Open Heart, Open Hand: My Prayer for You

Starr Apple Pie with HeartAlthough I strive for an open heart, I’ve been quiet lately.

Let’s be open with each other.

There are reasons for my silence. Yes, I lost my father recently. And yes, I am in the midst of running Mother-Daughter Way ONE, which is fabulous and bountiful and exciting. But my quietness puzzles me: I love to write. I write daily, so why have I been reluctant to post?

Perhaps I’ve muted myself because the airwaves were overcrowded with incredibly loud and angry, even hateful speech. The cacophony made me sad, but also, I refuse to open my mind to the fearful predictions that buzz around the news feeds. So, I closed myself off. When I attempted to listen to the presidential debates, I gave up quickly. There was no winning or learning going on; this was a breakdown of monumental idiocy and great expense. I was unwilling to give it space in my head.

I wasn’t feeling very zen. Equanimity was not my middle name. I failed to maintain an open heart.

I was doubly saddened that election day fell on my mother’s 90th birthday.

Open heart, open hand is my mantra this week and my prayer for you, too. It’s Week 5 of the Mother-Daughter Way, and that means we completed our media fast last week. By cutting off the inflow of TV, radio and print media, which is the heart of the media fast, you begin to hear the voice within. The point of the exercise is to tune into your own channel and heed your intuition. My tribe of awesome daughters remark with surprise about how much extra time and insight they gain. It’s a free, mini, self-intervention, if you will. I recommend it as a periodic cleanse for the spirit.

When you tune into your inner knowing, you may discover that your actions are not always in line with your truth.

It’s like when the alignment page spits out of the printer after you’ve replaced an ink cartridge; it’s time to clean the glass and run a test. My media fast revealed that I have been seriously out of alignment. Has that ever happened to you? Although we celebrate the peaceful transfer of power and we defend free speech in our democracy, I felt sure that anyone who voted for Donald Trump was rude, greedy and evil.

I still don’t understand how the ERA remains blocked, or why there is any question about a woman’s right to choose, but in the spirit of freedom from bias and suffering, I have opened my heart, and my secondary heart chakra which is my hand, in peace and gratitude for the blessings we share. I trust we can all open hearts and hands to those across the aisle. We need to work together, and we must keep talking.

There are many simple practices that aid this opening.

Try this: Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and close your eyes. Take a nice, deep belly-breath-inhale and feel your shoulders lift, feel your rib cage expand. Now roll your shoulders back and lift your chest, and as you exhale, release your shoulders back and down. As you take another deep inhale, raise your arms above your head in a “V” and open your palms so that your fingers splay out like stars, with your palms facing forward. Now, on a deep and complete exhale, bring your palms together at your chest in prayer position and bow your head to your highest self, and go inside.

This is the home of your peace, and nobody can take it from you.


Janice Wilson Stridick





PS: And if you still need a reason to be grateful, have a piece of home-made apple pie.

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