Living With An Open Heart + 9 Tips For Balancing Your Heart Chakra
As we approach 2019, this topic is especially important if we are to grow and THRIVE in the new year.
Living with an open heart isn’t easy. In a world where we are pressured to be anything but ourselves (i.e. Botox, plastic surgery, always needing the latest and greatest yoga pants, being told that we should be able to do it and have it all or we aren’t good enough) it can be hard to wear your heart on your sleeve.
But learning to live with an open heart is essential. Not only for our own happiness and healthiness, but for the happiness and healthiness of our entire PLANET.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm - Deepak Chopra
We are each our own tiny universe living amongst many other tiny universes. The pain and suffering that we experience will affect those around us. Our thoughts, words, and actions will affect those around us, even if it may not feel like it. if we don’t take time to care for ourselves and heal our pain, it will hurt more then just ourselves.
Think of how you feel when you go to hang out with a friend and they are in a bad mood. That energy transfers onto you. After you leave that friend, you’ll probably notice feeling like there is a cloud over you, maybe you feel drained of your vital life force energy, or maybe you just relieved to be out of a draining situation.
Self-love and self-care are about so much more than the individual. So, if healing yourself for YOU doesn’t matter, do it for the people you love, do it for the animals that are going extinct, do it for our planet.
Healing old wounds is different for everyone. For me, it was a retreat in Bali that started a long process of recognizing and healing old wounds that didn’t even know were there. When we are in our day-to-day, unless you have a dedicated yoga or meditation practice, it is hard to find the time to heal. So go on a retreat, take a course, commit to a weekly yoga or dance class, take baths and create a self-care ritual once a week, or use these 9 tips to balance and open up your heart chakra. Find an outlet and a safe-space for healing. Discover what your traumas are and do everything in your power to heal.
Do this so that you can live your happiest, healthiest, most joyful life. Do this for everyone and everything on this planet. Do this for YOU the sake of this beautiful thing called LOVE. :)
9 Tips For Balancing Your Heart Chakra
The heart chakra - Anahata - is our center of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness. This is our 4th chakra - the bridge between the 3 lower earthly chakras and the 3 upper ethereal chakras. The element of Anahata is air which represents expansiveness, openness, and freedom as it disperses itself evenly through any space that it occupies. When Anahata is balanced you are receptive to giving and receiving unconditional love freely. You are caring, compassionate, and loving. You are able to forgive yourself and others for wrong-doings, recognizing that when another person has wronged you, it is in fact for your highest good. You feel devoted to those around you, but remain an independent spirit. When you have an open and balanced heart chakra, LOVE becomes your state of being.
#1 Verbal Affirmations
Pick one of these verbal affirmations to use in meditation or throughout your day. You can write them where you will see them or repeat them out loud or to yourself. Say it, read it, use it until you feel it.
I love myself unconditionally
I give and receive love freely.
I walk through life with an open heart.
I release fear and open myself up to unconditional love.
I forgive myself for things that I have been ashamed of.
I greet heartache with gratitude for lessons learned that will help me on my path to my highest self.
Om mani padme hum - may the lotus flower contained within my heart be open to love, compassion, and forgiveness.
Ho’pono’pono - I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. - Repeat those 4 sentences as you think of someone who has hurt you OR say them to yourself to help you move past something you’re ashamed of.
#2 Working with crystals and essential oils
Pick one of the following crystals. Infuse one of the above affirmations into the crystals by holding it between your palms and repeating the affirmation 10x with intent and clarity. Carry your crystal around with you to bring back the the energy of the affirmation and to remind you of your power when you are feeling low.
Use the following incense or essential oils while meditating, relaxing, or practicing self-care:
Each chakra has a Bija (seed sound mantra) whose particular vibration is said to be in harmony with that of the chakra. By chanting it’s seed sound mantra, you can clear blockages and bring the heart chakra back into balance.
Seed Sound Mantra: YAM - start by setting a timer for 2 minutes. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, on your exhale chant YAM and try to feel the vibration clearing and balancing your heart chakra. Repeat until your timer goes off. As you become comfortable, set your alarm for 3 minutes, then 4 minutes, and so on.
#4 Heart Chakra Meditation
Find a comfortable seat. Sit up tall. Place your right palm over your heart, then your left palm over your right hand. Close your eyes and feel your heart beat. Take 3 deep inhales with loud, open mouth exhales.
Find a natural breath and bring your awareness to your heart space.
Begin to visualize a bowl sitting in your heart space. As you inhale, golden white light flows in through your nostrils, going down your throat and into your chest, filling up the bowl. Feel the love that comes with this beautiful golden white light.
After a minute, you begin to see the bowl overflowing so that the golden white light flows over the edges of the bowl going into your shoulders and your belly. Watch as the light continues to flood your body, flowing down your arms all the way to your fingertips. Flowing down your hips, thighs, calves, into your feet and all the way to your toes. Watch it fill up your neck and skull. Feel LOVE and LIGHT all throughout your body.
Now watch as the golden white light begins to flow outside of your body, encompassing your aura and your entire being. Watch as it flows out, lighting up the room you’re in, then lighting up neighborhood. Watch as you spread this light throughout your town, then your county, then your state. Watch it spread through your entire country, flooding into the sea. Eventually watch as this beautiful, vibrant golden white light encompasses the whole world.
That is YOUR light spreading through the world. Feel within you that you have the power to spread your light throughout the entire world. Send yourself love and gratitude for being the magical, powerful, loving being that you are.
Take a deep, deep breath in. Open mouth exhale - HAAAAAAH.
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. May all beings be happy and free.
Bring your palms together in front of your heart. Find gratitude once more.
#5 Bhramari “Bee’s” Breath
Pranayama (breath control) is the 4th of the 8 limbs of yoga. Incorporating different breathing practices can be helpful for balancing out each of the chakras. One of the most beneficial pranayama exercises for Anahata is Bhramari, also known as Bee’s Breath due to the “hmmm” sound that is made during the exhale (that really does sound like a bee!).
Click here to watch a great video on practicing Bhramari!
#6 Yoga Postures
Practice the following yoga postures for 5-8 breaths each. As you practice each one, physically feel your chest and shoulders opening. Energetically feel your heart space relaxing and opening up so that love and light can freely flow in and out.
Bound Forward Fold
Journaling is one of the best ways to discover emotional trauma and blocks that are holding you back from living with an open heart. Use the following journaling questions to create awareness of any imbalances in your heart chakra and to create a game plan to bring it into balance.
Do you feel like you live with an open heart? If not, why?
Write a list of past traumas that could have caused blockages in your heart chakra.
Are you still holding onto any of these traumas? If so, which ones?
What steps can you take to help you release the pain and blocks created from these traumas?
Do you practice self-love and self-care regularly? If not, why?
How can you incorporate self-love and self-care practices into your day-to-day?
List 10 things that you love about yourself. Talk about why you love them.
#8 Walk in nature
The colors of the heart chakra is green and pink. Get out in nature and take a walk or meditate. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the nature around you. Practice love and gratitude for all that Mother Nature provides.
#9 Color Therapy
Choose which color (green or pink) speaks to your heart chakra. Surround yourself with that color. Wear it, decorate your home with it, or carry crystals in that shade.