When life gets heavy, I visibly close and constrict choking off the life flow of Everything. I hunch my body and soul into a ball so tightly sealed against even the whisper of a feather.
A friend of mine said to me the other day, “Michelle – you have computer shoulders. You look like you’re going to cave in.”
It sure felt like Everything was going to cave in and I was petrified of being buried beneath the rumble, and it went far beyond poor posture from working at the computer every day.
In self-preservation, I lock up shop to prevent breakage. Heart’s at Full Capacity – Closed Until Further Notice.
Gangaji’s words slipped through the cracks and shone the light on the beautiful, expansive space hidden beyond the clutter, to the essence of who I really am.
We are not our suffering. Our circumstances are not Everything.
“We have tried everything to get rid of suffering. We have gone everywhere to get rid of suffering. We have bought everything to get rid of it. We have ingested everything to get rid of it. Finally, when one has tried enough, there arises the possibility of spiritual maturity with the willingness to stop the futile attempt to get rid of it and, instead, to actually experience suffering. In that momentous instant, there is the realization of that which is beyond suffering, of that which is untouched by suffering. There is the realization of who one truly is.” ~ Gangaji
A hardened heart makes it impossible to feel anything, good or bad.
“In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.”
The practice of opening our hearts can (and must) be done in our bodies, minds and emotions.
Resources to help us open our hearts:
* Tonglen: (This is a beautiful practice that moves me immediately out of resistance and into openness)
* Doorway Chest Stretch
* Supported Fish Pose:
* Simple Yoga Positions to Open the Heart
* Calm Heart Meditation
2nd image by Sanderslelli