What does it mean to open your heart?
Today, I’ll explore four key practices that help you open your heart and live a more heart-centered existence.
One of the most powerful teachings I’ve ever received around heart energy comes from the name of the heart chakra, Anahata. This Sanskrit name roughly translates to – the sound that two things make WITHOUT striking. In other words, it means union or NO resistance.
Take a deep breath in. Exhale your resistance…aaahhhh! Feel that relaxation around your heart?
Living and being in heart-centered consciousness is to drop your resistance and to operate from a place of love and compassion. It’s to relax around your heart. Healthy heart energy is for connection, communion and collaboration.
When your heart is depleted of energy you may feel tight around your heart or even empty. You may experience feelings like grief, sadness, and pain. This could mutate as well into the umbrella emotion of anger. You may close off your heart and feel isolation and start to compare and compete for love.
This is when the Ego and Mind try to step in and take over. Yikes!
I know when I am in my heart, I feel good. When I’m not, I don’t. It really can be that simple if we let it be.
Why not follow the trail of feeling good?
Through my life what I have found to be the most powerful tools for opening and freeing my own heart energy are mindfulness meditation, yogic breathing, gratitude and forgiveness.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
The practice of slowing down through mindfulness meditation is powerful. You are not living in your heart if you are constantly in your head and not in your body. If you take your attention and focus away from the external world you can learn how to focus on your internal landscape, free of others projections, influences and energies.
With meditation you are able listen to what is taking you away from your own body, emotions, energy and experience. To be connected to your heart you need to connect with your subtle body energies, or parts of your system that are unseen. In this way you can become a better feeler, sensor and intuit for your own desires and needs.
This also frees you to connect with your Higher Self, Source and the Universe for the most Authentic Love Relationship you will ever find. Your relationship with YOU.
2. Yoga and Yogic Breathing
Yoga and yogic breathing is an incredible tool for relaxation and mindfulness. It is said that most people only breath to 30% of their capacity in a day, starving their body, brain and cells of oxygen. This is not helping the body-mind system heal, but hindering it and creating more resistance. Remember, we are looking for NO resistance so we can have our energy flowing. When we slow down and relax, we can use the breath to release toxins, emotions and anything that is creating tension which blocks the flow of our energy and creates illness.
Living an ‘attitude of gratitude’ brings so much heart and joy to your life experience. When you are practicing what you are grateful for there is no room for negativity – your heart is filled with Love. In that life expanding energy, you attract more life expanding energy like prosperity, abundance and soul nourishment.
The Dr. Emoto water research projects brought so much light to this. When he used positive words and blessing vibrations over water, the crystalline structure of the water harmonized to create sacred geometry. When the water was sent negative energy and vibration it became dissonant, fragmented and chaotic.
It’s up to you to bring your vibration into alignment with love and your heart.
The antidote to grief, sadness and isolation is to forgive, or ‘give forth’ the energy that you are holding onto from the past that created your suffering and pain. If the heart is union, then you want to offer your heart’s energy of union to your experience of separation. You can do this through the power of recognizing that what happened was for the greatest good. The universe always leads with what’s best for your soul’s evolution.The life lesson you received is bringing you back home to your heart.
Deepak Chopra had a phrase that always stuck with me in a meditation of his, “Forgiveness is for me, Forgiveness sets me free.” Set yourself free of your pain by offering yourself love and compassion.
Opening your heart is an ongoing practice of relaxation, releasing resistance and honoring your own healing path. Every day you have a choice to live more fully in your heart or to create more separation. If you want to feel good more of the time, it can be as simple as starting to practice one of these self-love tools.
May you feel peace and union in your heart today.
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photo credit: courtney-hedger @unsplash