The openness of our hearts determines the quality of our lives.
What does it mean to live with an open heart? We hear about keeping our hearts open in our yoga practices, in our guided meditations, and in the self-improvement books and blogs we read to stay in the flow. But what does it really mean to have an open heart, and more importantly, how do we keep it open, especially when life can knock us down to our knees at times?
An open heart is a state of being where we feel receptive, accepting, and forgiving. Love flows through us freely and without obstruction. When we have an open heart, we can connect with our true selves, discover our highest potential, and live in peace with the world around us. We see the good in people and focus on sparking genuine human connection.
It takes work to keep our hearts open because it means resisting the natural human tendency to shut down and build walls to protect ourselves from being hurt by others. We can physically feel it when our hearts start to close. We get a tightness in our chest and that fight or flight reflex kicks in. We feel paralyzed, stuck, angry, and resentful. But that is when we have a choice to make. Do we let the fear take us down and imprison us? Or do we dig deeper to find the courage to open our hearts and be vulnerable?
Brené Brown says “allowing oneself to become wholehearted requires an act of courage. Yet it can lead us down the path of greater happiness and connection. ” It is only when we approach life from a place of openness that we can embody connectedness with all things.
The way to an open art begins when we can embrace our own vulnerability. It’s very empowering when we allow ourselves a safe space to be vulnerable and to examine our own thoughts and emotions. We all want the same thing — to be loved and accepted for who we really are and for others to understand that we are doing our best. Next, it is important to release judgments and keep a forgiving heart and mind toward the person or circumstances that may have harmed or caused us suffering. We create stories and boundaries that divide us yet there is freedom that comes in stripping those away and in letting go of unwanted emotions that weigh us down. When we find ourselves retreating into that space of fear, we can ask ourselves how important that person or relationship is to us and how we might shift our approach to deliberately live in love… and to stay open.
In my spiritual coaching and energy healing practice, I encourage clients to hold an open heart for themselves as well as for other people. As women, we are typically quite good at nurturing our friends and family during their times of need. But we often forget to hold that same safe and supportive space for ourselves. As part of the experience, I encourage clients to create quiet, reflective time for themselves to:
1) breathe into their painful emotions;
2) listen to the messages of their heart;
3) find clarity about what they want and need; and
4) craft the words to improve connections with others from a place of greater expansion and love.
When we can learn how to trust and open our hearts to ourselves and to one another in this way, we can live a more joyful and vibrant existence with enriching life experiences and connectedness.
High Vibes + Grateful Heart ! XO, Jenn