open heart

 

“Whoever has heart’s doors wide open,

could see the sun itself in every atom.”

 

Rumi

 

In opening our heart we learn to let go of being in conflict with different parts of our experience and open ourselves to the acceptance of everyone and everything, including ourselves. We learn to embrace the beauty we see, as well as the opposite, the chaos and brutality of life. We begin to let go of the tendency to accept some people, places and things and reject others, increasingly releasing the propensity to willingly accepting some of what we find ourselves within in this world and denying the rest. 

 

As we open our heart to others, loving them for who they are, we begin to see them as a person like ourselves. We are able to see beneath the behaviours and not fight with what’s here. We recognise that they, like us, are a person with moments of peace and with moments of anger and hate. A person expressing life-force in the best way they know how. We hold strong boundaries in our opening, recognising what is best for ourselves and recognising that like us, others have life lessons to see and solve, and in doing so we recognise that there are times to move towards as well as when we need to step back, simply send love, and allow others to fall and pick themselves back up in their own time and in their own way.

In exploring Open Heart, here are some 
practices to get you started...

 

Awareness

 

One of the first places to start is to know what it feels like in your body and your mind, to have an open heart and closed heart. Get to know the texture of this, the feeling, how you act and relate in these different experiences, how you stand or sit, how you breathe, what words you use out-loud and in your mind in each experience, what you see yourself doing, what the processes are that you commonly follow. Nothing to do or adjust, just notice. 

 

Stream of Consciousness Writing

 

A great way to begin to unlock stories and situations in which you close or open your heart can be to use stream of consciousness writing. This means to write fast and with flow, without bringing your conscious, questioning mind into the practice. Some people like to do this with their less dominant hand as the strangeness of using it can help not to block what wants to be written. Plain paper can be helpful here as it can allow a greater disconnection of the conscious mind’s desire to be ‘right’ or neat.  

 

Just start with an intention of listening to what wants to be expressed from your heart centre. Drop your awareness down into your body, and then get going by writing any random words that start to flow. Remember that none of it has to make sense, or be clear and it never has to be read by anyone. This is just about listening to your heart’s deepest messages to you. What wants to be heard? What makes you open and close? Why? And what else?

 

When you are done, take a deep breath and a few minutes to celebrate yourself in whatever way makes sense to you in that moment. Celebrate your uniqueness and recognise the beauty in all that you think and feel and do. 

 

Sentence completion

 

Another writing practice that can be helpful for many is that of sentence completion. This can be a really useful way to see the stories and beliefs that hold you back from opening your heart in different circumstances and how true you’ve made them until now. You can use any starting questions that make sense for you. Below are some that can be particularly relevant to working into the Open Heart practice. 

 

You can either answer the same question over and over or if you have one particular situation or person in mind already you can work through the entire sequence before starting over on another situation. 

 

- I close my heart when… 

- I open my heart when…

- You make me close when…

- You make me open when…

- I make me close when…

- I make me open when…

- I am allowed to love you when…

- I am allowed to love me when…

 

When you are done, go through each one and in whatever way you already know how, send love into each answer. 

 

Then, reflecting on how all of these words in their different forms came from your experience, in whatever way you can, celebrate all of it as your unique self and recognise the stories you tell yourself that until now have made some of your experience seem true. If it helps to do some further journaling on this make sure you gift yourself with extra time to do this.

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