Every so often, events or occurrences happen in life which make me stop and think about a certain chakra.
Recently, as if often the case, it was anahata: the heart chakra.
To begin, you might have seen the word “chakra” and immediately thought about heading for another website, maybe something to do with logistics, or thingsthatcanbescientificallyproven.com.
If that’s the case I’m guessing you might consider yourself a chakra sceptic.
Whether that’s the case or not please bear with me because chakras are an interesting deal. You don’t necessarily need to “believe” in them for the concept to make sense.
Chakras and energy
Whether you’re sceptical or not, chakras can be interpreted as many things.
We are all aware that we have energy in us — we are full of something, a life force, a vital energy, something that makes us alive beyond the blood, bones and cells, beyond the brain waves and chemical reactions.
There is something in us that keeps us alive.
Often people don’t know how to define this, so we don’t.
Others say that the chakras are the centres where this energy gathers. Some say that the chakra system is simply a way to understand or balance the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the body. Whether you refer to them as chakras, energy centers or simply as other body parts they are most certainly at work.
The heart chakra
The heart chakra comes up often in my thoughts.
This is because our emotions (whilst linked to all the chakras in some way) are very heavily focused around the heart. Our emotions are an important part of who we are and often occupy our everyday thoughts, hence when we have problems, issues or major life events occurring the heart chakra can be in or out of balance.
Keeping a healthy heart chakra is important both for ourselves and for others.
We all know the old phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
We also all know that this phrase is just something you hesitantly mutter to the playground bully, whilst knowing deep down that it is the opposite of how you’re feeling. Words can hurt, and often our words are our deadliest weapon, and they can be even more cutting to sensitive hearts.
Some heart chakras are very open, thus susceptible to being hurt by words while others can be closed and hold up a barrier. In this case we do are not always aware of other heart chakras and their needs. This is when words can be dangerous, and keeping our own heart healthy is a way to maintain this.
If we do not keep a healthy heart we end up hurting people, and it can become a perpetual circle of heartbreak.
How to heal our heart
Healing our heart will help overall in tackling the root issues.
Just imagine for a moment if your heart got rid of all the stuff it had built up over the years. Every thought, big or small. You let go of the negative, any grudges held, any painful memories, any judgment, harsh comments, heartbreak, upset, anger, jealousy or regret.
All that stuff you have stored over the years, even if you have not thought about it in a long time, it is still there, somehow stored somewhere in your heart chakra (and most likely in other chakras too).
If you started to let go of that stuff you start to become “unstuck.”
I know what you’re thinking “I’m not stuck, I’m fine.” I bet you can only think of one or two regrets, or the odd thing you would like to heal, but the sad truth is that we all have a mountain of pain built up without even realizing it, and it’s totally normal, it’s what life does to us. But letting go of it is important too.
One way we can start to heal the heart is by pretending to.
I can sense your eyes shifting and I can hear your brain saying “but….that’s exactly what I was going to do….and pretend everything was ok, right?”
Well, it actually works.
For example, if you smile a nice big fake smile (go on, have a go, right now….give the screen a nice big toothy grin….aah, beautiful….ok not too much, calm down), your brain is now computing that you are smiling and thus sending out the happy hormones to your body. Your body now technically thinks you are happy (I know, your brain isn’t as smart as it makes out), and by just faking-it-till-you-make-it you can convince your brain/body that you are happy — which can do wonders for both mental and physical health…..hence allowing the heart to heal in its own way!
If you act as though your heart is healing, then it will be.
The power of positive thinking is an amazing thing, and there have been countless studies to suggest that positive thinking is really the most amazing tool we have.
Often, negative thinking is a habit.
And it is a very difficult one to break (as are many bad habits), but once we find a way to break it and start to think positively you really can see the change you want to see. If you are finding this difficult, just for one day try to fake it. Just like that toothy smile you just gave me, fake the positive thinking, even if you’re thinking that the world is going to end tonight, that everything’s falling apart and life isn’t worth living… just pretend it is.
Just for a day… and then see what happens.
I dare you!
The importance of compassion
Compassion is a huge part of keeping the heart chakra healthy.
Having empathy and sensitivity both to others and to ourselves. We cannot hope to help others heal or allow our relationships with others to blossom if we do not have compassion with ourself as well as them. Compassion will then lead to kindness, gentility and ultimately, love.
The Dalai Lama says:
“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”
It is true that our misgivings, fears, doubts and qualms in life come from a place of lack of compassion. Our sadness, grudges, jealousy, hatred and spite is only fueled by lack of compassion. Sometimes it is hard to have forgiveness for others, it is hard to feel compassion to those who have wronged you, hurt you or hurt the ones you love.
However, it is important to realize that even the slightest compassion will aid you in ways you don’t even realize, because in the end the only one suffering is you, and your heart.
The heart chakra will hold things we don’t even know it is holding until one day it will either heal and you will feel the weight drop away, or it will overflow and, well… that’s not pretty.
When the heart chakra is balanced, opposite forcing start to balance: the mind and body, male and female, sadness and joy. When this chakra is in excess there is an ego, the self-love is overflowing (in a bad way), the person can be seen as selfish, and the heart holds a lack of love for others. When the chakra is deficient, there will be no sense of self, a lack of love for others or the self, a closed-off person who is difficult to approach.
So, to open your heart you can practice heart-openers/backbends like ustrasana (camel pose), matsyasana (fish pose) and urdhva mukha svanasana (upwards facing dog), but ultimately, maybe try practicing compassion.
Give it a try and make the Dalai Lama proud.