"The challenge with this project and the goal of this project is literally to get us to love more and fear less," said Bill Poett, life coach creator of the Warrior-Heart Project.
Bill Poett has found his true calling with the Warrior-Heart Project. His passion is to help others live with an open heart, and feel more inner joy, despite life's heartaches.
"Hospices all over America interview the dying. The number one regret is 'I didn't live authentically,'" said Poett.
For Poett, death played an instrumental role in the inception of the Warrior-Heart Project. It was born out of tragedy. He lost his 46-year-old sister, and buried his first wife at the age of 42, and recently lost a best friend to suicide.
"Recognizing I have that expiration date teaches me to honor the moments that I have," said Poett. "Between now and dead, I'm not going to spend these precious breaths on things that are valueless."
In workshops he conducts, he talks about meeting your "death coach," a powerful visualization exercise where people come face to face with their "dead" self.
"And then they ask, 'How did we do? Tell me about the last 10 years. Did we live in light and joy and did we honor every breath?'" said Poett.
Participant Jeanette's close brush with death helped her to appreciate each and every moment of her life fully.
"When I went through this exercise, I'm like 'Bring it!' I've done everything that I have ever wanted to do," said Jeanette.
So what makes a warrior heart? Changing the way we think about life's injuries, not allowing ourselves to harden and shrink from life each time we experience inevitable heartache.
Poett offers this analogy: the Japanese repair broken porcelain by filling the cracks with gold, believing it more beautiful with its damage and imperfections.
He says it's the same with our hearts: Each time we experience heartbreak, we can enhance and honor those wounds, which allows for the heart to expand and make room for even more joy.
"A warrior heart is a person that has the ability to have their heart broken endlessly, and we never build a wall around it," said Poett.
Like many of you, I myself have had a good share of difficulty and pain: the sudden death of my father; divorce; caring for my aging mother. I know it's easier sometimes to pull back and be numb. But as I'm finding out, that also numbs a person to the joy in their life. I think it's more for me to get in the moment and get into my heart more. Instead of over-thinking everything, I'm trying to feel more.
Participants in the Warrior-Heart Workshop leave with tools they can use every day to help them be more mindful. Many also leave the workshop not wanting to waste another day of this precious gift we call life.