Open Heart Series #111615-222

I want a love story for the record books,
to love and be loved.
To know the infinity of my heart,
to know the vastness of another’s.
I don’t have time for I don’t know;
I need a resounding yes.
A burning in my soul,
send straight from God Himself.
I have a purpose, as do you.
You are part of my plan;
and to activate all we are,
to realize all we can be,
I need your hand in mine.
God never meant for us to walk alone.
You aren’t my saving Grace;
I leave that to my Creator.
My love, you just brighten the flame,
the Light I possess within.
Together, our Love create a union,
a closeness that stands any test.
Because with you, time is relative.
We have this moment granted by God.
Today is all we have, so baby,
will you choose to spend it
in my everlasting embrace?

—Karilyn Owens

A Year of Gratitude

On this day of Thanksgiving, I took a moment to reflect on all that I am grateful for. More than anything, I am grateful for the journey I have taken this year and for the beautiful souls who stood by my side. They saw me when I was at my worst, and reminded me who I am at my best.

The root of joy is gratefulness… It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

—David Steindl-Rast

Earlier this year, my mother gave me a jar along with a pack of beautifully-designed cards. These two items separately don’t have much meaning, but she told me to create a Gratitude Jar and write down a daily note of gratitude. I did not know that this little act would have much significance, yet gratitude literally changed my life. Just as those who start the day with coffee, I got my daily dose of joy and light, a way to find joy in the everyday or even in the darkest of times.

Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.

—Buddha

Gratitude can take any situation and force you into finding the silver lining. You could say that was the theme of this year: turning my life upside down with joy through gratitude. I am choosing to share some of my gratitude notes not only as a reminder of how far I’ve come, but to show how thinking positively can pull blessings from the wreckage of any situation.

03.05.15 :: I am grateful for the life I have today, just as I am. Thank you for providing me everything I need to remain on an enlightened path.

04.15.15 :: I am thankful for today: the health I have, the love from family and friends and the incredible yoga community I have discovered.

05.07.15 :: I am grateful for this time with my family, especially my sisters. It warms my heart to spend time with them.

05.13.15 :: I am grateful for my wonderful friends. They life my spirits, make me laugh and remind me I am loved.

08.11.15 :: I am beyond grateful for my sisters and how strong our bond has become this year. They teach me strength, bravery and the true meaning of love.

08.16.15 :: I am grateful for the realization and vision of what I want, need and deserve in a partner. I am more hopeful than ever before.

08.19.15 :: I am so very grateful for al I’ve done to align with my true heart and for the person the universe delivered to me because of my open heart.

08.25.15 :: I am grateful for the journey my heartbreak has taken me on. I thank God for the chance to open my heart to the limitless potential in life.

08.31.15 :: I am grateful for a free heart and a thriving soul, for the joy to sing, dance and express my being without abandon.

09.22.15 :: I am ever so grateful for the people who came into my life to teach me lessons and to allow myself to know who I am on a deeper level. I know they were sent to me for a reason.

10.17.15 :: I turn 30 today. The amount of gratitude in my heart feels powerful enough that I must allow it to explode outside. Explode into hugs, laughter, love and absolute joy. Gratitude changes things.

11.03.15 :: Even on the craziest of days, I am thankful for my breath, awareness and angels that bring me back to the present moment.

11.21.15 :: I am grateful for the energetic space I am entering into through the gifts of courage and vulnerability. Feeling my heart and acting on it creates a wondrous effect. I will always follow my heart and listen to it.

11.26.15 :: I am grateful for this year: the lessons it encompassed, the self-love it brought into my heart and the passion it filled my soul with.

I have heard the quote, “Gratitude is the vitamin for the Soul.” If you start your day with an attitude of gratitude, your life and attitude will shift dramatically. I know mine has. This Thanksgiving, I wish you all the peace and happiness your heart can muster. I challenge you to allow gratitude to pulse through your being every single day.

Open Heart Series #111815-1111

Look into my eyes;
what do you see?
Beyond the hazel specks
is a soul longing to be free,
with a love so deep
that no ocean has seen.
This once broken heart
now whole with certainty
wants infinite embrace
to make you feel
what radiates from me.
Place your hand on my chest;
know what connects us
is beyond you and me.
I do not fear time or space;
my faith warms me at night.
When you are far from me,
love fills the distance
that our dreams create.
Keep a sense of wonder
in your heart for me.
That is all I need;
until the one day
when I feel your heart beat,
wild with anticipation
of when we meet.

—Karilyn Owens

The Curiosity Driven Life

According to Author Elizabeth (Liz) Gilbert, Passion was the main driving force in her life until one fateful day when her world was rocked. Until a pissed off reader courageously spoke up, she continued to vehemently preach to live your passions without the acknowledgement that there are so many souls who have not identified their one, burning passion (because they either don’t have one or they cannot narrow down their myriad passions).

Thank you to the woman who called out Liz and turned her view on passion upside down. It sparked a journey that eventually led to giving the talk, The Flight of the Hummingbird: The Curiosity Driven Life. Liz is a supreme gift to the world. Her spiritual practice is to bring the light into every encounter that she has. She does this with such vigor that you want to get out of your chair and start living a more purposeful life, right this minute. Passion was the driving force that made her stay in the game throughout life’s obstacles to become a best-selling author and one of my personal role models.

You have to identify your passion, that tower of flame, that will be your guiding, purposeful light; and you have to find that thing that makes you feel like your head is on fire; that makes you feel like there is a soul revolution going on deep inside your rib cage; that makes you feel like you would sacrifice and risk everything for that thing, that nothing else matters; that thing that you know you were born to do; and then you have to get every molecule in your being and you’ve got to funnel it directly and powerfully into that one thing and no other thing and you have to focus on that forever and that way, and only that way, will you succeed.

-Elizabeth Gilbert

Liz discovered what forms our passions and even purpose can only unfold from leading a curious life with an open heart. Only from this type of curious living can you gain the wisdom that is buried deep within your essence, that accumulates throughout your life experiences and grew out of a new perspective on life, love, and every lesson that arises.

A curious life takes a courageous heart. Liz’s dear friend and fellow author, Brené Brown, taught me her valuable definition of courage that lit my heart up: to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart. We do this by putting our vulnerability on the line, a topic that Brené speaks and writes passionately about.

I can relate to the woman who spoke up to Liz, because my many passions have somewhat taken me down a path to finding my purpose; yet thinking of following through and living my purpose by defining the one, driving passion in my heart is an anxiety-ridden, overwhelming idea for me to swallow. And to combat this pressure-filled feeling that takes me so far into the future with worry, I simply take any sort of step I can toward determining (and living) my passion.

Liz refers to this step as following your curiosity. This concept calms my nerves and relieves me from not only narrowing down my passion, but also from feeling like I need to live my passion when life has me situated in another path. As I stay grounded in the amazing career I now pursue, I find peace in the passionate purpose of spreading light and love wherever I go. When I am feeling stuck or uneasy, I can embrace my curious heart and mind enough to take one step toward my newfound passion and purpose.

As long as I’m taking those brave steps toward my dream, I get a taste of that tower of flame and feel guided with the purposeful light Liz refers to. In that moment, all that matters is how I’m feeling because I am saying yes to what makes me feel alive: passion. It doesn’t matter if it’s my day job; it doesn’t matter if I realize how my passion will manifest itself (or even what or when it will be). All that counts is my soul feels as if it is on a revolution while I am making progress. Progress even if I’m writing until 3am and have to be up at 7am for work. It is this kind of drive and focus that turns your passion into your life’s work.

As far as I have learned, if you do this and follow whatever feels truly authentic to your soul, the Universe will provide everything you need to see it through. You must simply practice faith that the solution will appear. The kind of faith that Dr. Joan Borysenko defines as “the willingness to be present to reality moment by moment as it evolves.” By being present to reality instead of drifting off to fantasy island and gripping onto hope alone, you understand that action must be taken to achieve your dreams (whatever small action that may be in the moment). It may be as simple as keeping an open heart by practicing loving kindness, especially toward strangers and those you deemed unworthy of your love. Staying in this heart space is essential to unveiling all you’ll need on your path.

When you are in complete alignment with your authentic self, you will attract everything you desire in life.

The minute I began to own my authentic self with the audacity it took to admit I wasn’t living a life I could own with grace and dignity, and then digging deep inside my heart to reveal all I’d been holding back out of fear, the curtains literally dropped to display every bit of the puzzle that would keep me on my path of living authentically and wholeheartedly. Liz’s Flight of the Hummingbird speech is yet another God nudge among the infinite Grace I’m been shown along the way.

My dear Grandfather was a prolific writer who instilled a deep passion for writing that I always possessed, but I couldn’t share to the capacity that I do now; I hadn’t yet learned the lessons I was destined to discover. My curious heart led me to embark on a journey where fear would have left me waiting on the sidelines of my own life. It is that heart that is responsible for the words you are reading.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be, because I followed my heart and the curiosity within its walls. And because my broken heart allowed me to feel my way to wholeness, I can now fully live my passions in whatever form I find.

With Each Blessed Breath

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It is nights like tonight that I am reminded to push through even when it seems futile. I was gifted my yoga teacher’s new book, Supreme Breath after responding correctly to her pop quiz question. And to think I almost missed this class due to absent mindedness. I forgot to pack pants this morning. As I contemplated the idea of missing class, my intuition improvised a plan to get on my mat no matter what.

Yoga always bring me back to the present through breath. Obstacles melt away, and my efforts are humbly affirmed. I engage the life force energy within through pranayama and true to form, I remember why I work so hard to get on my mat.

Deb left us with the simple message to follow your heart (a message I needed terribly). The person you may become by doing so is quite possibly who you are meant to be. Heart work changes you by pushing beyond your comfort zone. You find your deepest purpose here. You can choose to go back to a lesser life after engaging your heart in everything you do, but why would you ever want to take a step back? Fear. That is why.

With every treacherous step forward into the unknown, our ego attempts to counter with an equally dangerous retreat. But when you follow your heart, that leap is almost always guaranteed to land you in a better place as long as you lean into faith. So, kick the living crap out of fear. Go ahead. Don’t be afraid of what or who you may leave behind. Your past is the past for a reason.

I am right smack in the middle of creating my realized dream. Most days seem to pass by without any means of progress or inspiration to move forward, but then I take one small step into my heart. What follows is always magical, no matter how small the nudge is in the right direction. Today, this quote on faith knocked right on my heart and begged me to let my dreams enter.

When you believe, when you put in the hours, when you do your best work, when you keep going, eventually, you’ll find that luck has very little to do with your success. It starts with a dream, but a dream has to become your life for your life to become that dream fully realized. You can totally do it. Start where you are and commit to getting to where you want to be.

For me, love and faith are synonymous in reaching for your dreams. Once you are living an awakened life through opening your heart, it will take infinite amounts of faith to continue onward when you are called to a higher path and purpose. If you choose to remain open and fall on faith, faith that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be, you will be sent confirmation that you are making progress.

I am grateful for the confirmation I received today by pressing on and practicing yoga. The fruits of yoga are infinite, but above all else, I am reminded to live within the vital life force, the essence that resides inside my heart. Take a deep breath and ponder that energy within your own heart. What is it yearning for you to hear?

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