Most people are accustomed to going about their lives seeking to get their own needs met through attaining the attention or validation of others. This phenomenon is supported within our culture, and has become so normalized that most people don’t even notice that it is happening. But when we take the time to reverse these patterns, and instead make a point of opening up and sharing ourselves with others, we can actually experience more loving energy simply through the act of sharing it. This is a very powerful way to open your own heart, which often inspires others to do the same.
Try this simple exercise to see how powerful a small decision to love can be in your life. Choose one day to commit to acknowledging in some way every person that you encounter throughout your day. Because every time you acknowledge another person in some way, it is actually a gift of love. And when you greet the person, do it with as much presence as you are able, taking the time to say hello, make eye contact, smile, and truly acknowledge the other person.
Greet everyone you encounter in a kind and compassionate way; the person standing next to you in line at the supermarket, the checker at the supermarket (and the bagger too), as well as the people you pass on the street. Wave, say hello, or smile to all of life around you, including children and animals. You can even say hello to the flowers and trees. Do not be concerned what others may think of you, but instead, pay attention to how good you feel as you open up to life around you. This simple exercise may sound trivial, but if you commit to trying it for one full day, you will understand the power of this practice. Very likely, by the end of the day it will have been one of the best days in recent memory.
By making the commitment to stay open and loving towards others, you can reverse the many subtle habits of fear. While most people are consumed with trying to get their needs met by receiving attention and validation from others, instead, be the one who freely gives attention, and who lovingly acknowledges others. We are all longing to be seen and honored. When you decide to be the one to see and honor others, without expecting anything in return, you are offering the greatest gift possible; that of unconditional love. The secret is that through the act of giving, you receive so much. There is no better feeling than to give love to another, to bring a moment of warmth to an interaction where there was no warmth before.
Yet many people experience a fear of love, a resistance to sharing love openly with others. Due to past experiences of rejection, pain, and hurt, we often put up walls and barriers around the heart, shutting ourselves off from love. In the process we learn patterns of giving and receiving love conditionally. To begin allowing unconditional love back into our lives, is to begin unraveling the myth of what love is, and to discover the true Source of this divine energy within.
When I first began conscious heart opening practices, it was after reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. Soon after I began offering holistic counseling because I was so excited to share this greater truth of our connection, and the power of love to heal. It is now a daily practice for me to open my heart to greater depths to the people in my life, and to share my energy in the most uplifting way, and in service for the highest good. It has been a wonderful and joyous journey, and I am blessed to be able to help guide others through a similar process through the holistic counseling services that I offer.