How do you keep your heart and mind open in challenging times?

This is something I have found myself asking. As I do my work through teaching yoga, learn about trauma, through working in the domestic violence space, as I read the news, as I meet people from various walks of life and hear about the hurt their eyes have seen, the pain…I feel angry. I feel sad. I feel sour. It’s enough to make my heart go cold, never to love again.

This world can make you hard.

  • The people in it.
  • Circumstances.
  • Words spoken.
  • Promises broken.

They are enough to break the strongest spirit and want to give up. To never trust again. To never love. To never believe in people, in promises, in miracles.

What keeps my heart soft is this idea of a warrior. A warrior is strong and stoic yet has the heart of a monk.

As tempting as it may be, closing your heart, can stop you from giving and receiving the love you so deserve. xo

What is one way to keep your heart and mind open?

  • Yoga.
  • A daily practice which offers stillness to listen to your body, your mind and soul.
  • Careful listening to stoke the embers within to fight for what sets your heart on fire.

The physical practice of yoga helps me to cultivate discipline to land on my mat regularly and train my body. Whether I get into a pose or not is irrelevant. It is the act of landing and sitting on my mat which is strengthening my body. Yet, we know yoga is not the physical practice. Rather it is the intention and commitment to unifying the body, mind and spirit and taking this off the mat into the world. Meditation helps me to keep me strong in my mind, soft in my words and firm with my engagement in the world.

Work on the mat has helped me in my daily dealings. The strange and seemingly irrelevant yoga poses and action of teaching myself to breathe through challenging poses helps me off the mat. When I meet face-to-face with challenging people, conversations and scenarios, I have the skills to breathe through it, calm my mind and choose my response rather than react and find a way forward. This regular practice of yoga has supported me to keep my mind level and heart soft as I see the world through the eyes of others and do my best to understand the path someone else has walked without judgement and see without bias.

This practice has been in my self-care toolkit and somewhat of a lifeline over the past few years as I navigate depression, anxiety, death, loss, grief, a broken heart, debt, setbacks, unravelling trauma from decades before, past hurt, unemployment, disappointment…

Equally, it has been there as I celebrate finding love, finding peace, joy, renewing friendships, healing hurt, new employment, getting out of debt, travelling, new friendships and new beginnings.

Keeping the heart soft allows you, me and us as a collective able to give and receive love. Who are we without an open heart? Cold with moving skin and bones. Here. But, not really here.

Sending you so much love to find peace on challenging days.

Roxy xoxo


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