Having an open mind and heart seems like the way to be in the world. How come people choose to close down their minds? How come people close their hearts? Yes I am sure some people could give pretty rational reasons why they have closed their hearts. Yes, we all have been hurt by others, but does it make sense to close down to avoid hurt in the future? Is a closed heart really a safe heart? Isn’t a closed heart a lonely one?
What would be a good rational reason for closing our mind: to keep from letting other ideas in; to hold firmly to our judgment of others; to refuse to give up a belief not matter what; or to insist we are right? What are the benefits of a closed mind?
These questions seem important because the tendency to close our hearts and minds need to be examined. Is it possible to realize our potential, to express our uniqueness, to truly be happy if we are closed in our minds and/or hearts? The answer seems obvious, which is that to fully express who we are, we need to remain open to all the possibilities within us. Closed down in any way equals closed down to what is possible.
Driving forces to close down include fear of the unknown, fear of the future, hurt from the past, self-doubt, a need for control, distrust of self and others, suffering from poor circumstances, old beliefs that limit us, and other factors. Many of these conditions begin in the ego-mind guided by fear and are focused on the past or the future. This obsession about “what was” or “what will be” is the workings of a mind that does not feel comfortable in the present.
The antidote for the fearful agenda of the mind is to focus on the now. In this moment there are endless possibilities that can move your life toward love, peace, freedom and happiness. The choice is to focus on the now, to choose happiness as the way you want to be in the world, and to be aware if you are open or closed in your thinking and in your heart.
Here are five ways to help move towards openness:
- Be fully present in your life and spend as little time as possible on worries about the future or regrets from the past.
- Make it a daily practice to be aware of what is going on in your mind, no judging allowed but redirection and quiet times are encouraged.
- Tune in throughout your day to notice the flow of the heart. Focus on keeping the heart open and flowing with compassion.
- Each day practice being kind to self and others, this may include reaching out to those who need support or taking time for yourself.
- Another regular practice is to take the time to explore all your beliefs, many are false and limiting and need to be revised or updated.
The morning mist on a walk at low tide,
Have a good week.