The theme of openness is one that I live by and it seems to be coming up a lot more these days in conversations that I am having with others. Last week, during The Class with Natalie Kuhn, she encouraged our group to stay open as we moved through challenging emotional and physical positions. She urged us to stay open to the possibility of reaching greater potential by allowing our minds and bodies to work together to move us farther and deeper into our strength. In essence, Natalie helped to facilitate our growth – both physical and emotional – to reach a place beyond where we thought we were capable of going.
This message of staying open to greater possibilities and developing greater bonds is needed now more than ever. It is during times of change that we are called upon to consider and accept new ideas, new rules, and new boundaries. This can happen in personal relationships, at work and in our communities. Change often presents mental and physical challenges as it requires us to adapt (expand) and accept (surrender to) things being different. The change could be a new neighbour or teammate. It could be a new job or school. It could be a new set of hearing aids or a new pair of glasses. It could be a newly constructed building on your street or a newly elected leader of your country. There are so many examples of change that happen in our lives every day.
When you pause to think about it, how do you respond to these changes? Do you welcome change or do you resist it? I have found that positive intention and visualization helps expand the heart space to welcome new ways of living and being together during times of change. Here are some suggested practices:
When you encounter a person or situation that requires you to consider a different perspective, stay open. Open your eyes and ears to what others are doing and saying so that you can better understand the others’ experience and you can find better ways of working together.
When you find yourself stuck in an old mindset that seems to be creating conflict with others (and therefore conflict within yourself), stay open. Open your mind to new ideas and expand your field of thinking.
When you are afraid to be honest with yourself or with someone else, stay open. Be open-hearted, speak your truth, and know that your honesty will help others to understand your experience.
Let’s remember that when we stay silent, we shut our mouths. We close our hearts. We cut ourselves off from others and from the opportunities for connection, learning, growth and love. Let’s practice staying open by paying attention to the thoughts that arise when change is happening. When you feel a negative thought or a fear closing in, remember these practices and visualize your arms and heart opening wide. If you imagine staying open, you will be open. Staying open to opportunities and new perspectives maintains a critical path to wellness.