7. Transcending the tendency to close

Regardless of what you call this inner force field—Chi, Shakti, or Spirit—it is an underlying energy that flows in particular patterns through your inner being.
We no longer face life-threatening physical danger.
Our major struggles end up being with our own inner fears, insecurities, and destructive behavior patterns, and not with outside forces.
Suppose somebody raises their voice at you or talks about an uncomfortable subject. These are not physically threatening circumstances, yet your heart starts pumping a little faster. That’s exactly what happens to deer whenever they hear a sudden sound. Their hearts start pumping faster, and they either freeze or run away.

Since it’s not socially acceptable to run into the woods and hide like a deer, you hide inside.
You withdraw, close down, and pull back behind your protective shield.
Even if you don’t know you have energy centers, you’ve been closing them since kindergarten. You know exactly how to close your heart and put up a psychological protective shield.
When you close down and protect yourself, you are pulling a shell around the part of you that is weak. This is the part that feels it needs protection even though no physical attack is taking place.
You are protecting your ego, your self-concept so you don't experience disturbance, fear, insecurity, and other emotional problems.

Because you’re scared, you have locked yourself within your house and pulled down all the shades. Now it’s dark and you want to feel the sunlight, but you can’t. It’s impossible. If you close and protect yourself, you are locking this scared, insecure person within your heart. You will never be free that way.
Ultimately, if you protect yourself perfectly, you will never grow. All your habits and idiosyncrasies will stay the same. Life becomes stagnant when people protect their stored issues.
Living like this allows for very little spontaneous joy, enthusiasm, and excitement for life. Most people just go from day to day protecting themselves and making sure nothing goes too wrong.
“How was your day?” a normal response is, “Not too bad,”
A good day means you made it through without getting hurt. The longer you live like this, the more closed you become.

If you really want to grow, you have to do the opposite.
when there is only one of you inside. There’s not a part that’s scared and another part that’s protecting the part that’s scared. All parts are unified.
the mind is no longer divided into the conscious and subconscious.
There is simply the pure energy pouring inside of you that creates the ripples of thoughts and emotions, and there is the consciousness that’s aware of it. There is simply you watching the dance of the psyche.

Right now, many fragmented parts of your psyche are held within you. If you want to be free, it all has to be equally exposed to your awareness and released. But it will never get exposed if you’re closing yourself. After all, the purpose of closing was to make sure that the sensitive parts of your psyche don’t get exposed.
When you are no longer willing to identify with the part of you that is separating itself into a million pieces, you are ready for real growth.

Once you close, you have to make sure that what you protected doesn’t get disturbed;
The alternative is to become conscious enough to simply watch the part of your being that is constantly trying to protect itself. You can then give yourself the ultimate gift by deciding not to do that anymore. You decide, instead, to get rid of that part.

You start by watching life and noticing the constant flow of people and situations that hit your stuff every day. How often do you find yourself trying to protect and defend that weak part of you? You feel like the world wants to get right at it. Every place you go there’s someone or something trying to disturb you, trying to get your goat. Why not let them have it? If you don’t really want it, then don’t protect it.

The reward for not protecting your psyche is liberation. You are free to walk through this world without a problem on your mind. You are just having fun experiencing whatever happens next. Because you got rid of that scared part of you, you don’t ever have to worry about getting hurt or disturbed. You no longer have to listen to “What will they think of me?” or, “Oh God, I wish I hadn’t said that. It sounded so stupid.” You just go about your business and put your whole being into whatever’s happening, instead of putting your whole being into your personal sensitivity.

Once you’ve made the commitment to free yourself of that scared person inside, you will notice that there is a clear decision point at which your growth takes place.
You will eventually get conscious enough so that the minute you see the energy start getting strange, you stop.
You just stop, mid-sentence, because you know where it will go if you continue. The moment you see the energy getting imbalanced inside, the moment you see the heart starting to tense and get defensive, you just stop.

It’s something you do inside. It’s called letting go. When you let go, you are falling behind the energy that is trying to pull you into it. Your energies inside have power. They are very strong, and they draw your awareness into them. If a hammer falls on your toe, all your awareness will focus there. If there’s a sudden loud sound, again, all of your awareness will focus there. Consciousness has the tendency to focus on disturbance, and disturbed energies inside are no exception. These disturbed energies will draw your consciousness to them. But you do not have to let this happen. You really do have the ability to disengage and fall back behind them.

When the energies inside start to move, you do not have to go there. For instance, when your thoughts start, you do not have to go with them.
If you aren’t centered, your consciousness is just following whatever catches its attention.
A thought or emotion emerges, you notice it, and it passes by because you allow it to.
thoughts and emotions are just objects of consciousness.
If you want to be free, then every time you feel any change in the energy flow, relax behind it. Don’t fight with it, don’t try to change it, and don’t judge it.

But it’s not just about letting go of thoughts and emotions. It’s actually about letting go of the pull that the energy itself has on your consciousness.
If you use your inner willpower to not go with it, and just remain seated within, you will notice that the distinction between the consciousness and the object of consciousness is like night and day.
The object comes and goes, and the consciousness watches it come and go. Then the next object comes and goes while the consciousness watches it. Both objects came and went, but the consciousness didn’t go anywhere. It stays constant and simply watches all of it. The consciousness experiences the creation of thoughts and emotions, and it has the clarity to see where they came from.
It sees all of this without thinking about it. It sees what’s going on inside as easily as it sees what’s going on outside.
All the energies that it watches will just come and go, unless you lose your center of consciousness and go with them.

Consciousness is a tremendously powerful force. When you concentrate on these thoughts and emotions, they become charged with energy and power. This is why thoughts and emotions get stronger the more attention you give them.
Eventually, what started as a passing thought or emotion can become the center of your entire life.

A wise person remains centered enough to let go every time the energy shifts into a defensive mode. The moment the energy moves and you feel your consciousness start to get drawn into it, you relax and release.
Letting go means falling behind the energy instead of going into it. It just takes a moment of conscious effort to decide that you’re not going there.
It’s simply a matter of taking the risk that you are better off letting go than going with the energy.

Begin with small things. We tend to let ourselves get bothered by the little, meaningless things that happen every day.
Instead of getting into being bothered, you get into being free.
Just decide that no matter what the mind says, you aren’t getting involved. You don’t fight the mind. In fact, you don’t even try to change it. You just make a game out of relaxing in the face of its melodrama. You simply learn how to release the tendency for getting drawn into the energy. The root is where the consciousness is aware of the pull of these energies.

Even once you decide you’re not going to let this happen, it still has a tremendous power over you.
Your opportunities to grow are endless. It’s always there in front of you. Just commit to not letting the energy draw you in. When you feel the pull, like somebody pulling on your heart, you just let go.

There is nothing wrong with feeling the energies of fear, jealousy, or attraction. It’s not your fault that such energies exist.
They don’t make you pure or impure. They are not you. You are the one who’s watching, and that one is pure consciousness.
If you can learn to remain centered with the smaller things, you will see that you can also remain centered with bigger things.