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Releasing Love

Originally posted here.

iStock_000014923881XSmallI believe in romance in all forms. In this month of love, look at the texture of the heart’s blessing to others. Several titles for this article came to mind: Leading with Love, Giving Love, Beaming Love. However, the core truth is that when it comes to love, we don’t need to do anything. Even releasing. Our job is to attend to all of the armor and crud smothering our hearts, so that love simply flows. We ARE love. Love is what moves through us to others naturally. We got distracted from this truth, somewhere along the way.
I’m learning to release love in myriad forms, more vigorously these days. A year ago I added a somatic heart opening practice to my meditation. The practices have been inconsistent, mainly due to their fierce intensity. Becoming a vulnerable warrior is not for sissies. It is the most naked one can get. But vulnerability is the way to prosperity for all aspects of life, and for the blessings of our human experience – relationships, career, spirit, finances, health and more – to flourish. Last summer, when I boldly told my teacher that I had surrendered, with a capital S and would no longer be doing prostrations because I discovered that the bodhichitta practices were the only practice needed, for me, he listened, nodded and felt the power and perfection of no doubt. The liberation that arises with trust in path and practice includes confidence and freaking out. I’m confident and freaking out, and clear that the seeker in me has calmed the waters of spiritual shopping.
In January, Colman Knight released love through community service at a Boston homeless shelter. We prepared ingredients for various meals; we served lunch on a blistering cold day to the guests; we listened to the evolutionary story of this shelter during a tour of the facilities. In short, we showed up, opened our hearts, and offered what was called for, with our presence. We attended to the ache in our chest and the crud surrounding our hearts, through the practice of service. While the pain varied for each of us, the collective healing was palpable. Touching humanity, we experienced a profound depth of prosperity. 
Heart openings are sometimes surprising. With an idea that love is soft and flowery, I question when love shows up strong, swift and fierce. This has been my experience and expanded teaching of late. In Buddhism, the former way has been labeled as idiot compassion. It is filled with an ego that wants to be nice. When wisdom indicates that love needs to be swift and cut sharply, trust is the remedy for doubt. Space in the heart is the practice.  I’ve heard this called warrior compassion.
A current personal dilemma relates to the above and pro-bono work for friends. Am I practicing a form of idiot compassion by believing that continuous free services are helping them (but are actually harmful), or am I releasing love with a generous blessing?  My inner wisdom tells me that is it the former. Yet, when I try to figure out how to lovingly act, confusion arises. This is the signal to tend to my heart rather than to listen to my head. I can see what arises in my direct experience to inform me of truth and to foster authentic love flow. The inspiration arising for the expression of authentic love flow may not look pretty to an eye habituated to idiot compassion.
In your life, consider the myriad forms of love (yes, including money!) What are your practices? Have you calmed the waters? What is the quality of the blessings you offer? Do you allow your heart to release love, expanding prosperity? Or are you practicing a facsimile blessing, reflecting a distorted version of love? Try tending to your heart. Allow your heart to point the way, releasing, clearing and flowing.

What’s Hot for Gayle Right Now…


Currently Reading: My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel

Practice Focus: A 10-Week Healthy Habit Challenge with cool mates in our Facebook group.

Currently Watching: A new devotee of Downton Abbey

Link of the Week: Joan Halifax: Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy

Currently Listening To: Pandora – groove, rock, swoon or reflect.

Shadow Element or Emotion Discovered While Writing This: Is love an emotion? No. I discovered that the space in my heart is limitless and that when my heart is open – yes, this is it; when not open, the practice is to open again, again, again. In essence, there is no other practice than this.

Gayle Colman, CFP® is an Integral Chicks contributor. She co-founded Colman Knight Advisory Group, an Integral Wealth Management firm located in Massachusetts. In the financial field for almost thirty years as a Certified Financial Planner, Gayle pioneers an integral approach in all aspects of her work, creativity and practice. Certified as an Integral Coach through Integral Coaching of Canada and a conscious relationship body-mind coach through Hendricks Institute, she is dedicated to manifesting sustainable growth for all, through somatic practices and embodiment. Gayle is a devoted student of teachers Reginald Ray, Ph.D, who transmits body-based Tibetan Buddhism practices for the modern world and Dr. Daniel Brown, who transmits Indo-Tibetan Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

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