The green light

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Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. F Scott Fitzgerald

My boyfriend’s six year-old daughter was telling me why she liked the green light best – of the traffic light trifecta. “Because green means go.” She said. Hells yeah, I thought. That’s deep.

I love talking to kids about stuff. They often have such clear intuition, unsophisticated, unclogged by a lifetime of conditioning.

Green means go – go with the flow. The natural flow. It represents nature, it is the colour of grass, and trees, and moss. It is also the colour that resonates with the heart chakra. The centre that flows with the energy of love and the element of air.

The heart gives us the courage – from coeur, French for heart – the ‘green light’ to go for our dreams, to go with the ones we love, wherever that may lead us.

In my meditations recently, I see a verdant green glade in my mind’s eye. It runs aside a windy path, flanked by lush trees and ferns. So much greenery that even the light in the glade is a lush green, and so bright that the effect of the experience is to feel bathed in green light. It’s indescribably beautiful and nurturing.

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God loved birds and created trees. Man loved birds and made cages. Jacques Deval

The Sanskrit word for the heart chakra is अनाहत, Anāhata, meaning “un-struck.” This name conceptualises the idea that the heart is resonant, an ‘unstruck’ instrument echoing the sounds of the celestial realm. Anahata also means unhurt and unbeaten. Which is a nice image for those feeling a little weary of heart.

The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, and it rules the heart and lungs.This chakra is associated with the feelings of love and compassion. Anahata is related to the element air, it is accessible through the breath. Visualising breathing through your heart centre, imagining love-filled light entering your body via your heart is a wonderful heart-opening exercise.

Shamanic practitioner, Sandra Ingerman, writes that air is our first experience as we are born, as we take in our first breath, and our very last experience as this life ends, and we breathe out our last breath. With every breath we are in relationship with air. In indigenous cultures it is believed that air – in the wind – carries messages throughout the world.

And we all breathe the same air. Imagine where it has been, what energies it carries.

When the heart chakra is unbalanced or blocked, it can manifest itself in the upper back, the heart, rib cage, blood (circulatory system), lungs and diaphragm, thymus gland, breasts, and oesophagus. Emotionally, imbalance in the heart chakra is indicated by difficulty with love, lack of hope, despair, moodiness, envy, fear, jealousy, anger, and anxiety.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Khalil Gibran

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The thymus gland is co-located with this chakra. Named for its likeness to the thyme leaves, the thymus is associated with the production of thymosin – a hormone which has a direct effect on our immunological system.

According to Amanda McQuade Crawford, in traditional societies, the heart was seen as intricately linked to immunity. Instinctively, when we feel upset or stressed we press our hand to our chest. This is know as the “thymus thump” and actually stimulates our thymus gland and heart chakra to give us courage and a boost of energy.

With less than a week to go before my first class, I can do with all the courage and energy I can get! My chakra-based business plan is very much centred around the heart chakra – and the themes of connecting with community, service to others, inspiring courage, and co-creation.

I ask myself the question, how can I co-create this vision with others? First I share my vision wholeheartedly with people I meet, and I ask potential customers what they need, what are they searching for in their lives. And I am looking to collaborate with other service providers to enhance people’s experiences. Its a focus on giving.

When I focus on giving, it removes the fear I feel when I focus of what I am getting – or not getting.

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.

This chakra is represented by a gray lotus flower with 12 petals. Within the lotus flower are two triangles intersecting, called a shatkona. This symbol in Hinduism represents the union of the masculine and feminine form.

I find it helpful to use this analogy in my own relationship. The bringing together of two disparate energies through the connective energy of the heart. When I feel disconnected from my lover, I often place a hand on his chest and visualise green light between us. He thinks it’s new age nonsense, but that’s okay, it works anyway!

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There is always that torque between our desire to be independent and our yearning to be a union. The heart chakra is the bridge between these extremes, as well as the bridge between the physical – lower three chakras – and the metaphysical centres – upper three chakras.

What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home. I want to be held. I don’t want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at nights. I don’t want to tell you where I am. I want to keep a place among the rocks where no one can find me. I want to be with you. Jeanette Winterson

The heart chakra Chakradance – the dance of love – balances these energies. The heart chakradance inspires a lightness of movement, with music from ancient Spain, Egypt and China. These dance styles use gentle arm movements and whirling, to inspire a feeling of soaring into the heavens, whilst connecting lightly with mother earth.

I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while. Haruki Murakami

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, and fearful thoughts.

Our love is an energy that emanates from our vital core, through our heart centre and out into the world. In order to be a light-bringer to the world, we ensure that our inner energies are in harmony.

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Last night, in my Chakradance journey, I saw an image of a human being as a connector between father sky and mother earth and the elements of air, water, fire and earth. The connecting point is the heart centre. When our hearts are energised and we are connected to these forces of nature, we can bring them into life. We grow plants, and collect water, we absorb sunlight and walk gently on the earth. Our purpose is to contribute our unique brand of service to the community and the earth itself.

We are the manifestation of all these energies in form. Added to that we have consciousness of this power. Alongside that comes responsibility to use it well.

It’s always hard to come back to the daily reality of jobs and cars and mortgages from this space. Yet, this is the space where the love energy is most needed. Small actions have profound effects. Keep your corner of the earth green, protect its water and trees. Act with daily kindness and compassion to those around you.

See your lover, your children, your family, as the same divine manifestations of this union of all that is. Honour every living thing. Bring love into your every thought, every action today. Steadfastly focus on the green light.

His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before. James Joyce

The green light means go. Go for your dreams, your loves, live your life with your whole heart.

Affirmations by Natalie Southgate:

I am a compassionate person.

I have open, honest relationships.

I am generous to myself.

I forgive easily.

I accept others as they are.

I breathe deeply and effortlessly.

I accept myself just as I am.

Bless!

 

Sources:

Yoga and the Chakras

Dancing Your Heart Chakra- the key to unconditional love, By Natalie Southgate, Wellbeing July 27, 2013

Hormones Demystified, by Amanda McQuade Crawford, Yoga Journal May-Jun 1997

Images:

Green Shiva

Forest Glade by Matthias Edstrom

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Heart leaves

Thyme leaves

Women Heart

Sunshine and daisies and depression

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Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve suffered from bouts of depression since I was 13. The black cloud is always there lurking, waiting for the moments when I’m over-tired and stressed, disappointed in life, but it’s only truly debilitating for me at times.

Normally, if I take good care of myself, and the depression is not too prevalent, I am a very happy, perky, glass half-full, capable, type of person. I love to smell the roses, roll around the grass, and pick daisies in the sunshine. I love to dance and smile and laugh.

Possibly my tendency to depression started even earlier. I do remember lying in bed at night as a young child, ruminating. Worrying about my Dad being out in a storm – he had a habit of falling and breaking bones on rainy nights. Worrying about the Earth suspended so precariously as it is, spinning in infinite space. Worrying about infinity, because I couldn’t fathom the concept. I knew there was a big bang, but what was before that? How can something come from nothing?

Worry is encoded in my DNA, inherited and finely-honed by generations of Irish women. It is my gateway drug to depression. Left alone long enough, in a negative mind-spin, and I can go from content to despair in 180 seconds flat.

Here’s the rub. Life can be great. It can be fun and joyous and fulfilling. Life can also be right up in your face all mess and guts and mud. Because that’s reality. And sometimes reality is all those things at once. The love and the stench of life.

Robin Williams’ tragic death this week has got so many of us, me included, all thinking about life and death. And depression.

I guess, for me, it feels like I lost a member of my extended family. I didn’t know the guy, but he featured in my life for three decades. Like the eccentric uncle who lives overseas, who you never actually see, but sends ridiculously funny postcards from exotic locales at Christmastime, and you just adore him from a distance.

I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but this week quite a few of the people I love are seriously depressed. And even though I have experienced depression, it’s one of those things that when you’re not in it, you don’t really get it. I look at my beautiful, talented, “so much to live for” friends and just think, but why?

If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do. Stephen Fry

I read a great article this week called Meditation Isn’t Enough – A Buddhist perspective on suicide by Lodro Rinzler. He touches on the stigma of depression, not only in society at large, but in the Buddhist community. I have found this to be so in many communities that focus on a spiritual way of life. Many make claims, to which I have subscribed in the past, that if you practise (insert technique/program here) well enough, it will heal all your ills.

I have seen some Buddhist teachers make remarks about depression as a form of suffering; that one should be able to meditate and have everything be okay, in lieu of prescription medication. That is not true; meditation is not a cure-all for mental illness… Buddhists can’t just take everything to the meditation cushion and hope it will work out. When things get tough, as in to the point that you can’t imagine getting out of bed in the morning tough, you need help. And there should be no shame in seeking it. Lodro Rinzler

I have suffered periodic bouts of depression since I was 13. Depression and puberty hit me in one fell swoop and I went from a moody but pretty sparky kid, to a sullen, tubby, and terminally sad teenager.

I was put on antidepressants as a teen after an attempted overdose, but I didn’t stay on them. I’m not sure why. As a young adult, I ‘self-medicated’ with alcohol and recreational drugs, until I found myself in rehab and a 12 step program at the age of 25.

The 12 step program absolutely saved my life from alcohol and drug misuse, but never really addressed the depression and anxiety that underpinned it. As such last year, 14 and half years free of any mind-altering substances, I found myself suicidally depressed. I was also extremely physically unwell at the time. In fact, I basically crashed, broken down in mind, body, and spirit.

My body ached with heaviness and lethargy. I was tired all the time but couldn’t sleep. Trying to talk to people or be out in the world was physically painful. My focus, concentration, cognitive, and speech faculties declined rapidly. I felt completely worthless and alone. And then, it got worse…

Finally a good friend intervened and told me to go to the doctor. She lovingly said to me, “How bad do you want this to get before you admit you need help?” At that stage I was unable to sleep, eat, work, or leave the house. I was having back-to-back weeping or panic attacks.

I don’t want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and nothingness washing over me like a sluggish wave. Whatever is happening to me is my own fault. I have done something wrong, something so huge I can’t even see it, something that’s drowning me. I am inadequate and stupid, without worth. I might as well be dead. Margaret Atwood

My anxiety was such that I would spend the day circling my flat, deciding to do one thing, say a load of washing, then getting distracted by the need to vacuum the floor, buy food, and wash the dishes – activities that only a few months before I seemed to manage with ease. And after telling myself how completely useless a human being I was, I’d end up on the floor in fetal position, sobbing, and thinking that really I should just kill myself because it wasn’t getting better and everyone (my twelve year old son included) would be better off without me.

That to me is the nature of depression. I HONESTLY thought my son would be better off with me dead. That’s crazy town! I know logically no matter how bad a mother I am – and really I’m okay – my family would always rather have me here. Plus the fact I have been very close to families where members have suicided and I know the devastation. Yet, none of that was powerful enough to overcome my depression.

There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer. Barbara Kingsolver

If you are fortunate enough to have never experienced depression, I find this blog post by Allie Brosh explains it rather well…

And people offer all kinds of unhelpful advice, “why don’t you go for a walk?”, “you need a hobby,” ” stop worrying!” “you need to go out and have fun!” “I felt sad when… and I did… and it got better.”

Now while all these suggestions, in addition to good diet and exercise, are wonderful ways to manage inactive depression, when I am in a depressive episode, I can’t do any of those things, and you suggesting I should, only makes me feel even more hopeless and sad.

During this time, my favourite periods were when I was completely numb, all cried out, no real anxiety, just a low level hum. As long as no-one looked at me too closely, or knew me as the vivacious, bubbly, happy sort I could be, I could pretend to be okay.

I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full. Sylvia Plath

Fortunately between my friend’s entreaties and a moment of lucidity where I realised it was possible that if this continued, I could kill myself against my own will, I realised that none of my fears about medication could be worse than this.

As I said, I realise my thinking patterns exacerbate my depression, and I’m sure my days of self-medicating did some disastrous things to my brain chemistry. I have tried to correct this balance with diet, exercise, meditation, vitamins, essential oils, bodywork, and positivity.

However I understand depression is more complex than that, if changing my thinking, my diet, practising mindfulness, and energy work were enough to cure depression, mine would have gone long ago. My depression is a chemical imbalance, a medical condition and like other medical conditions, sometimes medicine is required.

When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore. Elizabeth Gilbert

Colin Wilson has written many books, from his first seminal work The Outsider at 24, to the one I’m currently reading Super Consciousness at 75. His life’s passion has been to understand consciousness through the examination of the great writers.

Why were the existentialists so dark and nihilistic? Why did the romantics, after discovering a world of beauty and love, invariably die to suicide and alcoholism?

Wilson suggests that many artists and writers experience glimpses into another consciousness, a place of such sublime beauty that everyday life seems, by comparison, depressingly bleak and dull. He cites the poems of W H Auden as conveying what he terms ‘life failure’ the sense that all the life force has simply gone out of a person, all the feeling, the passion, the oomph. It’s a rather neat description of depression, isn’t it?

It’s no use raising a shout.
No, Honey, you can cut that right out.
I don’t want any more hugs;
Make me some fresh tea, fetch me some rugs.
Here am I, here are you: But what does it mean?
What are we going to do?
W H Auden

Wilson had much to do with Abraham Maslow – who wrote extensively on peak experiences – but unlike Maslow who believed these experiences were random and out of our control, Wilson was sure that there was a way to create the environment for these experiences to occur.

I tend to agree. While depression is undeniably a chemical and genetic illness, there are, albeit rare, cases where depression has been cured by a spiritual awakening, Eckhart Tolle being the example that springs to mind. Tolle had a spiritual experience at the depths of his depression that not only transformed him, but resulted in many books that have given hope and comfort to many other people.

While I am very grateful to live in a time where I can take medication to alleviate my depressive symptoms, I don’t necessarily equate that with a solution to the underlying problem. Having experienced the states of both ‘life failure’ and ‘super consciousness’ that Wilson and Tolle and many others like William James write about, I want to investigate this more.

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better. Rainer Maria Rilke

Wilson writes that the ingredient lacking in ‘life failure’, that is so obviously present in ‘super consciousness’ is feeling. Now, I know folks may jump at me here, depression is full of horrible feelings, but hang on a tick. The feeling he refers to is that sense of feeling a part of all of consciousness, all of life, a feeling of connection. Depression, for me, is the complete opposite of that, it’s like someone has cut the cord to that connection. He also says a key factor is ‘absorption’ – in the sense of being truly engrossed in something we love, for me it would be writing.

These ingredients – or the lack thereof – speak to me of the heart chakra. The connectedness, the deep feeling states, and the love and deep absorption in actions that are ‘close to our hearts.’

Depression for me is associated with lethargy and a lack of will to power. As such I associate it very much with a weak or inactive solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus also governs the intellect, and to me there is no denying that depression is, initially, an illness of the intellect.

During my intensive chakradance work as part of training to be a facilitator, I had some intense experiences with this chakra. Since then I feel my inner fire has been fully ignited and by tapping into that fire, I can produce a state of energy and vibrancy which can override my natural inclination to inaction and depression.

Now, I am not for one moment suggesting I have a cure for depression, Like all medical conditions I recommend expert medical help. I do believe that there are ways to help the energy body become more resilient. For myself, depression is intricately tied to being a deep thinker and highly sensitive empathetic person, as such I am susceptible to other people’s emotions and indeed the emotions of the world as I empathise with the horrors occurring on a daily basis.

In the past, I thought suppressing this “dark side” of my personality was the way. Attempting to distract myself with happy thoughts and gratitude – which are valid practices in and of themselves, not a cure for depression. I realise now, that denial makes it worse, what I seek now, is integration.

“Depression'” means literally “being forced downwards”… When the darkness grows denser, I would penetrate to its very core and ground, and would not rest until amid the pain a light appeared to me, for in excessu affectus [in an excess of affect or passion] Nature reverses herself… Anyway that is what I would do. What others would do is another question, which I cannot answer. But for you too there is an instinct either to back out of it or to go down to the depths. But no half-measures or half-heartedness. C G Jung

In Jungian psychology the shadow is the part of self we try to deny but that must be integrated for wholeness. Depression has been my life-long shadow. Yet I see how it has taught me. Without depression I would not have empathy with the pain of others. Without depression I would not have spent long periods alone, deep in thought in a quest to better understand myself and my place in this world. Without depression I would not have sought with such hunger the words of the great writers and poets and musicians, whose soothing words salved my aching soul.

It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me. Stephen Fry

I need to be careful between the discussion of depression, as in clinical, and a broader sense of ennui or existential despair… I have both so I find it tricky. My friend says depression is not really the shadow, as the shadow is part of our normal self. Feeling bad and down isn’t necessarily a pathology, whereas clinical depression is. Similarly stress and anxiety are entirely normal and necessary responses to circumstance, but an anxiety disorder is a pathology.

The recognition and acknowledgement of my depression, the fact that it does co-exist in me with a very sparkly, bright personality is a good place to start. When I tried to ‘white light’ my depression away, to suppress and deny it, I got sicker. It is vital for me to integrate all parts of my being, to let go of the idea that the sparkly persona is preferable, to embrace myself as a whole self.

The realization of the shadow is inhibited by the persona. To the degree that we identify with a bright persona, the shadow is correspondingly dark. Thus shadow and persona stand in a compensatory relationship, and the conflict between them is invariably present in an outbreak of neurosis. The characteristic depression at such times indicates the need to realize that one is not all one pretends or wishes to be. Maxson J McDowell

So I need to make peace with my existential angst, to welcome it home and offer it a seat at the table with all my other archetypes of self, to hear its wisdom and balance out its rampaging, ravaging pain with other aspects of my being.

This is where meditation and energy work are, quite frankly, da bomb.

Connecting with the earth, the sky and my heart – using meditation techniques like the one I described in my last post – connects me to a deep and abiding source of energy and love. Every time I meditate, dance, pray, chant, or visualise light around me or others, I tap into this ancient wisdom.

My preference is to keep my body as clean of man-made substances as possible, including medication. But there is a point when that becomes foolhardy. Western medicine has saved many lives, that other therapies might have lost, and vice versa. It’s important to me to be open-minded to all therapeutic modalities.

Therapy in-and-of itself can be a mindfulness practice, where you bring your full attention for an hour each week to what is expressing itself in your body and your mind. Lodro Rinzler

It’s not that the medication has taken my depression away, but it has alleviated the symptoms to the point where I can function. To the point where I can read, and focus in meditation and dance, and write and talk. So for now, I take my medication both medical and energetic – and I thank my lucky stars that depression hasn’t taken me out, because boy has it come close at times.

And there’s nothing on my medicine packet to say any of this energetic and meditation stuff is contra-indicated, so if you haven’t already, maybe give it a try.

The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud – the obstacles of life and its suffering… The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life… Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. Goldie Hawn

Affirmations on depression (adapted from Therese Borchard’s article on Every Day Health)

I am valued even when I’m not productive.

I am loved despite my sadness.

I am not unwell because of a lack of effort or a failure at adjusting faulty thoughts.

I am appreciated even when I can’t contribute much.

I am needed even though I may feel worthless.

I am separate from my depression.

I am not any less of a person because certain people can’t understand my illness.

I have persevered and persevered and can celebrate my tenacity.

I am much more than my opinions of myself.

My brain is my friend.

My pain won’t last forever.

I am resilient.

I am a silent warrior.

I am okay where I am right now.

 

Bless!

 

Title image:

healthydunia.com

 

 

Crisis of the week – really?

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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Brault

I was joking to a friend that I should rename this blog “Tina’s crisis of the week.” It just seems like a formula lately: have challenge, have screaming melt-down, have awakening, find resolution.

I wondered, after I realised last week’s anxiety meltdown took up about 1000 words of my blog post – and presumably a similar proportion of my actual life – if maybe I could skip the meltdown and make for a more snappy read.

But seriously. What would it look like to not go down that well-trodden path? To instead, face a problem calmly and with the trust that, based on previous evidence, there were pretty good odds I could find a satisfactory solution. And besides that, losing my schizzle didn’t really help either way.

Last week I attended the launch of The Slow School Of Business – a new collaborative learning space where purpose-driven professionals can realise the potential of deep connections and foster an environment of innovation, creativity, and sharing.

Among the bevy of fantastic people I met that night was two standouts, a meditation teacher and an intuitive energy artist. The three of us had a wonderful discussion about how to keep our energy centred in this crazy world.

If it be knowledge or wisdom one is seeking, then one had better go direct to the source. And the source is not the scholar or philosopher, not the master, saint, or teacher, but life itself – direct experience of life. Henry Miller

The ‘meditation guy’ said that he stayed centred in his heart centre, and experienced reactions of his other chakras via the ‘filter’ of his heart energy.

I found myself saying “yeah, but.” When what I really thought, quite condescendingly, was “that’s all very nice, and okay for you, but in MY life there’s too many demands on me to stay heart-centred ALL the time.”

After I left the party and walked through the nighttime city, I began to reflect on my week, and on how I might have acted differently if I had been acting from my heart energy, as opposed to this mental construct of stress and pressure.

Would I have been less attached to perceived deadlines and things that, in my mind,  just ‘had to get done?’  Would I have been more responsive to real life circumstances that popped up and needed my attention, like my family and my lover?

Would putting aside my plans and designs for a moment, in order to act in loving kindness towards my loved ones, have created greater harmony and joy for me and others?

Hells yeah!

So this week I set the intention to notice when I am feeling pressured, agitated, rushed, panicked, anxious, or threatened, and consciously visualise breathing a deep green light into my heart.

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic. Anaïs Nin

It’s working beautifully. (So far, I’m on day 3.)

Traditionally, I had found when my lover and I were having deeply intimate – and for me, difficult – conversations, I would feel a pressure in my solar plexus and that familiar feeling of anxiety would begin to grow. So this time, I commenced the heart awareness, visualising green light radiating in and around my heart, and instantaneously the anxiety shifted.

There was a sense of opening, perhaps the Vedic imagery of a lotus flower unfurling is a good one here. Imagining that transition from a tight bud, into a blooming flower utilising plenty of space in its open, relaxed form.

Interestingly, my ability to listen without judgement or insecurity or a need to defend my point of view accompanied this shift. When I spoke my truth from my heart, the communication was clear and effective.

Obviously, I don’t stay in this space all the time, and I can see the difference when my analytical thinking kicks back in. Now I’m not knocking analytical thinking, it has its place, but not in relationships. My greatest wisdom in relationships comes from my heart.

This ability to change my thoughts and thereby my perceptions at will is, according to French philosopher Charles Renouvier, the essence of free will. I read this in a fabulous book I’m reading called Superconsciousness by Colin Wilson. I’m sure I’ll be commenting more on that in coming posts.

To my mind, when I engage my heart centre, my mind shifts into a different gear. It moves from a rather frenetic sense of pressure and time constraints to a focusing in on what the heart wants.

And what does my heart want? Connection. With people I love, with beauty, with nature, with the things that inspire in me a connection with something greater, something divine.

It may be that through engaging the heart-mind in this way, I can live a life where my priorities are based on love, not fear.

What does that mean? Well, let me break it down for you. When I operate from a very analytical thinking space, I always focus on the gazillion things I have to do, and I find it hard to focus as I’m always worried about hurrying up and finishing the thing I’m doing so I can start doing the next thing. But never really present with what I’m doing because I’m busy ruminating.

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. Henry Miller

As such, I can become stressed and pressured, quite inefficient and emotionally detached if they are people involved in the equation.

I experienced all of that this week, and as a result, not only did I take longer to do what I needed to do, but I managed to alienate a few loved ones along the way.

Not a gold star effort at all!

Rev. Dr. Charlene Proctor writes about the research done at the HeartMath Institute in America in her article ‘Nurturing the Heart Center’

I have read many of the HeartMath Institute’s papers on the electromagnetic field that radiates from the heart, the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field produced in the body.

Researchers at HeartMath have been investigating heart-brain interactions for years, especially how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how this communication affects our conscious and subconscious mind, and therefore our perceptions of the world. The heart responds to emotional energy, and as such is particularly affected by our emotional state.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. Anaïs Nin

It is heart, not the brain, that generates the body’s most powerful and extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about sixty times greater. It permeates every cell of the body, and even well beyond the physical body.

In many meditative cultural traditions, it is a focus on the heart-mind, not the head-mind which is developed.

Your body is physically designed to send messages to your environment through your heart, and to receive electromagnetic information, not just from other people but from the natural environment also. Which helps explain why plants and animals can be soothing to our parasympathetic (fight or flight) system.

Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.  John Kabat-Zinn

This is one of my favourite heart meditations:

 

It seems I have been reminded of a valuable lesson. I have the choice how to experience my life. It can be task-focused and pressured, or I can take a broader, more holistic view of all the wonderful things happening around me, all at once. Do I choose awe or overwhelm? Pressure or abundance awareness?

I am reminded by the Slow Movement, of the power of slowing down, connecting within to that space where I can find my true self, and simultaneously find connection with my environment.

But possibly most importantly, for a stress-head like me, I am kind to myself. My inner dialogue is gentle and loving, not harsh and critical, and that radiates out from my thoughts into my speech, actions and energy I bring into the world.

The heart chakra is the central point of the seven main chakras. It is the bridge between the physical and the purely vibrational elements of our energy body. As such it provides a wonderful median point to achieve both grounded centredness and a connection to our higher consciousness.

I can choose, at any time, to connect with my heart, breathe in that soothing energy, and remember that I am alive, I love, and I am grateful.

Affirmations for heart-centred living from Chakra Anatomy:

I am open to love.

All love resides within my heart.

I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

I nurture my inner child.

I am wanted and loved.

I live in balance, in a state of gracefulness and gratitude.

I love the beauty of nature and the animal world.
I forgive myself.
I am open to love and kindness.

I am grateful for all the challenges that helped me to transform and open up to love.

I am connected with other human beings.

I feel a sense of unity with nature and animals.
I accept things as they are.

I am peaceful.

Bless!

 

Images:

http://www.wakingtimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/WIKI-Light-Bulb.jpg

Constant craving

GoddessMeditation11

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.KATHERINE-SKAGGS-1102.WHITE-BUFFALO-CALF

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.

Katherine-Skaggs-1050.CROW-WOMANThe 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.candy card drawing

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!pleides card

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!

chakradancemandala1She 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.

community cardAfter 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

I LOVE

I love

I love

Bless!

 

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

http://www.myss.com/library/contracts/three_archs.asp

 

Title image here

Card artwork by Candy Van Rood here

All other artwork from the Mythical Goddess Tarot Cards available here by Katherine Skaggs

 

Getting my heart unstuck

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

This week I had an old flame contact me. An old, OLD flame. No sight nor sound of him in fifteen years. Then boom! And so much has happened in those intervening years – not wishing to overstate it, but in that time, there has been a complete revolution in my whole way of life. Quite literally, I am not the girl I used to be. Well, for a start, I’m a 40 year old woman now.

This blast from the past resurfaced some extraordinarily painful memories for me. Memories of a time when I was on a chaotic path of self-destruction. Although I have changed my trajectory, there are still traces, remnants of that time in my being. My heart bears the scars from those years.

You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to teach anything. You just have to be who you are: a bright flame shining in the darkness of despair, a shining example of a person able to cross bridges by opening your heart and mind. Tsoknyi Rinpoche

A few days before this contact, I made a wish to be completely free of my past. Using Paul Pearsall’s wishing technique that I described in this previous post. Hand over heart, I whispered my entreaty. Three days later I received his emails.

I trust that this is the universe’s response to my wish. I would have preferred something bright and shiny, but life’s not always like that, is it? I’m sure the journey to bright and shiny involves confronting some demons in a few dark recesses from the past – not that he’s the demon, it’s MY unresolved guilt, shame and pain that haunts me.

This quest into the heart of being is a hero journey of sorts, like the Lords of the Rings saga, or maybe the Princess Bride. Okay, universe, I get it! I will vanquish the dark forces within to claim my prize. There is a prize, right?

Romantic allusions aside, the truth is that the pain we cause others is recorded in our own body, as we are all connected. To hurt another, and to be hurt, especially with someone you love, is to deeply engrave that pain into your being – like an energetic tattoo. To release the past you have to feel this pain and honour it’s lesson. This is the true meaning of making amends.

Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves.

 Rainer Maria Rilke

Now, I don’t know about you but I haven’t been meditating and living mindfully all my life. I have accumulated some serious baggage, so making the commitment, this intention to clear away this emotional stuff is no walk in the park. It’s easy to feel discouraged, downhearted, and my thoughts do lead me to a place of feeling hopeless and exhausted sometimes. It takes real self-discipline to keep meditating, to keep the willingness to face and be rid of these things that block you from your true being.

But it’s definitely worth it.

There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.
This is the light that shines in our heart.

Upanishads

The Sanskrit word for the heart chakra is अनाहत, Anāhata, meaning “un-struck.” This name conceptualises the idea that the heart is resonant, an ‘unstruck’ instrument echoing the sounds of the celestial realm. Anahata also means unhurt and unbeaten. Which is a nice image for those feeling a little weary of heart.

I must have read that word  – unstruck – about a hundred times while I was researching this post. But every time I read it as ‘un-stuck’. So I’m going to go with that. It makes sense to me that I could get ‘unstuck’ through my heart chakra.

So how do I get my heart unstuck? How do I get unstuck from the past and into present moment awareness?

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius

Marianne Williamson, in her book, A Return to Love, writes that the only lesson we need carry from the past is love. The rest – the pain, guilt, remorse, even the idea that we are damaged in some way – simply does not exist in present moment awareness. It is a construct of the ego-mind.

Meditating on the heart chakra helps to shift from ego-based fear to resonating with the energy of love and compassion. The Buddhist meditation technique using the metta (or loving kindness prayer) is used to open the heart chakra and heal old emotional wounds.

The metta prayer is usually recited first for yourself, then your loved ones, then neutral people (or strangers), then your enemies, and then all sentient beings, in an ever widening circle of love and compassion.

May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free. The Metta Prayer

Through your heart chakra, you have the choice to expand your consciousness through the power of love or contract your consciousness through the power of fear. Many cultures believe the heart chakra is the seat of your soul in your body.

The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, and it rules the heart and lungs.This chakra is associated with the feelings of love and compassion. Anahata is related to the element air, it is accessible through the breath. Visualising breathing through your heart centre, imagining love-filled light entering your body via your heart is a wonderful heart-opening exercise.

The recurring theme in all that I have been reading and experiencing in the last few weeks – and there’s a great deal of synchronicity going on here – is that the heart is the centre of our soul’s wisdom. Our heart is the ‘other’ mind of our body, and it is far more responsible for governing our lives and actions than we give it credit for.

Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he/she has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to her.
 Rumi 

Research from the Institute of HeartMath – a nonprofit research and education organisation – shows that the heart itself is an intelligent system.The physical heart has its own nervous system, called the intrinsic cardiac nervous system. Neurocardiologists have nicknamed it the “heart brain.”

The Institute of HeartMath found the heart to be approximately 60 times greater electrically and up to 5,000 times stronger magnetically than the brain.The heart and the brain are constantly in communication with one another, with the heart sending more information to the brain than vice versa.

The heart influences the centres of the brain involved in perception, intuition and emotional experience.

The Institute of HeartMath describe ‘heart coherence’ as a state in which “the heart, mind and emotions are in harmonious alignment, which studies show enhances health and performance in a wide range of contexts.”


Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects heart action. Dr. Charles H. Mayo

You can increase your heart’s coherence simply by focusing on positive feelings of love, compassion and gratitude.

Heart coherence allows us to communicate via our heart waves. The electromagnetic range of the heart extends far beyond our physicality and can expand further through meditation and mindful expansion. Could this heart energy explain why you can tap into the moods of people you know well? Have you ever walked into a room and felt a dark cloud of negative energy? Or been around loved ones and felt your heart energy expand?

When the heart opens, we forget ourselves and the world pours in: this world, and also the invisible world of meaning that sustains everything that was and ever shall be. Roger Housden

In states of heart coherence, the heart and brain operate synergistically, increasing the efficiency and function of both organs. As the term ‘coherence’ suggests, in this state the heart radiates a more coherent electromagnetic energy field and this has a positive effect on the individual and their environment.

It is the challenge of our hearts to connect with and receive the love of our Higher Self so that we can heal the harm that others have done to us. Then, from the heart space of healing and self-love, we can love others as well. Quintessential Alchemy

You can increase your heart’s coherence by focusing on love, compassion and gratitude. The heart teaches us that themes of love, compassion, letting go, trust and openheartedness have physiological as well as psychological effects. Acting synergistically with your heart has personal, local and global effects.

The Earth stores the energetic collection of human emotions and behaviours, in the same way your electromagnetic field stores your experiences. That is, the Earth affects you, but you also affect Earth’s environment – not only through your actions – through your thoughts, emotions, and intentions. This is the true effect of the collective unconscious.

As more of humanity practices heart-based living, it will qualify the ‘rite of passage’ into the next level of consciousness and intelligence that we are approaching at this time. Using our hearts’ intuitive guidance in our discernments, choices and interactions will eventually become acts of common-sense, based on practical intelligence. Doc Childre

At the end of the day, at the end of my days, will I regret having opened my heart, forgiven readily and fully, and having believed that as I practice love, I participate in shift towards personal, local and global healing? Its hard to imagine how I could.

Each of us must take responsibility for our own energy. How would you change your thoughts if you acted as if your thoughts and emotions actually affected the Earth’s energetic field? Would you focus on creating increased personal, social, and global heart coherence?

Becoming unstuck means more to me than healing my own heart. It signifies a commitment to love and compassion as a way of being in the world. That said, the only place it can begin is in my own heart.

Today’s affirmations:

I am breathing deeply and effortlessly.

I am increasing my heart’s coherence by focusing on love, compassion and gratitude.

I have compassion for myself.

I forgive easily and open myself to infinite joy.

I release the heavy burden of guilt and embrace the lightness of my heart.

My heart is filled with trust and compassion for myself and others.

I am healing myself, my loved ones, all sentient beings, and the Earth itself through opening my heart.

And a lovely, short Heart-Earth healing meditation by Drumvalo Melchiezedek:

Bless!

More information on the healing heart energy:

http://www.heartmath.org/templates/ihm/e-newsletter/publication/2012/fall/accessing-the-hearts-intuition.php

http://www.quintessentialalchemy.com/heartchakra.html

http://www.templeofsacredsound.org

Title image: www.aromatherapy-for-mind-body-and-soul.com/images/HeartChakra2.jpg