Living with two bulging, herniated discs can be a pain (no pun intended), especially in our rainy season, when my back seems extra sore. During a family barbecue, my sister, who is an RN, asked if I was experiencing pain. When I asked why she inquired, she said that I looked like I was guarding.Guarding is a medical term indicating when a person has pain somewhere in their body and they become rigid as though to protect the area from further pain or injury. We do the same in our lives with our minds and hearts. We protect ourselves from perceived pain…basically, we guard.To be open, for many of us, means to be vulnerable. We’ve been open and we’ve been hurt--at least that explains some of our experiences.Ego loves it when we stay closed and works over-time to ensure we do not enter openness. “Remember when you did that before and this happened?” is one of the many voices of ego.When we are open, the gates of Divine guidance, to intention, to the flow of Spirit happen. Closing the gates of our minds and hearts is insanity and it is the main reason New Year’s Resolutions rarely follow through past the first few weeks.So how can we practice openness?Here are three strategies to being open, open, open:
- The first step is reflection. In what areas of your life do you feel closed or blocked to openness? Work? Love? Spirituality? Journal your thoughts.
- Practice random acts of kindness. These don’t need to be grand gestures, sometimes the smaller the better!
- Develop compassion and let go of your need to be right.
Even with the best intentions, sometimes we feel as though it is not enough. Why do the barriers to openness show up, guarding our sacred spaces, putting another brick in the wall?Ego, again is the answer. Blocks to our openness manifest in the forms of negative voices cemented in our dialogue and culture. Evidence of this insanity in our workplaces includes statements like,” Nice guys finish last”, or when considering doing something nice for someone, like a favor, we hear, “If you do that for one, you’ll have to do it for everyone” or “No good deed goes unpunished”.Opening our perceptions and inviting in Spirit through surrender, allows healing of the mind and heart to take place. Through healing, the ego no longer has hold on the barriers and blocks to the gates of openness. Just as a clenched fist cannot receive a gift, a closed mind cannot grow and a closed heart cannot receive love.As we prepare to begin this new year of 2016, I want to hear from you. What are some other ways you plan to practice being open?With love,Maria