SAF_LLAF_OpenUp_404X404As a person who has dedicated her life to teaching people how to love well, I can say that most people I meet admit to me they would love to have more loving relationships, in which they feel loved – appreciated, cared for, and seen. Just like a flower needs water and sun to flourish, we humans need to give and receive love in order to truly thrive. The challenge is that unlike flowers, who naturally open themselves up to receive the sun and water on a daily basis, we humans default to keeping our hearts protected, so the love we seek has a hard time getting in. While we desire love, most of us are too scared of the vulnerability that opening our hearts requires.

Wow, can we learn a lot from a flower! Those smart buds don’t think twice about letting the sun and water in, they just open up and receive what they need to be nourished. What would it be like for you to open up your heart more, so that when love does show up, you could receive the love you seek instead of pushing it away or only letting a little in?

Build your love receptor muscles little by little, starting with sources of love that are guaranteed safe. For example, start interacting with things that are naturally loving. Did you ever notice how when you are around babies, puppies or flowers, that your heart opens up almost automatically, and love just comes pouring in? This is because these things have no fear factor. You feel safe opening your heart. 

The same is true with receiving love from yourself. Most of us think of receiving love from things outside of ourselves, when in truth, we need to receive it first from ourselves. Take a life lesson from a flower and choose to open up and receive what you need to live beautifully and fully.

Five Tips For Opening Your Heart, to Yourself:

  1. Know what makes your heart happy and do that. Make choices in your relationships, career, home and lifestyle to meet your personal expectations, rather than those of outside forces. One great way to reconnect with joy is to surround yourself with simple things that make you feel happy and loved, like a colorful bunch of flowers or a blooming plant. Flowers have power to open hearts, and when your heart is open you are more likely to do things that make you happy.
  2. Follow your inner wisdom, not conventional wisdom. Living an authentic life means living life by what feel is right to you, even if it differs from the norm. Be willing to listen to your inner wisdom—that intuitive, gut feeling—even if it is contrary to rational thought. People who live great lives take risks and live outside the prescribed box of conventional wisdom. They are willing to be different, because they are willing to be themselves.
  3. Stay true to yourself, even if that means disappointing another.Be a best friend to yourself by taking actions that are best for you. Sometimes you will disappoint others, but ultimately if you stay true to yourself, you’ll almost always end up in a better scenario. In the event another person is disappointed, send them a small but mighty token of your love, such as flowers to brighten their day and remind them you adore them.
  4. Be willing to make a mistake, but don’t beat yourself up about it. It can be hard to admit you’ve made a mistake. Give yourself some love by saying the same words you would tell a best friend in this situation, “I am doing the best that I can, and it’s enough.” Then do something loving for yourself, an action that you would only usually take for someone else to cheer them up, like sending yourself flowers. When they arrive, you will receive a huge boost of love, and your heart will open up… to yourself.
  5. Be a feeling sharer not a feeling stuffer.Most of us were brought up to stuff our feelings as far down as we can. If it is hard for you to express your feelings, bring in help to open your heart and let the feelings out. Flowers are great heart openers, for yourself and the person with whom you want to connect. Give flowers or a plant to the person you are trying to open your heart to as a gesture to start the conversation. Watch the walls break down and the field of love open.

Are your ready to open up? Try my tips and share your results and pictures with us at @flowerfactor #LLAF.

Want to find a local florist? Visit NationalFloristDirectory.com.

This is part of the Live Like a Flower series.

Christine Arylo is a transformational teacher, speaker and best-selling author.