It’s easy for our hearts to harden. Trauma, betrayal, stress. Or maybe we were just conditioned to not feel into that space. This seems to be especially true for men (myself included).
There is a tenderness that comes from keeping the heart open, and it’s often accompanied be a deeper joy and connection to oneself and others.
A mindfulness practice helps us do this. It makes us sensitive to the moments when we close down.
For me, it’s little things. For instance, the other day, I found myself waiting for an uber, and he was taking too long to get here. I felt my body tense and an arising of anger directed toward my uber driver: “What is this guy doing? Where is he? Come on already.”
I noticed it, and softened around it. I met the anger with softness. And it was like one part of me gave another part of me a hug. As I settled within myself, it then allowed me to extend that softness and heart to my uber driver.
This is a small example, but the accumulation of these small moments throughout the day keeps the heart inclined to staying open. It sees more opportunities to do so, and gets better at doing so.
Personally, I never thought I would be looking for these moments throughout the day. But it’s now what I’m most excited about because there is so much ease, peace and joy that comes in those moments of softening.
This is the training for those bigger moments. But start small.
Each day offers many small opportunities to keep your heart open.