Open Your Heart for Greater Love and Compassion
All healing traditions recognize the crucial role of the heart in sustaining life and energizing the body. To give of yourself requires patience, compassion, and kindness. Living your life from a place of unconditional kindness, for yourself and others, is a key element of managing stress and finding true meaning in your connections and work. When you act with kindness and compassion, you can give to others and share your true gifts.
The heart is a crucial energy centre in the body where many physical and energetic pathways intersect and interact. This confluence of influences makes the heart impacted by and capable of affecting many other aspects of the body and health.
If all existence is energy and energy is inherently vibrational, it follows that everything in existence is vibrating at one rate or another. Emotions are a primordial tool in recognizing what feels good and what does not as you interact with the physical world. Emotions are precursors to choice and decision-making. They are therefore not only necessary but crucial to your spiritual and creative evolution.
When we have emotions that feel good, we are vibrating at a high rate, in the flow of life, aligned with Source Energy. When we experience emotions that make us feel stuck, limited, fearful etc., we are vibrating at a low rate or outside the natural flow of Source. And according to the universal laws of attraction and reflectivity, we will attract and manifest our vibrational match. And so, if we are vibrating in a place of fear, anger or guilt, we will attract and manifest like individuals and circumstances that are vibrating in fear, anger or guilt. Similarly, if we are vibrating in a place of joy, love and freedom, we will also manifest our vibrational match.
The fourth or heart chakra sits at the centre of the seven chakras. The Sanskrit name for the heart chakra is Anahata, meaning “unhurt” or “unstuck.” This is an area where physical and spiritual meet, balancing the world of matter with the world of spirit. Beneath our suffering and hurt lies boundless compassion and love. Opening and balancing your heart chakra allows past grievances to be released so that you can open up a place of pure compassion where no hurt exists.
When you let go of hurt feelings from your past, you begin to open up your heart and find an expanded space in which you can step into compassion and kindness. Kindness is an energy that connects you to each other. Compassion enhances your connections with yourself, with those you interact with, and with the world around you. As you approach life without judgment toward yourself or others, you will notice that there is a shift in your perception and experience of life.
The anahata chakra is located at the heart, and also the extension of it are the arms and the legs. This chakra’s element is air, and it rules our respiratory and cardiovascular system. This is why we use back bends to allow this area to come to our focus, our awareness….simply opening up the Heart.
Opening up to Source
When the heart area is open, there is a subtle sense of warmth, expansion, sweetness, and aliveness. We feel loving and connected. A different quality of knowing emerges, one that is spontaneous, direct, and unconcerned with outcomes. Our willingness to not know, to not rely on our ordinary thinking mind for guidance, and to let attention rest in the heart area opens up a door to a different way of knowing and trusting. As we do so, we become much more accepting and compassionate with ourselves and others.
According to Yogic tradition, anahata chakra, the heart chakra, is just a level or dimension of our being and of the entire manifestation. The Spiritual Heart is more than this. The relationship between atman or the Source/Divine is one of unity.
The Divine Self, or the Higher Self, as it is also known, exists at an even higher level than the soul; it is in every person ever born. It is the essence the Universe that dwells in your being, the source of all light and life within you, and your true motivation for living. The divine self is what powers you and makes you wonder. It is the soul light at your core that chose to be incarnate at this point in time. It’s ever-aware and has been thinking since you began existing in this lifetime, and since your birth in other lifetimes. The body and the physical realm, in which we dwell, are thought to be but a vehicle for the higher self.
The key to understanding the nature of the essential Oneness of the Universe is to see our Heart, our eternal, undying Self. In the ancient text the Chandogya Upanishad: “Tat tvam asi”, which translates that the Ultimate Reality, Atman/the Divine, is what you are. So the Spiritual Heart is not just a reflection of everything. It is the Supreme Consciousness, the essence of everything, the background of existence.
The Whole, Unity, is completely us.
Meditate to bring us closer to our Source
Make kindness, toward yourself and others, a daily habit! Use this meditation to open up your heart and build kindness in your life through cultivating self-compassion and giving of your authentic self. As you look within and take time for self-observation, energize your heart center and connect with your creativity, self-expression, and compassion.
- Find a space and time where you can be uninterrupted and give this time to yourself without distractions.
- Recall a situation in your life that is challenging or difficult and causing you hurt or stress. Close your eyes and bring this situation to mind. Feel the struggle, distress, and emotional discomfort in your body.
- Become aware that this is a moment of struggle or discomfort. You may acknowledge that this moment hurts, is stressful, or is painful. You may even speak out loud, “ouch” or “this hurts” or “I am in pain.”
- Recognize that stress, struggle, and experiences of suffering are part of life that link you in your humanity but don’t have to overwhelm you. Remember that you are not alone; that all people struggle in their lives; and that suffering does not mean you are less worthy, bad, being punished, or alone.
- With your eyes closed, place your hands over your heart. Take a few deep breaths and relax any tension you are holding in your body. As you exhale, feel that stress dispersing and leaving your body. Feel the gentle touch and warmth of your hands resting on your chest. Feel a warm, comforting, kind light building in your hands and spreading to your heart. Give this healing to yourself. Allow this gentle, healing energy to flow from you and to you, spreading to your whole body and bringing calm and healing where it is needed.
- Ask yourself what you need to hear and feel right now to give kindness to yourself. Say to yourself, “May I be kind to myself.” Speak the phrases that feel most aligned with your particular situation, such as:
- “May I forgive myself.”
- “May I be strong.”
- “May I be compassionate to myself.”
- “May I learn from my experiences.”
- “May I accept myself as I am in this moment.“
- “May I be patient.”
- “May I give myself the kindness and compassion that I need.”
Use this exercise inspired by The Whole Cure/Chopra Institute when you feel overwhelmed, despondent, stressed out, or stuck in struggle. Allow it to raise your mindfulness in the situation and to evoke self-compassion when you need it the most.
You will find that with regular practice, you can clear away any blocks and open your heart chakra to experience more love, compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude. As your heart chakra energy becomes more balanced, you will feel peaceful and more deeply connected to yourself and others. Getting in touch with your heart center and opening up your heart allows you to listen more deeply to your true inner knowing and connect to the flow of life that is always there.