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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from

Living In The Freshest Chamber Of The Heart
by Mark Nepo

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Our ability to find something to love, and to love again for the first time depends greatly on how we resolve and integrate where we've been before. A great model for us exists in the chambered nautilus, an exquisite shell creature that lives along the ocean floor. The nautilus is a deep-sea form of life that inches like a soft man in a hard shell finding his prayers along the bottom. Over time it builds a spiral shell, but always lives in the newest chamber.

The other chambers, they say, contain a gas or liquid that helps the nautilus control its buoyancy. Even here, a mute lesson in how to use the past: live in the most recent chamber and use the others to stay afloat.

Can we, in this way, build strong chambers for our traumas: not living there, but breaking our past down till it is fluid enough to lose most of its weight? Can we internalize where we've been enough to know that we are no longer living there? When we can, life will seem lighter.

It is not by accident that the nautilus turns its slow digestion of the bottom into a body that can float. It tells us that only time can put the past in perspective, and only when the past is behind us, and not before us, can we open enough and empty enough to truly feel what is about to happen. Only by living in the freshest chamber of the heart can we love again and again for the first time.

About the Author: From the 'Book of Awakening'.
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Living In The Freshest Chamber Of The Heart
What does living in the freshest chamber of the heart mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time you inhabited the freshest chamber of your heart while using the other chambers of the past to stay afloat? What helps you live in the freshest chamber of your heart?
Rajesh wrote: This is a beautiful perspective and the nautilus is a very appropriate metaphor. I resonate with the author's observation that our ability to be open to the present and future depends on how well we ...
Jagdish P Dave wrote:  How to live in the present fully is a challenge for almost all of us.  We all have past, the old heart chamber, filled with aches and pains and suffering. In my opinion no human being can ...
david doane wrote:  We each have many 'chambers' filled with experiences from over the years.  Sometimes I live in the freshest chamber and learn from the experience of past chambers, which helps me stay aflo...

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