This month we explore the fourth of the seven energy systems, the heart chakra. Anahata is the Sanskrit word for this chakra and a metaphor for the unconditional love and compassion that resides within our hearts, in spite of hardship and emotional pain. The heart chakra is located in the center of your chest. Its color is green and the associated element is air.
This unconditional love chakra represents the core of our spirit and emotional being. The heart chakra connects our spirit residing in the upper three chakras with the sense of self residing in the lower three chakras. As the seat of love and emotion, the heart chakra’s focus is the integration of ego and spirit.
This chakra allows the ability to experience joy and nurturing relationships. It provides compassion, generosity, and tolerance, by softening the mind’s rigid decisions and beliefs. As the center of intimacy, it allows feelings of happiness and the most centering feeling of all, love; to empower and guide us through the most difficult challenges we face.
When your heart chakra is open and balanced, you feel positive, nurturing and confident. Kindness and empathy are prominent in your decision making rather than being judgmental or critical of yourself or others. You are able to share humor, have vitality for life and feel energized by your optimism. You are able to love deeply and experience inner peace. There is a strong connection to animals and nature, and acts as a calming and healing presence to others.
Recall a time when you were upset about something. Think about how that situation dominated your thoughts and conversations, robbed you of sleep and left you feeling unhappy and fatigued. When your head leads over the heart, we can cut ourselves off from our emotions creating an imbalance.
When your heart chakra is unbalanced or blocked, you may experience difficulties with relationships, feel lonely, or awkward in relating to others. Is there someone you would like to forgive or are you carrying an emotional hurt that you can’t release? Avoiding intimacy, keeping people at a distance, becoming critical, suspicious or defensive can also be signs of imbalance. Postural signs of imbalance include sitting with your head forward, shoulders rounded and shallow breathing.
A heart chakra that is too wide open can also create problems. Being too empathic creates an open door for taking in the anger, sadness or depression of others and becoming trapped in their moods and feelings creating an unhealthy situation.
If you feel unbalanced, try spending time outdoors. Take a walk or meditate outside in a quiet, calming environment. Spend time with your pets – they are unabashed teachers of unconditional love and can open the heart. Experiment with keeping the feeling of being loved in the forefront of your mind. When you feel yourself drifting away from that feeling, breathe deeply and bring it gently back, allowing that feeling to flow through your body. Make a list of those you would like to forgive and try your best to release the hurt. Performing a service act such as volunteering or a random act of kindness is healing. Start a daily gratitude journal and note as many things as you can each night. With time, you will be surprised to see how long the list has become! Reach out and express appreciation to people. Reconnect with someone you have lost touch with. Visualizing an image of an open doorway is a powerful tool to opening the heart. The incense of sandalwood, rose, or jasmine is thought to open the heart chakra. Wear something green or decorate a room with green accents to remind you of an open heart. For meditation, the mala bead stone is jade.
In the next issue we will explore the 5th energy center, the throat chakra. To learn about the chakra system and healing meditations, you may consider the Chakra Balancing Kit available at www.chopa.com.