The past month has been a challenging time. The world economy has been at risk. The stock market has been bi-polar. The election is up for grabs. Fear is rampant in the media. In the face of all of this it is easy to have fear seep into your life and to close down your heart. I have experienced this personally and I have heard this over and over from people around me.
I don’t listen to TV or radio and seldom read the newspaper because I don’t want to be affected by the fear-mongering media. Still, I found myself slipping into a dark place and feeling a bit lost. In part, this is because of my sensitivity to the energy around me. In part, to too some healing I was doing on my inner child. In part, it was to Mercury being in retrograde. In part, I was reacting to an important relationship in my life. My mind became filled with negative thoughts and the need to figure out what was going on. My heart closed down and my inner child felt abandoned. When our heart closes down and our mind is feed by fear it is easy to get lost in the darkness.
I usually move through these kinds of challenges pretty quickly, in a few hours or a few days. This past month it took almost two weeks before I was able to see the clouds begin to part. Even as this was happening my witness was watching and seeing how stuck I was, and offered me love. As I became aware of that love I was finally able to recognize that my heart was closed. As soon as I felt into my heart and began to open it the clouds lifted and the sun shone on my face once again.
Here are four keys to keeping your heart open in challenging times:
1) Awareness is the first key. Check in with your heart every morning and night and notice if it is open or closed or somewhere in between.
2) Breathe into your heart. Rub your hands together and send love into them. When they begin to get hot place them over your heart and take the love into the cells of your body and your being. Let the love expand as you breathe it in.
3) Offer gratitude for all you have. Appreciate the abundance in your life and be generous with others less fortunate than you. Feel compassion for them and send love out to those that are homeless, hungry, sick, or in trouble.
4) Here is another practice I find helpful. It is from ancient Sanskrit prayer called the Gayatri, which I am paraphrasing here. Either go outside or imagine the sun shining into your heart and address the sun in this way:
You who are the source of light energy,
Whose rays illuminate the whole world,
Please illuminate my heart so that
I too may do Your work.
I hope you find these tools helpful.