When I was in kindergarten, at the end of the year, every student in class received an award. I remember a classmate earned an award for being the brightest. A girl who placed all her erasures and pencils neatly on her desk got an award for being the most organized, and a friend of mine, Robbie, earned the honor of the fastest runner.
I collected the award for the most congenial.
At first, I didn’t know what it meant. I wondered if it meant I needed to take bath or change my underwear more often. My teacher explained that congenial was another way of saying, I was the friendliest. She went on to tell me that I was always looking to make friends with everyone I met. I remember one afternoon on the playground by the monkey bars, I began arguing with a friend. I felt myself become very upset inside. My chest became hot and twisted. I instinctively thrust my hand out and said, “hey lets be friends” the other boy shook my hand and said, “OK”. The twisting feeling in my chest immediately dissipated and was followed by a warm open feeling in my upper chest. We both continued to play and laugh and became better friends.
As a kid I was very open hearted. It pained me to feel my heart close and to see other people suffering. Alas, hormones and Junior High came along and with it a facade of protection shrouded my open heart. I felt very insecure during Junior High. People fighting, kissing, acting cool; I was way out of my element, dearly missing recess on the playground and dangerously close to being an all out dork. My heart was so delicate, it was almost impossible to safeguard. I adapted and tried my best to act cool and fit in. It was hard to keep my heart contained. The lack of security in the junior high school environment left a deficit in my self esteem and I would occasionally act out and say mean things to my mom and pick on my little brother. After all, it was safe to be mean to them. I’m so sorry for being a shit head to you Mom and Brent, please, forgive me.
Inside I felt ugly. I looked in the mirror and tried not to shudder, because I looked nerdy and awkward. My friends were my only repose. We were all in the same boat. Not terribly popular, all bright, athletic, and a little on the pubescent uncomfortable side of confidence, good looks, and social graces with girls. It was around that time that I quit playing soccer, a game I was passionate about. It was utterly devastating. All I wanted was to grow up and be the next Pele. You know, the greatest soccer player ever, who at seventeen years old scored three goals in the World Cup final for Brazil; one of which was an upside down bicycle kick… yeah I wanted to be that guy.
I had been sitting on the bench for an entire season, while my coach brought in a bunch of ringers. It was fun to win all our games, but riding the pine sucked. So, I quit. And my life forever changed. I was crushed giving up my dream and letting go of all my buddies. This is where I learned my first great life lesson. I was distraught about the whole mess, so my Dad intervened. He instructed me to call my friends and tell them why I quit and thank them for their friendship. I thought my dad was crazy. It made me so nervous inside to even think of doing such a thing. He wanted me to open my heart and pour the contents all over my friends, of whom I was so desperate to be liked. I knew I had to do it, and I was petrified.
The first phone call, I couldn’t stop crying, barely able to blurt a word out between sobs. I called my friend Josh first because he was very mellow and would be the most sensitive to me. I was choking on my tongue, water works in full display, as I thanked him for all the fun car rides across southern, California. I explained why I quit and he said he was thinking of doing the same because he wasn’t playing much either. I parted by wishing him the best with the team, and thanking him for the laughs. During the phone call I felt like my heart was being ripped apart, but by the end I felt warm inside. My heart felt full and I felt strong. The next call was almost as painful, but by the last I had a little grace in my cadence and I was composed inside. My Dad navigated me through my first experience in sharing my truth and I felt powerful and full of hope and purpose. This was the first of many experiences where I took a risk to open and share my soul. I can say now after two decades of practice, I’m getting better at it. I’m still making friends and I’m living in my heart. I feel secure inside. I feel steady in my heart. When my heart has something to say, I don’t argue that much. I listen and take action.
In fact I’ve developed some skill in navigating the contours of my heart and I am dedicated to helping others do the same. There is a method to establishing a steady presence in your heart, which you can take with you into any circumstance and radiate into your environment. You can be skillful in expressing your hearts impulses. I am now developing a sequence of pathology and wellness emotionally, physically and energetically. The sequencing will help you understand where and how you get stuck around honoring Heart Truth and allow you to skillfully navigate your destiny.