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The fourth step in opening your heart is to spend time with yourself.

As the heart space becomes cleaner and clearer due to the previous steps, you are now able to experience a purer you, emotionally. So now it’s time to get to know yourself in a deeply personal and intimate way.

One huge hurdle in this step is that of judgement. When we face ourselves clearly and honestly, there are things that scare us, or intimidate us, or just plain freak us out. These things are too huge, too dark, or too horrible to even acknowledge. To even consider examining, evaluating, and acquainting ourselves with these traits that are inherently us is rather daunting.

When this occurs, hold a space of compassion for yourself, remembering that everything is in its perfect place in its perfect time. No one in the higher realms is going to criticize you for these traits…they simply want you to learn from them and grow as a result of them. If there is any criticism going on in your mind, chances are those are not your thoughts but are thoughts that belong to someone else. So, send them back to where they belong until there are no critical thoughts in your head.

Fear is another huge hurdle. Learning the source of the fear is vitally important. Is it a fear of judgement or criticism that is keeping you from facing these truths about yourself? Will someone think less of you if they knew these things about you? Or, is it a trust issue with yourself…that you aren’t strong enough to handle this magnitude of an issue? Whatever it is, spend some time with the fear and let it teach you the wisdom and lessons it has to teach you.

As you start spending more and more time with yourself, you will become aware of some intense emotions. This is what happens when a frozen heart space starts flowing again…emotions happen! This is wonderful! The intensity, however, can be quite overwhelming, so keep this in mind: the body can only sustain an intense experience for a maximum of 3 minutes at a time. So, no matter what emotion you are feeling, it will only be that intense for a maximum of 3 minutes before it wanes. It may return, but again, it will only last for 3 minutes. So, ride it out like a surfer in a safe and appropriate way. Spend time with it. Learn this emotion and pay attention to all the messages that come with it, for hidden beneath those messages are deep treasures and wisdom.

Then start using this chart from one of my teachers, Aleya Dao. One of her teachings is that our external world is a reflection of our internal reality. So, rather than feeling victimized by a situation “out there,” use that same situation as an opportunity to show you the area that is ready to be flipped “in there.”

Another of her teachings is that “We do the opposite of what we are intending on mastering until we reach a certain level of consciousness and we begin to practice that which we intend to master.” What this means is that if we are trying to master self-control, we will allow others to control us until we have collected enough lesson pieces to graduate us into practicing self-control. Learning to recognize the transition stages is always the most challenging part.

For example. When someone else is trying to control you by coercion or manipulation or guilt or blackmail, this is an indication that  you have given your control away. If all your control portals were filled with your own control pieces, no one would try to put theirs in there instead. So then bring all your control pieces back to yourself and fill up your portals, and eventually that situation will go away…either that person or situation will leave or change, or you will.

As you get to know yourself and begin using this chart, you will learn vast amounts about yourself, what is true for you, and what belongs to someone else. This makes it very easy to let stuff go, and easy to identify where your boundaries are. By honoring this within yourself, you then create a safe space for others to do the same…simply by modeling right energy in how you live your daily life. In doing this, you shift humanity.

And so it is.