Being truly vulnerable and allowing ourselves to be seen as we are may not be easy, but when we step into this heart space – we are free.
This post comes from our dear friend, Nina Endrst.
Take a deep breath and let the air fill your lungs. Feel your heart lift and soften as you inhale – you are open and expansive, just like the sky above. This practice requires trust and acceptance of whatever comes to the surface. It’s challenging to expose our hearts in such a way – to let the walls we’ve built crumble around us. We’ve all experienced heartache or break in some form. We’ve all been left with a few cuts and bruises that are in need of healing. We don’t need to change or be fixed, we need only to focus our intention on moving upward, inward, and outward with love. Being truly vulnerable and allowing ourselves to be seen as we are may not be easy, but when we step into this space – we are free.
I’m 8 months pregnant and find this particularly relevant at the moment. It’s strange – to be growing in such a major way but also experiencing the contraction. I catch myself in these moments, when old wounds start to surface… I let myself feel what I need to. I make a conscious effort to observe without attaching or judging. My practice is to keep the walls from going up, and staying open and compassionate toward myself and others.
The fourth chakra – the heart. The bridge between the lower and upper chakras, the energetic and emotional center. We often speak of “getting to the heart of the matter,” to what is pure and true. Working to balance this energy center allows us to lead with love.
Location: The heart, center of the chest, lungs
Mantra: Love is stronger than fear
When in balance: We are empathetic, compassionate and sympathetic. We are open to love, forgive quickly and accept ourselves and others. We are grateful, joyous, and kind. We are able to give and receive love freely without unhealthy attachments and unfair expectations.
When out of balance: We tend to be fairly closed off to the world around us – afraid to really let anyone in. We are quick to get angry, and tend to be resentful. It’s difficult to trust ourselves and others which proves to be challenging in relationships. When this chakra is blocked we feel unworthy of a happiness, a loving partner, great friendships, and/or heart-centered work.
I hope these practices invite peace and joy into your heart:
Touch is the sense we are working with here. Remember your arms and hands are a direct line to your heart. Make an effort to connect, hug someone you love extra tight or snuggle up with your puppy. Humans need loving physical contact – watch as your spirit lifts when you show or receive love this way.
A lot of what blocks us here is past trauma that we have yet to work through. A great way to clear this is to sit with the breath – visualize yourself standing in a safe place, feeling grounded. Then invite someone you would like to forgive into your mind’s eye. (Please note: we are not practicing this for them — this is to set ourselves free from the heaviness that is weighing on our hearts.) As you breathe, visualize your breath as a healing light, pouring out of your heart and into theirs, circling between the two of you. Cleansing, healing, opening, forgiving.
Reconnect with a friend.
A trend I’m not too fond of is this whole “busy is the new black” business. Of course we have schedules, commitments, family, etc. But we are never too busy to sit and enjoy life with friends. A strong sense of community is nourishment for the heart and soul. Get in touch with a good friend you have lost touch with, ask them how they are, or simply pick up the phone and tell them you’ve been thinking about them. This small act goes a long way.
Photo by Matthew Johnson.