Strong back, Soft front, WILD heart
The title of this blog is one of my favorite teaching points created by one of my mentor's, Brene Brown. In her latest book, Dare to Lead, she is sharing about how this pertains to running big corporations, and, as she always so brilliantly, does, how this parallels with all areas of our lives.
"Integration" is one of my favorite words and something that I feel most of us could use some support around. People may be so intimately immersed in their spiritual practices but their work, home-life, relationship with their body, money and or friends, is not well. Or the opposite end of things, where the relationship with their daily duties is so utterly structured that all appears seamless but on the inside they are depressed, stormy, experiencing deep feeling of being alone and totally disconnected from any relationship with Spirit/our Interconnectedness/oneness at all, which to me, also translates to 'not well.'
When I heard these words "strong back, soft front, wild heart" as Brene's definition of "integration", I had to share, as I feel it illustrates the embodiment of the bridging of our sublime/spiritual/energetic/subtle realm lives with that of our mundane/matter/manifested/3-D lives. To "integrate" means "to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole." I love that! So, what are the 3 pieces we are aiming to integrate if we lean into Brene's learning tool here? Let's break it down:
1. Strong back (boundaries, strength to lean into, inner-confidence, I (and therefore everyone else) matter- we literally must build the muscles in our back to sustain the posture of an open heart, and not just in anyway, but in a way that gives our neck space, our traps the ability to relax, connection to widen the shoulder blades at the top of the back of our heart and bring the bottom tips of the lower shoulder blades to the midline at the base of the back of the heart, and we need strong lats along the sides of the ribs and erectors up and down the spine to hold us up, so we can stand as beacons of our highest light. And, I could go on and on with the anatomy stuff (if you want more, come to class and/or reach out for a private) but for now I will just also say that part of a strong back is knowing how to activate the back of your upper arms, your triceps. When we have a literal strong back, with our upper arms wide and not sinking down and forward suffocating our pecs, we are in a vulnerable position with our hearts open and ready, not in a passive, weak way, but quite the opposite- a way of steady self confidence, a deep knowing of how infinitely supported we truly are and a clarity of healthy boundaries for ourselves.
2. Soft front- On a deeper level, when we have a strong back, we become the form, the vessel, that serves as the instrument of our Truth, holding the literal outer form so our inner space can expand and open to its fullest capacity. The muscles around the front of our heart are lengthened as they are supported by the strength of our back. This form, if not supported by a strong back, can feel excessively vulnerable, wishy washy, watery, boundary-less, unsafe to share who we really are with the world. Without a strong back, an open heart posture will not last long, it is literally not sustainable because of the lack of muscle support, but more than that, we will feel the need to constantly be protecting ourselves as we don't feel safe without good, strong boundaries of what and who we let in and what and who we do not.
3. Wild heart- And of course my favorite part is this idea of living in a state of ultimate freedom, wild. And I don't mean 'wild' in an irresponsible sense, I mean 'wild' as our natural self. With the relationship of a strong back and soft front, the interior space then has room to expand and be creative, playful and curious. We feel more comfortable with taking a leap, choosing something risky, and stepping towards the unknown with a smile on our face, and a soft inner strength at once. We know that, no matter what, we will ultimately be ok, no matter what it actually looks life. We are present with the process being the gift, as much as the goal. We have a deep sense of ourselves being our own greatest leader, and that this connection with ourselves is not based on external circumstances, but rather a deep and intimate relationship with pure love, joy and peace, which I believe is at the core of all being's essence.
So, I ask you to ask yourself, do you feel 'integrated' in your life. Do you know you've got any and everything you need for all things within you, are you able to approach life with a sense of Trust no matter what the circumstances are and are you taking leaps and feeling playful and free as you do so? Write about this. Talk about it with your friends. Contact me and come see me, either a private session, my Wednesday class that's from 10-11:20am and/or at the upcoming retreat the weekend of April 25-27 in Boone, NC. More info is on my website www.brookshaislip.com.
I wish us all a strong back, soft front and a wild heart way of living!