Heart Power: Inspiring the Courage to Heal and Love Yourself One Day at a Time

Heart Power: Inspiring the Courage to Heal and Love Yourself One Day at a Time

by Ed Conrad
Heart Power: Inspiring the Courage to Heal and Love Yourself One Day at a Time

Heart Power: Inspiring the Courage to Heal and Love Yourself One Day at a Time

by Ed Conrad

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Overview

Rather than attempting to engage the reader in more mental exercises, the wisdom and inspiration in this daily companion book is designed to uncover something far more powerful. Through personal stories infused with honest, bold, and sometimes humorous reflections, the author invites us to awaken and energize our greatest inner resource—the power of the inner heart. Not only does he draw upon his personal experience, practice, research, and vulnerabilities in crafting these daily pieces of wisdom, he also draws from the well of renowned spiritual teachers and ageless wisdom traditions.

Day by day, each writing stands on its own as a love offering created to inspire as well as support the dismantling of our personal fears. When included as part of daily spiritual practice, Heart Power is likely to awaken the sleeping giants of tangible courage, spiritual healing, creative energy, and ongoing loving, compassionate connection with ourselves and our companions. Simple, but potent, heart-centered daily practices are provided to help with this personal and spiritual restoration. In this one-of-a-kind daybook, the power and wisdom of the inner heart comes of age.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452522302
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 10/21/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 388
File size: 3 MB

Read an Excerpt

Heart Power

Inspiring the Courage to Heal and Love Yourself One Day at a Time


By Ed Conrad

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2014 Ed Conrad
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4525-2229-6


CHAPTER 1

January 1

A Walkabout

"We have come to love, serve, and remember."


Writing this book has been like nothing else I've ever done. I have spent countless hours and days uncovering what is within me often late into the night. Unlike most other books, I have created 366 offerings, each one expressing a unique message from my deep heart to yours.

The closer I got to the end, the more slowly the writing progressed. It's been a marathon. I've been able to more fully appreciate the enormous gift of life as I've gathered in some of what I've experienced and learned in my parentheses in eternity. Much remains beyond my human experience and imagination. It has felt like a purposeful walkabout to get closer to my own soul.

We all could benefit from getting reacquainted with ourselves. It doesn't happen all at once. It's a gradual emergence, a lifetime calling, a grand cycle. It's our rare opportunity in this vast cosmos to peer through the grand design of our souls and somehow see and feel a Divine Presence looking back at us. We keep looking and finding something new, something ancient, something previously unimaginable.

You haven't wandered into this life by accident. Nor have you wandered into this book by accident. You are having a sacred encounter with the oneness of life.

Let your spiritual heart open to receive this simple prayer and may it empty into every stream flowing through your life this year. Rabbi Abraham Heschel, noted author and civil-rights leader, wrote, "Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy."


January 2

Alpha and Omega

"There is no place where love is not."


Countless times the alpha of love shows up in our lives. A first takes place—a new baby, a new friend or loved one, a new discovery, a new attitude, a new home, a new song, renewed health, new work. We push the pause button on everything else and turn our hearts toward appreciation. There is often celebration and a resurgence of hope and purpose. A resonant field of love permeates the space.

There is the omega of love. An ending occurs. A loved one passes on, a marriage ends, a project is completed, we leave our childhood home, our favorite book or movie comes to an end, we give away a priceless family heirloom. In these times, we push the pause button again and, even amid sadness or despair, we still turn our hearts toward appreciation, an appreciation for what we've received from that loved one or beloved thing. A resonant field of love simmers in our heart-space.

Both alpha and omega moments are portals to love and appreciation. The wisdom of the heart teaches us to learn from what we generate during these powerful transitions by fueling more moments of everyday life with love and appreciation. May all things turn you toward this ever-present field.


January 3

Heading for Deeper Waters

"You're no longer afraid of what's inside of you. It is only passing through."


At age two during a family vacation on the beaches of Biloxi, Mississippi, under the not-so-watchful eye of my mother, aunt, and two older sisters, I somehow made my way into the surf unnoticed. After a bit of time, they finally realized I was gone, but couldn't spot me anywhere. Thanks to my bright-blue bathing suit, they eventually spotted me floating face-down in waist-deep water.

Their screams alerted a passerby. He ran toward that bright-blue suit and pulled my limp body from the water. He knew just what to do and resuscitated me. After that life-saving moment, on a scale of one to ten, my terror of being near deeper water was a ten.

At age thirteen, I was able to find the courage to take swimming lessons. While flopping around in water over my head, my swim instructor simply let me feel the terror. Not only did I feel terror, I also felt anger and embarrassment in my helplessness. About the fourth lesson, the feelings of terror, anger, and embarrassment began to dissipate. At the end of the series of lessons, I still felt anxiety while in deep water, but no terror. I also was feeling happy, because I was realizing what had been underneath my terror of deep water all along: a love for water. It was this love which drew me to head for the gulf waters as that innocent two-year-old.

Yes, you can mine great wisdom and self-awareness by facing and integrating life's painful and frightening experiences. You can move from being frozen inside to being free. You have the capacity to be in the deeper waters of a mature and authentic spiritual life and live more fully even when fear is present.

By the way, my favorite color is blue.


January 4

Sacre-Coeur

"There is one heart beating."


High atop a hill in a northern district of Paris sits the magnificent Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, known to Parisians simply as Sacre-Coeur (sounds like purr), meaning "sacred heart." Filing through its awe-inspiring interior with the moving mass of pilgrims, tourists, and worshippers, I was deeply moved by its great blue and gold dome mosaic of Jesus standing tall with outstretched arms and a shining gold radiating heart. I felt such deep emotion. The artist powerfully reminded me of what we all possess: a sacred heart.

Here's how I experience it and what I've learned about its presence through all the vulnerabilities and shifts of my human experience.

The sacred heart, or spiritual heart, or deep heart, as it is sometimes called, is a vibrational pattern which emanates from the lower center of our chest. It circulates through our bodies and extends out well beyond our physical shape into the space around us.

As a vibrational pattern, the sacred heart ignites a quality of self-awareness and presence which generates the inspiration and courage to self-express without hiding our true light. This quality gives birth to ways of communicating, serving, and creating that flow and radiate love, ingenuity, imagination, and new energy into every aspect of life. This sacred energy, expressed and understood in this light, is a one-of-a-kind manifestation of intelligence and generosity of spirit which can serve as the orchestrator for all that we are as spiritual humans.

Simply put, the sacred heart is the imprint of Divine Presence in our core which moves us in all the ways described above. It is my deepest conviction that the sacred heart is our greatest inner resource.

Wherever you are right now, if you can do it safely, after several deep breaths, focus on the lower center of your chest while you continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Keeping that focus, now gently lean back just a bit, if you can safely, and stretch your arms straight out from your side with your chest open wide. Notice what this feels like. Now, while holding this sacred pose, for as long as you are comfortably able, radiate love and compassion out to the world from your center, your sacre coeur. Be the heart of the world, a love without end. Namaste.


January 5

Take a Risk

"You're sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience."

—Michael Singer


Every day we awaken and it is faith that propels us ahead. Most of us learned as schoolchildren that we are hurling through space around our sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 miles per hour. We have faith that even at these dizzying speeds our planet will hold us on its surface via gravity without being launched into space.

Life on Earth has its risks. The question is this: how do we live when risks are a fact of life? The risk of being on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere hardly registers the tiniest blip on our fear screen. We faithfully assume that all forces are going to continue to work together in harmony to ensure our safety and the life of our planet.

However, other much smaller but personal matters can send the fear needle on our risk meter into our danger zone. On a road in a state park in Indiana, at the top of a hill I saw a sign with these words: "Caution. Steep Hill Ahead. Proceed at Your Own Risk." We all proceed through life at our own risk, unless we are small children.

Your experience is a reflection of what you tuck away in your deep heart, in the core of your being. You tuck away that the universe is either a friendly place or it's not. This earthly experience is largely for your enjoyment and learning as you progress on the wheel of life or for your fears to rule the day. Even with the risks as they are, which would you rather embrace?

Let this day point out to you how entrenched your fears may be and how they inhibit and determine your choices and behavior. Without putting yourself in real danger, be willing to take one fear and risk not allowing it to stop you. Go ahead! It's like a loving parent encouraging you to have faith and come down the slide. They assure you they will be at the bottom to catch you. Eventually you let go and discover how fun and safe it really is.


January 6

An Epiphany

"I realize that what I thought were still clouds straight overhead aren't clearing and aren't going to clear, because these are clouds of stars, the Milky Way come to join me. There's the primal recognition, my soul saying, yes, I remember."

—Paul Bogard


If Jesus himself were involved in the current day celebration of Christmas he might scoff at the notion that he is the reason for the season. The reason for the season could be more a celebration of the incarnation of the divine in all of life across all religious and spiritual belief systems. How about celebrating the universal light in this world that expresses in and through all?

I'm more drawn to the Feast of Epiphany which occurs on the twelfth day of (after) Christmas on January 6th and celebrates the revelation of the divine incarnation of Jesus brought to the whole world by the magi.

The global version of Epiphany would rejoice in the incarnation of divine light in and through everyone and every living thing. What a glorious celebration it would be! All peoples join on one day, as we are reminded in the first chapter of Genesis, to "call it good." Yes, declare all of creation good and rejoice that Divine Presence continues to create and express across the universe.

The spiritual DNA of Divine Presence shows up in the most unlikely places. It is not exclusive to beautiful temples or priestly individuals, but present and alive in what may appear to be the imperfect moments of simple everyday life. Divinity does not evaluate where it best belongs. It just is. May your vision come into focus so that you see Divine Presence everywhere and have your very own personal epiphany.

Salam, amani, maluhia, shanti, wolakota. To all in this world—peace.


January 7

Hillary's Heart

I've heard it said more than once recently that letter writing has almost become extinct. There is nothing like a letter written by one's own hand. It carries the weight of authentic transformative truth. Almost twenty years ago, my daughter Hillary wrote this letter to me. I've kept it close by since then. It's a beautiful example of heart-centered communication. May her words inspire you to write a letter to someone, yes, a letter, that is long overdue.

"Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for coming to Seattle and giving me a great amount of joy. Most of the last nine years I have wanted so much for us to be closer, for you to know that I don't feel any anger for what the past brought about and I see that life pulls souls in all directions.

Today I found out that a close friend of mine from school died in an accident last Thursday night. Thursday day we spent most of the day together, doing massage, and then he gave me a ride home on the motorcycle that killed him. There are feelings of regret that I never expressed how happy I was when we spent time together and that he was a great friend. I just thought he knew. Now I'll never know. I just hope he took that with him.

For years after you left I had the same nightmare that you were on a train waving goodbye and I knew that you would never come back. The nightmare went away after a few years, but in my heart I never knew if you knew how much I missed you and how much I wanted to be part of your life. Now that I've grown out of the pain, I see that we have the rest of our lives to be friends.

I always want you to know how much I love you, because some day fate will take us out of this world. I don't want there to be any regrets, only happiness and peace. You will always be my dad and I love you!"


January 8

A Divine Sculpture

"In truth, real love never dies. It is always with us calling us home."


"The unexamined life is not worth living," Socrates bluntly declared. We are asked to take ownership of our actions and decisions.

This drumbeat is with me strongly right now. This is at the heart of my life. I'm looking closely. I've been experiencing both clarity and raw moments of questioning myself. I feel somewhat like Michelangelo's sculpture of David, simply allowing everything that is "not David" to be carved away. I am being shaped and formed into a new creature. That's the life I've chosen.

May each of us, when and where needed, be shaped and formed in new ways. At times it is clearly an unavoidable and blessed necessity. Those of us committed to following the ageless wisdom and power of the heart shall always be cast in the direction of what remains unfinished, unexamined, and unlike real love. As Jesus expressed, if we allow ourselves to be heart-led, we shall eventually "see God" in everything and everyone.

Remember, the starting point and ending point of any life change is always to remain steadfast in feeling and knowing the truth of who and what you are: a spiritual being, the light of the world with divine love at your core, empowered to live a life of purpose and joy. Many have come into my life to remind me. May this reminder serve you right where you are.


January 9

A Love Offering

"Turning tides, at the fulcrum of decision. Hope or destruction, which way will we go. All I know is if you want to love another, reach down in your soul and love yourself. Shine your light upon the world and love yourself. And love will come to you when you love yourself."

—Jenny Bird


Each day we come to the altar of our lives and decide what we shall place there as an inner offering. It could be anxiety or worry, forgiveness or willingness, fear or inadequacy, courage or serenity, playfulness or joy. This offering then becomes the leading edge of our experience.

What I may finally be getting about daily life is that it can be distilled down to one offering: love yourself. Some of the painful experiences we have gone through or soul impressions brought into this life have somewhat muted and masked how to love ourselves. We either reach down in our souls and love ourselves or not. This is the day-to-day-fulcrum of decision.

In recent days I have been experiencing the teeter-tottering of this fulcrum. I've felt uneasy. Yet, as I've recognized what's going on within me, I've been able to begin to see how I have endarkened the light of this love. There is some self-forgiveness to do, some honest looking at my choices, and some changes to make. I'm grateful.

Many of you are alongside in your need to transform your relationship with yourself. It is true. Love will come to you when you love yourself.


January 10

Flaws and Angels

"Imperfection(s) ... are reminders that we're all in this together."

—Brene Brown, Ph.D.


Living in Western Oregon, I've become accustomed to long stretches of time in cloudy, foggy, rainy weather from November through June. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an issue for many including me who live in this sun-deprived environment. While writing, I keep close at hand my light-box which is specifically designed to provide a natural spectrum of light and improve my mood and energy level. It does help.

When the sun finally does appear after a long period of being absent, locals respond like a hoard of rabid U2 fans discovering suddenly that a U2 concert has just begun in their neighborhood. An onrush of giddy people emerge from their caves and flood outside to take it in. Or, when the sun appears for a few moments, imagine thousands of people dashing to get next to the closest window and staring out at this bright object in the sky as if it were a UFO. It's like that here.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Heart Power by Ed Conrad. Copyright © 2014 Ed Conrad. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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