As I was doing yoga this morning I heard a profound sentence from Nicole, the teacher, “Open your chest, because this is what warriors do . . . They open their chest and their hearts”. I am a warrior; I always have been a warrior. However, while in the battle, I am more inclined to act like a close-hearted one: strong and invincible. Today, this woman, who looks to me like a powerful and joyful warrior, is telling me that warriors open their heart, . . . it sounded it like a playful experiment to me. Why not? After all, there is no risk in the yoga class, no enemies here.
Thus, I surrender my self to the pose, I managed to remain balanced and open the chest at the same time. I mean I really aimed for heart opening. Suddenly, a huge wave of pure love and gratitude came to me. I was grateful for the compassion of my yoga teacher, whom every Saturday morning comes in good humor to class, she sings, make jokes, and push us to the limit of our bodies. I was grateful to see the threes through the window, the presence of my classmates, and the opportunity to be alive. A bunch of images came to my mind, since the very strong (and vulnerable) warrior I was 12 years ago when I started teaching psychology and wanted to change the world, to the soft movements I practiced in Aikido class last night: All of them about the warrior Carmen that I am. It also came to my mind, all of those moments when I threw my self into battles with passion and determination but also with anger and frustration. I remembered all of those difficult moments when I wanted to change university programs, and people. How different could it have been if I had just opened my heart while in a battle? This simple intention would have helped me to see and appreciate people’s effort to get things done the way they do.
Now, I am being very conscious of opening my heart more often, whether in yoga, in aikido or in the long line of the supermarket. I do not know yet if this would help me to change lives or university programs but I can tell you that life is getting easier every day for me. Actually, I came to the conclusion that I have a face muscle connected directly to my heart because every time I open my heart, my face inevitably relaxes and my lips stretch to the point that a smile shows up like an encouraging outcome of love and gratitude.
With an open heart, I wish you get a smile in your face and keep it until the next post!