Opening our hearts can be a scary thing. After all, we have years of conditioning in place—fear, pain, suffering, judgments, comparisons and the like. By now, we’ve had traumas, dramas, accidents, illnesses, heartaches, heartbreaks and everything in between. “Life” has happened and we can get discouraged, especially if we haven’t yet taken back the reins of our personal power and freedom. So … how do we go about opening our hearts? To get you started, here are some simple practices you can do at home to open your heart chakra more and more each day, which will help you begin to feel love again. When we communicate with Nature, we connect with the interconnectedness of all things—the interconnected web of life that makes up the fabric of our existence. It’s here in nature that we can tune back in to our innate gifts and reconnect with ourselves on a whole different level. Try sitting in a quiet place in nature, coming to the present moment—the only moment we really ever have. Once sitting in nature, begin gazing with your left eye, keeping it slightly out of focus. Begin to look at the outline of the trees, plants and things around you. Everything—I mean everything—has an aura: a halo-shaped crown with light and love energy around it. When you softly yet dominantly gaze out of your left eye, you’ll begin to see this haze, this fabric of existence that makes up our space-time reality. Once you see it, witness the feelings that arise as you realize you’re One with the Infinite Creator of All that Is. In these moments, we can smile to ourselves at the subtleties—we’re not in nature, we are nature. We are not in the Universe, we are the Universe. We aren’t in love, we are love. Not to mention, spending time in nature puts us in resonance with Mother Earth’s heartbeat. Through grounding, which is sometimes called earthing, the electromagnetic resonance of our hearts can tune in to the electromagnetic resonance of Mother Earth’s heartbeat. As our heart’s consciousness beats with and aligns with hers, we can feel a sense of “home” wash over us, reminding us that we’re loved and worthy. We’re infinite, spiritual beings having a human experience, and we’re supported by all of Creation. Breathe Our breath is our life-force energy, so we can use it anytime we wish to come back to the present moment—the Eternal Now. When we say that the “Eternal Now” is the only moment we really ever have, we mean that all that exists, ever has existed and ever will exist is only ever happening right here, right now. There’s a myriad of breathing techniques available for use, so it’s just a matter of finding the one that’s right for you. Here are just a couple of options: · Taking deep, nourishing inhalations and letting go with long, audible exhalations · Holding the breath for five seconds, pausing for five seconds at the top and exhaling for five seconds Finding a breathing technique that works for you can help slow you down at any given moment. Live authentically When we live authentically, we give others permission to do the same. Some people aren’t in a place where they’re able to honour our chosen path, so judgments, comparisons and the like can arise. What’s more, you’re a “secondary character” in the so-called drama or play of their life, and when you begin to change, you no longer fit into the box they had you in or the role you were previously playing for them. This makes them uncomfortable, so (most of the time, unconsciously), they try to turn you back into the character you were once playing, which can hinder your growth and health in a number of ways. All the more reason why having healthy boundaries is imperative! Following our bliss to the best of our ability, in every moment, without attachment to or insistence on the outcome, is the formula. One of the easiest ways to enact the formula is through passion. When we do things we’re passionate about, we step into that magical Flow, that “zone.” Passion, bliss, love, excitement—or any derivative thereof—is the way to get there. Love is the vehicle for all things. The way we love ourselves, as well as the way we love others, is what says the most about us. Have you loved yourself today? If not, then why not? What’s stopping you? If you aren’t loving yourself, or you aren’t feeling love for others, try practicing some of the tools presented here. And if you are loving yourself and others, then relax into yourself even more deeply, and keep doing what you’re doing. Love is the only thing, the everything. When we vibrate with unconditional love, we’re then resonating in accordance with our true, unique energy signatures. Love unconditionally Unconditional love comes from a place of honour and respect. Loving people (or ourselves) unconditionally doesn’t mean that the person can do no wrong. Unconditional love is rooted in that timeless space of honour and respect, where we show up for another person and hold space for them, no matter what they’re going through. And, most of all, we show up for ourselves. When we place condition after condition on our love for people, it becomes the furthest thing from love. For example, “If you do this, then I’ll love you. If you act this way, then I’ll reward you with my love.” Or, similarly, “If you don’t do this, then I’ll punish you, I won’t give you my love.” This isn’t love, this is control. The next time you find yourself in any given situation that doesn’t seem to be going well, ask yourself, “Am I loving unconditionally? Or am I giving my love conditionally, on a reward/punishment basis?” Along the same lines, you can also ask yourself, “Am I being loved unconditionally? Am I being shown love with honour and respect? Or am I only receiving love from the other person on a conditional, reward/punishment basis?” If you answered yes to the latter, it’s time to go back to your toolkit and set some healthy boundaries. You teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself. Next, turn the focus inward. What lesson is presenting itself here? What mirror is this person, the one who’s placing conditions on their love, holding up for me? At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with others and everything to do with ourselves. And most likely—not always, but most likely—if someone isn’t treating you with love and respect, it may be because you yourself aren’t loving and honouring yourself. How can others love and respect us if we don’t love and respect ourselves? Bringing it all together Sometimes I’m asked, but how do we love ourselves? And the answer is, by loving others. Other times I’m asked, but how do we love others? And the answer is, by loving ourselves.