Mindful Mondays: Being Openhearted
When we practice Mindfulness we can intentionally cultivate foundational attitudes or postures of being. This week we’ll visit the posture of Open-Heartedness.
Gam Zeh Ya’avor
The mindful practice of open-heartedness is all encompassing. Like compassion, it can hold comfort and suffering in the same space.
Holding a posture of open-heartedness helps me recognize a spacious roomy quality that proclaims there is allowance for all of life’s experiences, for other’s opinions, and for a full spectrum of living.
It reminds me to hold things with a loose grip, to not be greedy with reassuring feelings of the good that comes along, nor fear the loss of them. It encourages me to be present to the joys of life knowing they are fleeting. And to not ruminate about what worries me. For this, too, shall pass.
There is a wisdom about being openhearted that reminds me of a story about King Solomon. In her book, “Recipes for a Sacred Life, true stories and a few miracles”, author Rivvy Neshama recalls it this way:
“One day the King was feeling very down. He gathered his ministers and said, “Whenever I feel happy, I’m afraid it won’t last. But when I feel sadness, I fear it won’t end. Find me the answer to this suffering. “His ministers scattered throughout the country, searching for the wisdom or magic that would ease the King’s pain. Finally, one of them met an old jeweler who carved on a simple gold ring the Hebrew inscription “gam zeh ya’avor” – this, too, shall pass. When the King received the ring and read the inscription, he knew it was magical. For his sadness turned to joy, his joy turned to sadness, and then both gave way to peace and surrender.”
This story reminds me that all things in life are indeed temporary but also that life is abundant. And whether I’m experiencing gladness or sadness, to be fully present to it all.
Our experiences can float through our lives without getting snagged on the exposed roots of our stories.
Are there experiences that I cling to longer than I should? Are they feelings of sadness and negativity or joy and positivity? What does it feel like when I release my attachments?
Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.
She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.
If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower.
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