Exploring Your Energy: The Heart Chakra

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This post is part of our chakra series from Kristen Hedges. To read the introduction to this series, click here!

It’s quite appropriate that my post about the fourth chakra – the heart chakra – has fallen on the week of Valentine’s day! Today, we’re going to gently explore this center of love & compassion.

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I remember feeling my heart open. Until then, it had been a cautious place. One of hesitation and gnawing regret. I had been broken and bruised so many times, and eventually, I stopped peeling the bandages off.

It was summertime, and I was at Bhakti Fest. I spent the better half of the weekend dancing in the front of the crowd to music by Krishna Das, and The Kirtaniyas, and DJ Drez. There was one evening, when the clouds turned dark and promised rain, that CC White took the stage and exhaled a song into the sky that I could feel moving straight through me, as if I wasn’t even there. I began to cry. I tucked my face away and held my hands to my heart.

And then, I felt an arm around my shoulder. A stranger swayed beside me, hugging me with one arm, holding the opposite hand to his own heart. From somewhere in the crowd, he had noticed that I was falling apart and silently offered to hold all my pieces together. He never said a word. I never learned his name. He held me until the end of the song, and then disappeared back into the cheering group of Bhaktis.  

There was a subtle fluttering in my ribs. A gentle stirring. Something waking up, and then… In that moment, I felt my heart break open! I felt love pour in. A love never spoken, nor expressed in anything more than a shared energy, and a short embrace between strangers. A love that was always there — between him and I, between us and the rest of the world. Only, never before had I turned the dial of my life far enough to tap into it.

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Name: Anahata {Heart Center}

Location: The heart; center of the chest.

Colour: Green.

This is your center of love. Of acceptance, and compassion. It is the balancing point between all things material {the lower 3 chakras} and all things spiritual {the upper 3 chakras}. Beneath the ragged pages of our own personal stories, beneath pain & sorrow & brokenness, there will always be this place of overflowing love & wholeness – there, in the center of your heart.

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When the Heart Chakra is open & clear: You’re feeling loved, open, and energized. You feel that you have the ability to forgive & let go. You’re breathing easily – literally, and figuratively – and you know that you have abundant love to share. You’re at ease with yourself, and with those around you. You are content, accepting, and understanding.

The Heart Chakra can become blocked by: Damaged relationships with lovers & family alike can cause the heart center to collapse in on itself until the problems are sorted out. Spending too much time alone – not because you want to be alone, but perhaps because you must, or you’ve found yourself without many friends. Practicing selfish & conditional love can also cause the heart to close.

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Imbalance can lead to: Asthma, a tightness in the chest, heart palpations, heart disease, and heartache. A feeling of desperation. A feeling that your heart is closed – like you can’t allow any love in. You may not believe that there is love in this world for you {which, I promise you, there is!} You might experience difficulties letting go, anger, and a feeling of hate towards those around you. Numbness also stems from a closed heart chakra. Waking without a feeling of purpose. Noticing an emptiness in your ribs.

To check for a cause of imbalance, ask yourself: “Am I feeling loved and cared for? Have I been generous, and open with my love? Have I been holding my love back from someone dear to me?”

Things that make the Anahata happy: Pressing rose quartz to your heart, or a bit of emerald. Little acts of kindness, like carrying a stranger’s groceries, donating to a charity, or volunteering with animals. Singing. Meditating on the heart center also helps – taking a bit of time from your day to focus in on the place where you can feel your heart beating, allowing your mind to rest there, like a bird on a perch. Also, practicing unselfish love – massaging a partner without the expectation of anything in return, or writing a kind letter to someone who could use the reminder that they are loved.

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Tea to balance the Anahata Chakra: Craft yourself a floral brew of rose hips, lavender, hibiscus, cherries, and green tea.

Yoga Asana: Ustrasana {Camel pose}. A beautiful heart-opener.

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You can find Kristen here, and at facebook.com/withonlylove.

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Comments

Rita -February 10, 2014, 8:45AM

love love these posts! my personal mantra is…”Wherever you go, go with your heart” Confucius

Roxy Roundhouse -February 10, 2014, 8:54AM

Really great, love the quote on the end.

Roxy xox,
Visit my store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeartJewelryAlways

Lauren -February 10, 2014, 9:03AM

I read that story as if it were me standing there, crying.
That was beautiful. Today I felt something pulling me in to this post. I keep wanting to come and read the Chakra posts but I keep forgetting… And today I thought… I have to read this post.
I am so glad I did. Thank you. Thank you so much for this. I needed this so much.

<3

Nina -February 10, 2014, 4:13PM

Your articles are pure perfection. Not only the text is really well writen also all the pictures are simply amazing. Thank you for this. For inspiration. For teaching. For love.

Claire -February 10, 2014, 4:44PM

I have been following your series from week 1 and it is amazing! I love learning more about the chakras and your stories that go with are so inspiring and uplifting! Thank you for sharing!!

shawnee -February 10, 2014, 9:51PM

thank you for this. xoxo

Raheb -February 12, 2014, 5:23AM

Hi

Cate -February 12, 2014, 7:02AM

Thank you for sharing this… maybe you don’t realize it, but you really help people with these posts… **

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Sharyn -February 16, 2014, 7:36PM

Thank you for weaving your word magic on the heart chakra. It was wonderful to read and I will definitely come back to it over and over.

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