Life itself is the proper binge. Julia Child
It has dawned on me that this little ‘experiment’ of mine, this wide-eyed and unsuspecting foray into “I wonder what would happen if I just put my seven intentions out there?” has begun to take on proportions akin to opening Pandora’s Box.
Think of young Charlie entering the Chocolate Factory, senses enlivened, beliefs challenged, reality turned on its head. Nothing is impossible: there’s Oompa-loompas, you can fly, or be transformed into pure energy and beamed across a room, or launch through the roof in a great glass elevator with dreams of unlimited abundance.
Now that I come to think of it, that’s pretty much exactly like the metaphysical journey I have embarked upon.
Intuition is our primal sense. Long before we are introduced to rational thinking, we sense life. Caroline Myss
As part of the facilitator training course I am undertaking, each week I connect by phone with my Chakradance mentor. When I spoke to her last week, after my rather intense third chakra experience (see here), and discussed moving on to the heart chakra, she said, rather optimistically, “this should be a lovely, restful place for you.”
Even as she said it, although I tentatively agreed, I knew I was not getting off that lightly. Right there I set my intention for the week. Because intentions do not have to be either conscious or positive, don’t you know.
And the heart, I mean really? Of all the energy centres, surely this is the clanger. (You can see how I set myself up here, mentally, right?)
Reflecting on the heartbreak in my life, much of it in my imagination, starting with reading ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ as a pre-teen, onto the stream of boys who didn’t even notice me (whom I never so much as looked at, never mind spoke to, so shy was I). I realise I have been in a near-constant state of unrequited love of one form or another my whole life.
People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss. Nick Hornby
Or reading books about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss…
My heart is always aching for something or someone. As K. D. so poignantly sang, “constant craving has always been…”
Even through the darkest phase, be it thick or thin, always someone marches brave, here beneath my skin. K. D. Lang
This craving has been in me forever. It pulsates from within, alternating waves of pleasure and pain, directing little electrical impulses out into the world to scan for the remedy. At various times in my life I have attempted to satiate this craving with a procession of people, tricks, treats, and such things. There are times when I still think a new house, job, lover, body, accolade, or just a massive block of chocolate will fulfil this craving. Alas, the world of the physical has failed to sate me – maybe the journey into the heart and soul will prove more effective.
The dance of Anahata – the heart chakra – is soft and gentle and loving. The guided imagery invites the energies of the earth mother to enter through the base chakra, and the sky father through the crown chakra, to meet and dance in the heart. I’m sure you can imagine how wonderfully divine this union feels.
The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly. G.K. Chesterton
The heart chakra is energetically connected to our relationships with others. In the last couple of years, there has been a giant spotlight shining on this area of my life. It makes me very uncomfortable. (Ha! At best it makes me uncomfortable, when I’m not writhing in all-consuming pain, that is.) While I have some truly beautiful and loving relationships in my life, I also have some not so healthy ones.
The pattern that is emerging in this dynamic, the archetype if you will, is the matyr or victim. It is the aspect of me that doesn’t speak up, accepts substandard behaviour from others, justifies madly, but ultimately unsatisfactorily, why it’s okay for them to treat me like this, and then becomes drained, as all my energy races off to these unreciprocal connections.
If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative. Know when to close the account. Marc Chernoff.
Interestingly the archetype of the heart chakra is the lover, with its shadow, the pretender. Initially the pretender sounds like a ‘player’ in the worst, most deliberate sense of the word. A heart-breaker.
That’s not something many of us would want to acknowledge in ourselves. Yet, when I sat with this idea, and thought of it as the polarity to the lover, a different picture began to emerge. Who hasn’t pretended in relationships, from the “no, your bum doesn’t look big in that,” to the “I’m busy,” when actually I’m upset, to staying in a relationship past the point of knowing it is not serving the highest good of either person? Do I pretend things are okay when they are not? Hells, yeah.
If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels. Tennessee Williams
Why do we do this? I say we, as I am sure I’m not alone here. For me, there are several key motivations: security, fear of change, fear of hurting someone, and fear of pain. I pretend in order to avoid these things, and yet experience has shown me that the pretender only hurts myself and others in the end, because she doesn’t trust in love and truth as the ultimate authorities. She tries to manipulate things to be secure and happy, she is truly a player of hearts, not a lover.
As such, I am home with a seized-up back. That’s what happens to me when the emotional release gets too intense, my mind takes over, my body packs it in, and all I can do is rest or walk very gingerly.
Having been here before, it doesn’t frighten as much as it used to, when I would entertain fears of never walking again, and even worse never dancing or being able to do yoga. Now I just get angry at myself for not being more spiritual, as if there was some magical way to bypass this experience.
There’s an old, well-worn energy of ‘I’ve wrecked everything, I never do anything right, now my life is ruined’. And yes, I know when I articulate it, that sounds like a teenage tantrum, but when I’m in it, it is totally real. Like, totally.
As a result of my unhealthy relationships with myself and others, and my lack of energy flow, I turn in on myself, and attack my own already depleted system. Since I’m talking archetypes, that’s classic victim right there.
The wound is the place where the Light enters you. Rumi
It is only really occurring to me now, the truly profound link between my fourth intention, vibrant health, and the fourth energy centre, the heart chakra. To be vibrant is to be in possession of all my energy, which suggests I am not leaking energy through unhealthy relationships and emotional attachments.
A vibrant person knows how to hold their energy: I respect myself, I have healthy boundaries, I expect and receive loving behaviours from others. I am passionate in all my endeavours. I am authentic and true to myself.
This is what the heart chakra teaches me. It teaches me the difference between force and power. The heart chakra is infinitely powerful, yet uses no force. Like a fire that radiates heat, without diminishing it’s flames, the heart radiates love effortlessly.
Power is in the now, force is trying to push the now into some future point in time and space. Force is trying to make something happen. Power just is. It is the natural state of the heart chakra. It is accessible only by allowing and trust.
The heart teaches me the greatest wisdom is to always ask “what would be loving to me right now?”
We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be. Jane Austen
The answer to that was allowing myself the most gentle, loving, powerful healing I could find. As soon as I set this intention, out of my wallet fell my friend’s Reiki business card. “Okay, angels,” I said – yep, I’m talking to angels now – that sounds fine.
The healing session was amazing, my friend told me that my energy flow up and down my chakras was gridlocked, like a manic street in India, where all the drivers had decided to go in different directions at the same time, it was stuck. She moved the energy and it was utter bliss. The mental fog cleared, the heightened emotional states dissipated. Ah!
When your energy vibrates at a frequency that is in direct alignment with what the universe has been attempting to deliver your entire life, you begin to live in the flow and true miracles start to happen. Panache Desai
Freed from the mental and emotional gridlock, I could finally experience the flow of my heart energy. (I previously wrote about the heart chakra here.)
The sankrit word for this chakra, Anahata means ‘unstruck.’ Meditating on this concept I intuit this as meaning the heart is ever pure, ever ‘unstruck’ by life’s hurts. The pain I feel at times in my heart is a mental construct I have not been able to let go of. But my heart energy is sound, intact. She sings her sweet song that I could hear, if only I clear away the debris.
Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. William James
What appears to be happening to me, as a result of my explorations into the world of intentions, is that I have discovered a world beyond the physical, a world of information and energy that operates invisibly, until your vibrational energy resonates highly enough to experience it.
Caron, the Reiki master I met this week, put it beautifully. The physical world is dense in energetic terms, so we can see and touch it. The emotional world has a higher vibration, but most of us can still sense it in others, even if we can’t measure it or see it, we know when we walk into a room and someone is quietly seething with rage. It’s like love, we can’t measure it, but we know how to feel it when it’s there.
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Albert Einstein
When we become attuned to our chakras, we open ourselves to experiences beyond the physical; higher vibrational experiences. And because we cannot see them or measure them objectively, or even sometimes describe them adequately in words, there is a feeling that they are not real, that they are, at best, products of an over-active imagination, and at worst, symptoms of psychosis, or a ruse designed to falsely elevate the practitioner to a ‘visionary’ or ‘cha-ching guru’ status.
Now I am not going to pretend to be an expert on any of this. I feel like a little girl in the dark at a great museum, shining her weedy torch-light on amazing masterworks, but only seeing a fraction of what is there: the gold of Tutankhamen’s tomb, the hair of a Botticelli angel, mere glimpses of something that only hints at the majesty of the whole.
The struggle of the mind to keep itself free from every sort of bondage–to remain curious, open, unsatiated in all its relations with nature–is tenfold more difficult than the cultivation of a stable, satisfying point of view, but a thousandfold more precious. Gardner Murphy
The other day I had an hour to kill, so I headed to my favourite esoteric store to buy a book and (another) pack of oracle cards. On the drive over, the thought popped into my mind that I should see if my favourite tarot reader was available. If it was meant to be, she would be, if not, not, I thought.
As I entered the store there was a woman standing directly in front of me, with the loveliest, most welcoming face, she looked up at me and I spontaneously said ‘Hi’ like she was a long lost friend. I’d never seen her before in my life.
It turns out, she was the fill-in reader for the day, an amazing woman with 35 years experience, and yes, she was available at the time I was.
I had the oddest sensation of angels clapping their hands with glee at the two of us finding each other in such a serendipitous way.
She gave me an amazing reading, in no small part due to the energy she brings as a beautiful wise woman, an elder, she called herself. I felt like we were absolutely destined to meet, that she could be a wonderful mentor for me.
The first card she saw, from the bottom of the pack was courage – from the French word ‘coeur’ meaning heart. “Your heart chakra is open and loving, I can see it clearly, your block is mental.”
What a relief. Mental? Is that all. No problemo! I mean seriously, after the pain of the week, both physically and emotionally, the news that my heart was fine and dandy was a HUGE relief.
The reading was beautiful, full of goddess images of meditation and women’s circles, of wisdom and knowing. The reading highlighted many of my intentions, and showed me how so many are manifesting.
The intentions of home, community, purpose, health, abundance, joy, and love are all manifesting in my life, as a direct result of the intentions I have made and nurtured in this blog.
“You bring the truth through your creativity” she says “you are a light bearer.”
At the end of the session, filled with energy and excitement, I was uncharacteristically forward, I asked her how I could see her again, she gave me her card, and I nearly fell off my chair. The image was almost identical to one I drew as a mandala after my heart chakradance. A heart with wings and flames.
I have never been entirely convinced – although ever hopeful – of the concepts of destiny and soul connections. I am now.
Apart from the beautiful and amazingly accurate reading, and the powerful sense of synchronicity, the great piece of wisdom she imparted was in response to a question I asked her.
As part of an astrological spread, where she laid out 12 cards for each of the astrological houses each of which correspond to an aspect of my life, in this case, home – she drew the beautiful ‘Patience’ card. As you can see it is a gorgeous image of a woman meditating with light and stars all around her head. And below is another Chakradance mandala drawing of mine. Oh now, this is just getting spooky!
Looking at this beautiful image reminded me of how I feel in meditation practice.
“That’s how I feel at home!” I cried.
“But why can’t I maintain that feeling out in the world, in my relationships, at work? Why do I get so drained by people?”
She replied that the key is loving ourselves. When we love ourselves, we don’t give ALL our energy away, we keep what we need. We take care of ourselves as well as others. She told me to repeat the mantra “I love myself”, before going into the world, before a tough meeting, a job interview, anything where I am engaging with others. She said when we are in fear we give away our energy, but when we love ourselves we maintain our energy.
And it’s not spooky at all. It is just rather confronting to the logical mind that a seemingly random thing like Tarot can delve so deeply into our psyche. But that’s a foray for another post!
She also emphasised a need for me to connect with a women’s circle, the desire for meaningful community. Fortuitously, I was off to the first session of a Reiki Chakra Meditation group that very night. I had signed up for this group, run by a lovely friend a few weeks ago. It was such a strong intuitive ‘ding’ that I should go, and I am so grateful. We laid out yoga mats and pillows and blankets and meditated and talked and laughed, it was like a spiritual slumber party.
The meditation was so beautiful, I was in a field full of yellow sunflowers, surrounded by woodlands, and then a deer doe came to me. The vision then shifted to a paddock at my aunty’s home, where my cousin was leading me by hand, through the long summer grass and dandelion flowers, towards the dam, one of my very favourite childhood places.
After the meditation we all discussed our experiences and looked up the meaning of the various imagery we had encountered. The image of a deer represents a gentle safe place at a time we are feeling endangered or threatened – so perfect after the week I had. The yellow flowers represent my personal power, gentle, radiant, and still. The childhood memory was a place my inner child felt safe and happy.
I walked out with such a big smile on my face after a really challenging week.
Practice meditation. You’ll find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise. Paramahansa Yogananda
So this week has taught me to just go with it. Emotional up and downs, intuitive dings, synchronicity and spooky deja-vu, just going with the flow and letting myself be guided by my inner wisdom has been the most powerful and empowering experience for me.
The image of the turtle repeated in my card readings – the reminder to go slowly, to take refuge in my shell as needed. That love will unfurl in her own time.
Living from the heart. Releasing the need to remain tight and controlled. Letting the unfolding happen. True that.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin
Affirmations for the heart chakra, as you say them, emphasise a different word each time and feel the difference (thanks to Candy Van Rood for this affirmation technique):
I love myself.
I LOVE myself
I love MYSELF
I am love
I AM love
I am LOVE
If you would like to contact either of the amazing healers I mentioned in this post:
Reiki with Justine at Seven Points Healing http://www.sevenpoints.com.au/#about
Astrology and tarot readings with Candy Van Rood http://www.transformationalastrologyandtarot.com
If you are interested in Chakradance http://www.chakradance.com
Or the chakras themselveshttp://veda.wikidot.com/the-chakras
Find your archetype here:https://www.archetypes.com/Community
Title image here
Card artwork by Candy Van Rood here
All other artwork from the Mythical Goddess Tarot Cards available here by Katherine Skaggs