SCPL Online NonFiction Book Club discussion

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Open Heart, Open Mind > The Title

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message 1: by SCPL (new)

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Early in the book, Clara explains the origin of the phrase, “open heart, open mind.”

Prior to the Vancouver Winter Games, she reached out to Tewanee Joseph, CEO of the Four Host First Nations, to connect to something deeper than sport. She partook in a brushing off ceremony in which an elder said, “‘I cannot heal you of your pain. Only you can heal yourself with your open heart and your open mind’” (p. 5). The elder continued by saying “‘you can only attract success for yourself if you want every single one of your competitors to be good and strong. When you wish good things for others, this comes back to you’” (p. 5).

What do you think Clara took away from this ceremony? What did you take away from this encounter/advice?

How does the title Open Heart, Open Mind speak to you?

~Nicole~


message 2: by Marcella (new)

Marcella | 8 comments I think this encounter proves that Clara was ultimately dedicated to not only her sport, but her country as well. She recognized that she had to be committed not only in body, but in soul as well in order to perform to her fullest potential. Her writing seems to indicate that this ceremony was able to help her find the inner peace she was searching for as the "stress of bearing the flag and competing melted away." (p. 5)

I think that one of the elders defined the title very well when he said, "When you wish good things for others, this comes back to you."


message 3: by SCPL (new)

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
You make some excellent points about why Clara would take part in this ceremony. Having the Olympics take place in Vancouver provided an opportunity for Clara to connect with people in her country on a deeper level.

I agree with the idea that Clara's performance depends on more than her physical body. She seems to be inspired by the wisdom of others. I've really enjoyed reading about her mental approach to competition and her life in general.

She doesn't seem to draw on religion or any singular philosophy for inspiration. Instead, she draws on the wisdom of others and finds the ideas that speak to her on a deeper level.

Yes! That quote from the elder certainly stuck out for me as well. It's a simple (and somewhat obvious) phrase but perhaps more difficult in practice. I mean, it's all well and good to say you wish your competitors well, but most athletes want to win! This idea can probably be applied more easily outside of sports in wanting good things to happen to your family and friends. For me, the challenge arises when trying to wish good things for those who have hurt or wronged you.

Thanks Marcella!

~Nicole


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