Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Open hands, open heart

I just started a new journey...a journey toward openness. That might seem weird because many people experience me as pretty pleasant and agreeable. Am I warm and friendly? For sure. Big-hearted? Absolutely. But open? Um...yeah, no. Honestly, I haven't minded my aloofness. It's been very protective and I've appreciated the safety it's given me. But as with most coping mechanisms, they work until they don't. They are helpful until they cost you something or interfere with meeting other needs. In my case, my standoffish demeanor has kept me from the connection I crave. Therefore, I figured it was time to do something about it.

I met up with my yoga instructor friend over the weekend. I just had a simple request. "Can you show me some heart opening poses?" As corny as it sounds, I just wanted to bypass talk and use my body to invite love into my life. Romantic love, sure. But also a deeper experience of God's love...more intimate encounters in friendship love...more work related opportunities to express love. Basically, I wanted to learn how to be a big ball of sunshine radiating love and light...without opening up, being seen, and letting people in, of course. Sadly, you can't have it both ways. Boo!

At any rate, my friend guided me through a spontaneous heart opening flow. I breathed. I expanded my chest. I noticed the areas of tightness and discomfort and moved through them. I noticed my fears, validated them, and then gently disputed them with truthful affirmations. It was just a one time session, so there's lots more practice to do. But I believe making this a regular practice will manifest powerful things in my life. I just had to create space in my heart for it.

It's important to know that I will still vigilantly guard my heart. I care for and want to protect it. Not everyone who feels attached to me will gain entry to my sacred space, just as not everyone that I attach to will grant me access to theirs. And that's okay. You can't say you truly love someone without also honoring their limits. But now I understand that you can guard your heart and still keep it open. If I'm lovingly attending what I need and communicating sincerely with others, I don't need to be afraid. All I need to focus on is giving myself when I'm moved to give and do it with open hands and an open heart.

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