Shirley Knapp
Spiritual Teacher, Energy Healer, Author

Shirley Knapp
Phone 828-736-7100 • Fax 267-960-6440 website problems?


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Hearts Made Strong

Empowerment comes from a strong heart which holds love, not fear. With a strong heart, we can do ANYTHING! In this excerpt from her book Sustaining Joy, Shirley shows us how to work with our heart to open it gradually so that it becomes accustomed to holding more and more love. In that way we will see everything in a new light and be empowered to move forth in a life filled with Joy and all we could ever desire.

The heart seems to be one of the most vulnerable in the system because it is the one that has held the most fear, the most old pain, perhaps, and repressed energy. It is the one that is most afraid to open to pure unconditional love, which is indeed where your power lies.

So, in essence, when you open your heart and heal without fear, you are opening to your own spiritual power. For many who think that power is held in various vibrational waves, we would correct this…

The power is in the heart, in the love, in the truth, and however challenging or difficult it may appear to be at times, the power is still in the truth of Love.

When you are on your journeys, in confusion, perhaps, afraid to turn this way, turn that way, it is the confusion in the heart that keeps you from walking forth in true connected power. It is that smoke screen, if you will, of the confusion of the heart - without setting the heart free to clearly love, to support, to bring the truth of unconditional love - that keeps you from stepping into truly who you are.

Now we know at this time, this may seem a bit trite or perhaps not as important as other things that seem to be about you on the earth plane to care for. However, this is one of the most important aspects of your journey - to strengthen your heart into initiation of self-empowerment - because you are indeed being initiated into your self-empowerment. This is the first step toward true initiation: the strengthening the heart, allowing the heart to feel, waking the heart up.

For many, the heart has been in a place of just existing, but not truly loving, being a bit numb, if you will, or complacent, perhaps a bit stagnant - for without the heart truly connecting with unconditional love, there is no true connection to your own passion. There is no true connection to your own creativity because you are not fully feeling with emotion the love for yourself and then, of course, for others.

We will just give a few exercises at this time to help strengthen the heart. The exercise that is required for this particular time to strengthen the heart is to truly go deeply into the heart on all levels - feeling, connecting to the pain, to the joy, to the confusion, to the openness, to the expansion, to the Light, to the repression, to the feeling of confused darkness - because as you go into that place and hold it, and hold the energy of the heart open to it instead of fleeing from it, you do strengthen the heart.

For many who run from the heart, from a sense of purpose, and truth, and knowledge, this will only exhaust the body by the running, running, and running from that which you cannot run from because, as you know, it is inside your being. You cannot run from the heart.

You must go into the heart because it is aligned with soul and purpose. You can share and teach others how you strengthened your own being, how you strengthened your heart, how you strengthened your connection to soul-self.

Be proud of your healing, wherever it takes you. Do not be ashamed. Do not feel fear.

For those of you who find strength in the body or strength in the mind, remember that the only real strength to keep all of this going in a balanced way is to come from the strength within the heart. When your heart is not strong, the mind is fatigued because it clearly depends on the heart and the emotional support and the love to keep the mind refreshed and alive and in motion.

So, for those of you who are working around the heart and fearing going into the heart, you are really compromising your real strength on all levels. This is an important understanding, for in exchanging the frequency shift to the next level (to vibrate with the next frequency, to move forward in this time, if you will), you will move further and more forward with the heart. The mind - the rational mind - has really no clear sense of purpose here, and the physical form of the body can only take you to its own limitations. The heart and the soul, the connections of these two, are what move you through time.

So, focus your healing and your opening on this area for this is what will move you through this particular time in freedom.

Strengthening the Heart Exercise

  • Find a safe, quiet space in which to do this exercise. When you are fully relaxed, travel into your heart.

  • To strengthen the heart, allow yourself to go deeply into the heart on all levels. Connect to everything: the pain, the joy, the confusion, the darkness, the love, holding the energy of the heart open to the experience instead of backing away from it.

  • Tune into it and feel what energy is there. Is the heart open or constricted? Is it warm or is it cool, or even cold, perhaps?

  • When you are ready, think about a person, situation, or emotion and bring that energy directly into the heart. If you feel yourself back off, continue to breathe into it. Embrace it. Hold it. Breathe out.

  • Then bring it in again, allowing yourself to really "feel" it, holding it a little longer, a little deeper, each time. Stretch a little further.

  • Keep opening the heart, stretching it, holding it open, until that energy begins to feel a natural part of your being.

    1. What causes your heart to contract? What person(s) or situation(s) does your heart back away from?

    2. How does it feel to open your heart fully to every experience?

ANOTHER EXERCISE: Do this with someone with whom you are trying to experience more openness, more love, more joy.

  • Sit across from each other and place your right hand over each other's heart. Breathe, letting the heart open.

  • Continue to let the energy open and hold it. Open and hold. Let the energy cycle, opening each other's heart.

  • Hold that energy as long as you can.

1. How did doing this exercise with another person change how you feel about him or her?

2. What fears, if any, did you experience? (fear of joy, intimacy, trust, openness…)

3. My fears: _________________________________________________

4. My partner's fears: _________________________________________________


About The Author
Shirley Knapp, U.S.A. Shirley Knapp is an internationally recognized spiritual teacher and author of "Sustaining Joy" who leads groups in personal growth. She has been in a holistic private practice, teaching and embracing individuals and groups since 1986. Shirley’s mission is to heal, love and serve the world by transforming ourselves and helping others transform in joy. Browse our web site for other products with this focus in mind.

This article was excerpted from the book Sustaining Joy with permission.

© 2002-2015 Shirley Knapp All rights reserved

To reprint, publish or integrate this article in any website, publication or by any means: If the article will be reprinted in a site, blog, forum or any other publication as long as it is online, article may be copied or reprinted in full as shown on the article’s page for appropriate use including the “About the Author” section with activated links in author’s resource box. To reprint an article offline
contact Shirley Knapp for permission and include the URL/s in the author's resource box in print. 

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© 2002-2015 Shirley Knapp
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