This month is short on days but not on heart. Perhaps you’re not so enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day, but there is a lot of love to give and receive the next 23 days. Especially if you work on opening your heart chakra!
Past heartache, conflicts with your co-workers, and friendships on the fritz can leave you paralyzed with the fear of rejection and low self-esteem. But before you wrap your heart up in a box of chocolates, let’s examine opening your heart chakra first!
Your well-being affects your chakras and vice-versa, and opening your heart chakra — the fourth chakra — could be just the thing to bring back that lovin’ feeling.
If you’re not familiar with chakras, the name is Sanskrit for “wheel” or “disk”. Imagine seven spinning disks in a line, straight down from your head to your groin. These disks generate energy and spiritual light as they turn, so you can shine like the glowing goddess you are.
When a chakra is not functioning properly or if it’s blocked, this energy dip can affect your entire wellbeing.
You may physically feel sluggish or fatigued, notice more aches and pains, or be more susceptible to colds. Mentally, you may be more irritable, unfocused or even become depressed. So aligning and caring for your chakras is beneficial.
There are three upper body chakras: the crown, the third eye and the throat, and three lower-body chakras: the solar plexus, the sacral and the root. Smack in the middle of these energy centers is the heart chakra, balancing the world of matter (lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (upper three chakras).
The heart is the center of your body. It is where you find all your joy, gratitude, empathy, and (of course) love. So it’s no surprise that the heart chakra develops between ages 21 and 28, right when most of us are exploring our first adult romantic relationships. And also our first big heartbreaks.
More importantly, this is a time when we’re upgrading and solidifying our identity and sense of self-worth. Yes, that’s right, your heart chakra represents and reflects your self-love.
When it’s blocked, you may struggle with your emotions more or bottle them up altogether. You may be less forgiving and more jealous, isolating yourself. Or, you could swing in the opposite direction and over-love out of a fear of being alone, to the point of suffocation.
The heart chakra is all about those repressed emotions you’re not dealing with, and the tension that avoidance creates can physically manifest itself as respiratory problems, high or low blood pressure, upper back and shoulder pain, and arm and wrist issues.
The solution is simple (but not easy): open your heart chakra and face what you’ve been avoiding.
To help you do that, here are 5 ways to bring back brilliant, loving energy and open your heart chakra.
Give It Away
The best way to receive love is to give it, so look for ways you can brighten someone else’s day. Volunteer in your community. Compliment someone every day. Send someone important to you a thank you card. Call a friend or family member to share how much they have impacted your life. Smile at strangers.
The Power of Words
Affirmations are a powerful tool to help you focus on your heart chakra. You can say these aloud each morning, or post them around your house as a reminder.
“My heart is open to love.”
“I love and appreciate myself as I am.”
“I am filled with courage.”
“I forgive myself and others.”
“I live in a state of joy and compassion.”
“I am grateful.”
The Art of Acceptance
Let’s face it… there are so many things in life we have zero control over. Like whether the traffic is backed up or our Internet is slow. Often, those are the things we dwell on because they make us feel agitated or frustrated.
We also do the same thing with other people when we have a conflict. It makes us uncomfortable, and we don’t want to feel that way. We want other people to change for us, when we can only control our own behavior and actions. We may even assign personal meaning to someone else’s action when there isn’t any, making us feel less worthy of love.
Here are a few mindfulness exercises to help you practice radical acceptance and separate what actually is from your expectations or emotional reactions.
You can physically open your heart chakra with yoga as well. Click here for full sequence of moves you can practice at home from Yoga Journal. Yoga is also an excellent way to get out of your own head and refocus your mind on your spirit.
Make Some Noise
Snow White whistled while she worked, so why can’t you hum while you heal? 😉 Move aside, OM, because I love this manta sound provided by the Chopra Center, specifically for your heart chakra: YUM. To help expand your sense of love and compassion, meditate while using the mantra sound or this special sequence: OM MANI PADME HUM.
Do you feel like your heart chakra could use some opening? Which of these techniques will you try first? Let me know by posting a comment in The Badass Beauty Club on Facebook, and connect with more open-hearted women, like yourself!