“It’s impossible,” said Pride.
“It’s risky,” said Experience.
“It’s pointless,” said Reason.
“Give it a try,” said the Heart.
Living with an open heart makes us vulnerable and yet without an open heart, we are closed to the love, joy, and happiness that makes our human experience meaningful.
In chapter seven of The Untethered Soul, Singer provides insights and techniques to keep us from closing ourselves off from the world. He warns that if we close our hearts, we lock our fears inside with us. If there is no light, we can’t grow. We become prisoners of our own making.
One insight Singer offers is the realization that our thoughts and emotions are just objects of our consciousness. I remember reading that line over and over. It was another “ah-ha” moment for me as I studied Singer’s book. I realized that my thoughts were just objects with no power to hurt me unless I gave them the power. Often, I gave my thoughts a lot of power and a lot of attention. I’m a recovering overthinker. I’m learning to trust my intuition again!
Another technique involves awareness. When we feel the tendency to close ourselves off, defend ourselves or fight against something, instead, he reminds us to relax into it. Remember, awareness requires presence. You must be focused in the present moment. So, take a breath and as thoughts arise, don’t fight them, judge them, or try to change them. Accept. Surrender. Let go.
“You will get to a point in your growth where you understand that if you protect yourself, you will never be free. It’s that simple. Because you’re scared, you have locked yourself within your house and pulled down all the shades.” ~Michael Singer
And finally, Singer tells us to tap into our “inner will” and center ourselves. We have the power to focus our attention in the present moment and become aware. Being mindful and aware is key to maintaining an open heart.
Before we go, I’d like to add another suggestion. I was reminded recently about the power of gratitude. If you feel your heart closing, take a moment to count your blessings and be grateful. This technique works for me every time!
As you start your week keep these suggestions in mind. Life can be overwhelming this time of year with work, family, and social obligations. If you find yourself closing off, becoming defensive, angry or hurt, remember to take a breath, focus, assert your will, count your blessings, and then let it go.
Next week: Don’t be Afraid ~ Be Free