I wonder why we lose that openness we’re born with so easily. In our ego driven culture we might not have much of a chance at fending it off in years 1-5 when our “personality” is forming. I’m grateful though that for whatever reason I’m here, posting on heartfulness! lol
My habits that have kept my heart from opening are a lack of flexibility, fear of rejection, and anger (at many social systems). Ram Dass has kept me remembering to strive for love and fluidity. Super grateful <3
I find that I get in my own way. My intentions are good and I try my best most days. I limit myself with distractions from my intention and still get caught up in my own opinions and judgments. Although I am aware that I am aware. I would love to be unfolding with openness all the time and have the energy that an open heart gives.
I fear losing control and not being skillful enough to set limits and boundaries… someone had a story about hesitating to opening up to a homeless person that they encountered on their drive to work every morning, out of fear of one day finding that person staying as a permanent guest in their home (please pardon my bad memory! Really wish I could remember who to attribute that to)
Maybe on a day-by-day basis my heart hesitations don’t extend quite that far - but there is a similar impulse. “If I open up a little with this person, what happens when they run with that connection faster than I can handle? Better keep things under wraps…”
This is most definitely self-centered thinking and coming from a locus of survival - guarding my self and my energy and free time and all of that stuff I fear I’ll just start giving all away uncontrollably once the dam breaks open. But also there’s the fear of not wanting to hurt people when I can’t be consistent with the love I bring to the table.
Maybe it’s good to remember that the path of the heart is not an all-or-nothing proposition? That cultivating loving kindness and openness does not necessarily entail giving it all away?
In any case, I’m very much looking forward to participating in this course! Big thank you to everyone involved with bringing it to us! Ram Ram
I think you nailed it with this part. It’s a daily practice that we cultivate, with each moment being an opportunity to invite the practice of heartfulness into our lives. As Ram Dass said, “I can do nothing for you but work on myself…you can do nothing for me but work on yourself”.
I think there are many things that keep me from living in my heart consistently, and I am looking forward to uncovering more.
Much (if not all) of it though, I believe stems from a belief I developed sometime around puberty of “not enoughness”. That fear can take different forms and manifest in various ways to fit each unique situation, and can put me so far in my head that I can’t seem to access my heart space.
An important question. I realize there are many things. Much has to do with expectations, striving, and habits that have formed over a long period of time.
These habits were intended in bringing me happiness, and achieving aspirations, but in a world of unwise competition these habits have often produced the opposite. I am realizing, in principle, that less is often more.
Ah, the striving. I relate to that deeply. And it can be an endless pit. I find for me that included with that striving is a sense of “urgency” that makes me feel like I’m always behind. That urgency feels like a huge obstacle to my freedom, presence, and trust in the universe.
I love Kyla how you said “access my heart space,” that is perfectly put. That “not enoughness” is also well stated, and I agree it has so many forms! For me I can focus on others quite easily, especially “underdogs” and those that can’t voice what they need easily. But that is its own set of problems, and not fully entered into equanimity, so I know my focus needs to be squarely on myself to change the flow.
Good point. Joseph Goldstein has frequently mentioned the subtle but persuasive sweetness that is encounter when angry. The ease in which a habit of anger is formed. I think this also translates to societies habit to lean on self righteousness instead of self reflection and humility. It is easy to advocate for others in order to justify self righteousness and unskillful actions; a slippery slope I’ve often needed to skillfully maneuver as I navigate opportunities to help ‘others’, but often not selfless nor without its own costs.
Yes, this reflection resonates with me too. I can often give space and love to others with much more ease than I’m able to do with myself…and I do think that’s a big obstacle for me in living in that heartfulness more consistently. Our Heartfulness has to include ourselves otherwise it’s incomplete. Thank you for prompting this further reflection!
I find that I so deeply want to live from that place of love and like another post says the fear of rejection comes in. I also fear ridicule as I have often been seen as the ‘ flaky ‘ one in the family and the eye rolls I grew up with are hanging on tight…… and then when I do meet that space of open heartedness I relish it and wish to stay…… and so I create the grasping to stay and shut myself down. It feels so circuitous and yet I am recognizing earlier when I begin to close. I am so grateful to the support that I receive from the LSRF on my journey:pray:. This course topic speaks to me.
This rings familiar to me…fear of so many things including rejection and ridicule. There’s no expectation that all love/kindness needs to be the same for all the beings we encounter. The love I might express to a stranger on the street might be different and even more intense than the love I express to my own mom (because of a fear of rejection from those closest to me). So maybe the beings that are not as “close” are great to go all in on, or at least practicing that which we won’t fear. Thank you Sarah for the insight…
I do not know, to be honest, I have listened to and acted up on my impulsive mind’s thoughts, more than my heart often, and I have realized that I am being too harsh and unforgiving of myself, which again acts as a trigger for further impulsiveness.
I believe there is a mix of fear and shame that makes me not to open myself to everyone and get skeptical of others.
For me, it definitely is fear created by my childhood environment, or else I was and still am very open-hearted or rather yearn to be in that state when I am fearful, as it’s such a beautiful space to be in. As much as I know love, fear of people, their ugliness, and injustice in the world, engulfs the love in its wings, which is why I am here
Daniel Smith from a burgeoning regenerative homestead in Florissant, CO here… I have been an avid follower of all things Ram Dass for a couple years now. it has helped me overcome numerous internal and external difficulties.
The thing that can make living from the heart difficult for me is a sense of justice or judgment that i used to perceive must exist in the transactional/relative world of form. When I feel people “mistreat” myself or others, I used to put them out of my heart rather righteously and I find it hard when I feel people close to me are acting in an “unjust” manner. Maharijis “Love everyone and tell the truth” has been my touchstone to overcome this and I’ve made great progress (but still work to do). Ram Dass and crew have really helped me wield the tools of Karma Yoga to bring my heart to a place that sees the pain and injustices in the world as the loving hand of the source, even in those that cause them. I now try to use any inner reactivity as an opportunity to more clearly see attachment and offer it to Kali. Letting go of the idea that the world should be other than exactly as it is, has been immensely important in opening my heart.
Knowing when to be IN the world or OF the world at any particular moment is an ongoing struggle. I know there are no dogmatic rules about when to try to change the world or adjust your ego or your higher self in any given circumstance, and so I’m trying to better connect with my heart to know how to best serve at any particular time. Trying to build intuition on top of a very physical/materialist upbringing that never fully rung true to me.
My life focus is spirituality, family, permaculture and community. Glad to be here with everyone!
Yes. It seems the closer people are to us the harder it can be. This fear of intimacy, of how they can overwhelm of annhilate us, keeps me from letting those I want closest to me from being close to me at times.