I’m being lazy, plus my new duties as a director means more writing, more meetings, more bullshit. That means I get to write less which means another repost Today’s blog art is by the artist Kelly Tunstall. I don’t know much about her except to say that her work reminds me of fashion sketches. I came across her work as I was Googling for a pic for today’s posting. Tunstall’s heroines (based on friends, family, women she sees walking down the street) are all beautiful, sexy and ladylike, the better show off their glamor dresses or lingerie. However, some do sport quirks as well: maybe two heads here or a pair of antlers or bunny ears there, just to keep things interesting (click here to visit her site).
* * *
“Love is not a feeling, it’s a conscious act of will.”
Love is an art and like any art, it has to be practiced – as one would practice on a musical instrument. Too many people have fallen for the bullshit myth of “falling in love.” Dearies, if you’ve fallen, you better get up. Sometimes a teaching is offered with so much clarity and so much power, it has to be shared.
So what does it mean to live with an open heart? Does it mean you let people walk over you and take advantage of you? That’s definitely not love. Love and compassion begins at home, right at the very core of you. You don’t fall in love, you are love.
Trying saying that one day and see what happens. After all, people constantly say they are angry, sad, frustrated, etc. Why not say you are love?
As I said before, love has to be practiced as one would do any art. So many of us are looking for love outside of ourselves, somewhere “out there,” but first you have to increase your capacity to love. We walk around as if there’s a limit to love, or that we’re born with a limited supply of love, but that’s not love, that’s delusion born of ego-driven fear. Like anything else, you have to practice the art of love and in that way truly realize your full potential for love.
Just shut the fuck up for a minute and listen for once. Let go of the inner dialog for a minute.
What does it mean to live with an open heart? (You’re thinking again. Shut up.) Listen to learn and learn to listen. Believe me, you don’t know this, I’m serious. You have no reference point to the following. Try to imagine for one moment in your chatter-filled life that there’s nothing in that head of yours that will prepare you for what you’re about to read/ do. This is not a mental process, although it may begin as one. You really need to look; you really need to want to know this for real.
Try to visualize someone that you love the most in your life. It could be anyone – your child, your mother, your lover, or even your best 360 friend! LOL! Ssssssh!
Just try to feel what it is to love that person. Take your time, but please stop thinking. *sigh* Just feel what that energy of loving someone feels like.
Now, pick an object, any object, like the screen in front of you, or the floor beneath you, or a pillow. The important thing now is to love whatever object you choose with the same intensity and energy with which you love your most-loved person.
I know this may feel strange at first – loving an inanimate object like the screen, floor or pillow – but try, you can do it. Keep trying, practicing loving, until you feel your chosen object with the same love you offer the person you love most in the world.
Once you can get to the point that you can love an object as intensely as your most-loved person, then practice loving the space around you. Love the space extending in front of you, behind you, left and right of you, above and below. Extend your love outwardly in all directions, with the same intensity/ feeling with which you open to your most-loved person.
Now, slowly bring the focus of your love inward – practice loving everything within you. Bring that focus of love even to your darkest secret places of shame and perversity with that same love you offer your most-loved person. This may take time for some people; others may be able to do it right away. What matters is that you practice.
If there is a God, then this – loving with the intensity you are now practicing – this is God. My Higher Power is love and it is everything and beyond everything – all of which you can love. If you live with an open heart – loving everything and everyone whom you know and don’t know, you are loving God.
God is love. My Higher Power is love. This feeling/ experience is what I choose to turn my life and my will over to.
Open to everything inside and outside of you, even the unknowable infinite – the Universal Principle, or whatever you want to call it. Open to feel (not think!) and love all, both the visible and the unknown.
This, my friend, is what it’s like to live with an open heart.
Most people will attempt to understand this solely from an intellectual perspective and in the process miss the forest for the trees. In addition, too many people buy into the spiritual prejudice of an individual walking around blissfully in love with everything, totally losing contact with the reality everybody else has to deal with. This is a stereotype, people. Living in this way, with an open heart, means living fully, consciously, passionately, and joyfully.
It is the only dance there is.