The Creation of Open Heart (my own and the workshop…)
I thought moving country would be as easy as it had been when I left Turkey twenty-six years ago. When I moved to Dubai I was shaping my identity and was open to everything the new world had to offer me. Moving to California two years ago, took a different toll on me. This time people at least knew where California was, but it made me realize that the very identity, or who I thought I was, was questioned at the deepest level. Everything that had defined me was gone, and suddenly, I was a nobody. The earth had vanished from beneath my feet. I was stripped to the bone. I was floating in space, and I had nothing to anchor me down.
I had to spend a lot of time by myself and my interactions with people were only transient, like in a grocery store or in a bank. I was the woman with the accent who didn’t know how to fill her gas (petrol) tank. I thought I spoke English until I realized that people had no idea of what I was saying.
I have always considered myself to be a person who lives with an open heart, but during this experience, I was shutting down more and more with every moment of heartbreak, no matter how big or small. I felt so lost and I started to look deeper into the depth of my own heart.
What scared me the most was that I was even shutting my heart to the people I loved and who loved me too. I was insecure yet, ironically, I felt both trusting and fearless. It was as if this was an opportunity for something that I had not put my finger on yet.
Nature called me, and I started to spend time in the forest on hikes, I watched the Pacific swells hit the jagged California coastline, I gazed at the horizon and the feeding dolphins and whales and that all helped me reach a place in my heart I didn’t know existed. I had lost my sense of home and in nature I found a new one. I stayed open to whatever I was feeling, and I made sure to pay attention to my actions and reactions and I could feel how my heart continued to shrink and shut down.
Rationally, I knew I needed to keep my heart open or the impact on my loved ones would be severe. If I didn’t figure it out I knew it would be pointless to be around those who loved me. It sounds like a fight, and I think it was. I knew that if I closed my heart it would steer me away from living the life I wanted.
Instead of living a life filled with love, courage and joy, I knew I would be destined to live a cowardly life. This life would be like eating food without tasting the flavors and going through life without seeing the beauty that’s everywhere.
My conclusion from staying with what I was feeling in my darkest moments was that I was putting my well-being and the relationships around me at risk. I decided that I had received the information I needed and that the life that was given to me at this point in history would not be wasted.
This is the story that’s really the beginning of the processes behind my Open Heart workshop. I realized that this was the third workshop in the Gozamm series and that it was simply meant to be. I needed to pass on this information for the sake of increasing people’s awareness. My very personal and sometimes dark journey offered me a level of consciousness that I had never had before. Neither would I have reached that point if I had not been prepared to stay with the difficult emotions surrounding those experiences.
After working in close collaboration with Henry Kimsey-House, the co-founder of CTI, we determined that there are three doorways that need to remain open in order to maintain an open heart. The focus became one of keeping them open and the doorstopper that keeps them propped open.
All these years, we have been telling parents to come from a place of love rather than worry and fear, which is often the default. It’s easy to rationalize this ,but do we really know how to trust or keep our hearts open while life is happening to us?
While this is my story about how the Gozamm Open-Heart workshop was created, I’m curious about how you define yourself. It could be the mum or the dad, the businessperson, the team parent, the hard worker, the artist etc. What keeps you safe? I know it’s a scary suggestion, but would you be ready to step into your essence and start operating from a place of real trust and fearlessness and come from a place of love in all your actions no matter what and who you are interacting with?
It’s a radical question, or perhaps if you choose to see it that way – a suggestion.
Gonan is the originator of the philosophies behind Gozamm, the home of the Parentology, Trust and Open Heart workshops. An industry thought-leader and a perennial innovator, Gonan is setting trends in the realms of families and business worldwide. Her eclectic background; being born in Turkey, married to a Swede, having lived in the Middle East for 25 years and now living in California, she truly brings a new dynamic perspective to an important field. -- view all articles