Chakra Series, Part four: Heart Chakra

(If you missed the earlier articles in this series, have a look at the Chakra Series - Part One to catch up...) Learning a little about them can really help us to understand  and heal ourselves.

The Heart Chakra:
Colour: Emerald Green/Pink
Position: Centre of chest
Associated Organs/Areas: Heart, Breasts, Chest
Endocrine Gland: Thymus
Related Emotions: Joy, Unconditional Love, Hurt, Bitterness, Grief
Basic Need: To give and receive love unconditionally
Spiritual Aspect: Self-Love

The Heart Chakra centres around giving and receiving unconditional love, both to others and to ourselves. It is the chakra that connects us to our 'inner being', our true self, which is pure love. It's from this centre that we learn to connect with life in loving ways and where we learn to allow people into our lives. It's a centre all about balance, giving, receiving, action, rest. The physical heart spends equal time in both rest and action, there is always a rest between each heartbeat. It is our heart that keeps us alive and which symbolises the need to live as a reflection of this balance in order to feel alive.

As with all the chakras, there is the fear-based emotion that is also associated with that chakra and the heart is the place where we all  (whether consciously or not) store the emotions of hurt, bitterness and grief. These are all powerful emotions, which can cause us to shut the door to our heart and to block love coming to us. Unfortunately, this building of the barricades only helps  us to feel safe for a limited time and actually blocks all the love out as well as the hurt. Eventually, closing off like this only leads to isolation, loneliness and feeling even less loved and understood than before.

By observing the nature of our hearts, we can learn to become more balanced and in tune with our own natural rhythms, which leads to a harmonious, healthy, joy filled life. Often, it is those rushing round, so busy, that end up suffering with heart problems as they don't feel it's ok or even practical to stop for a while and smell the roses along the way.

Sometimes, the imbalance comes from giving or caring too much for others while not receiving themselves. Many women who nurture others but not themselves develop breast problems, including cancer. They end up resenting that no-one is caring for them in the same way they do others and yet when love is offered to them, they recoil, feeling uncomfortable in the role of receiver. It is easier for them to be in control and give, rather than be open and receive. They care for others yet don't care about themselves, often using the caring for others as an excuse to avoid their own issues.

Balance is needed and over time, can be restored by learning to love ourselves unconditionally. Many of these imbalances have stemmed from early life, when the individual had to put others first all the time or when their feelings weren't heard or valued. Healing helps change the old ways to something new and more appropriate, where there is the understanding that there is more than enough love for everyone.

The ability to feel the hearts' whisperings takes time to develop, spending time in peace and nature helps to restore our natural state and to quieten the minds' chatter so we can feel the gentle pull from the heart towards that which we truly love. Our 'inner being' calls to us from the heart, urging us towards a happy, love filled life. Towards our life's purpose and calling.

Tips for balancing the Heart chakra:

Get quiet and take some deep breaths. Take your attention into your heart and feel. Your heart is your guide!

Forgive and release past hurts, they only hurt you and stop you being loved.

Find ways to nurture yourself, feel comfortable receiving love by practising it daily!

Allow yourself to grieve fully (see article on grief and letting go)

When giving to others, be sure to give unconditionally without strings attached.

Take time to be active and at rest, make whichever of these you're not used to doing a bigger part of your routine.

I hope you find this helpful as a starting point to understanding the way we work!

For part 5 - The Throat Chakra, click here