Monday, July 30, 2012

Heart-Opening in the Light of the Sun

With Summertime comes childhood memories, and recollections of Summers past. Wonderful heart-opening memories, like falling in love. Painful and eye-opening memories like the death of my father. One thing I find for sure: Summer sheds a light upon me and lifts the veil of Winter, revealing all that I can handle and more. At times, this can feel like it is too much, but over the years I have learned from my life experience that nothing is 'too much'. So I have committed to opening my heart to whatever the Universe brings me.

Sphinx Pose on the streets of NYC.
I have discovered that in the world of art and the theatre of the heart, everything is useful. Everything is beautiful. In my youth, I often felt that my emotions would be too large for the world to handle. Today, I have experienced the opposite, because I am not too much and no situation is too much for my large open heart to handle, process and give back from. I have trained myself to channel my emotions into creativity and re-creation: I re-create my body by harnessing the power of my emotions, or do something productive with my heart-break, like write a book or paint my feelings onto a canvas. Art and creativity reside in the home of the heart. The word "heart" even contains the word "art"!

Working from the outside-in, you can train yourself to open your heart by taking actions. You can do subtle exercises, like cultivating an awareness of the energetic heart. One simple meditation you can do is place your hand right there in the center of your chest, breathe into it and feel. Mentally remind yourself of your gratitude by listing 5 things you are grateful for. Gratitude enlarges your heart.

Yoga provides a variety of heart-opening postures. The most lovely and subtle is Sphinx Pose. It is very gentle on your back, as it opens the chest cavity and the shoulders. Think about presenting your heart to the Universe, and being thankful for your gift. An exercise in true humility at the grace that rises from within you in the face of life's terrain. This life is a beauty. It is waiting for you with open arms.

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