Mind, Body and Soul Columnist, Bernie Petrie asks us to open our hearts, this spring and let more love in.

All too often we may have unknowingly closed our heart. Perhaps it was once hurt badly, so our brain tells us not to do that again. It’s too scary, it hurts too much, you can’t handle it. Yet, if we take a look at nature, no matter what the weather throws at it,nothing is ever enough to stop the flowers blooming in springtime.

Just like flowers in nature, our heart can never actually be broken. It has the capacity to feel so much, it’s the reason we’re here – to experience the good the bad and the ugly. We have the capacity for much more love than our minds would have us believe.

Getting hurt and feeling rejection is, unfortunately, part of life. But no matter how bruised or broken you may feel, shutting down is not the solution. That means fear is wining and it is important that we do not allow fear to make any of our ongoing decisions. We have to be willing to feel a whole array of emotions if we truly want to live life as a full expression of who we are. 

The two quotes below are just some of the many that line the walls of The Barefoot Sanctuary and by leaning into them and choosing to believe them we can forge new ways of living with an open heart.

Love is what we are born with, fear is what we learn here  – Marianne Williamson

Love is our true power – Robert Holden

We need to use our hearts in everything we do. My early memories from when I was four or five years old tell me that I experienced praise and pain simultaneously, so I put up barriers becoming self-critical and self-conscious particularly in my early passions – art, dancing and singing. I was to scared to fully express myself because in the moment of praise from teachers came sneers from others. By believing that getting praise would also cause people not to like me, I put barriers around my heart, particularly when doing things that I loved, as it hurt too much. 

What I didn’t understand then, is that the neural pathways in our brain are forged in pairs – in my case praise accompanied pain*. Ever wonder why you associate one thing with another, like chocolate  and joy? All early childhood experiences forge neural pathways that pop up together again and again. 

Thankfully we can teach ourselves to recognise a limiting pathway and learn to side-step the auto response. We can stop letting the fear of rejection or jealously from allowing us to create the things that cause us joy. Ask yourself – in what area of my life do I need to open my heart more to let more love in? What is it that you would really love to do? Like the flowers emerging from the snow covered ground in spring, it’s time to take that leap of faith and open your heart. 

With love until next time.

45 Melbourne Place, North Berwick | e: bernie@barefootambition.co.uk  | www.thebarefootsanctuary.co.uk