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Heart & Mind
by Jenn Bender
Editor's Note from Karen Stabley: According to Britannica Online, art is "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others." Jennifer Bender shares her art that can only be seen with the mind's eye.
Although my mind believes it is wise and knows best, it really doesn’t. My heart has more wisdom because it knows the greatest heights of joy and the deepest depths of pain. My brain decided it needed to have a talk with my heart about how hard it was working to protect it. At the same time, my heart wanted to talk to my brain so it could explain to it how beautiful and beloved I am and help my brain understand my heart’s great capacity for love, joy and peace. This is their story…
Mind, dressed in work pants and shirt slightly stained with dirt and sweat, set out grudgingly on a journey to visit Heart. He went to the solid wooden door in the back and unhooked, unchained, unbolted and unlocked the door. The heavy door creaked and groaned in protest as it opened to reveal a dark, cobwebby passage. Mind grabbed a torch from the wall and set off. He took the back stairs to the top of my spine and then down the spiral staircase around my spine to the bridge that led to Heart. Mind stepped off the stairs onto the bridge and looked at heart. Heart looked a little worn, cracks in her surface, a little broken in places. Mind sighed to himself thinking he needs to work a little harder at protecting Heart. He knocked on Heart’s door and he heard her scamper around inside. She threw open the door and with her beautiful beaming smile pulled Mind into her and embraced him. “It’s so good to see you!” Heart cried out to Mind as glittery, crystal tears of joy crept from her eyes. Before Mind could begin his speech, which he had been rehearsing on the journey down, Heart had him in a beautiful, upholstered chair, his feet soaking in warm water and Epsom salts, a warm towel around his neck, hot tea in one hand and a fresh from the oven scone shoved gently into his mouth. Heart knew how Mind only came to visit when he had a long-winded speech to give about how hard he worked to protect her. She had been plotting since his last visit how to get him to relax and let her take over Body and Soul for a while. “Just sit back and relax Mind. Enjoy yourself for a change. Let me take care of you.” Heart said. Mind, never one to sit still, attempted to disentangle himself from the tea, footbath and chair that somehow seemed to be embracing him. “Drink your tea,” Heart said. And being unable to stand up, Mind sank back into the chair and sipped some tea. The tea spread warmth throughout him, relaxing him and rendering him unable and unwilling to protest anymore. As soon as Heart saw that the tea had worked its magic, she launched into her very well prepared speech.” Mind, you work too hard up there! You never take a break, never relax. I think it’s time you took a bit of a vacation. I can take care of things. Give me a chance!” she pleaded. Mind was sputtering. “You don’t understand! I work so hard to protect you! I keep going so you don’t get hurt! Have you looked outside lately!? You’re cracked!” Heart went to Mind, dried his feet and put on warm slippers, took his hands and said, “Come with me.” Heart held Mind’s hand as they went out the front door and across a rickety bridge to the outer reaches of right lung. Finally, they turned back and looked at Heart, red and pumping strongly. Heart prayed to be filled with Light. As Mind watched, light shone into and out of Heart and all those broken, cracked pieces looked like a thousand glittering diamonds. They shone and sparkled. It was the most beautiful thing Mind had ever seen. “You see,” said Heart, “in protecting me from hurt, you keep me from Joy. If you don’t allow me my freedom I can’t Love. The Love that I have comes from my brokenness for it’s what gives me compassion. I know that we are beautiful. We are the Beloved. We have many gifts to offer the world. But when you’re running around up there thinking too much, you allow fear and darkness in and that prevents our Light from shining. So relax dear Mind. Keep fear at bay and don’t worry about my hurt for it too shall pass and give me one more dazzling sparkle.” Mind wept. Heart embraced Mind and they promised one another that they would dwell within Body as partners, working, relaxing, allowing Light and Love to take over, for this was the only way to allow Soul to sing and dance and play and share with the One.
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About the Author
Jenn Bender is a soul story consultant, spiritual seeker, poet and mystic. Through her writing and workshops she assists women in claiming their own inner wisdom. She has spent the last fifteen years studying women's spirituality and has completed the Leading Contemplative Gatherings program through Oasis Ministries. She holds a Master’s Degree in Humanities with focused studies in Women’s History, Spirituality and Personal History. She lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with her dog and two cats. To learn more visit her blog: http://spicyncinnful.blogspot.com.