The Quest For Keeping a Soft Heart . . .
A reflection on keeping your heart and spirit vibrant
When I was younger I was extremely sensitive almost as if I didn’t have skin thick enough to be a barrier between me and life. So much so that I would weep and grieve over road kill on the highways, homeless vets, trees being chopped down, the plight of war torn refugees, tragic stories in classic novels, the list goes on. Watching the news was always traumatic and learning how to let go of other people’s sufferings was a feat. That sensitivity actually served me in my years as an actress. I was able to access deep feelings rather effortlessly, however the toll was high on my fragile nervous system.
Over the years, I’ve grown up and grown if not tougher than definitely stronger. I’ve had to fight battles and dig deep into my inner core for resilience, courage, humor (always a plus when dealing with life) and strength. I’ve also learned how to navigate around this sensitivity by protecting myself from certain scenarios.
Overcoming serious health issues, getting a divorce, raising children, starting a business from scratch, losing friends, losing family members, fighting for my beliefs, dealing with mentally unstable people, these events and more have shown me how to be a warrior of sorts. This is a wonderful benefit but like everything it comes with a price. It has made me aware of the work we must do to keep our hearts soft. A soft heart after all is the key to enjoying a full life. It’s not something that is taught or considered much in this dog eat dog world we live in. I realized a few months ago that in certain cases I was moving too much towards a tougher exterior. I had to look honestly at the fact that I was living in a protective cocoon where I was so protected and isolated from feeling pain, that I also wasn’t feeling my heart. Why do we want to consider keeping our hearts soft? Because then it can absorb the beauty of life and the world in a deeper more eternal way. It’s actually finding that balance of being strong enough to deal with a full life, and yet be able to soak up the subtle feelings of innocence, wonder, love, compassion and beauty.
What are some ways to soften our hearts?
– Practice heart opening meditations. Meditate on the heart chakra and imagine a pink glow emanating from this area and surrounding your body in the warmth of love and compassion. (Look below for a quick Heart Opener by Louise Hays.)
– Use Rose. Rose is the highest energetic frequency of all flowers. Using rose petals or rose essential oils as a hydrosal, in your bath or drinking a bit of rose water can lift the heart and open it.
– Service. I used to practice some form of service every week. Once my own life began to shift towards survival mode I lost sight of how service for others is actually service for ourselves. Getting into a place of wanting to help others automatically gets us out of our myopic view of our lives. It opens up internal and external doors as far as perspective and compassion.
– Love in its physical form. Hugging, kissing touching our loved ones creates prosperity in our lives and keeps the heart soft. This is fact Yogi Bhajan speaks of. Intimacy and physical affection can create positive energy which will flow into prosperity. You don’t have to have a lover to feel love. You can reach out to family members, friends, pets, even connect to nature just to feel that tangible expression of love.
– Gratitude list. Creating a gratitude list and going over it daily, and feeling it in our hearts can reaffirm that this journey is ultimately about our heart and love.
Wishing you all soft hearts that call in more of what you desire . .
Heart Opening Meditation By Louise Hay
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Breathe in and breathe out and just let go of all that stuff that is stuck inside you.
This is a special day and we don’t want to carry any old stuff with us.
Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. And as you breathe quietly, notice how comforting that feels. Be aware that you can do this anytime and anywhere and take care of yourself.
You can make yourself feel better with simple gestures and your own breathe. How it calms you down. It lets yesterday go. It gives you a feeling of safety. You are here for yourself. And as you release yesterday and even this moment, you allow your full attention to come into this day, this hour, this time. Turn your full attention to this wonderful, wonderful day.
Let your heart open and make room for all the good of the Universe to come in.