“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.” – Rumi
It can be a pretty rough year, even for the best of us.
We’re awkward and unsure and trying to find our individualism.
Not children anymore, but not adults yet either.
I knew this boy in High School.
He hadn’t quite grown into his body yet. He was lanky and thin.
He was a little nerdy and very quiet.
He stuck to himself and didn’t really interact with most of the other kids.
We had one class together.
It was an off campus course at a local wildlife reserve.
(Definitely one of the perks of growing up in Idaho.)
On the first day of school, the whole class met to go over all of the rules of having an off campus course.
The main item was that we were responsible for getting ourselves to the reserve and back to school each day.
As the instructor went over the final items on his check list, this boy who was sitting in the very back of class, tentatively raised his hand.
He said that his transportation had fallen through and no longer had a way to get to and from class each day.
The instructor told him that if he couldn’t get to class, he’d have to drop it and take a study hall period instead.
Several kids began heckling him. Teasing and making fun.
As I watched him shrink deep into his chair, a look of defeat settled onto his face.
Even though I knew that those same kids who were taunting him, likely would do the same to me, I couldn’t let him miss out on something that was clearly important to him.
So, I stood up, walked back and sat down next to him.
I asked if he’d like to ride with me to class.
He quietly replied that he didn’t have any money to help with gas.
I said that was ok, and we could work out some sort of trade, which he agreed to.
This was one of the first times, that I can recall moving from a place of love and compassion, with no thought of personal gain.
I was unknowingly utilizing my heart chakra.
I could have reacted from a place of fight, flight or freeze, (a root chakra response)… you know… pretend like you don’t see what’s happening so that you don’t have to get involved?
But because I was pulling energy from my heart chakra, and not my root, I instead was able to move from a place of pure intention.
Over the course of the year, I got to know that boy pretty well.
He was classified as a “nerd” by high school social standards, but during those drives, I didn’t find anything nerdy about him.
He was interesting.
We talked about astrology and the universe.
Black holes and nebulas.
He taught me history facts and introduced me to new music.
We became friends.
All because in one moment, I listened to my heart.
The heart chakra is our energy center of love, compassion and relationships.
It is located in the center of the chest, in alignment with the sternum.
It’s related to the cardiac plexus; a bundle of nerves situated at the bottom of the heart.
This is the energy center that divides the lower chakras from the upper chakras.
The lower chakras, as you know, are the root, sacral and solar plexus. These three all represent and manage a more primitive form of consciousness; security, emotional reaction and self-worth.
The upper chakras include the throat, third eye and crown. They represent and manage our connection with the realms of spiritual consciousness. We’ll be looking further into these in the coming weeks.
The heart chakra activates between the ages of 4.5 and 6.5 years.
During this time, we become aware of our karma: cause and effect and the consequences to our actions.
This is when our compassion begins to grow and our motivation moves from a self-centered place, to one of love, which enables balance in all areas of life.
With our heart, we have the ability to make decisions outside of the bounds of karma.
From within this chakra, we have the opportunity to confront our shadow selves, not from a reactionary response, but from a place of love and compassion.
Since this chakra is all about relationships, of all kinds, I’m going to tell you another story to illustrate this point.
In my early adulthood, I was in a relationship that was very destructive.
It lasted for many years and throughout most of those, I was living in a state of mind that was very much centered on the basic needs of the root chakra.
Safety, survival, and the like.
When that relationship ended, a thick and heavy fog of victimization settled over me.
For the next few years whenever I thought of that relationship, I felt like I was a victim and that I had been wronged in a monumental way.
I live in a fairly small city, and I was fearful of ever seeing that person again.
I was even fearful of running into anyone in that circle who might see him.
I felt that leaving that relationship freed me in one way, only to restrain me in another way.
I felt like I was hiding.
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on that relationship, determined to find the silver lining.
The lesson that was inevitably there…I just needed to see it.
Then one day, I realized that, the relationship had not been one sided.
In no way am I condoning his destructive behavior…but I finally realized that I had made decisions during that time that kept me in that holding pattern.
Acknowledging my role in that relationship, set me free from the feelings of victimization and blame that I had harbored for so long.
And it felt really good, like a weight had been lifted off of me.
Once I was able to look at that relationship with clear vision, I was able to recognize that this person’s destructive behavior wasn’t consciously directed at me.
It was directed at himself.
Because I had made the decision to be in that space, I ended up being a casualty of his self-destructive behavior.
During this realization process, my lower chakras released the old energy of that experience and my heart chakra opened, allowing me to think and feel from a place of compassion.
This is one of the most valuable lessons that you can learn in life.
The heart provides us with the ability to make the leap from operating from a place of physical need and emotional reaction into moving from a place of spiritual enlightenment that is more in line with our higher self.
Like all chakras, the heart has reign over certain aspects of our physical body as well as our emotional body.
Physically, the heart chakra governs the heart, thymus gland, circulatory system, blood, lungs, rib cage, breasts, shoulders, arms, hands and also, with other chakras, the diaphragm and esophagus.
Some of the main physical symptoms of an imbalanced heart are:
Diseases of the Heart
Diseases of the Lungs
Diseases of the Breasts
Issues with the Pericardium
Issues with the Thymus
Issues with the Ribs
Issues with the Thoracic Spine
Issues with the Upper Back
Issues with the Shoulders
Psychologically, the heart is the center of all positive emotions and virtues, such as love and compassion.
The primary role of this chakra is to regulate our relationships, not only with others, but also with ourselves.
You may see an imbalance to the heart manifesting in the following psychological ways:
With a blocked and deficient heart:
Inability to Forgive
Lack of Empathy
Lack of Self-Love
Withdrawing From Life
With an over-active and excessive heart:
Here are some tools that you can use in your daily life to help bring balance back to your heart.
Purify Your Air: The element of the heart chakra is air, so incorporating this into your daily life will help balance this chakra. Go outside and feel the wind blowing against your body. Get a good air filter for your home. Open the windows and let the spring air move throughout your space.
Aromatherapy: Essential oils beneficial for the heart include: ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, vetiver, pine and rosewood
Color Therapy: The color of the heart is Green, so bringing more of that color into your daily life is an easy way to nourish this chakra. Keep houseplants in the rooms you frequent the most often or add the color green into your décor.
Sound Therapy: The frequency of the heart is 341.3Hz and Keynote F. Find music that plays mainly at this frequency and close to this keynote. Also sounds of wind blowing will be soothing for this chakra.
Reflexology: Massage these areas to stimulate energy flow to the heart: On the hand, just above the lowest joint of the thumb and across to the palm. On the ball of the left foot, just under the second, third and fourth toes.
Nutrition for the Heart Chakra: Eat green foods such as spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, peas, peppers, leeks, zucchini, celery, green apples, pears, grapes kiwi, and avocados.
Affirmations: Create a positive affirmation for this chakra. Write an affirmation that feels right to you and state it several times throughout your day.
I love myself.
I am kind to myself.
I allow love to fill me up and guide me in all of my actions.
I am a being of compassion.
When the heart is balanced you will feel a sense of wholeness. You will find ease in expressing love centered abilities such as empathy, compassion, friendliness, motivation, being nurturing and acceptance.
With our heart chakra, we learn to balance our own emotional and relationship needs with those of others.
We seek to be generous with others, but also have solid self-care.
To be nurturing but also have boundaries.
To be an individual yet also a part of a community.
When we let our heart blossom, we are able to do those things without being held back by our karma.
We can make decisions that not only honor our past, but also rise above its restraints.
In doing so, we ultimately embrace our true identity…
Our higher self.