Unlocking the Heart Chakra

 

Also known as: Living Love Center, Anahata

 

Body Mind Associations:

 

Location: Center of the chest

 

Color: Emerald Green

 

Parts of the body: This Chakra is associated with the heart and the blood circulatory system, and the cardiac plexus, as well as the lungs and the entire chest area.

 

Endocrine Gland: Thymus Gland, controlling the immune system.

 

Sense: Sense of touch, in its aspect of relating to the person inside the body, and distinct from the sensation of the Orange Chakra, which is more about the sensation one feels from their own body. Hugging, therefore, is a Heart Chakra activity. When one hugs, one is aware of what the person inside the other body feels, and they are aware of what you feel inside your body, and there is a sense of relating to the person inside the body. Sensitivity about being touched indicates heart chakra sensitivity.

 

Consciousness: Perceptions of love, relationships (relating) with people close to your heart, e.g. partner, siblings, parents, children. Difficulty with breathing, or with the lungs, the organs of air, indicates tension in the Heart Chakra. A person’s relationship with air reflects their relationship with love.

 

AIDS is a problem with the person’s perceptions of love, since it is the immune system which is affected. The person feels that their lifestyle separates them from those they love, often because of societal judgment.

 

Element: Air


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Several characteristics are common to that bond of love that unite us:

ACCEPTANCE: The heart chakra asks us to accept ourselves as we are and to use this as a launching pad from which we can raise ourselves to better things. Better understandings, greater courage, true forgiveness and acceptance of others with compassion for who they are, and how they came to be as they are, are possible only when we’ve truly accepted ourselves.

Acceptance does not imply complacency, but rather a base from which to improve and grow.

COMMITMENT: In loving, there’s always commitment to the welfare of the other and to the love itself, though this is different from commiting to a life-long relationship

PASSION: Passion is that energy that allows us to work beyond fatigue, to be unaware of our surrounding to be enthused by Divine, to emit a stream of practical love, to pour ourselves into what we do. To lose our passion in its broader sense is a partial death of the soul. However, though passion is an essential part of some human love, beware that it doesn’t strangle. hold gently or you may lose that which you desired.

CREATIVITY: Love opens our creativity in a way that little else can. Witness the great poets and composers whose works depict the opening of the heart in love or in grief for the lose of the beloved. Love is a dynamic and creative force that can enhance the lives not only of those we love but of everyone with whom we come into contact, and beyond. In truly loving, without selfishness, we’re prompted to desire joy and peace for the rest of the world. Though creativity is kindled in the sacral chakra and comes to blossom in the throat, it’s with the breath of love that it flowers fully.

FREEDOM: The bonds that hold us in love are flexible enough to allow movement and growth. Love encourages our freedom to become the best that we can be while urging us not to impose ourselves or our value system on others. As Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry put it, “Perhaps love is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself.” This is certainly so in professional loving. Love that binds with attachment strangles and encourages to codependency rather than being energizing and expansive for both parties.

CHARITY: Charity is sharing what we have with love. It comes not from superiority or from a desire to be seen to do good but from a simple and loving desire to share what we have with those who for some reason have not. It’s essential that we see the recipient as our worthy equal. Charity is a means of spreading out the gifts of the universe, but more than that, it sets up a flow of energy and a stream of love throughout the world. As we donate a token of our energy, opening our hearts in the process, love flows and both the giver and the receiver are nourished in the loving transaction.

Charity is a thing of joy: it is given freely, expecting nothing. Giving out of duty, from our mind rather than heart, reduces the potential of the gift in that the spiritual, nurturing element, which is much greater than the material, is missed by both. Charity, it’s said, begins at home. Give to yourself first in terms of love, forgiveness, acceptance. Giving in the form of teaching – being a mentor, sharing your skills – can be more empowering than a material gift.

DETACHMENT: When developing the heart chakra there is a point at which detachment occurs. A sad, lost feeling as the heart bond you have with many people begin to soften and loosen and, while your love for them remains the same, you can feel a kind of floating gap develops between you. This is detachment. It’s a greater development of love than attachment because of the absolute freedom it allows.

It enables that part of “I love you” that says, “I want you to be the best you can be whether or not that includes me.” It allows for the other to continue to grow and develop way beyond us if that is what they’re capable of. It’s the development that allows us to understand that wonderful quote from Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet when talking of children:

“You may give them your love but no your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may hose their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backwards and tarries not with yesterday.”

PARTNERSHIP: Loving often appears to be an unequal partnership – the love of a parent for a child is far beyond that which the child appears capable of in return; the love of one for another may be unrequited; professional loving asks for no return. Nevertheless, a partnership exists on a much higher level that ensures that there is freedom and empowerment for both people involved. In fact, on some level, the partnership is always one of equal benefit.

ENERGY: Each heart is stimulated by the joy of love and the sense of connectedness and appreciation of the other. The release from isolation and aloneness results in a rise in energy for both parties. The opening of the heart chakra also allows energy to flood the system. Usually there’s an increase in physical energy, at least for a while, which mirrors the spiritual energy.

 

DISCIPLINE: Though there’s a place in love for joyful abandon, the daily discipline of love strengthens our ability to remain constant among the distractions of life. In busy lives there’s much to attract our attention and lead us to neglect that which we love. being conscious of our duty to show our care for those we love enhances the quality of love.

RESPECT: We need to respect not only the desires, wishes and rights of the other, but also the fact that we’re witnessing another manifestation of the Divine in action. We have no right to assume that we know better than another where they’re going or what they need to do. True love also respects the right of a friend to have other friends, time for solitude and individual hobbies and interests.

CONTINUITY: In truly loving there is an air of continuity. Even when the passion of a relationship is ended, if there was true love, friendship can remain and a desire for the well-being of the other, for their continued growth, for their happiness. In loving but leaving we’re often fulfilling that commitment to continuity even in separation, since staying together would do damage.

FORGIVENESS: Lack of forgiveness is perhaps the most common block to truly loving and to moving on in life. We stay stuck, holding someone on a hook while of course, in order to do so, we must continue to hold the other end! We need to forgive, and also to accept forgiveness for ourselves. It’s a pity to let someone take up part of your heart and stay fixated on something that’s past. Loving means letting go, and sometimes it also means deciding that the relationship as it was is over.

GENEROSITY: Beware too much generosity! Sometimes the gifts we wish to bestow are too much for another to receive and our outpouring does little but overwhelm and offend. The loving heart sensitively holds back to allow autonomy and identity to dictate progress.

Sometimes too much “loving” can be too rich a diet and can rob the recipient of the joy of self-realization. All we need to do is to be there and if necessary nudge the other person a little along the path of appropriate evolution. If ego gets in the way, our generosity is likely to try to force others into becoming clones of ourselves.

COURAGE: Courage comes from the heart and is often a response to a challenge to act with integrity even though that may be difficult. We also need courage to stay with love when the going may be tough, to work on what challenges us in relationships and to know that we’re learning something we need to know. but sometimes we also need the courage to leave when we know that the situation is destructive for either party.

POWER: Though power is housed in the solar plexus chakra, the power of love is the greatest power known to us. We have the power to change ourselves, our lives and our attitude, among other things. The power of love can heal and change the planet and everything on it. Sending love is a powerful act: it can light a candle in the darkness of fear and hatred.

TOUCH: Touch – in both the sense of being touched or caressed and of being moved by beauty or sadness – is directed by love and is an essential part of loving. it has been said that a touch is worth a thousand words. Make sure, however, that touch is appropriate and welcome.

COMPASSION: Compassion is the emotion we feel for the misery and pain of others. If we’re compassionate, we’re affected by the joys and pleasures, upsets, sorrows and wounds of others even if we don’t know them. Compassion is part of love, both human and divine. But though we may feel compassion, we also need to remain detached and take care not to rob others of their chance to learn, since it is the painful times that thrust us forward into growth.

EMPATHY: Empathy is the gif of being able to stand in the other person’s shoes and see how it feels. It’s not synonymous with sympathy, which tends to lead us to collude. To love fully we need to be sensitive to the needs, desires and feelings of the other so that we do not trample and hurt them unnecessarily.

INTIMACY: Intimacy is the result of trust, openness, honesty and the willingness to be vulnerable. In intimate relationships there is sharing of power, control and nurturing, with an easy alternation of roles if necessary. Intimacy is in the way we talk and listen, laugh together, support each other, and in the quality of our loving interactions. Though erotic intimacy can be part of the relationship, it isn’t necessarily so.

AFFINITY: Affinity – that attraction of one to another based on sympathy and natural ties and which manifests in warm affection – leads to bonding. The resultant connection brings new balance and stability to each person separately and also forms a new entity, the relationship, which has its own separate identity, much as the affinity of two elements results in bonding and formation of a new chemical compound. Affinity is created by unseen signals which indicate that each has something the other needs to render him or her more whole. Sometimes affinity is based on sameness, with a sense of homecoming and peace within the bond. Whichever the mechanism, each heart chakra searches out something that enhances both the self and the other, with an increase in harmony, joy and peace for both.

Affinity is an integral part of relationship, whether of lovers or friends, and it secures the two in a cohesive whole – bound, yet free; constant yet forever changing and evolving; mutually supportive and nurturing; simultaneously teaching and learning.

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