4 Key Practices To Open Your Heart

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.

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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.

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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.

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3. Gratitude

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.

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4. Forgiveness

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.

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May you feel peace and union in your heart today.

To receive meditations, affirmations and other inspirational tools for self-care and self-love, click this link and enter your email address!

xo Nicole

photo credit: courtney-hedger @unsplash

Nicole Doherty Reiki Healing Los Angeles, California

What is Reiki and How Does It Help Me?


What is Reiki energy healing?

When potential clients ask me what Reiki is I always ask them to simply book a session and experience it themselves. Describing an energetic healing session is like trying to describe Burning Man to someone who has never been.  You just have to experience it for yourself! Every session is different and the energy healing customizes to your bodies’ personal energy map.  That being said, I’ve described what it is, how it works, how it was discovered and its main benefits.

How Does it Work?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that is done through touch. A warm and soothing energy flows from the practitioner’s hands into the client and promotes relaxation and release of tension.

Reiki is a Divinely guided healing light energy that we all carry within us. Reiki practitioners get attuned* to this energy and become more available to the understanding that we all have the capacity to move and work with energy. We are all powerful, energetic beings.

Reiki is guided by Source. The practitioner does not guide the Reiki, the Reiki guides itself and the practitioner is simply a channel for its direction. As the client, your energetic body tells the Reiki practitioner where it needs assistance and the practitioner becomes simply a conduit.   The Reiki practioners also receive healing while giving healing, so it’s a beautiful exchange of energy.

Reiki is easy to learn and gets more powerful and attuned as you practice.   There are various levels of Reiki and in each level you receive symbols that help different aspects of the energetic system.   Once you are proficient and receiving good bio feedback using the first system/level, then you will feel confident to move to the next level, until you reach Master status, thus then attuning others to this energy.

Reiki practitioners practice deep meditation on these specific symbols during your healing based on downloads they are receiving from your energy field.

How Was it Discovered?

The symbols were discovered in the same way that enlightened masters throughout time have received downloads – through a meditation journey high up in the mountains.

Reiki is a practice that is referenced in scriptures from ancient Tibet and was rediscovered by Mikao Usui in 1922, a doctor of Theology with the command of the English, Japenese, Chinese and Sanskrit languages.

After a 21-day meditation in solitude at Mt. Kurama, he was spiritually awakened and delivered the ancient symbols that are keys and vehicles for Reiki healing energy. Usui began to create healing miracles with this energy the moment after their discovery.

He opened up healing clinics all over Japan and subsequently it has spread in popularity in hospitals, clinics and private practices around the globe.

What Are People’s Experiences?

Here is some feedback that I have received from clients, so you can understand the wide range of experiences you can have.

“ During my session I felt energy and colors moving throughout my body. She helped me …. areas that were blocked… to help unblock these chakras. I left feeling grounded, yet light…”

“I always leave appointments … feeling energized and inspired…”

“… incredibly intuitive and identified my main areas tension and depletion without my telling her.  The treatment itself was super relaxing ….having left the treatment I was able to see more openness and capacity to give in my interactions with others. “

“… I felt uplifted, as if the air around me became galvanized….personalized the treatment based on my bio-feedback… I literally felt the world dissolve away.  I experienced powerful emotion at times and left feeling grateful.”

“… dredged up and released stored anger and frustration in me, leaving me feeling like I am walking on air. “

“…the minute you placed your hands above my head I saw a white beam of light and so much warmth and relaxation…”

What Are Some Benefits?

Here is list of benefits you may experience:

    • Balances the flow of energy for overall well-being
    • Provides relaxation and release of tension
    • Offers better and deeper sleep
    • Nourishes the physical organs and tissues
    • Supports the cells of the body and vital functioning
    • Shifts negative thinking and releases blocks that cause illness
    • Raises the vibration of the energy field
    • Cleans the aura
    • Clears the chakras, nadis and meridians
    • Brings up relationship issues to the surface for clearing

If you are interested in learning more about Reiki for your own healing, or interested in learning how to become a Reiki practitioner, feel free to contact me. As a Master Reiki practitioner, I can attune you to the Reiki energy or provide you with healing sessions.

*My next Reiki 1 Training & Attunement is on Saturday, January 31st 12:30pm to 7:30pm in a private residence in Venice.

Email for more info.