365 Days of Opening Your Heart: Living boldly each and every day

For every day in 2014, Bryonie Wise shared her fears, passions, anxieties and hopes in a public diary. For the next four weeks she’ll share with us how that creative journey shaped her year, her mind, her spirit and her body. 

We are distracted by ‘busy’ and ’what we should be doing’ and ‘how much money we should make’ that there is no time to be human and flawed; or, to ask someone we love to hold us while we fall to pieces—and certainly there is no time to surrender our weapons and reveal to each other the tales of what keeps us up at night.

sleep in. snuggle with furbabes. adventure to ice field with win. eat a vegan donut. run errands. prepare for a full moon juice fest. set heart-expanding travel arrangements. make dinner. try starting 3 movies and settle on the lone ranger. ice shoulder and snuggle with bone-chewing dog. (be grumpy all the day long and practice holding space for how you feel with as much love and kindness as you can muster.)#sundaymanifesto #slowdown #lovebigger

When it is your heart that throws down the gauntlet and asks you to show up in your life, to open more, to learn to love bigger, there is no backing down or hiding from the quest. You must do the only thing you have been asked to do, even if it is the hardest thing for a shy-and-introverted being, such as yourself, to do.

And so I opened. Every day. For three hundred and sixty-five days.

i hover in a place between fear and the unknown. i know to get to the other side, i must plunge into the jungle of my darkness...the smelly, rotten, frightening shadows of everything that is me---the parts i wish did not exist but did (and do). i feel shivers move down my spine and my fear consumes me and i am almost frozen by it...but my trust is bigger and in the next moment, i have leapt and i am in it. i am in my fear and it is every bit as toxic as i thought it would be. the wretching starts and it is intense and i can barely breathe and i am sweating and tears and snot are running down my face, but i am in it and i can't be anywhere else. my body hurts and i wonder if i will die and rather then fight it, i surrender to it all. ever so slowly, the last few waves move through me and my breath returns and i am still here. i survived. i take a few moments to sit up and wipe my face and settle myself into this new place. my voice at first is shaky but i keep singing and i can feel my voice swell with the power of my heart. i know that i am not my fear; i know that i am not less than or more than any other being that walks this earth; i know that where i am is where i am supposed to be. this beating heart, this body, this mind and this soul has shed a memory, a skin, a shape and form, an idea that no longer serves her beautiful self. #heartclearing #grateful #blessed#lovebigger

Instead of gathering all-the-things-and-thoughts together until they were ready to spill out of my fingertips and into a tidy-looking-but-incredibly-authentic blog, each day, I’d allow my heart to open a little bit at a time.

I made my opening into art and I shared images and words when they would come to me and when I could find none of my own, no matter how deeply I searched, I’d look to those that inspire and borrow their art to say what I could not.

 i nearly exploded into thousands of pieces today. mercury is both challenging me and teaching me where i need to dive deeper. i'm listening, but my ego is standing on the front lines and taking hit after hit. here's my plan to live and love through the rest of this retrograde: breathe. slow down. listen. breathe some more. love. repeat.#mercuryistoughlovekindateacher#breatheitallinloveitallout

i nearly exploded into thousands of pieces today. mercury is both challenging me and teaching me where i need to dive deeper. i’m listening, but my ego is standing on the front lines and taking hit after hit. here’s my plan to live and love through the rest of this retrograde: breathe. slow down. listen. breathe some more. love. repeat.

And I kept opening.

I opened when the sun was shining and the birds were singing.

I opened when my dog picked up a bag of dog poop at the park and shook it until it busted open and covered him in poop and I laughed and laughed until I cried.

mama-please-feed-us-dinner face #winstagram#sweetpotato #dogloveispurelove

I opened when the moon stopped me on the sidewalk at night and gently pressed wisdom into my third eye.

I opened when I was confused or confounded or frustrated and I opened when all I could do was cry.

I opened when I made myself sick with burnout and I opened when I chose to step away from a life that was no longer making me happy.

I opened while I was juicing or reading or walking along the lake.

I opened when my cat went missing and then again when I found her and then again (and again) when I had to have her leg amputated.

I opened when my heart was broken and in the opening, that exposure to air and breath and light, I found a way to mend her back together.

I opened when I was most afraid and about being broke and sad and depressed.

I opened when the small shifts happened and the darkness turned to light and I opened when I discovered that I was capable of living from a place of joy.

the best thing, ever. #furkids #familyportrait#bestillmybeatingheart

I opened even when every part of me wanted to close up and give in and get the fuck away.

This is part of the dance of how we evolve has humans—we walk as far as we can until we can no go no further, and we pause and we catch our breath and we observe the landscape. When we have rested, when we have checked our resources and left behind what we no longer need to continue, and our bones are ready, we rise up and we walk a little further.

Opening works just like that—it takes patience and practice and radical self-love to develop a strength that encourages the shedding of our protective skin.

"Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart."~ Mahatma Gandhi (photo: unknown)

How open is too open? Am I harming myself or loving myself? Why am I sharing? What is my intent? Is it to see how ‘popular’ I am? If nobody likes my post, what does that mean? Have I become invisible? Is my practice of opening a cleverly disguised trick my ego is playing?

There were many days when the last thing I wanted to do was ‘show up’—I could see the space where the opening was meant to happen and instead of gliding towards it, a protective hold clamped down on my heart, insisting that whatever was currently digesting was not ready to be shared.

Or, the days when I reached, stretched even, for the words only to find them out of reach, and watching as minutes turned to hours in my desperate search for anything to say.

so, today i figured out that i took a misstep around day 167 and missed a day; a post that i've been writing in my head for day 200 will have to wait til tomorrow. instead, this: for all my friends and friends of friends and friends i've never met but connected with somehow...i know that the online world can feel fake and full of "annoying positive and inspirational posts"; i know being online can soak up too much time that in most moments could be better spent outside, breathing it all in and loving it all out with people and animals and nature and a life we can reach out and touch. the thing is, the person behind the screen and through the marvelous web that connects the world has a beating heart in their chest, just like you. and this place...facebook, instagram, twitter...(insert your social media of choice) is a community. it's different then most because we can all say a lot of things we might be too shy to say in real life; we can create stories of who we want to be or share the truth of who we are. really, anything is possible. personally, my vote is truth (and love) and it takes me time and a great deal of attention to post the things i post. if what you seek is something else, why don't you open your heart and share it? get naked; sing your truth; laugh at yourself...or, unplug and go play in the sunshine. the time it takes us to knock the community (any community) by filling the spaces with unkind words can be better spent creating a new world that is of benefit to all. #truthisasuperpower #bekind

And those other ones—some of the toughest, possibly—were the days that my ego and I wrestled to the point of overwhelm with pressure I created for myself to post something that was earth-shattering, amazing and what everyone needed to hear.

embracing light and dark (and everything in between); holding without gripping. practicing fierce (radical) self-love and allowing space for this heart to find her new beat. #100days #braveness#keepitrealeverydamnday (photo: dries van noten via pinterest)

On those days, my heart stepped in, softening the battle and sending me to bed with the promise that whatever needed to be said would be waiting in the morning.

But most days, what I discovered in the opening is that we all crave it.

 after spending close to two hours (maybe more?) at #shakespeareandcompany, this is what i walked away with: henry miller on writing and the spring/summer edition of @_gogoparis. (why are my feet in this photo? because they have been essential in getting me around and they are happy and tired and deserve a little insta-love. further, if i had a bigger bag, i might have borrowed the resident giant white cat for a sleepover, alas it was not and i did not.)#literaryheaven #thebestofinsiderparis#twofeetandaheartbeat

We want to know that we aren’t alone here, in this busy life, with all of her wonderous-and-confusing distractions. We want to know that someone else feels something we feel, or thinks something we think—we want to know that our shame, pain or (insert your secret here) doesn’t make us hideous or undeserving of love.

for a few brief minutes, at the end of a long and heart-filling day, the sun found her way into my tiny home and blessed us all. #spiritwisdom#thisishowwepray

With our opening, we have the ability to disarm all that holds apart and we learn that we have the potential to heal the world with the stories we tell.

may we wear our scars proudly and may we slow our busy down enough to hear the hearts that beat close to us. #scarclan #lovebigger #purrrroarrr


Bryonie’s life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga (at Misfit Studio and from time-to-time at 889 Yoga) or writing her heart to the bone (for Rebelle Society and elephant journal, where she some time ago stepped away from her role as Managing Editor), she can be found frolicking in the sun with her camera and her dog, Winston. You can connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


  1. beewyz
    January 9, 2015

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  2. jogaleyoga
    January 9, 2015

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  3. beewyz
    January 9, 2015

    jogaleyoga shedoesthecity U0001f49bU0001f49bU0001f64fU0001f49bU0001f49b

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