Living With Your Heart Wide Open in these Times of Separation and Fear

Living With Your Heart Wide Open in these Times of Separation and Fear

Living With Your Heart Wide Open in these Times of Separation and Fear


Playfully you hid from me.

All day I looked.

Then I discovered I was you, and the celebration of That began.” Lalla

Accepting the invitation that is freely given to all of us but rarely wholeheartedly accepted by most, to fully embody the heart space.

To fully be present in all areas of life. Not just the areas we segregate and deem worthy of pleasure and peace. But each and every moment that we are privileged to be given in this life.

When we show up and live whole heartedly, we also open ourselves up to the magnitude of suffering and pain that is here on this planet. That is most often a result of how we treat each other. With the politic race looming before us, that is hard to avoid and is a challenging space for the wholehearted to navigate. It is a challenge to not bury one’s head in the sand in the face of extreme negativitiy and personal attack on character, belief, practice, etc..and just decide to check out, stay home and allow others to make decisions for us.

For those of us wholehearted folks on all places in the political spectrum, we are called to be grounded in love and compassion for all while we still hold true to values and beliefs we hold dear. We are called to seek connection while recognizing and allowing that we are in this Land of the Free, permitted to express differing thoughts, beliefs and opinions. Ask yourself if in the expression of your beliefs, thoughts and opinions, are you coming from a place of attack?  Of belittling and making fun of someone or a group of someone’s? Can you see God in everyone? Imagine them as a small child?

I just returned from a leadership intensive with Off the Mat and Into the World where I found out a whole lot more about myself (a lot of this discovery was challenging and humbling)  and my vision and purpose  for showing up in this world and completely fell in love with this new sangha. So much of our work here was focused on how we show up in the world. And how the core values and beliefs formed in our growing years about class, race, gender, sexuality, God, spirituality,  money, work, etc….shape who we are now. Some of these beliefs carry wounds and much of them, just by virtue of the accident of birth here, carry privilege.

So, living wholeheartedly is not some washy, washy spiritual bypass bullshit New Agey cliche that shows up often in the yoga community. It is sitting deep in your own shit and harnessing tools to transform that shit into fertilizer. It is recognizing where I have privilege and finding authentic ways to leverage that to create spaces of inclusion. It is noticing who is here, who is not and asking why and if they want to be here, what is limiting that and how can we work with that. It is recognizing the value of shared gifts in collaborative community. It is waking the fuck up and refusing to be silent while also listening deeply. Listening to our own bodies. Listening to our planet. Listening and seeking the voices that are often not heard because of oppression. Listening. Listening. Listening. Allowing our heart not to become brittle and sharp but supple and expansive with every heart break. Connecting energetically here and recognizing our own infinite capacity for love and the amazing fullness of the love we are all held in and connected to all life in.

Yep. That’s about it.


Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.