Oh my gosh. I have just come to the end of a week I will never forget and one that has changed me as a person, forever. As we pack up and leave the Vision Villa Resort in Bali for the end of the ‘I Am Author’ retreat, my heart is full. Full of love, full of joy, full of gratitude, full of empathy, full of inspiration, and full of life. Coming into this retreat, I was hoping that it would go well, but I had no idea how amazing it would really be. The reason is simple. Me, and all the other participants and contributors this week came in with open hearts.

I organised this retreat with my wonderful friend and ex-wife Laura. The fact that we both opened our hearts to have a harmonious relationship after divorce is a rare and an incredibly special thing. Then to work on this project together was a reminder why we were in each other’s lives in the first place. I am discovering more and more each day that, as risky as it may be, when I open my heart, I open my world and something incredible is created. My relationship with Laura is one of those special things, and this retreat is another.

As we were planning the retreat, creating the program, finding venues, arranging transfers, promoting, and selling spots for this event, my hope was that it would be an event that helped people, not just with their authorship pursuits, but with everything in their lives. What I was not expecting, and am so grateful for, is that every one of the people who attended came with open hearts, not just to learn and to change, but to connect with and impact the lives of others. As a result, during the week, some profound transformations happened.

I can’t say for sure, however, I am pretty confident that every person leaving this retreat is changed for the better in some way. This week they have been supported, they have been challenged, they have been tested, and they have been magnificent with what they have achieved. The simple reason is that each one came in with an open heart, and as they did, a new world opened up to them and helped them see more and believe more about what is possible for them. I want to acknowledge them for their bravery and curiosity, and I want to encourage you to open your heart today.

I know, you have probably opened your heart before and it was damaged, maybe even broken. I am sure there have been times when you opened yourself up and someone said or did something that hurt you. Like me, you have been vulnerable and then been ridiculed or judged. Even though you may have been hurt before, I want to encourage you to open your heart again, anyway. What I found was, when I opened my heart, I heard more, I saw further, I felt deeper, I believed stronger, and answers started coming to me. Not just in my own pursuits, but in my interactions with other people on their own human journey.

Opening your heart means believing more in yourself, accepting other people no matter what, listening with a desire to understand, letting people into really know you, warts and all, and giving yourself permission to really feel joy in your life. It may sound challenging, but trust me, it is the most liberating thing you can do. In my podcast this week with Naomi Pendergast, called ‘Move for life’, we discuss how she opened her heart to allow her dance career to transition into a fitness career that she is passionate about. With the movement of your heart, the body will then move in the direction that will open your world.

This week I have seen breakthroughs, new ideas, incredible creativity, life-changing answers, powerful healing, and much deserved self-love, which may sound weird as it was a book writing retreat. Who would have believed it? Knowing what I now know about the power of opening my heart, I believe it fully. We can choose to stay closed, alone, struggling, pretending, unhealthy, stuck, and/or bitter. Or we can decide to open our hearts to the abundance that is in the world just waiting for us. I want to encourage you to open your heart so you can open your world, today.