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The Wounded Heart: A Study Guide

The value of this book is how you interpret and apply its emotional wisdom to your own life so these study questions are designed to open those inner doorways.

  1. The book opens with a dream Rose has about the value of pain. What is your relationship to emotional pain? Do you avoid it? Are you afraid of it? What is the little girl’s message in the dream to the reader?
  2. During this book, Rose begins to unravel the steps to conscious compassion. After reading the novel how would you divine this concept? What are the steps? (See end for answer on this one!)
  3. Rose asks herself this question and spends the greater part of the story seeking the answer. “What does it mean to feel the pain and take responsibility for healing the wounds?” There is no right or wrong answer. How would you answer this question in your own heart after reading the story?
  4. In Chapter 2 Rose addresses anger as an emotion most are very afraid of. What is the difference between conscious anger and destructive anger? Is there a choice?
  5. What is the emotional toolbox Rose discovers in her explanation of feelings and how can these tools be used in your life?
  6. Rose talks about sweet grief when sharing the story of her friend Katie’s tragic loss of her daughter in a car accident on Mother’s Day. Can you describe that feeling?
  7. Rose unfolds the steps to conscious compassion and yet comes to this realization: “I can understand all the steps that lead to the doorway of conscious compassion but to actually move through the doorway I must step into my greatest fear and face my own darkness.” Can you apply this wisdom to your journey and what you have revealed about yourself along the way? What darkness did Rose have to step into? Are you aware of your own?
  8. At one point in the book Rose’s says,” Passion takes you into unchartered territory. Sometimes we have to allow the emotion to swallow us deeply.” What does Rose discover when she lets herself fall into a feeling?
  9. Rose journals that Shame is awaiting your willingness to stand naked before yourself and accept everything you see. Discuss this teaching as it relates to Rose and her relationship with her daughter Emily.
  10. One very thought provoking quote from book advises: Hold onto nothing and you have everything. How did that advice color Rose’s decision to love herself and Emily enough to let go? Was it just Emily she let go of or something within herself? How does this statement make you feel? Free or frightened?
  11. Rose had a futuristic dream about a young girl who was being blamed for something by her village and was to be executed at sunset. (Page 104) This is a very important dream in the story as it provides us with the emotional wound we all feel. What understanding do you get from this powerful dream?
  12. On Page 164 of the novel, Rose sums up Conscious Compassion and its journey into healing for her Mexican friend Rosa. Read the second paragraph aloud. Can you apply this to a situation in motion right now in your life, your family or your community? Discuss this as a template for healing.
  13. Rose journals the following about the emotion of sadness: Sadness is deep. It is not as charged as grief nor as disturbing as desperation and fear. It comes on softer wings and stays longer. Sadness sings to me of separation and longing? What is that one thing we feel separated from that when we become aware of its absence, it becomes such a deep well of sadness?
  14. What does Rose mean when she says, “Joy and sadness can live together in the same heart and dance a beautiful dance of healing and integration?”
  15. Chris pulls Rose in and out of her internal journey throughout the story. At times she wants to run into herself and hide and then again she desires his reflection and love. Discuss Rose’s journey with Chris and where it takes her.
  16. When Javier tells Rose: You must have patience and wait for what you have created to come to you. What was he referring to in Rose’s life? Is there a place you can apply this to your own life right now?
  17. When Rose and Rosa visit Ekbalam with Javier, Rose has another worldly vision where she learns what her heart is truly all about. Go to page 219 and read aloud the Mayan sharing of the wisdom of the heart. Allow yourself to take in this incredible sharing and then discuss it in detail. There are 12 separate messages from the heart. What are they?
  18. When Emily showed up at the airport to surprise her mother what were you feeling would happen next in their relationship? What did Rose mean when she shared with Emily that first night back together? I have discovered that pain and fear can sometimes be the fuel to take us to wonderful new places if we don’t deny them and get stuck there.”
  19. How did honesty and surrender play a role in healing the relationship between Rose and her daughter Emily? What did each one have to be honest about within themselves and what “position” did they need to surrender to get to the healing and the wound?
  20. The dolphins Estrella and Sol played a very important part in Rose’s healing and in her emotional journey. What place could she go to when working with these two amazing dolphins in dreamtime? What was the symbol of the birth of the new baby dolphin during the hurricane?
  21.  Of course the hurricane was all about facing into the storm and finding trust and renewal in the destruction and chaos. (pg.288) The emotion of fear both physical and emotional was highlighted in this final section of the book. What did Rose learn about fear? (Pgs 316-317). Discuss this way of understanding fear. Where in your life could apply this right now.
  22.  Nancy Joy leaves the reader hanging at the end of the novel and does not “wrap up” the story meeting your expectations. How did this make you feel? How do you imagine this fictional story ended for Rose, Chris, Emily and Rosa?

Steps to Conscious Compassion as revealed in The Wounded Heart:

  1. When in a disturbing experience or situation, allow your emotion to take you to the feeling. Be with it and take its healing journey before moving into your mind. Breathe it in. Try not to resist it.
  2. When you feel more balanced invite your mind to help bring understanding. What was the lesson you needed to understand that created this experience in your life?
  3. Identify the personal pattern that keeps you repeating this lesson.
  4. What are the soul agreements that you and the other person may have created with one another to bring you into this space of potential healing and understanding.
  5. What was the gift for you?
  6. How can you use this experience and its emotion to change the pattern that created the pain?
  7. Can you now release the person from the role they have played for you and from this soul agreement? Can you take responsibility for your own role?
  8. Feel in your heart the compassion you now have for the person who triggered you into this healing. That is what changes the pattern in your cellular memory. The energy of love and compassion you have generated in your heart.
  9. Share your healing and appreciation with that person. Thank them for playing their role (Not what you perceive their part was but just your own) You need nothing from them at this point is you are clear. You just want to thank them.
  10. Don’t allow this shift to die on the vine. Use this wisdom to apply your feelings and emotions to your healing and be aware when a pattern comes again (and it will to test you) that you have a choice. You can bring it into Conscious Comapssion.

This is an unfolding journey for us all. I know everyone of us understands bits and peaces of the steps to bring a situation and person into conscious compassion. It is with the integration of the mental understanding and the use of the emotions as tools of understanding that a true shift occurs in our hearts. Always start from the premise that everything you experience has great value to you and that you created it.

Thanks for taking the journey of The Wounded Heart with me. I would be happy to share further and connect with you. Feel free to contact me at . Check out my website for more expanded wisdom on this journey. In Lak’ech NJ