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Keeping an open heart is one of the foundational pieces of living a happy life.

It’s not always easy to manage though.

In this information in an instant, always on + lack of discernment, compassion and personal filters age we now live in, we are bombarded daily with the negative messages such as fear, anger, lack, etc. so it’s easy to understand how our subconscious mind can say, “Enough! This hurts too much, time close things down to protect this beautiful heart.”

It seems like a good plan and it does bring some relief. Temporarily.

But it’s flawed.

It’s flawed because once your heart is closed off, it may be true that hurt doesn’t get in BUT neither does any positive emotion like love, hope, and joy. And as human beings, we NEED positive emotions. We especially need LOVE – it’s impossible to thrive without it.

Fundamental Truth: The more you can keep your heart open, the more you can feel love, joy, and peace.

IN ORDER TO LIVE A LIFE YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH, YOU MUST HAVE AN OPEN HEART.

Here are some things you can do to coax your heart into opening a little wider:

* Sit quietly for a bit throughout the day (bathroom breaks work well for this) and visualize your heart surrounded by a cotton candy like glow of pink light. Next, imagine that each breath you take is pulling this beautiful pink light into your heart, expanding it a little more with each in breath until you feel the sensation of your heart “breathing.”

* Find a spot out in nature where you feel inspired or grounded (and safe, of course). Let yourself imagine that love is a breeze and feel it gently blowing over you. Imagine that every pore of your body is a receptor for this love and feel them pulling it in and delivering it to your heart as you breathe.

* Rose quartz crystal is a harmonizing stone whose energy is associated with love, healing, and the heart chakra. Whether or not you understand or believe in the energy of crystal, it still looks like love and it’s a good reminder of what you want to focus on. Personally, I wear a necklace with a heart shaped rose quartz pendant that sits right over my heart. It’s one of my favorite, most treasured pieces.

* Place a clean rose quartz in your water glass or water bottle and drink the crystal charged water. I like charging my water by placing a rose quartz crystal in a gallon pitcher, or jar of clean water and placing it in the fridge. I’ll then drink from that for the day. Whether you feel it’s hokey or not, it can’t hurt, right? Give it a go and see what you think.

* Strongly associated with love, roses are the perfect “tonic” for opening a heart. Smell fresh roses still growing on their bush. Get yourself some roses to brighten your space. Note: Cut flowers commercially grown and sold often don’t have the treasured fragrance that appeals to our olfactory system to create the nervous system / emotional response we’re seeking but they are still a beautiful symbol of love. If you can, locate a source that has roses that smell divine.

* Use a high quality Rose Essential Oil. You can diffuse it if you’d like – and it’s heavenly – but if it’s good quality and pure, it will pricey. It takes roughly 22 pounds of rose petals to make a 5-ml bottle of rose essential oil so it should be pricey, or you aren’t getting the purity you want. The good news is that a little goes a long way and the scent is intoxicatingly divine! I didn’t use to like rose scented stuff – it smelled all grandma-ly to me. That all changed when I smelled the pure stuff rather than the synthetic junk I’d experienced. Real rose is unmatched by and incomparable to anything else in the world!

* Make a rose essential oil spritzer by putting 3 drops of rose essential oil in a 2-oz glass spray bottle filled with distilled water (I like a blue glass one but that’s a story for another time). I leave it on my kitchen counter and my daughter and I spritz our faces with it often. It’s great for the skin and for the emotional body.

* When I feel I need a super-boost, I’ll put a single drop right on my heart chakra and rub it in and then cup my hands over my nose and inhale deeply for several breaths. Try it and you’ll see why I describe it as intoxicating! Alternately, you can put a drop on a cotton ball and tuck in your bra if you wear one.

* I recommend using any of the above pro-actively (meaning before you get to the point of feeling like you need to) to keep your heart wide open and receptive to all of the love, joy and peace that you can possibly receive.

* Pretend. That’s right, pretend. Pretend that everyone has good intentions or that there’s a good reason why they are acting like jerks. Grant them grace, send them love, and wish them well. It may sound Pollyanna-ish and I suppose it is but it shifts how you feel about the interaction and that’s what you’re aiming for.

* Practice the Loving Kindness Meditation. This is a great daily practice anyway and I find it to be the right medicine when I’m feeling frustrated or tense due to the actions of others.

Reach out if you’d like some additional support around opening your heart and keeping it open when it feels impossible to do so. I’d love to help you!

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