An open heart is a very practical concept. Practical from the perspective of personal continuance. Living to see another day you need to have the heart and related tubes all open and the blood flowing. It’s also practical from a soul centred point of view meaning living with an open heart is being open to loving and being loved. In both cases we are responsible for managing the aperture to our inner lives. When the outflow, whether it is love or blood, is in agreement with the inflow then there is peace. This peace can allow us to look for new ways to grow. Without some degree of peace in our life we are easily stressed about getting from one moment to the next. The heart can usually take care of itself when given some decent food and exposure to nature (fresh air and sunlight). Where we need some fresh ideas is in the proverbial open heart of the emotion.
The heart is the inner life within our chest and at the same time our attitude that buoys our ego. Ego, for lack of a better word, is good. It, akin to your heart, keeps you alive. Too much ego, like making your heart work harder than it can handle, is damaging.
Ego can also be a metric of self worth. Socially it means you protect your reputation. As someone looking for meaning in relationships and life experience it means you stand up for yourself. As with most things it is best to avoid extremes. Too much ego means others never know the real you and are just exposed to your demands and whims. Too little means you are people’s doormat and hide in your little cave of self loathing, afraid to step out.
Sometimes people will laugh at you when you open your heart. Or you can end up saying something that alters your relationship with someone. The point of opening your heart is to be open to growing. Growing horizontal and vertical. Horizontal being knowledge and experience. Vertical is elevation, refinement and connection.
Open, opening, opened. It’s a lifelong process. it’s a challenge with nourishing reward.
To recap from the previous article, shift work is what we do when integrate our devotional life with daily life in a way that is beneficial to all. ‘All’ includes: you, the higher aspects of your soul, the people around you, the planet you live on and the essences above you.
A great thing about shift work is you don’t need a certificate or any PPE (personal protective equipment). It doesn’t cost money and it can be done in any language by anyone who feels urged by something for their life to have some sort of higher purpose. Shift work is finding the everyday words, at work or at home, that entice others to think about why they do what they do. The point is to understand that a lot of what we do in daily life is actually our devotional life asking for some attention, some love, to participate in your daily life.
At times shift work is difficult. Finding the shift key in order to have some peace or feel a sense of being the real you can seem endless, perhaps pointless. Especially in times of fake news what people or institutions can you trust to provide non biased instructions for the why and how of doing shift work? Put down the phone and look around you. Nature never fails. The planet never lies. The planet though, has her own dialect. One of a trajectory of development. Your soul speaks ‘trajectory’. The megaphone of the soul is your instinct. The fuel for for your instinct is belief.
That’s your work. What do you believe? Believe about: women, men, the role of a parent, planet earth, energy, the human mind, the soul trajectory. Here it is important to identify Big B and small b beliefs. a Big B belief is what you believe about men and small b belief is what you believe about you as a man. A Big B belief is what you believe about the human mind and small b belief is what you believe about your mind. These beliefs can be the threads along which we can reach up to higher realms, repeatedly, and non our own if that is the case. This brings up more questions, and more shift work:). Are my beliefs mine? Are my beliefs up to date?
Part of the shift work is to share what you feel. Sharing is a two way street. For example you offer your appreciation and amazement to planet earth for the beauty and strength that compose her grace and you are ‘graced’ by the well being energy that abounds in nature. Sharing is offering your experience and seeking the experience of others.
Shift work is doing one thing that serves both your daily and devotional life. That can be supporting your wife in what she wants which: 1. upholds your marriage and 2. energizes your sense of being a gentleman. For a man to resonate with his belief of a man and in himself as a valid expression of man is crucial. This enables a man to have an open heart and generate his emotional agility. It is up to us to feel a sense of satisfaction from participating in our family, getting things done at work, learning how to live healthy, connecting in our community (friends, sports, religion) and knowing that all of those support your daily/devotional growth.
Both daily and devotional energies are fundamental to our complex well being, growth and awareness. The devotional can easily get sidelined when daily demands are stressful and consuming. It happens all the time and it is usually because we are in the struggle of being good parents, ‘fighting’ for a decent marriage, or trying to be true to what we feel at this stage in life a man or woman.
Non one can live your life or you: Get shift done.
Across the top of your keyboard, one row below the function keys are the number keys. On each of the keys from 1 to 9 and 0 there is a symbol. For example on the number 1 key is the ! (exclamation mark). On the number 2 key is the @ (ampersand). The deciding factor in whether you see a 1 or a !; see a 2 or a @ is the shift key. As you well know if you press the number 1 by itself you see ‘1’. But if you hold down the shift key and then press the number 1 you actually see on your screen ‘!’. All it took was a little shift.
Lets say the numbers are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) – no nuance to digest or personal agenda to stickhandle. The symbols however require some interpretation. Your ability to interpret those symbols is improved by you gathering subject reference, life experience and personal education. Part of that education is getting your shift together!
The numbered part of the key, sans shift, can represent the demands, joys, satisfactions and stresses that come with embracing each day. The symbols speak of devotional life. This aspect of your life can be given various labels like spiritual life, religious practice or development journey. They all refer to the human experience of belonging and not belonging at the same time. This means you live in the community of your family, neighbourhood etc that provides a sense of companionship while at the same time the work of growing into your higher soul can set you apart. In a sense raising you out of your daily community into another one that can be difficult to identify and elusive to description but very real in the moment. Feeling this elevated connection is the product of your dedication of mental and higher emotional energy.
This belonging/not belonging contradiction is one of the emotions that can come with taking initiative in your development journey; you feel integrated with a sense of purpose however that purpose is unique to you. Unless you are associating with others that have aligned their focus towards personal growth and a life that seeks to live in a higher purpose you can at times feel a weird gap between people.
Shift work entails refining, clarifying and simplifying our thoughts and words of what we want. Shift work involves minimizing distraction as a means to maximize what is possible as a result of your energetic resonance. Shift work has been going on for thousands of years by men and women who seek to love and be loved according to the person they are and the soul/spirit they are responsible for.
The concept of a devotional life is not identifying any one god or specific religion as the answer. It is an encouraging message to recognize two aspects. One is the value of your expression of a devotional experience as a real religious response to the human opportunity. And the second is also the benefit to you; that feeling of purpose as your thoughts generate perceptions in connection with higher realms. Both of these aspects are universal – impossible to be owned and completely available to all.
We are highlighting the reality in each person of this dual dynamic of daily and devotional life and the responsibility, mechanics and results of this beautiful challenge. This ‘shift work’ is a constant offer from whatever it is that makes people and planets. It is a truthful to you and your time and the trajectory you find yourself on.