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Women's Empowerment Stories ...

The Heart Council

She leads us into what she calls a "Heart Council."* Once we are given the talking piece, we are to silence ourselves, making room for our hearts to speak. What does my heart need at this particular moment in time? What does my heart need me to hear tonight? I struggle with doubt and fear. How do I listen to my heart? What if I can't hear it? What if I don't know my own needs? I have been so busy for so long, I have no idea how to listen to my heart, and never even suspected that it might have anything to say...

I breathe deeply many times, calming myself down and quieting the voices of doubt and fear. I ask for the courage to be honest and open, and then focus my attention to my heart. As strange as it sounds, I decide I will give it a chance to speak its truth. I hope I can listen well enough, I hope it will speak a language that I can understand.

It takes a while for me to hear anything. But as I stay focused on my heart, even though I can't hear any specific words, I do feel something, a vague sensation that's telling me my heart is grateful that I am paying attention. That's what I choose to share within the circle for now. Feeling grateful, stronger somehow, and extremely relieved, I realize that I have just made a first conscious connection with my own essence. With a smile, I pass the talking piece to the woman next to me.

We will go around the circle four times clockwise, going deeper and deeper down the spiral of our experience and one last time in the opposite direction to come back to the present moment. Hearing the truth and beauty of the other women's longings and hopes, I feel more courageous and daring, and I feel my heart softening and opening a little bit more.

When the talking piece returns to me, my heart tells me that writing is good for me and asks that I please continue journaling regularly. My heart is saying that I need to make more time for myself and that it too, needs tender, loving care, and protection. My heart is thanking me for having made it this far, saying that the detours I took were necessary and that I am where I need to be.

Delighted, I realize that my heart has a lot to say! That I can greatly benefit from its wisdom; that I have just found an unconditional ally, who actually approves of me!

My heart is saying that no matter what, I will always be creating; that I can choose to continue to hide and create lessons for myself or I can choose to create joy in my life.

My heart is telling me to nurture my dreams, to put them on the altar of the heart, to fill them with love and to let them take form. That on this altar, they will be safe, loved and nurtured. That whether or not they manifest, just because they were born from my source, and because they nourish me and keep me alive and hopeful, they deserve to be nourished too.

My heart is saying that the sanctuary that I want to manifest in this lifetime may in fact already exist. That it may take no other physical form than my own body, seen with new eyes, seen as the temple holding divinity. That in fact, the pilgrimage centre I want others to come to may be an invitation for me to find peace within, and to allow myself to be touched by the experience of others and to come to total acceptance of self. My heart is saying that it needs a vehicle with some backbone. My heart needs me to stop waiting for everybody else's approval. My heart is patiently waiting for me to acknowledge and claim my own authority. It can no longer stand the expectations, the limitations and the criteria. It can't stand even another attempt at fitting in, at being the perfect chameleon. My heart desperately needs to be given the freedom to create from its own source.

When my heart will be open, I will recognize my own divinity, within my heart, within my soul and within the sentences springing from them, and I will no longer choose to see divinity only in others. That is, I believe, when the true communion can start.

When my heart will be open, I will be able to give everybody the privilege of reading into my words the messages that they need to read, and I will go on writing my truth, comfortable, at peace with my own meanings.

When my heart will be open, I will stop imposing that it be silent and blind and I will give myself the benefit of the doubt; and even perhaps, the gift of the first choice, hoping that it will be enough to spread hope and warmth, or to at least bring me peace.

When my heart will be open, I will know that it's about creation, not protection.

When my heart will be open, I will know what it is to be alive.

* Heart Council as experienced within PeerSpirit Circling with Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea.

~ Mireille Dupuis

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