OPENNESS by Donna Day © 2022
Welcome to the Peace Nurturing Practice of openness.
This peace-fostering practice grew from a conversation with my friend, Pam. We were hiking when she mentioned her four spiritual foundations: Integrity, Peace, Love, and Non-judgement. Her choice of cornerstones sparked shivers of joy within me. However, one word did not fit her powerful positive pattern: non-judgment. I asked, “Is there an uplifting synonym you could substitute?”
Within a moment, she responded: “Openness.”
Openness offers us inner spaciousness where Peace and Love can thrive. It frees us from strife as we no longer bump up against judgmental thoughts. We listen, ask, and wonder. We become like little children without preconceived notions of how everyone and everything “should be.”
Nature is my home, my nurture. It’s easy for me to be peaceful in nature because I do not judge it as wrong or right, better, or worse, or “needs improvement;” rather I am open to what it shows and teaches me. I never look at a deer and think, “You need to shape up.” OR “What you said is nonsense;” rather I observe, admire, and learn from all its inhabitants including deer, trees, plants, insects, moss, and fungi.
I don’t know about you, but I was “carefully taught” not to hate, but to judge. Judge myself, judge others, and basically judge everything in the world not because anyone did anything wrong, but because it is just the way of the world of fear. Now, as an adult, I’ve learned not to stomp my feet because it hurts my knees and not to judge everything because that hurts my heart.
The more we practice and focus on being open, the happier, freer, and more peaceful we will be. Each day we choose to open our hearts and minds to all possibilities, the more Light we embody. Without the heavy burden of judgement of ourselves and others, we can let all things be as they are. No need to make up stories about something someone did or said, we open our hearts to listen, learn, and love.
May we be open to allow things and people to tell and show us what they are.
Reflection: I have chosen openness as my PNP on many days because it helps me remember to allow, accept, let go, and respect myself and others. Here is what I wrote on 12.28.21: “This is an effective and powerful practice for me as it creates inner space for all to simply be, including me. It’s freedom!"
A few days ago, on my morning walk I was approaching a house which has been problematic for me because of the flags which appeared to me to promote racism, power over, and violence. I’ve always waved to the owners and said hello because they are fellow human beings, but there was always some tension in my head and gut. This time was different. I had been focusing on openness while walking so my heart and head were not closed; the result was an incredible blessing. Instead of constriction and discomfort, I saw pacifiers hanging in the places where flags had been. Yes! Without my judgment as to their meaning, the images I saw spoke of vulnerability. I was shown the symbols in a new light and could recognize the “Call for love” they represented. As I realized my freedom from tension in my head and gut, I laughed out loud while sending love to the owners of the pacifiers.
Your turn: How is this practice working for you? Notice if anything changes as you continue practicing openness this week.
Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth.
 Phrase from the song, “You’ve got to be carefully taught” from the musical South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
 “Call for love,” is from A Course in Miracles “The only judgments involved is the Holy Spirit’s one division into two categories: one of love, and the other the call for love.” - Text Chapter 14, Part X, Paragraph 7, 1st sentence.
“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn't uncertainty.
It's openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox,
rather than choose up sides.”
- Tony Schwartz
Please feel free to share this post and any others with friends and family.
Photo of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park by Donna Day