightful sight of flames dancing in our midst. Not only is the hearth comfortable, it inspires joy and nurtures well-being. There is a fullness and comfort of the heart when we experience a lit fireplace in the midst of the storm outside! As the centerpiece of peace, safety, joy, and delight is brought back anytime we are around a hearth.
Heart: The Intersection of Home and Hearth
Home and hearth, be it physical or metaphorical, is a place of safety. The physical intersection of home and hearth is our sacred heart. It is the natural habitat of where our soul resides.
More than a physical location, home is a feeling, it is an awareness of what resonates in the soul.
When we are home, we swim in resonant, harmonic energy, as though we are in the presence of a glorious choir!
When we are home in our heart, our physical selves are aligned with our highest, most noble self. We are one with our calling, and our calling is one with us. Our actions on the outside is congruent and consistent with the ideals, feelings, and values we hold on the inside.
We are perfectly content being home. There is nothing we need to do. There is nowhere we need to be.
Experiencing wholeness through existing in the present moment, without the need to strive or struggle, and being at peace, is to be home.
Why It’s a Practice
Very few of us live a monastic life. Only a handful of human beings amid the 10 million of us choose to retreat to a mountaintop to meditate all day and all night. The rest of us exist in community and society and allow ourselves to immerse fully in the human experience.
In consciousness, as in real life, on any given day, we might leave home. Perhaps we are attending school, or going to the market or meeting up with friends. As our physical body leaves the home, so too, do our psyche and energy.
We get called away to tend to life’s adventures. Hooray! We may meet new people, places, and things. And we may find before long that we are very far from home, away from everything we’ve known. Our words and actions may not align. To appease another, we may do somthing, we really didn’t want to do.
Even though it is doubtful that a typical person could get lost in finding their own physical home again, the reality is that we may get caught up in our living. We might find ourselves suddenly living a lie, or living a life on borrowed time.
We might come to believe that what is tangible (what we feel, and what we sense) is the truth of our being. We may very well forget that we have a spiritual home, and inherent in that home is the wisdom within that sources our being.
The hearth within us might be metaphoric to some, but when I tap into the light and fire that inspires all my actions, I find myself, at once, home again.
To come home, we need to shift our mindset, to reframe and reprogram what is most aligned with us.
On the journey of life, opportunities and pathways exist for us to return over and over again to ourselves.
We call it a practice so long as we are living. We have come home before. And we have lost our way many times!
Life is a dynamic exchange: living, learning, giving and receiving is a process. Even though we’ve come home, returning home is a continual practice. So long as we are alive, we are engaged in practice.
Home is Where the Heart Is
Our home is where our heart is. In the journey home to our heart, we have ample opportunities to recognize the truth of our being so that we can honor the authenticity of our souls and who we’ve come to be.
What is required for the journey home?
Below are seven powerful practices of courage to master on your journey home to yourself. At face value, they are simple. The concepts are not difficult to grasp. Where we might go wrong is to become inconsistent in practice.
You may need to build up the discipline for daily practice, following through on each step as it arises.
Where we might also falter and lose our way is when the going gets tough. It is in times of difficulty or resistance is where most people receive the largest personal breakthroughs with this practice.
In these crucial moments, we must remember to practice our courage. As they say, to “feel the fear, and do it anyway.”
The Practice of Courage #1: Commitment
Commit or quit. Three powerful words.
Poignant. Tough. True.
When we commit our whole selves to any process, there isn’t anything we cannot do. In the practice of coming home to yourself, commitment requires real courage because it does not falter. Commitment is never to be taken lightly.
If it is important to you to live in alignment with your highest, most noble self, commitment to do so simply means to live your life on the outside as you feel on the inside, congruent and in sync, true to your self.
In committing to anything, there is no additional choice to make. We have surpassed our choice points. We are committed.
When we are committed to something you simply take the actions to complete the commitment as though there’s no other choice available.
When we are committed to our marriage, for instance, we work things out with our partner. We safeguard our marriage because of our commitment. There is no other option but to do so together.
The partnership herein lies in your willingness to take action and the mindset that you have created to set yourself up for success. Commit to succeeding, and you will!
What are you 100%, undeniably committed to?
The Practice of Courage #2: Openness
Being open and receptive to change is a real point of courage. When we are open we become channels for great positive change.
Change begins with self-awareness and self-exploration. Without a full inventory of who we are, where we’ve been, what we need now, and what we need to move forward, we would not have a fair assessment of how to move forward.
Being open and receptive to our whole selves: body, mind, and spirit, allows us to listen intently. As we open ourselves to guidance, we become open and receptive to the wisdom all around us.
In doing so we have ample information to discern what is ours to take action on, and what is not.
We are also open to knowing that we are one with the life force that breathes us, enabling us to receive the wisdom that we are to know.
My personal gateway to being open is through prayer and meditation. In the silence and stillness of my being, I raise my awareness to a higher consciousness - I become one with breath, creativity, and possibility allowing what needs to be revealed ample space to come forth.
How do you open up to a greater reality of life? Do you engage in a mindfulness practice, sports, prayer, meditation, art, or otherwise?
The Practice of Courage #3: Use
To be courageous is to take action and use what we know. It is said that life lessons are presented to us as an opportunity to further understand what it is that we are to learn in this lifetime.
When we utilize tools, resources, and concepts in our life and apply them to challenges, we may very well demonstrate that we have learned a particular lesson created specifically for us.
Using and practicing tools such as meditation, forgiveness, gratitude, release, and the like, requires great courage because they are dynamic practices to bring us home to the truth of our being. It requires courage to be the dynamic channel for which these principles flow. Each and every day as we are committed to our practice, as we are open to what ours is to do, we practice courage by using (utilizing) what we know.
As a parent to the preteen, it is always a challenge to wake my son up in the mornings. (Might I add that it is also a challenge to get him into bed on time at night?) On those days when we are running late and he is reluctant to get out of bed, I really need to remember to use my practice.
If you are a mother or have a preteen, you might know exactly what I am saying. One part of me wants to turn on loud music, or take away his covers, or open the window so to incentivize him to wake up. But the more practiced side of me chooses, albeit, sometimes reluctantly, to take a more gentler approach.
I may lift this covers or stroke my fingers on his hair or keep the lights on and keep returning every 5 to 10 minutes reminding him of the time until he is awake. All the while, of course, he keeps his head buried under a pillow.
In my case, the practice of patience, and loving parenting is exercised (over my need to immediately remove him from his bed).
In what way, comical or serious do you find the use of tools and resources helpful in your everyday life? (What comes to mind is the goldmines of practice: traffic, politics, and news!)
The Practice of Courage #4: Release
The idea of release through the practice of Courage has to do with releasing ourselves. As we undergo our practice, invariably, we will come face to face with what we are to NOT do.
In cases like this, we must be willing to forgive, to forgo, to let go of what no longer serves us. To put it crudely, we must drop the dead weight. Being attached to that which no longer serves us or that which does not belong to us is inefficient, and painful. It may very well be the crux of our suffering.
Forgiving others is also a practice of release. To forgive is to relinquish. To forgive is to “give for” something good expecting nothing in return.
In the process of forgiving and releasing, not only are we lighter in our burdens and our energetic bodies, we are also freed from the burden of holding onto energy that simply doesn’t belong to us.
In the case when we really don’t want to let it go, know that releasing is most critical. We must find the courage to reach deep within us and “drop it like it’s hot!”
Even when something is good, we must make room. There have been instances in my life where I have been reluctant to release a project. It is only when I am reminded that I must let go of the good for something greater, that I finally surrendered and released it.
What might have a hold on you currently that you are going back and forth on? Listen to it, pay attention to it. Listen to your inner guidance. It may be the case that you are asked to let go of something good and decent, in order for another magnificent something to flourish in your life.The
The Practice of Courage #5: Acceptance
The first step to peace is acceptance. After we release and let go of something, we must surrender to what is.
Buyers remorse or in this case surrenders remorse, may not be redeemed. We must accept and surrender to what is.
Right, wrong or indifferent we made a choice at a given choice point. And now, it is time to allow it to harmonize.
We work with the idea of acceptance in body, mind, and spirit, in every cell of our being, on every level of our energy.
Acceptance is the first positive step to a greater reality.
It is a step toward negating remorse or regret, wasted emotions that do not serve our highest good.
At the end of every relationship, we must accept the relationship as complete and over. If we do not accept this fact, we will carry-on, unable to ever mend our heartbreak. We may live in the denial process with the false sense of hope and not accepting the situation just as it is, we would not be able to move on and be happy.
Is there something on your heart that you need to accept right now? Would acceptance of this situation, circumstance, people or thing allow you to live a more harmonious existence? If the answer is yes, acceptance is key.
The Practice of Courage #6: Gratitude
Gratitude is a basic practice of loving acceptance. It acknowledges the outpouring of abundance that is part and parcel of our good and universal good.
Being thankful is most difficult when we see a situation or a circumstance that feels adversarial. However, as we have seen in history, things have a way of coming back to homeostasis. When we look back to our largest tragedies in life, we can count at least on one hand full the benefits that have come out of an adversarial situation.
When we learn to give thanks, proactively and in advance, we are signaling to the universe that we are expecting our good to arrive and therefore, we are grateful.
When we give things after the fact, we are affirming our gratitude and the good that we have received.
A life-changing tragedy that I have learned to embrace is the loss of my mother when I was 16 years old. Through the years, I have worked to process my grief, forgiveness, and gratitude. In many ways, I have evolved and I don’t ever feel like I can say I’m ever complete. Yet, I have come to see that my embrace of life, inner strength and commitment to live every day as my last is a direct result of losing my Mother at such a young age. For these gifts, I am grateful.
Think of a difficult trying time in your past. Have you given thanks today for the good that has come of it? Or that will come out of it?
The Practice of Courage #7: Evolve
When you know better, do better. Powerful practice of courage number 7 is to embrace change, to evolve, adapt and shift. We evolve by changing our mindset. and then changing our habits that are driven by our thinking. To be agile to change we must be flexible in our thinking. When we shift our thinking from leaning on the status quo to embracing inevitable change, we accelerate our evolutionary process.
Instead of fighting tooth and nail, holding on for dear life, for the change that is inevitable, we release and allow that which is evolving to do so.
When we allow change to occur in us, through us, and as us, we become the agents, part and parcel of magnificent change, and a positive force for good.
Think of the changing seasons that dictate our biorhythm. It would be futile to hold onto the day in resistance for the night that is to come.
Similarly, it would be futile to hold on to Spring when we know full well that autumn is around the corner. Even if we had the power to stop the seasons from progressing, why would we? To do so is to go against nature and the process of dynamic and necessary change that is life here on earth.
In what ways are you resistant to change? Or do you feel stagnant in one or more area of life that can use change, but you have yet to take steps to embrace it?
When you have lost your way, or even feeling a bit confused, no matter how much you do (plan, organize, strive, slay and accomplish), there is still a hole in your heart. No one is quite as aware of that as you - this agitation, restlessness. You may suffer in silence, feeling the loss, poignant and raw. There may be no words to pinpoint how you feel.
You may feel the ground beneath you has fallen out. Or that, what you once knew with such conviction no longer resonates. Perhaps all the words and logic fall into place, but your heart is no longer there.
It is in this place of disparity, of discomfort, that we must be vigilant students of life. We must perk up our ears and our spiritual eyes and gather, with all our strength the courage needed to traverse The Journey Home to our sacred self. It is in this place, the Heart, where the eternal self-lies that hold the secrets to what you are to do next in life.
Please Raise Awareness and Share The Love ❤️
Dear Friends, I realize that this is a pretty deep article. Please feel free to share what comes to you, and/or answer any of the questions noted above. I thank you for the courage in joining me to consider creating a positive world for all, beginning with ourselves (and including our children, and our children’s children). Namaste 💝🙏🏼💞