Open Your Heart by Wearing More Green

               Chiles de pasilla, fresh and forest green                                                                                          Chiles de pasilla, roasting on the stove                                                                                            Chiles de pasilla, stuffed with cremoso cheese                                                                                  Chiles de pasilla. Hey, they’re not all for me?!

The vibrant, green, giving heart. To give gives us so much. Whenever I’ve left my childhood home, my dad (and my mom – when she was alive) tries to make us take things.

“Here, Laura, I’ll never eat all this cheese!”

“You wanna take some avocados?!”

“Laura! The figs!” (Calling out the front door, us in the car, motor running most likely)

Here, I stand under that giving fig tree, feasting iridescent Japanese beetles buzzing around my head. The images are bookended by pasilla chiles, fresh and after transforming into chile relleños for my dad’s 91st birthday. One of the many things he’s taught me are the benefits of a giving heart. The happiness it brings him to give was understood by me on a deeper level when my boys were born. I tried to stop him from giving so much to me as a young adult. I was the youngest of his five – the only girl – so, of course I was out to prove my abilities and independence. Once I became a parent, I realized that in a way there was no separation between us. To give to my sons was and is to give to myself. To see them happy is to be happy myself. In our best moments – with friends, with strangers – this is a connection that is not blood related.

The green, heart chakra is about giving, loving, and openness. When I was looking into how to improve in terms of prosperity (Why, you ask? You are crazy rich with all those figs!), I was surprised to see how prosperity was connected to the green heart chakra. I read about how we can work so hard and not get anywhere if we are not generous – generous with our love, with our time, with our resources. The more I contemplated this connection, the more it made sense. We attract whatever we need when we are consistently in a state of open heart giving, of breathing in and out. I have learned that it must start with myself. If I am hard on others it is because I am hard on myself. I aim to be softer. I aim to be more loving with myself.

When my younger son was just a wee little man lying in a hammock outside holding his ukelele, he liked to ask me, “Guess who I love the most in the whole world.” Sometimes I would name different people. Sometimes I would just ask, “Who?” Always the same answer in those days. “Me!” I loved that. I knew exactly what he meant. He was giving us a gift by loving himself so much. He enjoyed himself, laughing and singing his songs, making the world a better place. Laughing, loving, giving, green heart. No wonder it’s his favorite color.

Recipe for chile relleños using chiles de pasilla. I used the recipe from this book, a favorite in our kitchen when I don’t have notes from my mom!

Dress (friend’s closet clean out) by Alpana Bawa. Top (another friend’s closet clean out) by edmè and esyllte Shoes by Dansko – similar here. Necklace by Nicole.

Chile photos by Evan Hartzell. Fig tree photos by Aristotle Hartzell.

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