#mindful52: kitchens, connections, beginnings

I just finished my last reverb10 post on what my core story is and my response showed that story, itself is at the core of who I am and thus my core story is about where I first learned about storytelling: my grandmother's kitchen.

In looking back at all the kitchens of my girlhood, I discover that the kitchen is where people gathered and thus for me, represent connection, shared storytelling and spilled secrets with pinches of salt for good luck. I am struck by how often I talk about the importance of connection these days. I discovered the wonder of blog connections quite by accident while I was researching blogging for my dissertation and I've been continually wowed by how much I learn from women (and others, but particularly female bloggers) whom I only know through blogging. (I mention this several times in previous posts.) These connections are important to me and significant in my life. However, I also want to deepen my connections to people in my life, the ones I see every day.

One of the things I think that holds me back from doing this is fear. I'm afraid I won't be accepted or understood, that I'll be judged and found lacking be disregarded. I am afraid of giving too much away. I'm also afraid that I won't be able to hold up the other end of friendship that I'll somehow need more than the other person can give or that I'll ultimately, be disappointed by others.
I'm insecure and afraid.

I'm currently reading The Book of Awakening and yesterday's challenge was to consider the things we're holding onto that prevent us from opening doors to new opportunities. You know how when you're hands are full and you can't carry everything AND open the door. You have to set all the stuff down, first. I decided I needed to set down my insecurity and fear if I truly want to be open with others.

In order to thrive and to see what opportunities are available, I have to first be present and able to open the door. My new beginnings for the year are centered around remaining openhearted, seeking connections and being open to the idea that things may, in fact, work out. It seems that preparing and believing in success is more difficult than expecting the worst.

What do you need to let go of in order to open the doors for yourself? What do you hope is on the other side?

*This post is part of #mindful52, an online initiative started by Heather. As she says, "52 Weeks of FOCUS is intended to help us stay vigilant on our chosen paths throughout 2011." Each week we explore a concept (this week's was new beginnings) and pay attention to how it emerges in our lives, what we think of, how it shapes our practices and then we share important breakthroughs or thoughts or processes. If you're looking for a way to stick to resolutions or enrich your daily writing/thinking/meditative practices, give #mindful52 a try.