What does it mean to have a courageous heart?

Step into your courage, both on and off the mat.


I want to empower your courageous heart, that I know you have; with a mudra, a meditation, and a few words. May this piece of writing support you, may it reassure you, and may it surround you with unconditional love. May you always remind yourself that it takes courage to look inward. That it takes courage to acknowledge the fear, the joy, the worry, the beauty, and so much more, that we will ever experience in our lifetimes.


Mark Nepo writes:

“The courage of the seed:

All the buried seeds

Crack open in the dark

The instant they surrender

To a process they can’t see.”

He goes on to write:


“What a powerful lesson is the beginning of spring. All around us, everything small and buried surrenders to a process that none of the buried parts can see. And this innate surrender allows everything edible and fragrant to break ground into a life of light that we call spring. In nature, we are quietly given countless models of how to give ourselves over to what appears dark and hopeless, but which ultimately is an awakening that is beyond all imagining. This moving through the dark into blossom is the threshold to God. As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with her imagine itself loved or at peace. The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way.”


I invite you dear reader to take this gesture of your hands, Abhaya Hridaya Mudra, the fearless/courageous heart gesture. 

Here is a picture:

A mudra to depict a courageous heart
A mudra to depict a courageous heart

*Cross your right wrist in front of your left wrist and bring the backs of your hands to touch, palms facing out. Interlace your pinky fingers. Skip your ring fingers, and interlace your middle fingers. Interlace your index fingers. Now connect your ring and thumb fingertips to touch. Bring this mudra in front of your heart and breathe.


As you breathe you may listen to the meditation that came through during the week while we held this intention. I was so struck by the meditation that I had my husband pull out the guided visualization meditation at the end of one of my classes so that you could have it for use at any time. Here is is: 12 mins guided meditation.


How would a person with a courageous heart act?

What would a person with a courageous heart say?

I’ve been saying the past couple weeks in my classes to my students how brave I believe them to be. And I also believe you, dear reader, to be just as brave and courageous.

I know you are because you’re reading this. And because you know that in my writings, we sometimes talk about things that are challenging. I bring in topics that can be difficult topics to approach.


And I know that in order for real, lasting transformation to happen, we must be fearless. This might sound like a very bold way to say it, but sometimes we must be bold. And, that being bold can also mean resting and restoring.  It can mean to be forgiving.  It can mean to surrender.


Think now of all those seeds beneath the earth that we cannot see. Think now to all those things within you that have yet to blossom. As you imagine those seeds beneath the earth, feel how simultaneously you’re trusting the process. That you know one day you will see a bud breaking ground.


How does the seed, as it cracks open, know to send the stem upwards? How does it know to send its roots downwards? How does it know to move in the direction of the Light that is so life-giving? I speak of the sun here, but I also speak metaphorically.


And yet, just as there is trust in the unfolding of the journey and its process, action is still being taken. The stem pushes the dirt in order to break ground and grow. The roots draw up the nutrients of the soil. The roots drink the life-giving water in order to grow. And even once broken ground, the stems breathe the life giving air.


We, too, can continue to take action towards our own growth just as much as we can surrender to the unfolding of our life.

*And both take courage!


It takes courage to step inside a sacred pause, a sacred moment, and to take a sacred breath. It takes courage to create a moment for ourselves.  It takes courage in that sacred pause to acknowledge all that we are feeling. It takes courage to honor all that we witness in those sacred moments. All moments are sacred (more on this and next week’s blog). It takes courage to acknowledge all that we have experienced. And it takes courage to acknowledge all that we dream of.


How do you empower your own courageous heart?

How can you live more fully from your courageous heart?

How will you nourish your courageous heart, just like you would nourish a seed that you’ve planted?


I invite you to use my meditation again. Use it so that you can be reminded, just like planting a seed, that you need care. The seed needs to be watered. The seed needs to be given just the right amount of sunlight for that particular seed type. That it needs to be protected. That it needs nourishment. And that it needs patience. And that just as we offer it patience, we also offer trust in a process we cannot see.  May you offer yourself all of these same things; Love, water, sunlight, nourishment(food and movement), protection, patience, and trust in your own blossoming.


All my love,

Shawna 🙏🏻

Breathe and Believe.