Talking With Your Open Hands

Have you ever sat and felt tight and stressed? Anxious? And you couldn’t figure out why? Sometimes when we sit, we tighten up. We concentrate so hard that we bear down and tighten. Or a stressful conversation triggers the tightening, and then we don’t notice that we’re still doing it long after the stress is gone.

Woman's hands on black background

(c) Dollar Photo Club

One day I felt tense. I couldn’t figure out why until I realized I was clenching my hands. Not in a fist, but tight nonetheless. Once I noticed it, I opened my hands. Immediately the rest of my body began to relax.

That got me thinking. What else happens when we open our hands? What do open hands say about us? Do for us? Here are six reasons to live with open hands.

Open hands open doors to relationship. They have nothing to hide. When we have closed hands, we could be hiding something in them. Like a weapon. Even if we aren’t hiding anything, closed hands look angry, menacing. Open hands connote trust and trustworthiness. They can shake another, rest on a shoulder, give a hug.

When you open your hands, you hold things loosely. Rather than grasping, you recognize that you don’t own them. A butterfly might land on an open hand. If you close your hand, you’ll crush it. The same is true with the people. When we love them with an open hand, we recognize that they do not belong to us. Even our children. We share life with them, yes, but we don’t own them. We are willing to let them fly and come back. An open-hand relationship is life-giving.

Open hands open possibilities. When you open your hand, the blood and energy is not constricted. It can flow freely. This can manifest itself in adaptability and creativity. Not through some magic. But through lightening up as we release our grip. It isn’t passive. It’s actively opening our hands, mind, and heart to possibilities.

Opening your hands helps you better accept feedback – be more receptive and less defensive. Imagine how great it would be to be able to receive feedback without your stress response kicking in. How much more would you learn from it? (Of course that assumes it’s helpful feedback.)

Open hands open generosity, both given and received. Open hands demonstrate that everything you have is a gift. That you are generous in giving and gracious to receive. Open hands ask for help, and allows others to exercise their generosity.

Open hands invite beauty into your heart. They display your willingness to receive and experience what this life has to offer. And every day has some beauty when we choose to see it.

Open hands are a universal language. The language of love, compassion, comfort and creativity. You can speak this beautiful language. All you have to do is open your hands. And watch what happens.

What do open hands mean to you?  Share by leaving a comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • What an inviting and thought-provoking post. Not just the potential of what our hands can create (or maim) but the attitudes that attach to them. I know I carry tension in my jaw (that ends up spreading); I never considered my hands this way. And now I will. Thank you, Kathleen.

    • I tend to carry my main tension in my sternum and shoulders. Yet often opening my hands starts a chain reaction that spreads to those spots too. Let me know how the experiment goes, Laurie. And see what possibilities open up.