March 12, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Will Your Heart Go On?

By Levi Ben-Shmuel

Speaking for a Wiser Life

Levi Ben-Shmuel is a Tai Chi and Kabbalah teacher, and co-creator of "Sulam Chi: A Dance of Life."

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Last week, I needed to visit the New Mexico Heart Institute (it was not to check out my own heart). Soon after I arrived, a woman walked in with a small harp. She set up her music stand and began playing for the patients and staff in the reception area.

I realized she was playing and singing "My Heart Will Go On," the massive hit from the soundtrack of the movie Titanic. At first, I thought it was ironic for her to sing the theme song from a movie about a sinking ship; the idea of being at the Heart Institute is to do everything possible so your ship will not sink!

Then it dawned on me that she was doing the opposite. The harpist/singer was encouraging the people in the waiting room to persevere. Even if they had experienced a heart attack or had heart disease, she was sharing an important message from the movie; even after tragedy with the proper attitude and will, you can fight to keep your heart open and go on.

We cannot control what happens to us. Sometimes, difficult and tragic events overwhelm us. Yet no matter what has transpired, we do have the magnificent power to choose how to respond to life and how to move forward.

Do not underestimate the power of your will. By setting a strong intention and keeping it in the forefront of your mind, you are setting in motion a host of energies that will assist you in moving forward. This quote, attributed to Goethe, speaks of the power of intention:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

Bringing an open heart along with you amplifies the power of an intention. We tend to separate and categorize everything in the West. The notion of mind/body is one example. The truth is there is no separation between our minds and bodies. When we place too much emphasis on our minds, we lose touch with an essential part of our humanity and connection to life.

Here are some questions to help clarify where you and your heart are:

  1. Do you think about the health of your heart? If not, why not?
  2. Are you so defended that you cannot touch the pain in your heart? If so, is the price of holding onto your pain worth the cost in lost love?
  3. Are you so focused on meeting your goals that you sacrifice your emotional well-being and the well-being of those around you to achieve them?


Keeping your heart healthy includes allowing life to pass through it even when it hurts. When we close our hearts and try to protect them from emotional pain, we are building walls that cut us off from ourselves, from life, and from the capacity to love, be hurt by love, only to love again.

What have you done or what are you doing to keep your heart going on after your own heartbreaks or illnesses? I'd love to hear your stories. As the song says, our hearts can go on after great loss. May you be strengthened to continue on and prosper in all ways.

This blog was orignally posted on huffingtonpost.com.

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