Moving into Open Heartedness
I had established a wonderful place of what I call ‘neutrality’. I was clearing through the accumulation of limiting beliefs, learning to balance out the human qualities with the yearnings of my higher self, and I was in a good place. It was a place where I could go about my daily life with a sense of tranquillity, peace and practice mindful awareness, non judgement and understanding as much as possible. From this place of 'neutrality' I experienced the natural ebb and flow of life, including the highs and the lows, and woke each day with the firm intention to stay truthful and find meaning in my life for growth and progression.
On reflection, although I would not say my heart was closed off -the neutrality zone brought a sense of peace joy and contentment. But what I realise is that I wasn’t experiencing, feeling and projecting the full states of unconditional love as my baseline and foundation. These states of unconditional love were somehow reserved for special occasions, for the healing couch or when teaching, only expressed when the conditions were ‘right’; neutrality was my default emotional position. And I also appreciate that this has served me very well in getting me to exactly where I needed to me. The ‘Neutrality’ zone was a wonderful platform enabling me to bring harmony, balance and a great deal of healing into my life. I am very grateful for all the qualities and teachings it has bought to me.
On a physical level, one of my biggest challenges this last couple of years has been the continuous journey of clearing out emotional toxins from my body and coming up against any obstacles standing in the way of full health. You might wonder what this has to do with love! It was suggested to me by a colleague that I try telling myself (and my body and my misbehaving organs) the simple words “I love you”. My initial thoughts were ambiguity mixed with interest . . . I was happy to try this, (I knew how powerful mirror work could be) as long as it felt completely authentic and I could also honour whatever was coming up. Traditional psychology as well as day to day mindfulness techniques had shown me the importance of recognising my feelings and thoughts so I was adamant I did not want to use this as a ‘fluffy’ way to ignore or sidetrack myself. I also knew that it wasn’t enough just to speak the words . . . the real power and transformation would come from FEELING the unconditional heart-felt love.
My first attempts showed me quite starkly that the sensation of unconditional love, which physically I can only describe as a very powerful expansion (and constriction) at the same time radiating from my heart centre and up into my throat, was not an easy space for me to morph into - I could not just conjure it up at will. Whilst knowing mentally and spiritually that this is entirely and completely our true nature itself and the very foundation on which we exist and manifest, it was starkly apparent just how much life’s experiences not only shaped our thoughts/actions and behaviours, but had a way of acting like an airtight valve – suppressing and inhibiting the natural flow of unconditional love that we are when we come into this world. The only way I could access this feeling in an instant and at my will, was to think about my beautiful niece Ayla and our cat Tiddles! Something about the innocence and purity of the love these two souls bring to me and that we share together, forged a direct link into the well of my heart, and I could open the valve instantly to project and direct the flow in whichever way I wanted . . . sending and speaking love to myself, my organs, any obstacles or people.
With time, this became almost a curious ritual, a kind of love training exercise or boot camp for the heart! I found it got easier and easier to access and really feel this extraordinary space of unconditional love . . . yes some days there was resistance, but I persevered and always found a way to reconnect eventually. As I began to do this more and more, I also found it easier to naturally lean towards more gratitude, and this seemed to sit ‘hand in hand’ with the flow of unconditional love.
Only a few weeks into my 'heart' boot camp training, It suddenly dawned on me that my previous space of neutrality (which had been my sanctuary) felt rather dull and somewhat flat! I was waking up in the morning after a night of the usual vivid dreams, and although I was feeling calm, content and fairly positive, I realised I was somehow feeling not quite alive! The epiphany was it had now become ‘not enough’ to stay in the neutral zone. Reconnecting to my heart and projecting the energy of unconditional love to myself, to my day, to the people who make me laugh and cry, had to be my platform and the default position from which i operate as much as possible! That safe and beautiful space of neutrality, whilst obviously an intricate part of my learning journey and necessary at times to protect us in this harsh world, felt empty, less fulfilling and if I am honest a bit like a cop out. Now when life is tough and challenges present themselves, alongside my ‘usual life management’ tools (aka mindfulness basically) I always try to find my way back to ‘open heartedness’ even in the face of ‘emotional danger’, and the desire to hunker down back in neutral zone and feel safe.
So this is where I am now! Practising the innate art of freeing my heart fully and opening the valve to feel unconditional love in the face of fear/discomfort and uncertainty. I hope that eventually I not only understand mentally that this is actually who I am, but I can live it, feel it, and breath it for as many moments as I can until I can know I was never anything else.