Tag Archives: opening my heart

The Kindness of a Stranger.

I consider myself to be a pretty upbeat, friendly person.  I am happy much of the time, and I take that happiness out into my world.  Going to the grocery store is no exception.  Aside from the fact that I love to go grocery shopping, especially for a special holiday meal, I enjoy interacting with other people.

 

Last night, my family and I were getting some items for our Thanksgiving feast for today.  We were in line, getting our items checked out.  The store was somewhat busy, but the people around us all seemed to be in a happy mood.  People were starting conversations with us and smiling easily.  

 

As we were getting checked out, a cashier from the aisle next to us started handing us coupons, for this item or that.  I thanked her a couple of times.  Then, she came over to our line, and gave us an additional coupon for our visit.  I thanked her again, for being so generous to us, that I deeply appreciated it.

 

She told me, that she remembered that I am always so nice and kind when I come into that grocery store, that she wanted to do something in return for me.  

 

I was stunned.  You see, I give, just for the sake of giving.  I haven’t always been that way.  In the past, although I have always been a giving person, I would often get caught in the trap of giving, with an expectation of being shown gratitude for it in return.  I always expected something back, even if just a thank you.  When that wasn’t expressed, I would use that as an excuse to feel resentful. 

 

I understand now how much more meaningful it is for me to give, just because I want to.  That the giving is not about me, it is about what I want to offer to someone else.  That when I remember the purity of the intention, then the result, the outcome does not matter one bit.

 

I asked this cashier last night, after she told me this, if I could give her a hug, and she said yes.  When I hugged her, and she hugged me back, tightly, I felt our hearts connecting as one.  I remembered, yet again, the uniqueness and universality of us as human beings.  That we all are one, even when we forget that.  That we never know how our actions may impact the lives of others, at any time.

 

That any small gesture of kindness, given freely and without expectation, brings gifts that are beyond measure. 

 

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Love is Not a Portal.

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In my reading and studying of The Power of Awareness by Eckhart Tolle, I am learning about ways to become more present in my life, and that the diligence to presence allows me to experience the Universality of this world; another realm of consciousness. What I mean by that, is that when I consciously stay in the here and now as often as possible, I am not focused on the future, or the past, and can more fully experience my connection to the world around me. I am also more aware of how I am a part of all that there is. This is the closest so far in my life that I have come to a spiritual awakening and seeing the light of something bigger than just myself.

In this book, Eckhart talks about some of the main ways, or portals, that he believes there are in order to access this alternate state of awareness, this connection to all. First, by being in the present moment; also, by connecting with our body internally, meaning, feeling the workings of it on a very direct level, feeling the energy within; breathing consciously, at the same time as slowing down the constant thoughts that run through our minds; and if there is nothing we can do, then surrendering to what is. Each one is effective in its own way, and each portal is one which I have utilized in order to feel more peaceful and still within. In these moments, peace feels the pinnacle of my life experience.

What is interesting, however, is that most of my life, I have believed that Love was the experience that would most lead me to spiritual awakening and peace. By loving others, and loving myself, and doing so in a nonjudgmental, open way, I would allow myself to experience my connection to everything else. That actively loving others, as a verb, would bring this about. And, I am beginning to understand now how this is not the case.

Indeed, I do love, feel love and express love to myself and to others in my world, as well as to creatures and nature that I am present to in my daily life. But I don’t believe anymore that the love comes first. You see, when I am not in the present moment, in other words, when I am focused on a past transgression or future event, I am more prone to judge others when I am around them. I am viewing them through my own filters and biases, my own expectations and desire instead of just accepting the moment, and therefore the person, as it is. So, in that sense, love does not come first; however, when I open the portal to higher consciousness, by being present, or surrendering to what is, I am allowing the light of love to shine on through me.

This may seem a lofty goal, and one that we could easily talk ourselves out of as being too tedious, or not being worthy or necessary in how we spend our time. However, for me to have a more full experience of my life, I want to be present; I want to savor the here and now and be with those in my world. I want to see life with fresh eyes and keep my heart as open as possible.

And, when the portal is open to a higher realm, the Light of Love awaits us all.

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How About a Hug? Part 2- Hugs for Everyone.

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Hugs for Everyone. That was part of my thinking when I embarked on this project, which was just the beginning of continuing it into the future. Everyone should be hugged. We all crave human contact, human compassion in the form of a wraparound, and a tight squeeze. Or a gentle embrace. We all need that in order to feel fully human, loved and alive.

And, even if I had not had on a blindfold, the hugs would have been there for everyone, everyone that felt ready and willing to approach me and stand there, waiting. It gives me pause when I think about it.

You see, I have judgments most every day, about one thing, or one person or another in my life. Someone is driving too fast on the highway. A coworker doesn’t seem particularly chatty or interested in me. My daughter is tired and overwhelmed and seems aggravated with me. Judgment knows no bounds when I feel like my needs are not getting met. I don’t live in judgment all the time, but it most often comes out when I feel scared, or alone.

Standing on a city street, with no sight, and hugging people, sight unseen, was one way to remove my ability to judge, because I couldn’t see anything. I had to just trust that all would be well. And, more importantly, I had to remain with my heart wide open, to receive every nugget that came my way.

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Being judgmental serves me less and less in my life. And, opening my heart serves me more and more. And, this experience was a beautiful beginning to commit to letting go of judgment, and embracing love of others. Let go of wanting something in return, and open to receiving bigger than I have in my life, by wanting nothing in return.

What a rush.

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Snake Medicine.

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One of my totems in my Native American cards is the Snake, and for me it is in the Below position in my cards. When a card is in this position, it represents staying grounded and on the path. Snake Medicine indicates many things by its symbolism. It represents a person that can take in poisons of any kinds, because all things in the world are universal. It also means the ability to call up fire medicine, which shows itself in our lives as wisdom, passion, desire, ambition, creation, and dreams. In addition, Snake Medicine represents healing, and the two parts of the body that can most easily bring about healing are the heart and the hands.

Although I draw a card every day, and each card brings me some type of wisdom and self knowledge, drawing the Snake card, on the particular day that I drew it, was quite telling for me. Earlier this week, we had been chatting with our landlady, and she brought over a friend of hers. This friend had been a tenant of hers, in the house we now reside in, more than twenty years ago. He was charismatic, friendly and full of all kinds of information.

And, only a few moments after I met him, I was judging him all over the place.

Why is he so friendly when he hardly knows us? Why is he acting so familiar? Why does he want to come back and visit this weekend, during our housewarming party? Who is this guy anyway? I was very quickly suspect of everything he had to say, and to ask, and I felt myself closing up tight. My partner was chatting away with him, open and interested. This meant I had no ally to stand with me in judgment of him. I was all on my own with this.

After he left, I talked about it, how I had closed up, how he had put me ill at ease, how I suspected weird things about what he said. I realized that without any basis at all, in a period of less than ten minutes, I managed to judge a person without knowing hardly a thing about him, and telling the story in my head of who I thought he must be. My heart was completely closed.

What I understood more deeply about myself, and my purpose, and what I could learn from this experience, is that I can do no good in this world with a closed heart. One of my main purposes here in this world is to be a healer, to bring compassion and love to others as well as myself. When my heart is closed, the Universe is not able to bring that through me to the world. The more open that my heart is, the more that I can love others, be with them as they are, and be present for any miracles that are to come my way. That is powerful stuff, and that is where I most want to be in my life. Present to the miracles, and opening my heart more and more to myself, and to everyone that I meet.

The more I learn, the more that I realize that I have to learn. What a journey this is!

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The Hug.

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This week, I traveled to New York city with my love, and we went to see Amma. Amma is the woman from India, who is known as the Hugging Saint. In her lifetime, it is said that she has hugged more than thirty million people. Her motivation is love, and compassion for living creatures who are suffering, or who are seeking comfort.

Although I have heard and read many things about her, I was never really sure of what I thought of her. Is she a guru? Is she a human doing godly work on this earth? Is she truly a saint? My curiosity never felt intense enough for me to want to experience her, until recently. When I realized that she was coming to New York, which is a yearly event, I thought about going to see her, to experience her presence.

As the days passed, coming up to when we were to go see her, I didn’t feel any sense of excitement or anticipation. I felt pretty neutral about it. Then, when we arrived in New York, and had to receive our token, which designated what grouping we would be in for our hug, I started to get a sense of overwhelm; there were so many sights and sounds, all of which were inviting and peaceful, yet together, it seemed almost like too much.

For much of the day, it looked like we might not get hugged at all. There were hundreds of people there, and our place in the sequence would not be for several hours, or so we thought. Then, we sat down and I started to watch her hug others. I felt myself overcome with emotion, watching her embrace children, men, and women. Take them into her arms and cradle them. It was absolutely magical and beautiful to watch. I felt disappointed that I might not be able to hug her after all.

We discovered that we were going to be getting our hugs, and that it would be soon. So, we followed the directives, to stand in line, then to sit in line, and to wait. As I got closer and closer to where she was sitting, up on the stage, I got excited and nervous. I had no expectations of what I would experience, and I was not wanting anything from it. I kept feeling tears in my eyes, and my heart felt so open. When I was directed to kneel in front of her, to wait for my turn, I had a necklace in my hand, a lotus flower carved from a coconut shell, that I wanted her to bless. When it was my turn, I was before her, and she was unclasping the necklace, and placing it around my neck. Then, she pulled me into her chest, my head lying on her, and she chanted, whispered, or sang in my ear. Then, in just a few seconds, I was being guided up from the floor.

What I felt in those few seconds, was complete comfort. I am a person who loves to hug others, and to be hugged. Yet, her hug felt like something that I had never experienced before, and not because I had lacked it my whole life. I have connected physically with other living beings many times in my years on this earth. And that embrace was one like I had never had before.

I won’t say that I had a spiritual experience, but what I felt was pure love, and comfort, like a mother to a child.

Amma.

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