This blog is written by guest blogger, Tara Mohr, writer, personal growth teacher and coach.
I appreciate the term self-care, I really do. I understand the need for some word in our language that means something along these lines.
But that phrase, self-care, has always turned me off. It reminds me of college, where all counseling services were run out of the office of “Mental Hygiene.” I kid you not, that’s what it was called. You walked through a door with a sign that said “Mental Hygiene” at the top.
Self-care, the term, with the little hypen and all, feels too technical, too jargony. It feels like this is something we should do along with a breast self-exam, like posters for both should be side by side on doctors walls, pink explanatory cartoons and all.
In my writing, in my life, in my coaching practice, I’ve invented new terms, new concepts, ones that are more evocative. Ones that feel as sacred and layered and rich as it is to hold ourselves in love, to give ourselves all that will allow us to be safe, to thrive, to fulfill our own happiness.
One of those concepts is The Outer Heart. I’m excited to share it with all of you.
The Outer Heart
All of us receive a heart that holds our wounds and our hopes, but it is up to each of us to make the heart that holds our heart—the outer heart.
The outer heart is a shell, a vessel, a landing pad for all that happens in the heart. It can be soft or hard, pliant or rigid, made of clouds or gravel or nails or emeralds, depending on you.
The outer heart absorbs shocks to the heart–repels or dissolves or amplifies them, depending on what you have built.
All of us are given hearts that are vulnerable to the elements, but we must learn how to make the medicine and balms that rest in our outer hearts.
When your heart feels or speaks or leaps or lunges, how do you receive it? What kind of outer heart have you made?
Of course, the outer heart is always sending a message to the heart about the heart’s value. The outer heart is always saying something to you about who you are.
The outer heart is always where suffering begins, or where it can be circumvented. It’s all about how we hold our hearts.
What is your outer heart like now? A courtroom with judge and jury? An open field, a war zone? A warm blanket providing soft insulation? A carefully woven basket? What is this container porous to and what is protected?
What do you want your outer heart to be? What do you want it to provide?
What would it mean today, to begin to act with that outer heart, the one you desire? To hold all that happens in your heart like you hold a loved one, a cherished one? To bring the wise love you possess to your heart?
Tara Mohr is a writer, personal growth teacher and coach who helps people access their own inner wisdom. For more, visit her blog at www.wiselivingblog.com