Openness is not a “path”. It`s a choice. You can choose to open completely at any time. You might say: “I want to open and feel everything, but I can’t.” Well, you can’t because you do not want to feel everything. A part of you still refuses to go all the way. Otherwise, you simply would already be there.

Very often we do this subconsciously. Thus, in order to make conscious choices, we have to become aware of what we are doing. Which brings us to our first exercise.

Giving Hands
Giving Hands

For that we will use two simple hand gestures. Let me explain them first.

Imagine giving someone a gift. Since it is a gift, you do not want anything in return. Your only hope – not expectation, but hope – is to bring that person joy. So, with both your open hands, you offer your whole loving heart. You give yourself completely to the other person and the world. Therefore these are “giving hands”. This is clearly a gesture of openness.

One of the gestures of non- openness are the “clenched fists”. Imagine you really, really don’t want to be in a certain, maybe very painful, situtation. Not just your fists are clenched, your teeth are too. In fact, your whole body is tense.
Just to be clear, you should do your best to get out of unhealthy situations. But sometimes life just doesn’t feel good and the only thing we can do, is to accept it. And most of the time we do not want to accept this reality. We rather tense up and refuse to let go. Therefore this state is best represented by thoughts like “I do not want to”, or “I cannot”.

Clenched Fists
Clenched Fists

Now, these two gestures and the respective underlying mindsets cannot mix. You cannot thruthfully say “I love you” with clenched fists. Just like you cannot honestly say “I hate you” with giving hands. They are clearly distinguishable.

It might seem like only a few situations match the descriptions and most are somewhere in between. But actually they are not. If you do not approach the world with “giving hands”, then you do it with “clenched fists”, to some degree or another. Even if you do not know it.

But that is the point, to become aware of our decisions. To that end, whenever you can, do or at least imagine the “giving hands”. Ask yourself, do you encounter the person in front of you or the situation with an open heart, giving yourself completely? Do not really think about it. Instead let your hands, real or imagined, do the talking. And if you can not just say “yes”, you are saying “no”.

Repeat this exercise, until your decisions become obvious.