I have been focusing a lot on my heart chakra lately. I do not know why, but it is almost like IT has been drawing ME, to it. I believe very deeply in the importance of the health of the heart chakra, and that many ailments and/or illnesses in this area of the body (heart, lungs, breast tissue), are intricately related to the energy of the heart itself, and are not exclusive to the actual organ—although they are all interrelated. If a person suffers from a heart-attack or is diagnosed with breast cancer, I always wonder about the state of his or her emotions, and if he or she has any buried and/or unhealed feelings of sadness or loss that have been festering over time, now manifesting itself as disease.
When I say “the energy of the heart,” I mean the spiritual, emotional, and energetic body that surrounds and invades the heart. A person’s heart organ can be functioning perfectly well, with the aorta and all of the ventricles and atriums, all strong, and sturdy, and efficient. And then this person can suffer some kind of an emotional loss, such as the death of a loved one, a break-up, or another kind of emotional trauma, and his or her heart (the actual organ) may often begin to go berserk. Physical symptoms that never before existed, may occur shortly after a painful and jarring event, perhaps within a matter of months. Many people believe these two separate types of events (the tragedy and the resulting health upset), have nothing to do with one another; but I think in many cases they are absolutely and without question, integrally related.
Image borrowed from here (The Goddess Attainable did the coloring)
Everyone suffers from pain and loss, but some people have a more difficult time processing this pain than others. Some do not want to face the pain at all, and just keep moving forward, never looking back. These are the people that concern me the most, in terms of healing. Working through our pain is definitely possible, but it is never easy—although I have also found that it is never as difficult as we fear. I believe that facing our pain is imperative and that the quality of our life and our health actually depends upon it.
I share a bit of my own experience with this in one of my previous posts: BEAUTIFUL FACE, PART III: YOUR INNARDS.
My twin sister and I, for our birthday last year, decided to spend a weekend at an “I Can Do It” conference in Philadelphia. This conference hosted many spiritual speakers and teachers, and we had the opportunity to hear Gregg Braden speak. Gregg’s passion and area of expertise is exploring and teaching about the wisdom of the heart itself and the connection between the heart and the mind. During his talk, he demonstrated ways in which science is now showing that the heart has an actual mind of its own (can think, feel, respond, etc.), and that true healing comes when we as human beings can learn to allow our heart to inform our mind, and not the other way around.
My sister (right) and I (left) with our conference-provided journals at the “I Can Do It” conference, September 2016
An interesting point that I have been realizing about my heart, is the incredibly gradual and gentle fashion in which it seems to heal itself. Again, I am talking about my heart in terms of emotions and energy, rather than the healing of the actual physical organ, although I think this idea applies to both forms. Below is a timeline illustrating an example of my heart-healing process after a significant loss.
- Five-year relationship break-up
- 24 hours after break-up, in order to protect my heart from shock, my body broke out in head-to-toe hives, lasting for about a week
- Several months later, my heart seized up like a charley horse and I thought I was having a heart-attack (this involved an ambulance and a trip to the emergency room)
- It is fascinating to note that after all of the tests the doctors ran on my heart, the health of the actual organ was in tip-top shape
- I continued to have extreme aftershocks of shooting pain in my chest, on and off for another three days/nights
- These aftershocks then tapered off to once every couple of months
- At this point I had started to do some gentle aerobic exercises to get my heart feeling strong and healthy again. I intuited that my heart, the organ itself, was actually kind of broken and that physical support in the form of exercise was needed.
- Over the next year, I had noticeable waves of aching pain sweep through either my left or right breast (there did not seem to be much consistency), not lasting very long, but definitely perceptible
- I visited a doctor about this, and again, they found nothing physically wrong with me
- Over the next several years, every once in a while, perhaps after a stressful or emotional situation or experience, I would feel a chest or breast pain lasting only several moments, and then it would pass
- It is now almost 11 years later and I have not had any pain in this area for years
Everything about the heart is gentle. Everything about the way this organ operates, takes time. Every message that the heart has to share, is shared quietly, and in perfect timing—this timing almost never aligns with our ego mind. Every part of our heart is wise. It feels everything and knows everything about us. This is an area of our body (both energetic and physical) that is worth focusing on and trusting, healing and opening. How do we do this? From my personal experience, I will share with you some ways. If you are not used to thinking in this way, you can easily dismiss these things as “corny,” “cliché,” “obvious,” or just plain “dumb.” These reactions are the opposite energy of the heart. These thoughts are fear-based and represent the wall of hurt and pain that surrounds all of our hearts. We all have these reactions when we see and feel soft, innocent, gentle, and tender things in life. It can make us feel so uncomfortable to be so exposed and open. Brene Brown has said that “Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience,” and I agree. It is much easier to feel and think cynical, hard-edged thoughts, and to not allow ourselves to melt into openness. But this is what is truly required to heal and balance the heart.
Libby as Wonder Woman with heart wide open (Bitmoji)
- Watching, spending time with, and/or caring for an animal
- As I said, I know this sounds obvious, but a baby is one of the most innocent creatures on earth, not yet scathed by the harsh energies of this ego-based world, and only knows gentle love and tender openness
- Another obvi, but scent and emotions are beyond connected to one another, and taking the time to inhale floral fragrances, instantly melts the walls of your heart. This is not to say that a few inhales of some rosebuds can immediately heal your painful heart scars. However, this is more about making yourself open to the practice of doing things in a softer, gentler, and more thoughtful way. Even though flowers are very delicate, their fragrance and presence are also incredibly powerful. Anyone and everyone can be a fan of flowers (with the exception of people who are allergic to flowers, although I believe it is possible that this ailment can be healed and balanced through emotional and energetic exploration as well, but that is for another discussion), but how often do you actually stop to smell a flower? Once a year? Step it up to once a week and see how your life begins to change—look for changes in SUBTLE ways. The heart is subtle and deep, not dramatic or intense.
- Meditating while focusing on your heart space (center of your chest). Deepak Chopra has a very easy, accessible, and affective method for this, from his book “The Path To Love,” that you can try here
- Green is the color of the heart chakra; so, wearing green, working with green crystals, surrounding yourself with green objects and things, and focusing on the color green during meditations, all assist with heart-healing
- Spending time in nature will instantly begin gently melting the walls of your heart. Nature is very aligned with the heart (and vice-versa), so this is one of the easiest and most effortless ways to work on your heart health. Nature has a high vibrational energy, as does the heart, and when these energies sync up, your heart cannot help but fall into balance
- Practicing kindness as a discipline
- This one can be tricky if you are feeling depleted yourself, are having trouble getting your needs met, and/or are feeling empty with nothing to give. Yet disciplining yourself to respond to others in kindness, rather than your usual reactions, is actually one of the most powerful ways to heal, balance, and open your heart. Do not kid yourself. This sounds like a no-brainer, but when you are feeling lousy, it is DIFFICULT to be kind to others in every given moment.
Image borrowed from this heart-chakra meditation
This is no small subject matter. This is not a light topic to tackle. And this is a life-long practice for all human beings. There is no shortcut for healing the heart. It requires facing your emotions and knowing that there is nothing to fear through this process.
I felt compelled to share about this because I see so often in my personal life, time after time, example after example, of heart pain (or any kind of pain for that matter) linking back to the corresponding energetic chakra. I find it fascinating and look forward to my own journey of healing. It does not have to be a terrifying drag. Looking at your own painful emotions is not dangerous. Crying will not kill you. I promise. Avoiding tears may in time though. Keeping your emotions bottled up is a serious health hazard. I truly believe this.
Take care of yourself goddesses (this goes for gods as well, and perhaps even more so, since our culture is less supportive of you exploring this type of healing and expression).
This is kind of a wide open quote, but to me it means that we need to give the mind less power, and focus our trust and energy more on the heart. We SOOO often dismiss the wisdom of the heart. And I think this quote is basically saying that we have it completely backwards. It is time for us to turn and pivot!