Two steps toward leadership mastery.
This morning, as I was driving home from the eye doctor – grateful for their ability to help me have clear vision – I thought, “I love seeing the leaves on the trees.”
During my mental proclamation, my heart opened, and I realized – once again – that love comes in many forms.
Here is a little background. When I was eight, my Mom took me to the eye doctor for the first time because I was having trouble seeing the board at school. Turns out, I needed glasses. When I received the glasses and we stepped outside, I said, “Mommy, there are leaves on the trees!” She felt terrible for all those years that she had not noticed I couldn’t see. I felt amazing because suddenly I could see the world in a whole new way.
It seems for me, the eye doctor is a portal to heart opening. I am grateful everyday I put my glasses on and the world comes into high relief!
If you have never felt your heart open, or don’t know what I am talking about, or it seems like new-age bull$&#! – let me tell you, you are missing out!
Heart opening has the power to help us see the world in a whole new way.
An open heart feels almost painful for me. I feel tension over my chest – as if my heart were expanding and moving forward. Tears come easy when I have an open heart. Sometimes it feels painful to swallow. I can FEEL my chest in a whole new way.
Our ability to feel our heart open is all tied up in our brain, body, and emotions. When we can choose to open our heart, we have a secret power.
The secret power is the connection to our humanity – a deep empathy for all other beings through the ability to remove the armor around our heart.
Heart armoring happens. Our body, brain, and emotions work together to protect us from harm – emotional, physical, or psychological pain. When our heart is armored, it is hard for us to feel love and the humanity of other people.
To a degree, we have all armored our hearts. It is implicitly required to operate in the world. Yet, it is not mandatory.
Sometimes you may have felt your heart open unexpectedly when you see a commercial that is a “tearjerker” or a movie that stirs you or even something more personal.
Heart opening happens. The choice to open your heart is the key here. Do you know how? Once you know, you are no longer missing out.
Here are two steps toward an open heart:
- Gratitude. Be grateful. It is an awesome way to open your heart. Offer someone in your life heart-felt gratitude for the gifts they bring to your world. Even if it’s the post person. People impact you. Can you let them in through gratitude? If you can’t, let’s talk.
- Awareness. Get clear about what your chest area feels like in this moment. Now, try to soften it. Use your breath. Try taking seven deep breaths using no muscles. Simply inhale – this is a very difficult practice for most. Notice what muscles you use to breathe. The only muscle we need to use to breathe is the diaphragm – a thin, circular muscle that horizontally spans the base of your rib cage from front to back and side to side. Most people use their neck, shoulders, chest, and back muscles. This is part of how you armor. Notice it. Be grateful for the ways these muscles have protected your heart and offer them a break.
When we take time to learn the unique way our heart opens and can choose to open our hearts, we have a secret power. Practice opening your heart. You will be amazed at the results.
Being a great leader comes through choice. Being able to choose to open our heart is leadership mastery.