Category Archives: Spirituality

Shine Your Heart

Shine Your Heart

Often in my yoga class, when we are either in a cross-legged sitting position or standing straight and tall in Mountain Pose, our teacher tells us, “Shine your heart.” It’s an instruction to pull our shoulder blades back and down, and present our hearts to the world.mountain-pose-815291_1280

It made me think of what this means. When I’m shining my heart, I’m exposed. Standing tall, letting others literally see the place in my body where my heart resides, is a posture of willingness to let others in. It’s a confident stance, but it’s also a vulnerable one.

It’s a contrast to what I often see when I’m out in the world. People walk around the mall or the grocery store hunched over the smartphones clutched a foot from their chests, staring at the ground focusing on the sounds coming through their earbuds, or hugging a grocery cart.

All of these stances are protective. They exclude others; it’s virtually impossible even to make eye contact when the shoulders are stooped and the gaze is lowered. And it makes me sad.

It may just be a posture thing, but it makes me wonder if it’s a vulnerability thing. “Let me draw in and hide myself, so I don’t have to interact with someone who may reject or disapprove of me, or make me feel uncomfortable.”

How about an experiment? Stand up, draw your shoulders towards your stomach, and bow your head. How do you feel?

Now, raise your head and draw your shoulders back, reaching your shoulder blades down towards your hips. How do you feel?

What does it mean for you to ‘shine your heart’?

 

 

Belonging

Belonging

My colleague and friend, Vanessa Sage, has an Instagram challenge going on this month. She is providing a one-word prompt for every day in May, and anyone who wants to participate posts a photo that exemplifies the meaning of that word. Vanessa’s Instagram handle is vanessasagelife, and the hashtag for her challenge is #enchantyoureveryday.

Isn’t that a beautiful concept—enchanting your everyday?

Anyway, today’s prompt is ‘belonging,’ and it made me think about the various places where I feel I belong.

The first thing that popped into my head was last Sunday’s dinner with my husband, children, and grandchildren. After dinner, we gathered in the living room for a movie, with my 3-year-old grandson curled up in my lap. It was the epitome of belonging. My son doesn’t want photos of his children on the internet, so I’m not posting a picture about that experience—I’ll just savor it in my heart.

Then I thought about the retreat I helped to facilitate a couple of weeks ago. Here isCornerstone Retreatants the whole group—our team and our retreatants, with faces small enough to defy recognition. But I hope you can feel the positive energy, the connection, the belonging, that permeated each of us.

Being with women who are on a spiritual quest, who care enough to spend some time exploring their own relationship with the divine, with themselves, and with each other, gave me a special sense of belonging. It even reminded me of the way I feel when I am sharing Soul Psychology insights with clients who are curious about what their hands have to tell them.

How about you? Where do you experience belonging?