I'm Joseph Bernard, Ph.D. My work is guiding and encouraging you to live with purpose, to set a course towards a greater realization of what is possible for your life, and to expand your opportunities for greater happiness, peace, and love. As you grow it benefits humanity and makes you an active participant in making a positive difference in the world. 

Watch all of my videos on YouTube or Vimeo.




Powered by Squarespace
« Why Love Matters More Than Anything Else In The World | Main | Juggling Teaches Success »

How Having An Open Mind And Open Heart Can Change The World

You and I live in critical times that will shape the destiny of humanity and the planet. We were born to be part of this time because of our unique capacities. These capacities can only be realized if our minds and hearts are open.

Recently walking through a parking lot (I know this seems like an odd place but frankly any place is wonderful when the light goes on), I had a moment of great clarity. I welcome these moments of insight. They feel like a gift from a much wiser source of knowing than my ordinary mind.

The clarity was – The time is now for everyone to step forward with a total openness of mind and heart. This openness is essential for all of us to break from the old stuck ways that no longer work. Once liberated, together we can create new more expansive forms of expression.

New forms of expression are needed across our social structures, business models, economic systems, human services, planetary practices, and political and religious organizations. They could all work better for the good of all humanity and the planet. 

You and I are here now to be powerful agents for positive change. The challenge is how to do this. How can we bring the endless flexibility and genius of our open minds and the infinite compassionate wisdom of our open hearts to work together for the greater good of all life on the planet? The task is monumental, the challenges never ending, and thankfully our possibilities and potential are awesomely incredible.

Are you up to the task? Of course you are or you would not be standing on the planet at this time.

Let’s start by setting our ego’s aside. We can’t let fear dominate the discussion. More power and control is not the answer.  Blaming will get us nowhere. We don’t need more opinions based on old failed ideas and beliefs. Enough is enough.

We need clarity and we need heart. We need the power of our highest consciousness. This will demand of us to slow down, to tune inwards past the noisy mind, to be mindful and aware, and to hear our intuition and other inner guidance.

Fortunately there are universal practices that are available to us all in these times of worldwide connectivity. There is meditation, mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, qigong, contemplative prayer and other practices that bring us into the moment. Creative expression is another way to center us in the now. Now is where genius is realized and where solutions are imagined into existence.

The power of the heart is an essential piece to the better-world puzzle.  The hearts capacity to love, to be kind and to have compassion for everyone is key. Without love and compassion we are a heartless mass bent on survival even if it means destroying everything in the way including the future. The heart’s capacity for caring is a neutralizer to the mind’s ability to rationalize the old failed ways

So with all this in mind, how do we get from where we are now to where we need to be to better function as a global family? Yes, it seems we do need to be saved from our ego-mind’s fear and the dominating motivators of our time – greed, power and control.

Are you ready to commit to having an open mind and heart? Are you willing to do the work it takes to keep both open? If so, you will find these following practices helpful.

One last note or two before we get to the practices: 1) Having an open mind and an open heart is more a clearing than a new way of being. 2) We get clogged up by life and returning to open is more our natural state.

These open states are available to all of us. They are accessed more easily in the quiet moments of contemplation and awareness, in the giving and receiving of love without conditions and in the flow of personal expression and purpose.


Now let’s start with the heart

These four heart openings will allow you to move back to what your heart desires - to freely love:

1.  Release the past – We need to forgive the past, let go of any old unfinished business and move on. The past is over and it needs to be completely released. Forgiveness of self and others greatly help. Today is what matters. Let everything else go. A heart can love endlessly in the here and now.

2.  Express emotions – Emotions too often get stuffed because they can seem overwhelming. If we simply acknowledge how we are feeling, those feelings soon change into other feelings. Emotions can be expressed in healthy ways that keep the heart open and giving. Two exampled of healthy emotional expression include talking and journaling.

3.  Move from judging to acceptance – The judging mind congests the heart. We are trained to judge everything as “good or bad.” We can drop the judging and move towards accepting what is, accepting differences, and appreciating uniqueness of all beings. This returns our heart to being open to its endless flow of love.

4.  Feel the body expanding or contracting – The body gives us constant messages because it is either opening or closing in all its interactions with the world. Explore what keeps the heart open and notice when the heart closes. In that awareness you can love where there are openings and do your best to change difficult situations into more hopeful ones. The heart wants to love.


Next The Mind

These four mind openers will help you continually expanding your mind:

1.  Examine beliefs regularly – Old beliefs can zap the life out of you. Learned thoughts of guilt, self-doubt, not deserving etc. can stink up your life. Most beliefs are not true and many seriously hold us back. Be aware of what beliefs are shaping your experiences and examine them with kindness. If they represent truth keep them. If not, let them go.

2.  Be mindful of thoughts – Your experience of life is created by what you think. Your best bet is to watch your thoughts, be hopeful and positive and do what you can to be present to what is. You can let those mind contracting thoughts pass right on through. If we are mindful of our thinking we can keep our minds open. An open mind keeps expanding.

3.  Be aware of ego-mind at work – The ego-mind’s task is to keep you safe from what it fears. You can recognize the ego-mind at work: when you need to be right, when you get stuck in blaming and complaining, when you want more power and control. The ego is also skilled at rationalizing why the mind should be closed. Step past the voice of the ego. Open instead to ways of expanding into what is possible.

4.  Find your way to your higher mind – This mind is the voice of the infinite and eternal within you. You can call it the voice of the soul, your intuition, or your wise mind. It is accessed through listening inward, through being open to guidance, by living in the present moment. This wise mind is connected to the wisdom of all humanity and the Universe. Everything that you need to ever know is contained within this voice. All you have to do is be open to listening.


You now have eight ways to bring more openness in mind and heart into your way of being in the world. Your open and full expression is more important that you may ever realize. Today is the time to move into action.

With open minds and hearts we can spread compassion, consciousness, peace and joy out into the world. In this elevated state of awareness, all of our concerns and problems can be resourceful resolved. 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (27)

As a practicing Nichiren buddhist living in Israel I practice these heart/mind openings all the time to the best of my ability .I work hard at keeping them both open all the time. There is a wonderful book called "THE FOUR AGREEMENTS" that has a wonderful way of expressing these ideas and a few others. The author ,Don Miguel Ruiz is such a caring and warm man and so interested in helping the world to wakefullness all of his words are available free on line via YouTube. Very enlightening,Thank you ,Lynn

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Fux

i loved this post... so clear and meaningful.
Thank you. xox

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Leger

Thanks Pauline for the kind words. I felt inspired and try my best to keep out of the way of the words that want to come through me.

August 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

Thanks Lynn, I have read the Four Agreement and enjoyed the ideas of that book.The work of keeping our hearts and minds open is worth a lifetime of effort. Keep doing what you are doing.

August 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

Good post, been focusing lately on these principles but I'm not clear about the following statement in Mind #1: "...thoughts of guilt, self-doubt, not deserving etc. can stink up your life. Most beliefs are not true......If they represent truth keep them." Could you clarify this . Thank you.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterP.B.

PB, I am not sure which part you want clarified but I will take a guess. Limiting thoughts limit our lives. All thoughts and beliefs need to be examined because most of them are learned, limiting and false. Thoughts are simply words we give meaning to, beliefs are words we often think over and over again, but that does not make them real or true. Let me know if you have further questions I will be glad to respond. You can also send me a direct email if you want to: josephteach@hotmail.com

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

great ideas n thoughts ,positive thinking and inovative ideas . thanks for this great work.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkirti

great ideas n thoughts ,positive thinking and inovative ideas . thanks for this great work.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjanesha .k. choudhary

Thank you Janesha for the kind remarks about my blog post. I am passionate about helping people find their ways to such an openness of mind and heart that the world easily become a better place for all.

August 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

Joseph, I appreciate so much your style of writing! So crystal clear!!!

I've been writing 'A Manifestation Manual: Your 8 week Guide to the art of Conscious Co-creation'. I am looking for other authors in my subject area to read it. Would you be willing to read it and give me your opinion? It will be ready for reviews in about a week.

Here is a quote: "Your soul knows what it wants – you may need to get very quiet to hear its guidance. You know the difference between when you are praying to God and when it feels that God is praying through you? That is the difference between manifesting from your ego and manifesting from your soul." ~The Manifestation Handbook: Your 8 Week Guide to the Art of Conscious Co-Creation

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlida Birch

superb and awesome post. thnx for helping to complete my essay.

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous

You are welcome Anonymous, I'm glad I could be a source of inspiration for you.

August 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

Hi Alida, I sent you a direct email response about feedback for your new book. Thank you for the note of appreciation about writing.

August 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

sir a very nice post can you please help me out by posting some thoughts on open mind and open heart its my humble request please sir..

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranurag

Hi Anurag, thanks for you comments. My book Awaken: 100 Questions To Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart is available at Amazon.

There has been so many readers of this post that I am going to write a short book on why open minds and hearts are so needed on the planet today and in the future.

A few tips for now:
Find ways to be kind to those around you and to strangers
Mindfulness and awareness are wonderful ways to keep your mind open because you pay attention to what is going on in your own thinking.
Find the voice of your soul and interact with it daily if not constantly
Live as fully in the moment as you can because there is always true wisdom waiting to guide you.
Fully and completely love and accept yourself and those in your life.
Forgiveness keep the heart from closing down
Feel what you feel and then let it go. Stuffed feelings block your heart.
Always be on the lookout for ways to learn and grow
Choose an issue you are passionate about and take positive action to make a difference
Have fun, enjoy life and be happy - everything looks better from that frame of mind
Find what makes you feel most alive and explore that
Have a purpose and learn everything you can to bring our the genius in you
Be compassionate in all you interactions
Listen more with an open heart
Sit quietly and get to know that part of you that is infinite and eternal
Walk the earth in peace

Email me if you have further questions josephteach@hotmail.com

August 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

Thank you sir I am honoured that you replied to my question

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranurag

Very nice topic and very nicely explained..

August 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMinesh

Thank You Minesh for leaving a kind comment.

August 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

Your are welcome, I was my honor that you left a comment and was kind enough to ask for my ideas.

August 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoseph Bernard

sir i read your book and its reaaly awesome can you please help me in writing an essay on the topic "minds are opened only when your hearts are opened " please sir i will be very grateful .............

August 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterketan

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>