How Can I Keep My Heart Open?
Updated: Sep 2, 2022
For many years, my goals have included inner peace, a calm mind, and the ability to keep my heart open even when Survival Sue is inwardly screeching, “This is awful!” and “Close it! Close it!” I’m making progress, and mindfulness has been, and continues to be, my most helpful practice I have. Since I love sharing what works for me and, hopefully, inspiring other women as a result, I am very excited to announce that The Mindful Woman: Gentle Practices for Restoring Calm, Finding Hope, & Opening Your Heart will be available May 11, 2021!
Below is one of the practices from Chapter 5, Accepting What Is, and addresses worry:
When we let worries consume us, they become the matrix around which our lives revolve. They own us. Knowing so well how easy it is to get lost in a maze of resistant worry, I asked a colleague how she escapes from the worry trap. The acronym for her system is AIM. It helps me loosen worry’s grip.
Become aware of what you are worrying about and how you feel about it. For instance, I can lose sleep when feeling anxious about my adult kids.
Without judgment, gain insight by observing how your worries and concerns trap you in an endless cycle of "what ifs," "I shoulds," and possibly some "ain't it awfuls." Worry about my kids takes me out of the here and now and into places where I have no control. Nor should I.
Making it okay
Depending on what your heart resonates with, there are innumerable ways to diminish worry a smidgen. A powerful one is simply letting it be okay; allowing what is. Not in resignation or giving up, but with compassionate non-attachment and lack of resistance. To help me relax and let things be okay, I often use loving-kindness blessings, prayer, mind relocation, and ritual.
Recently, I threw leaves symbolizing my concerns into the stream behind our house. Fear, lack of trust, and sadness all rode the current downstream. As the leaves disappeared, I gave thanks for the idea of accepting what is and for what I know is true of my children; they are strong, good, wise, and kind. Ritual and words both helped me regain my equilibrium
Take AIM –be aware, gain insight, affirm it’s okay—when you get stranded in a maze of worry, anxiety, or fear.
Throughout your day...
Lovingly remind yourself that “this too shall pass.”
Love yourself as you move toward acceptance
and beyond worry.
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