(January ice on the side of Signal Mountain)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about openness.

‘Open’ is defined as “allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up”. It also means “unfold or be unfolded; spread out.”

Oddly, those two definitions for ‘open’ seem to denote opposite things. The first definition seems to indicate a diminishing of one aspect in order to accommodate another. The second definition, however, seems to indicate an expansion.

I love the image of openness that this conjures – a sort of constantly fluctuating state of simultaneous increase and decrease. I think it perfectly illustrates the intangible aspects of openness: Openness, in its essence, allows for gains and losses while still maintaining its own value.

Openness is something I learned about in 2014. In fact, I think it was the theme of the year: I opened my heart, I opened my mind, I opened my trust, and I opened doors.

I increased in areas to allow to decrease; I decreased in areas to allow for increase. It was a constant motion, an ebb and flow of priorities, actions, thoughts, attitudes, ideas.

Being open-minded is the unfolding of one’s thoughts and beliefs in order to better view and understand it. Being open-minded is about allowing access to unexplored ideas and concepts even in the most well-worn paths of our thinking.

Having an open heart is about allowing yourself to be truly seen, known, and loved. Having an open heart is about making room for others, for experiencing things that do not directly affect you

Opening your trust is about spreading out yourself to…yourself; you must learn to trust who you are, your own value, before others can access your trust. Opening your trust is about making room for other people to help you stand, to correct you, to offer you perspective, to encourage you.

Opening doors is about expanding your opportunities. Opening doors is about letting go of one thing to make room for another.

Do you think you are an open person?

I had a sort of epiphany at the end of 2013 that I had been rather closed. As 2014 sprang into being, I moved into the new year with the intention of being open.
I did not know how much that decision would effect me, or in how many areas I was closed.

What ways do you encourage openness in your day-to-day living?

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