Written by Jazzercise, Inc. Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett. Originally published on The Huffington Post
Have you noticed the tone of some media rhetoric lately? No, I’m not talking politics. I’m referring to the positive messages we’re seeing… even in commercials. Over the holidays, I saw messages of helping others, of giving back, of hope. And it sparked the idea that we all need to be more open. Open to messages. Open to people. Open to new ideas, even about ourselves. Here are four important ways to stay open in 2017.
Open your eyes. See the beauty in others. Notice someone else’s need and try to fill it. Take in the tiny moments that are filled with promise and joy and bask in them. Take the time to tell yourself and others how grateful you are. Open your eyes to the vision of the best world you can imagine…and then work hard to achieve it.
Open your arms. Become receptive to what others have to offer you. Is there someone you’d like to reconnect with? Apologize to? Reach out and hug? Do it. Or, keep it simple and smile at the person holding the door for you and say “thank you” – right to their face. Receiving from others can be challenging when we’re locked into our routines. Be mindful as you go about your day. Standing in the world with open arms (literally and metaphorically) is like opening up to all that the universe has to offer you.
Open your mind. Sometimes this is as lofty as accepting someone who is entirely different from you. Or it can be as basic as acknowledging those differences. Challenge yourself to change one old idea this year. Listen to others’ opinions with genuine interest. Give an unpopular point of view honest consideration. Who knows what you might learn – especially about yourself – if you open your mind to the possibilities?
Open your heart. The greatest gifts can come in unfamiliar packages. Become willing to be vulnerable: there is power in it. Open your heart to those who might need you. Open your heart to yourself. Forgive your own flaws and love, love, love the person you’ve become with every ounce you’ve got.
Openness can take you on wild journeys, lead you to magical places and present new possibilities. Plus, staying open offers you a chance at being the best version of yourself: the one who is open to receiving the love and acceptance we all need and deserve.
Open up to 2017!