Wanna know how to experience an expansive sense of love, growth and be a groovy as fuck human being? You’ve got to master the ability to remain open in the face of rejection and disappointment.
You: WTF, Amber?
Okay, I know, you want context.
So, let’s go with a classic example. Every time you think to yourself, “I want love” or “I want someone to love me” you’re forgetting one very important effing thing – your responsibility to open. The only way for us to actually experience a sense of lack (particularly a sense of lack in love, worthiness and wealth) is if you’ve closed down. Because closing stops a flow – nothing in and nothing out. That’s what you’re feeling – you shutting you off to all the things you deeply cherish, desire and most of all, that already exist in you.
Note: you will probably feel that it’s not you; that it’s the life circumstances creating this lack. But may I suggest the bottom line here? If you feel a lack of love or a lack of anything at all; money, worthiness, happiness, joy, confidence, wealth, connection; it’s because you’re closing.
Closing begins in your mind. A fearful thought, a scarcity conversation in your head that you let build and focus on until it becomes a monster that triggers a ripple of tightening in your body. This is uncomfortable, a feeling feeds a fear and a fear fuels the feeling. You yoyo between the two and in order to get away from that churn in your gut, the race of your heart, the noise in your mind, you close down. Your energy snaps shut, flow ends, you carry on, but you are closed.
Opening, like all things in life that enable us to grow, is a skill. It’s like anything really, first we don’t know that we’re closing. Then when you read this, and you think, “uh oh, I feel that lack sometimes, righto – let’s take a look…” then you become aware that you are closing. Now you went from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence. Slightly insulting, really, but ignorance will always precede evolution.
And now when you learn from this, you apply that shift until it becomes a natural state of being.
So, how do we open?
What does it look and feel like on a practical level? Isn’t there some kind of check list for this really important shiz? Not really, but let’s have a go, shall we?
The first step is awareness: to notice when you’re closed. The most simple way is if you are feeling some kind of suffering or pain on an emotional level or a story in your head that denies your desire for a deep uninhibited love and openness with the world around you.
Our natural state and evolutionary path is to remain open even when you feel the normal pains, aches and frustrations of life. Life mastery in all areas demands openness. An openness that evokes a state of love. Love is not romantic in this sense, in fact it’s incredibly strong, bold and lethal against all fears, doubts and insecurities. It’s a composed state where you are not up or down but on your axis, in your centre. You are deeply rooted in this moment and open to the world in front of your eyes.
Being open and feeling into love (regardless of the circumstances of life and emotional and mental happenings within you) feels like this:
Feeling a sense of safety and belonging in this world, feeling your place in life is deserved and you are secure without the things that we as a social construct attach safety and security to (such as a home, a lump of savings, some kind of degree and the world validating your every move). Openness with life and love will create a sense of grounded safety net that comes from within. You can still experience fear and failure and rejection but the foundations of feeling safe and worthy aren’t rocked or doubted, underneath the chaos, it’s still there and you’re deeply connected with it.
When you’re living openly you don’t run from pain or run towards pleasure. Sure, you enjoy things like chocolate, sex, art and your favourite TV show, but you still feel contentment inside of yourself without it. Your happiness is not dependent on it. You don’t feel the need to always escape discomfort, you become awareness of your reflex to pull back but you sit, steadily breathing into it with acceptance and understanding. Your creativity with life is fluid, flowing and abundant, instead of interrupted by the mental noise of your ego. You’re imagination tap is “on” all of the time and the world feels like a sensual and amazing place to be in. Boredom is not a thing because your drenched in life because you’re open.
Your sense of power is exclusively internal. You feel the fears of the mind, craving to be heard and validated, the tug of “do more to be more” there in the background of your thoughts and the want for stimulation doesn’t ever really leave us entirely, for most humans, but your essential and core sense of power and purpose direct your actions and intentions. Your energy comes from an internal connection to this sense of who you are underneath the mental noise. Your openness expands your ability to love from this space within you and your ability to trust yourself is directly proportionate to your openness and connection with this part of you, the very infinite and profound oneness with life. Of course as you’re reading this your mind has already classified these all impossibilities or vague examples of fluff that sounds good but is quite impractical to the everyday person. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not and that thought it fear and it’s BS – I just wanted to highlight it because that’s the kind of mental processing and unconscious acceptance of defeat that keeps up closed.
Whether you believe you are or aren’t capable of experiencing such openness to life, you’ll always be right. Remember that.
Our stories are powerful enemies and allies depending on the content of them.
Openness overall feels like a very open channel of love, acceptance, reviving and giving of love to and from others. Of course this includes the romantic kind of connection as well, but again, a lack of love is never there when you’re open because you understand lack equals closed. If you feel a lack or need or want or anger towards another you can become aware of it and open with those feelings. You can even open when you feel closed or afraid.
Practically speaking, if you can take a breath and find the tension in your body – the point of closure, fear, shut down, anger, jealousy, guilt, shame etc – then feel yourself relax and open to it and feel it all. Or, you could stay closed because you refuse to open to these things. It’s natural for us to close when we feel uncomfortable so each time we close, we’re simultaneously gifted the opportunity to practice become open right there and then, in that exact moment we want to shut down and turn to our safe habits and behaviours; denial of our desire or openness or love, indulging in our pain, sugar, TV, seeking attention, you name it..
The moments that trigger us to close are necessary teachers.
Eventually as you build these foundations within and take ownership of your need for actively relaxing into openness (to relax is to open so to resist and push and try, is actually closing) you’ll begin to experience an ease in expression and communication. However, with this ease also comes your non-attachment to whether people hear you or agree. Needing people to listen or to agree is fear, it’s a sign of being closed, to pulling back from vulnerability.
You can feel uncomfortable with this vulnerability and still be open, sensing your desire to close, and open anyway.
As you practice living in this awareness and responsible way you’ll notice that your senses heighten, including your emotions – but you don’t react to them, you simply feel them, allow them and you allow yourself to taste them all, comfortable and uncomfortable.
So, life gets pretty effing fly. You’re chilled.
You have love in your heart.
You’re willing to taste every part of life so you’re not running, you’re not using or escaping. You’re not bending yourself into different shapes and sizes to please others. You’re grounded, confident and humble.
It’s all good.
Even when it’s not good, you’re good. Always.
The next time you feel yourself closing, stop.
Take a breath and just notice the tension in your system. Don’t fight it, just recognise it, that’s it. Then, shut your eyes, listen for your heart beat and remind yourself, there is no cosier home than right here. And open yourself back up.