It’s Enough to Show Up with An Open Heart

It seems not quite right to write a blog post on New Year’s Eve and not at least mention New Year’s resolutions. So I’ll get to that. But first, an anecdote.

Last year, I entered an art poster contest through an organization called Health Through Art in Berkeley–a fabulous organization–and I ended up being selected as one of the winning artists. (Pause for applause.)

Now, my poster, done in vibrant colors, stated that “The world is better when YOU are in it,” and then, in bold letters along the bottom, the poster read: “Empower Yourself.”

What I intended to convey was that we all bring something uniquely valuable to the table, and, in order to have a positive impact, we need to start with healing and empowering ourselves.

I would do well to take my own advice. I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself, especially when it comes to my goals. So often, I mentally assign myself the ill-defined task of Changing The World in A Positive Way. I then set about creating duties and projects for myself, (complete with timelines) that will Build Character and Benefit the World. Then, it becomes this heavy weight to bear, and I end up feeling overwhelmed and depleted. And it is all based on the assumption that in order to have a positive impact, one has to work REALLY HARD and be VERY SERIOUS.

I find that it’s hard to give generously to the world when we are ourselves feeling depleted. So what I was trying to get at with my poster was that we bring something to the table just by showing up fully. I believe that, if we truly want to make a positive impact, it is a good place to start to show up with an open heart.

So my resolution is to show up with an open heart more often. It might not happen every time. Lord knows I can be grumpy and cowardly and small-minded. Still, I find that I do my best work when I remember that I bring something valuable to the table just by showing up fully. It also doesn’t hurt when I am able to laugh at myself when I get too caught up in earnest striving. So here goes: I’m off to show up fully in Oakland.

And with that, Happy New Year to all!


  1. Dear Sweet Open-hearted Lucy Claire, You must have posted this just before we talked with you. May your generous reflections usher in a lovely, spacious, heartening New Year. Love, Mom

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