Today's forecast for St. Peters: Mostly cloudy, high 71, chance of thunderstorms this evening.
I'm pleased to have Janice Lynne Lundy LIVE as my guest blogger today. She is an inspirational speaker, interfaith spiritual director, syndicated magazine columnist, and the author of four self-help/spiritual growth books for women. Her newest book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, has just been released by Sorin Books.
Jan is the author of three previously published personal and spiritual growth books: Coming Home to Ourselves: A Woman’s Journey to Wholeness; Awakening the Spirit Within; and Perfect Love: How to Find Yours and Make It Last Forever (co-authored with her husband, Brad Lundy). The mother of three, stepmother of four, and grandmother of three more, Jan resides on the peaceful shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan with her husband, Brad, her creative partner and soul’s companion.
Today at Donna's Book Pub, Jan shares with us her thoughts on Living with a Wide-Open Heart. She is also available for questions or comments.
If you have any questions or comments for Jan, please leave a note here and she will answer it.
Living with a Wide-Open Heart
Janice Lynne Lundy
How do we keep our heart open to someone, especially when everything inside of us says to run, shut down, or close ourselves off to them? How do we stay—remaining openhearted, loving, and kind?
Living this Transformational Truth, “I Open My Heart to Others and Celebrate Our Oneness,” can be difficult. So much so, that I placed it at as the twelfth and final truth in Your Truest Self. It is also the most important Truth if we are to live as the glorious women we are meant to be.
Living an in openhearted manner depends upon spaciousness—our ability to be open—open to yourself, to life as it presents itself in the moment, and to those around you. Spaciousness is about living with a wide-open heart, welcoming and loving yourself as you are, even when you make mistakes. Welcoming and loving others as they are, warts and all. Spaciousness is the placeholder for love.
Our journey to be more loving toward others begins with being more loving toward ourselves. Other-love must begin with self-love. How is it possible to demonstrate kindness, compassion, to another when we continue to be unkind to ourselves? It’s not.
There are many ways that we are unkind to ourselves every single day. We push ourselves beyond all reasonable limits. We have very high expectations, often holding ourselves to impossible standards of perfection. We overwork and do not get enough rest. We believe we must meet everyone else’s needs first before tending to our own. We feel responsible for the happiness of others. Do these scenarios play out in your life?
If so, it may be time to befriend yourself.
Befriending requires an attitude of lovingkindness toward one’s self, personified by acts of lovingkindness. We begin to live more gently, letting go of pressure to do and be more. Lovingkindness invites us let go of anything that causes stress, frustration, or anger. Anything that keeps us disconnected from our spirit and its core qualities of inner peace, love, and joy. Anything that prevents us from living as our truest self—a woman who is naturally peaceful and compassionate.
And as we do, our heart flutters open. It softens, becomes more pliable. We start to feel better about who we, about our life. Magically, we begin to see those around us in a new way, too—through the eyes of compassion. We become aware that they are struggling, as are we. With a slight shift in perception, we can see how all of us are struggling to cope with life as it is.
We begin to open our hearts to one another through greater awareness of this universal struggle to be human. Voila! Compassion is born. Spaciousness reigns, and there is room in our hearts for everyone.
In this similar cause, we are kindred spirits. We are One.
©2009, Janice Lynne Lundy
You can also learn more about Jan at her website: http://www.awakenedliving.com/ While you're there, register for her newsletter and she'll send you her new, inspirational 90-page e-book, The Awakened Woman's Guide to Life. You can also visit her blog: http://www.awakeisgood.blogspot.com/ She enjoys hearing from her readers and responds personally. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.