–Roger Housden, Ten Poems to Open Your Heart
(Part 2 of a 2-part series)
I know for many of us who have been in the dating world a while—and those in committed relationships or long-term marriages who are healing or strengthening their relationships—it seems cliché to continually hear that we must love ourselves first before we can genuinely extend ourselves to another.
Like the safety words uttered while flying about putting on your own oxygen mask first before trying to save another, I have used that analogy in coaching my clients by suggesting: The more centered and grounded they become in themselves, the more love they have to give and receive. Loving from a sense of fullness attracts and sustains healthier relationships.
Yet, acquiring an open heart goes much deeper than learning to be a romantic partner or even a better friend or parent (see related blog, part 1).
Open-heartedness is a way of living that connects us more deeply to:
- our life’s purpose
- our body’s wisdom
- one another and our interconnectedness
- our higher power, Source, God, or whatever spiritual bond you have
- the joy and bliss of discovering our unlimited potential for loving more expansively in all areas of life—work, relationship, and leisure
To help us learn some helpful tools for opening our hearts, I interviewed a colleague of mine, Rose Russo.
A self-declared “Renaissance woman,” Rose experiences the world through many sets of eyes as a fine artist, graphic designer, yoga instructor and energy healer. She suggests:
“It is important to invite life’s mystery into your life and to be inspired…by people, what they do and how they express themselves; by colors and how one color influences another; by the deeper meaning of words and how they can express our inner truth; by a single round stone or shell at the beach and the journey it took to get there; by the way our body opens when we open our mind to all that is. I never stop exploring with child-like enthusiasm and curiosity. That for me is key to opening my heart.
We are all unique expressions of the universe. No one sees the world the way we do. We all have a unique voice, purpose, and way of expressing our self. We are here to explore, experience and share that uniqueness. There is no competition, only the exploration of our deeper meaning.”
Where do we begin this exploration? According to Rose, you begin by doing what you love to do and let that love direct your actions. She believes in the creative process (whether it is yoga, art, dance, writing, acting, or whatever thrills you). Creativity offers opportunities to open and explore daily.
“It takes courage to go beyond our day-to-day routine or the stuck image we created for our self, and experience something that excites and connects us daily,” she notes. “But when we move from ‘I’m afraid to I’m enthused’ we transform.”
Roses urges us to expand into more open-hearted living by setting aside time each day for an inner exploration preferably in silence, through meditation, yoga, journaling, walking or whatever gives you joy.
She also suggests creating an altar to display items that open your heart. Then, light a candle on the altar to invite in the potential of all you will create that day. This quiet exploration is healing for the body, mind and spirit–and sets the tone for the rest of the day (one that is connected to the mystery of life).
As a yoga teacher, Rose looks for a true expression of a student’s heart. A little spark of the heart or an “aha moment” is enough to show a student that there is more to the yoga practice than just “being limber.”
When the body opens, the mind opens. When the mind opens, the body opens. The possibilities are unlimited, according to Rose, once you touch that reality–freedom from pain, a new way of being, a more stable mind, and a stronger body. What can be better than that?
SUPPORT MATTERS’ BELIEFS TIPS ON THE ART OF OPENING YOUR HEART:
1. I allow myself to be inspired and explore my uniqueness.
2. I allow myself to see myself as more than I am right now in a different way. (If you hold yourself in your old story, you will see yourself in your old story, Rose advises, adding, “You need to see yourself beyond the old story, whatever that old story is.”
3. I allow myself to see myself as a creative being, flowing with my own creative process.
Rose Russo is shown in the photo above in the pose Ardha Chandrachapasana –also known as Half Moon Sugar Cane pose. It is one of her favorite “heart opener” poses combining a delicate balance with flexibility and an open, steady mind.
Gail Kauranen Jones is an intuitive coach, gifted wordsmith and inspiring teacher who has been leading others through transformation for more than twenty years. She is the author of two books, Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living, and To Hell and Back…Healing Your Way through Transition. Both books were met with rave reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.
She recently appeared as a guest “worthiness coach” on CBS TV’s award-winning talk show The Doctors and on Sirius FM Radio. Her articles and “tips” on worthiness have also appeared several times in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.
She has taught many leading-edge workshops at top spas and wellness centers. She now leads Zoom group coaching programs and is a guest speaker at many related events.
Gail lives a passionate and simple life writing, hiking, connecting in meaningful ways, aligning in joyful collaboration and thriving in nature.