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June 10, 2013

I’m coming to believe that an open heart transforms everything.  When my heart is open the world changes.

Sounds nice, but how??!!

Accept/Commit/Expand (ACE)

I set the stage by setting an intention to ACCEPT the world, and everything in it, as it is.  I do that because every time something unpleasant shows up, or someone says or does something that I don’t prefer or want, my heart closes.  Sometimes it blows me away just how much I don’t prefer or want!!  Yesterday I didn’t want the air temperature in my office to be what it was.  I sacrificed a crazy amount of time and energy—walking dead, eyes glazed, mumbling—making myself miserable before it occurred to me to use the shawl I brought in weeks ago for this exact situation.  In resistance, I had about zero creativity or problem-solving ability.

Then I consciously COMMIT to noticing when my heart closes throughout the day.  I know it’s closed because it shows up somewhere in my body.  Something gets tight and contracts.  My shoulders rise, my stomach clenches, the muscles in my face contract, my hands ball into fists.

Finally, I EXPAND.  The moment I notice my body tensing up, I drop my shoulders, unclench my stomach, relax my face, open my fists and lean in with my body, rather than pulling back and staying tight.  When I noticed I was insane yesterday and told my body to relax, that was literally the moment I remembered the shawl.

I don’t catch myself as quickly or as often as I’d like.  But the gift of setting an intention and practicing this stuff is that I catch myself more often than before.  And every time I transform my closed heart to an open heart, is one more moment I’m vibrantly alive and grateful for my magnificent, imperfect life on this magnificent, imperfect, not temperature-controlled, planet.


  1. Kim says:

    As someone who struggles to develop ‘practices’ … this ACE is actually sort of perfect – I can remember at least little bits of it and use it, if even just a little – and it actually honestly came up this morning for me as I was thinking about something I had to do and I was about to do a bit of ACE… so thanks for this super simple tool – and I’m just using it in a small way, but that’s seems ok 🙂

    • Robyn says:

      I’m with you–if it’s not simple, it’s not gonna stick!! Using it in a ‘small way’ is kaizen, small steps producing big change! Robyn

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