What It Means to Live With an Open Heart

It’s a little bit like riding your favorite roller coaster

"It starts with listening. We are the women and we ask the questions to our loved ones so that by allowing them to answer they find the answer themselves." – Brigitte Bourdeau What does it mean to live with an open heart? How often do we hear this phrase (or something like it) in a yoga class, or a self-help blog, when we are seeking answers? I have found myself meditating on this concept recently. I asked brilliant women, my tribe of sisters and fellow students of Elena Brower, what it meant to them to live with an open heart. Their wisdom has helped me define my own meaning. May you use it to help you define yours.

Close your eyes. Place your left palm on your heart, right palm on top. Breathe slowly, deeply expanding the heart into the palms. Quiet the mind. Massage the heart, coax it to speak. Then wait. Listen closely. It might be a whisper at first but slowly & certainly she will answer, she wants to tell you so much! Invite her to tell you all that you've been longing to hear. – Stacy Anuttara Newfeld

Living with an open heart is like riding your favorite roller coaster. Exciting, thrilling, terrifying, and when the ride is over you wanna get back on right away. – Tatum Fjerstad

Living with an open heart is all about holding space for ourselves so we can respect who we are, heal and find even more space in our bodies where we can open up even deeper. – Melissa Trentadue

To live with an open heart is to remember that the essence of our true self is LOVE. We must forgive, heal and feel the depths of our emotions before we have the space to connect deeper and higher. This open heart space is where we reflect divine love and light for each other! – Andrea Keh

poem-nayyirah.waheedInstagram of a poem by Nayyirah Waheed, which inspired this article. 

Start with your practice. Whether it's meditation, yoga, running, hiking, or something else; your practice is where you can examine your own heart. What are its boundaries? How can you release the tension around that space to expand the capacity of your heart? I imagine my own heart has an infinite capacity, and knowing that, I have space to hold all experiences, and people, in my heart without feeling overwhelmed. The space of your heart is nourished by your breath. Air is the element of the heart chakra, and the lungs are its organs. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, or shutting down your heart space, practice deep steady breathing and soften this space again. When you open your heart your whole spirit expands. You attract the life, and love, that you want. You are not vulnerable, you are generous and you are grand. _ Join a vibrant community to spread love, peace, compassion, and well-being into the world. [button url="https://wanderlust.com/108s/" target="blank" style="flat" background="#82a9de" color="#ffffff" size="10" center="yes" radius="0" icon_color="#fdfdfd" text_shadow="0px 0px 0px #ffffff"]Cultivate more compassion at a Wanderlust 108[/button]  
Top photo by Ali Kaukas.elizabeth-crisciElizabeth Crisci is a yoga teacher and artist in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She is the creator of Love by E, handmade gemstone mala and jewelry. She teaches in workshops, special events, and trainings in the Northeast in addition to a range of regular, weekly classes. She teaches smart and accessible yoga designed to make you feel good. She loves every minute of her work. You can find her writing and her teaching schedule on her website.