This is the fourth chapter in our seven week journey into the realm of chakras (energy centers) and what we can do to balance them and their corresponding emotional issues.
Heart Chakra (Anahata, 4th Chakra)
- Sanskrit Derivation: Anahata (unstruck)
- Color: Green
- Physical Location: Heart, lungs, breasts
- Element: Air
- Emotion: Love, connection, compassion, gratitude
Heart Chakra Opportunities and Obstacles
- Selfless love (Opportunity) / Selfish or anxious for love (Obstacle)
- Empathic, compassionate (Opportunity) / Lacking empathy (Obstacle)
- Nurturing to others and self (Opportunity) / Careless of needs of others/self (Obstacle)
- Gives and receives easily (Opportunity) / Has difficulty giving, receiving (Obstacle)
- Emotionally forgiving (Opportunity) / Hangs on to pain and troubles (Obstacle)
The heart chakra is where love is situated and if we have love and respect for ourselves, it is much easier to reflect that trait onto others. It is said that one cannot pour from an empty cup and for as much as you tell your spouse/partner, children and family members that you love them, how often do you tell yourself the same thing?
Air is the element associated with this energy center as we need it to breathe and exist. Its power is much like the heart where it can rage in a powerful gale force or move gently around us or it can even go completely still. What we want here is that gentle touch applied to ourselves.
For this ritual, go outside on a breezy day and find a quite place for yourself. (If your area isn’t conducive to breezes, being outdoors where you can enjoy the fresh air is just as suitable.) Sit down somewhere comfortable and appreciate the moment. Take a deep breath and give thanks to the air element and its life giving energy. Once you feel ready, recite these affirmations to yourself:
- I love myself unconditionally
- I create supportive and respectful relationships that are healthy for me
- I release from my life anyone and anything that does not bring me joy
As you work through these statements, really feel them in your heart; smile while you say them. Just like toddlers react without pretense, hug yourself as fiercely as they would themselves. Visualize your heart chakra radiating this self-love effortlessly. Once you are ready to close the ritual by thanking the air element for its presence. Repeat this daily until your cup is so full that it runs over and it becomes an unthinking habit.
As you feel comfortable with self-love, remembering to have empathy is another great step to take. Showing compassion towards others can be challenging when they behave in a manner that is different from our own or if it feels like they are just being a “jerk.” Say you’re at the grocery store in the checkout line and the cashier seems annoyed and their body language is terse. How do you feel; shocked, annoyed, upset? Maybe you missed the fact that another customer had berated the cashier through no fault of their own. The key here is to remember is that it’s not about you. We are often so focused on our own lives that it’s hard to remember that people are going through their own stuff.
In these situations relax, breathe and wait about 5 seconds to process your emotions before you react. “Actively imagining what someone else might be suffering can help you empathize with them.” If you feel comfortable and the situation allows, ask that person how they are doing or how their day is going. Perhaps they may not want to engage, respect that decision. Just making that initial step takes so little time on your part, yet it can make a world of a difference to others. For more ideas on how to practice empathy, check out this article by wikiHow www.wikihow.com/Show-Empathy.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama
Until next time, stay tuned for the next chapter in our Chakra journey.
- Brown, J. (2015, November). 100 Dalai Lama Quotes That Will Change Your Life. Addicted 2 Success. Retrieved from https://addicted2success.com/quotes/100-dalai-lama-quotes-that-will-change-your-life/
- Chakra Balancing Affirmations. (n.d.). Healing Journeys with Energy. Retrieved from http://www.healing-journeys-energy.com/Chakra-Balancing-Affirmations.html
- How to Show Empathy. (n.d.). wikiHow. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Show-Empathy