Strengthening the Heart Chakra

What is it?

In the last few decades, Chakras have become a part of popular culture. Many people reference the colors, imagery, and feelings related to these energy hubs in their daily lives. There are seven chakras in the human body, and five more outside, making up the 12 major chakras. There are more, but that’s a lesson for a much later date.
The 4th Chakra is the Heart Chakra and is naturally associated with air (lungs in your chest). It is located in the center of the chest and allows us to feel deeply connected with others. A finely tuned Heart Chakra allows us to appreciate the harmonious exchange of energy with all that is around us, as well as the beauty and wonder of life.
The Heart Chakra is associated with:

  • Our feelings for ourselves and others
  • How we relate with and to others
  • Our levels of compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and acceptance

Visibility

The Heart Chakra, in my opinion, is a projection of how we want to be seen in the world. We crave love and attention, yes, even those of you who are hermits crave love. 

There’s a phrase, that I feel speaks directly to the heart chakra, many of you may have been told you wear them…rose-colored glasses. I have a pair! I used to have several, but I allowed someone to convince me they were silly once, so I tossed them. In my path to healing, I recognized I needed to pick them back up. See, we all need rose-colored glasses. Not because we want to be like an ostrich and bury our heads in the sand, but because we want to see all the beauty the world has to offer. Sometimes, we need the “rose” to filter out the bad things happening. Not to deny they exist, but to keep them from overwhelming our fragile egos and shaking our steady grounding. 

One of my favorite people in the universe, my sister-in-law, looks for hearts everywhere she goes. She posts photos of hearts made out of oil spills on the driveway, or a random leaf she finds. They are never created by her, merely discovered. Personally, I believe she manifests them. But that’s another topic for another day.

What if we each took the next seven days (a whole week) to tune into our hearts? What do you think you will see, hear, feel, smell, and maybe even taste? Are you in tune with that feeling? 

We discussed in Strengthening the Root Chakra, that Earth has chakras too. First, let me just mention that Earth is the word heart with the letters rearranged.

That’s not coincidental friends. The energies from the Earth’s Heart Chakra influence our overall feeling of love for and in the Universe. Earth’s Heart Chakra is found at Glastonbury/Shaftesbury/Stonehenge. Check out this

map! I may be trying too hard, but I swear I see a heart. Maybe back in the day, before modern roads, the old dirt roads were in the shape of a heart.

Unbalanced

So how will I know it’s my heart chakra that is unbalanced and not my Solar Plexus chakra or one of the other chakras? You can take a short quiz here.

The most obvious sign the Heart Chakra is blocked is an overall inability to play well with others. Someone may need constant feedback/reinforcement or even become reclusive due to fear of intimacy. Someone might be overly defensive, jealous, or blame others. They may also have difficulty showing or giving forgiveness.  

Plants show an imbalance in their Heart Chakra when they begin to lose their beautiful green color. 

Even Earth is showing an imbalance in her Heart Chakra. We are so busy loving the wrong things that road construction/expansion threatens Stonehenge as it stands today. Just do a little Google search and follow the debates. It’s disheartening.

Balancing

How can we begin to balance out all of this imbalance? 

As humans, we have many different ways to heal our own chakras, especially the heart chakra. 

Affirmations

One way to work on balancing out energy in the body is through affirmations. For the Heart Chakra, we want affirmations that address the challenges for the chakra itself:

  • I will be gracious, and inclusive and let others have their own ideas.
  • I will cooperate and prioritize relationships.
  • I will please myself because I matter.
  • I understand everyone is doing the best they can with what they have at the time.
  • I enjoy being with my friends and loved ones.
  • I forgive myself and others.

Activities

In addition to affirmations, other physical activities will support balancing our Heart Chakra. These include but are not exclusive to:

  • Use breathing exercises to help engage your Heart Chakra.
  • Spend three minutes each day appreciating something because it is beautiful. This can be nature, music, a touching moment, a commercial, anything. 
  • Show yourself some love through self-care. Take a bath, do a meditation or even practice yoga. 
  • Practice giving yourself grace.

Balancing the Heart Chakra enables us to transition and work on another chakra, and the Crown Chakra is a logical next step. More on that in another article. 

Sometimes, it helps to balance our chakras in pairs. The chakra most often paired with the Heart Chakra, for healing purposes, is the Root Chakra. The feeling of security that a properly balanced Root chakra provides reflects on the generosity and compassion that you feel when the Heart chakra is properly aligned.

As mentioned in Strengthening the Root Chakra, it is believed that the Root Chakra and Crown Chakra act in a yin/yang-type manner. The Root chakra is about individual physical existence in this time and place. The Crown Chakra is our connection to higher consciousness. The Heart Chakra is the balance between the two. What a beautiful trio. 

Once our Heart Chakra is balanced, we can begin strengthening it. This can be done through activities such as: 

  • Agree to disagree. We need multiple perspectives in our lives, even the ones we disagree with.
  • Use journaling to strengthen your voice. Reading it out loud will help you hear your feelings.
  • Find someone whom you can talk to without watching your words. We need to get the negative thoughts out and cultivate the positive.
  • Speak from your heart and practice saying, “I feel…”
  • Meditate. Concentrating on breath supports your body’s cells.

Impact

Imagine a world where everyone’s Heart Chakra was open and balanced. 

WE ARE LOVED.

What does that…

…look like?

…sound like?

…feel like?

…smell like?

…taste like?

What would the surface of the Earth look like if its Heart Chakra was balanced? 

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Strengthening the Root Chakra

What is it?

In the last few decades, Chakras have become a part of popular culture. Many people reference the colors, imagery, and feelings related to these energy hubs in their daily lives. There are seven chakras in the human body, and five more outside, making up the 12 major chakras. There are more, but that’s a lesson for a much later date. 

The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine. It connects us to Earth and all of the other “life energies.” It reflects our feelings of safety and security. You may have heard of Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. In regards to educating adolescents, Maslow’s hierarchy supports that adolescents must have their basic needs met before they can begin to do any higher-level processing. The same applies to your personal system of chakras. Before you can do real work on those chakras, one must do the work on the root chakra in order to feel safe and one day is able to leave the state of fight or flight. 

Visibility

The Root Chakra is not only our base, but it seems to be the base of many

“life energies” on our little planet. When we take the simple pattern of the root structure, we can find it in many different places on Earth. Each of these “roots” grounds and nourishes their respective systems.

Photos left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Tree root system: anchors tree to the ground, delivers water and nutrients to cells of the tree.
  2. Jellyfish tentacles: specialized cells designed to find and bring in nutrients.
  3. Fungi mycelium: specialized cells designed to breakdown and transport nutrients to fungal cells
  4. Colorado river delta: materials are eroded by water and carried into the river where it feeds life specialized to live in the area where freshwater and saltwater mix.
  5. Animal vascular systems (human shown here): carry nutrients to and from the cells and organs of the organism
  6. Human lungs: bring oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out, connect with the cardiovascular system to carry to cells and organs. 

The Earth itself has a chakra system. The Root Chakra for the planet as a whole is located at Mt Shasta in California. We will talk more about that in a bit.

Unbalanced

So how will I know it’s my root chakra that is unbalanced and not my sacral chakra or one of the other chakras? You can take a short quiz here.

The most obvious sign the root chakra is blocked is living in fear or survival mode. Someone might also be excessively negative or cynical. They might have a compulsion to hoard, this may be things, money, or even food. And finally, they may not have a clear grip on reality – they think they are the best at everything. 

Our pets might show an imbalance in their root chakra by tearing up the couch cushions when we leave, having accidents, or excessive eating. 

Plants show an imbalance in their roots when they fall over, begin to wither, or their leaves change colors unexpectedly. 

Even Earth is showing an imbalance in her Root Chakra. Fires are consuming the area around Mt Shasta at an alarming rate and there doesn’t seem to be a sign of stopping. Thousands are obsessed with firearms and personal protection. Nations are constantly at war. Refugees flee nations at alarming rates. So many are in a constant state of fight or flight. 

Balancing

How can we begin to balance out all of this imbalance? 

As humans, we have many different ways to heal our own chakras, especially the root chakra. 

Affirmations

One way to work on balancing out energy in the body is through affirmations. For the root chakra, we want affirmations that address the challenges for the chakra itself:

  • I am in control and safe.
  • I will let go of attachment to results and things.
  • I will remember to relax and enjoy Life’s activities.
  • I will Quiet my negative inner dialogue.
  • I will slow down and be methodical.
  • I will be flexible without lowering my standards.
  • I am the navigator of my life.
  • I will change. Changes will strengthen my base, not deplete it.
  • I will listen to others without inserting myself.

Activities

In addition to affirmations, other physical activities will support balancing our root chakra. These include but are not exclusive to:

  • Connecting with nature
  • Gardening
  • Cooking healthy meals
  • Surrounding yourself in Earth toned colors
  • Meditating
  • Performing yoga
  • Walking, running, and/or dancing
  • Eating red fruits and vegetables
  • Employing crystals: jaspers, smoky quartz, hematite, garnet
  • Diffusing essential oils: sandalwood and frankincense 

Balancing the root chakra enables us to transition and work on another chakra, and the Sacral Chakra is a logical next step. More on that in another article. 

Sometimes, it helps to balance our chakras in pairs. The chakra most often paired with the Root Chakra, for healing purposes, is the Heart Chakra. The feeling of security that a properly balanced Root chakra provides reflects on the generosity and compassion that you feel when the Heart chakra is properly aligned.

It is believed that the Root Chakra and Crown Chakra act in a yin/yang type manner. The Root chakra is about individual physical existence in this time and place. The Crown Chakra is our connection to higher consciousness. The Heart Chakra is the balance between the two. What a beautiful trio. 

Once our root chakra is balanced, we can begin strengthening it. This can be done through activities such as: 

  • Embracing “the struggle” as an opportunity for growth and change. 
  • Listening to others with sympathy in your heart, while detaching from the emotion.
  • Do nothing. Yes, that’s what I said. Relax and enjoy the moment.
  • Acting on impulse every 6 to 8 weeks and complete the task you start.
  • Practicing saying: “I need your help.” “I like the way you do that.” “Will you teach me?”
  • Learning about others’ philosophies and personal tastes by discussing them with them. 
  • Letting go of attachments.
  • Finding a nice patch of grass and practice Easy Pose or walk barefoot and feel the life energy under your feet.

Impact

Imagine a world where everyone’s Root Chakra was open and balanced. What would it look like? 

WE ARE SAFE.

What does that look like? My picture of “safe” is nothing like others. To me, it’s the safety to struggle without being made fun of. Safety to feel sympathy but not have to jump on the bandwagon. Safety to be non-responsive. Safety to finish a task that you impulsively started. Safety to show vulnerability. Safety to learn about other people and cultures. Safety to release attachments, especially those that no longer serve. Safety to just sit in the grass or walk barefoot. Safety to just be.

Each of the items above contributes to my feeling of safety. I feel so safe, I do not need to own a weapon like others feel the need. I believe an individual’s need to own a weapon for safety infringes on their neighbor’s right to feel safe without the weapon. It’s an awful cycle that needs to stop.

What would the surface of the Earth look like if its Root Chakra was balanced? Fewer fires? There are dozens of fires in the area surrounding Mt. Shasta each year. More appreciation of natural preserves? More preservation of natural resources? Appreciating the Earth? Artifacts exist showing we were once more collectively balanced.  Less war? Less reacting to others? I can only imagine what we could accomplish if we were all on the same frequency again. 

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