Posts Tagged ‘love’
If you feel inspired to experience love more fully, here is an exercise. It’s inspired by numerous sources, including Buddhist and Sufi methods.
- Close your eyes. Take deep, belly breaths. Relax your body from head to toe.
- Visualize your heart as putty. As you breathe deeply into it, see it softening, and becoming more pliable, and even porous.
- Picture the part of you that is most vulnerable and tender. This may be your inner child, or even the part that gets angry and tries to protect you. Give it love. See an energy cloud around it – perhaps pink, or, another color that feels loving and supportive.
- Have compassion for this struggling part of you. Tell it that it doesn’t have to work so hard, and you’ll be there for it.
- While still breathing deeply and keeping an awareness of the above, open your eyes with a soft gaze. Notice an object near you. Be aware of the crafting of it that took place for it to exist, that someone spent such time creating. Or, notice a person near you – who has these similar raw places inside, perhaps like your own. Notice their tender beauty.
- Become aware of imperfect perfection all around you – and in you. Nothing needs changing.
Why do we not reside in love, permanently?
First of all, we think it’s about someone else. Who are they? Do we feel a connection? Is there a romantic involvement? Have we known them long enough? Do we feel safe enough to open up? When is the right time to open our heart?
Or, you might ask, when is it not the right time?
On an energetic level, love is simply the expression of the heart chakra opening. Some say that God is love – the devotional path of the bhakti yogi.
We may not like some people or feel a strong affinity with all. Some people do things that we label as bad. Yet, on an ultimate level, who is not deserving of love?
Moreover, is there a time when we do not want to feel love? And how can we experience it, regardless of who is around us?
Part 3: How to actively choose love – always.
So often we think of love in relation to the other person. How do we feel about them? How close are we? Do we feel safe?
Many years ago, when talking to a spiritual teacher of mine about relationships and love, he said, “If you fall in love, you’ll then fall out of love. But you can also choose to reside in love – for that to be a state of being.”
Intellectually, I understood. But it took a lot more time to truly grasp the ramifications, and to choose to step into it.
Everyone desires love. Could it be that love has nothing to do with the another person, and her or his actions and feelings?
Part 2: A new perspective about how love works.
You’ve forgotten again how loved you are, didn’t you?
Oh, dearest amnesia. You’re so good at your job. You make us forget the important stuff while we worry about whatever we’re dealing with in the present moment.
But the truth is that we have always been, are now, and continue to be loved. Deeply and unconditionally.
By our forebearers, who wanted to much for us. By our family, who even if they did things they came to regret and we came to resent, still hold deep love for us. By our children, and those to come in the future. By other people, who want nothing more than for you to shine your truest, brightest light. And by All That Is, of which you are a part, which pulses around and in you.
In fact, it’s almost overwhelming.
Yes, if you prefer, you can focus your attention on conflict, cynicism, and doubt. You have that choice. …But is that really want you want?
Action: Spend time today remembering all the people who have ever loved you, and picture all those who shall. And send love back.
Who wants to be vulnerable? No one – right?
But… I was told once by a psychotherapist that he viewed the ego as a set of defense mechanisms – and that, in order to express our real selves, we needed to dismantle them… and live life vulnerably. Openly.
Just as a meditation teacher of mine, the wonderful Barbara Dilley, talked about how being a true warrior in the world, who lives life fully and faces it bravely, means living with a tender and broken heart.
Maybe they’re on to something.
Yes, this could lead to being hurt. But it also opens the door to honest communication, and feeling the richness of every moment. Taking risks, and trusting in our own ability to return to center, is vulnerable – but living without it means deadening ourselves to love.
Today, consider opening a little more than you’re used to. Take care of yourself, too – but give it a try. See what happens.
Wish that your life contained more… joy? Love? Vivacity? Waiting for someone to magically make this happen for you? Guess what – to truly have this, you have to initiate it yourself. Then, you’ll never be dependent on someone again to bring you fulfillment.
This practical exercise can be performed anytime, and you can substitute whichever quality is most needed at that moment. If possible, take 5-10 minutes to do this – but it can also be shorter or longer as needed.
- Sit up straight, with your feet firmly planted on the floor (or, crosslegged, sitting on a cushion). Close your eyes.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, while your belly expands, bringing your breath fully into your body. Contract your stomach on the exhale, completely sending all the air out of your nose or mouth.
- As you exhale, visualize letting go of whatever your may be holding on to that is no longer needed. Breathe with this focus for approximately 30-60 seconds, as needed.
- Next, on the inhale, visualize bringing in whatever you most need in your life. Joy. Love. Self-acceptance. Peace… whichever one you truly long for. Try to associate with it whatever color brings that in… or perhaps an image (say, from nature, or a wonderful memory) fill your being. With deep, long, juicy breaths, see that color or image slowly fill your entire body.
- When it feels complete, open your eyes. Throughout the day, you can close your eyes at any moment and remember the image implanted in your being.
- As needed, wash, rinse and repeat.