There are only two paths to take in my life at any moment: opening up to and closing down to.

Closing down is a kind of steeling myself for battle. It is the suit of armor that I taught myself to wear long ago. Numbing myself is closing down.

Opening up to is dropping my guard, opening my heart and shifting into wonder. I let go of already knowing in favor of observing. I look without belief or opinion. I am defenseless.

Essentially, I am talking about being open hearted versus closed hearted. I think that the world taught me to be closed hearted but oddly, I have found, being defensive provides no more security in this world than being defenseless.

And when I drop my defenses, my judgments and my certainty, I open myself up to a profound connectedness and deeper knowing.

Opening up to the world seems to be scary. It’s certainly not how I learned to be a man as a young teenager. But there is a posture of defenselessness beyond the small, uptight, pinched off version of me that I had learned as a young warrior.

Opening up to each moment fully is the practice of the mature warrior.