The art of keeping an open heart with Ellen Livingston

For those who haven’t felt the warmth of Ellen Livingston in person, we’ll humbly do our best to bring it to you today. Ellen has been with us since our first festival in 2011, serving as both presenter and yoga instructor. An 18-year raw vegan, Ellen brings her counseling background and retreat-running experience to Woodstock, helping others understand the spiritual, emotional and psychological aspects of a healthy lifestyle in her talks and daily yoga classes. We’ll let Ellen take it from here.

The art of keeping an open heart with Ellen Livingston


As we process all that is happening around us in the world right now, I think it is imperative that we each pay very close attention to our own energetic or vibrational frequency, our own true resonance. Just as our bodies KNOW how to create health when given good enough conditions, as conscious beings we each contain the wisdom to create a healthy world. If enough of us tap into this collective wisdom and act upon it together, imagine the New World Beauty we can co-create!

By this I mean be willing to look beyond surface appearances and common narratives, to feel deeply into whether information, events, or people presented as experts resonate in your being as truthful or deceptive. Be willing to continuously question and seek verification, and to engage in your own critical thinking. Trust your intuition. Lean right into the discomfort you feel….know that this is where truth can rise into view. Resist the temptation to shut down or numb out. The real reward is collective empowerment and personal sovereignty. These rewards come to those who summon the courage to stay awake no matter what, and to persist on a truth-seeking mission.

Preserve your energy for objective observation. Take the ‘witness seat,’ and notice what does and what does not make sense to you when you are calm and detached. Become an avid student, and hone your discernment skills – how do you decide what or whom to believe? What tests do you subject information to? How can you make preparations in your health and lifestyle so that you become flexible, adaptable, and resilient to rapidly changing and perhaps unpredictable outer circumstances? Consider proactively forming a small local group with folks encompassing a variety of self-sufficiency skills, so that you can help each other navigate through whatever may challenge us.

Create a daily practice to keep your heart open to people with different perspectives and different viewpoints. Be open to changing course if your inner guidance asks this of you. Ask high-caliber questions and stay open to potentially uncomfortable or inconvenient answers! Stay open to BIG positive change. Keep your heart open to hope and the goodness of humanity. And stay open to focusing your energy on what is most important, while letting go of what is not. Open your beautiful heart wide – now and always - and be a light-worker, a way-shower, a torch-bearer. Your light is much needed!

Slow down. Breathe deeply. Rest and re-prioritize. Walk barefoot on the earth. Turn your face to the sun, and feel the spacious sky. Commune with the plants, bodies of water, and the non-human animals. Make real eye contact with other humans. Let yourself smile at all the beauty and abundant natural truths. Write down and share what your heart knows to be true! This is how we will come to actively embody the wisdom that can bring us safely through these complex times. Ground yourself and cultivate true strength and empowerment, natural wisdom, hope and resilience.

Life on earth is uncomfortable right now! We all have so much work to do, and it is a lot less overwhelming when we tap into INSPIRATION. In what specific ways are you most inspired to contribute to healthy and sustainable solutions right now? Listen for what roles and contributions come most naturally for you, and expand your offerings from there. Each person’s right action and effectiveness flows most joyfully from their own natural inclination and inspiration. Listen deeply. And serve joyfully. I look forward to strengthening life-affirming co-creative community with you!!