Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chakra Feast Day 4: Heart Chakra

Man, am I feeling good today! I don't know which of the many variables I've recently changed in my life is causing this (it might be all of them), but I'm truly feeling amazing. I'm happier than I've been in days, I'm awake, alert, and am finally finding some much needed inner peace. Because this is a longer post about today's Chakra, I'll simply say that herb-wise, I've taken all my Gaia Herbs as required and the taste doesn't affect me nearly as much as on Day 1:

The heart Chakra (or Anahata in Sanskrit) is, well, associated with the heart but also with the thymus. The thymus keeps your immune system and more specifically your endocrine system functioning. In other words, it helps to fight against disease both physical and emotional. And your heart, well, it's kind of a big deal. The main work people usually do on their heart chakra is to heal from emotional hurt and to foster greater love and compassion from and for others. Today's chakra focus reminded me a lot of how much I love Cafe Gratitude's philosophy. Again, they're all about reinforcing positive energy in ourselves and others. Every statement made in their space is positive, optimistic and generate happiness and healing.

The Heart Chakra is the center of our energy and the focus of our love and capacity to heal from emotional wounds. Whenever emotional hurt is caused and is not dealt with, it resides and festers in the Heart Chakra. I know that I've always had a particularly sensitive one, but have only been able to put it into words more recently. Every since I was little (and a lot of other people do this too), whenever I was hurt or really happy I always felt it right at the center of my chest, where my heart chakra is. I always subconsciously find myself putting my hand there whenever I feel particularly hurt, vulnerable, or upset, as if I'm trying to keep the energy from bleeding away.

I know that I am often guided and ruled by my Heart Chakra in my life choices. So far, it seems to have worked out pretty well! However, it also means that it needs constant maintenance. Emotional wounds translate to physical malaise, I think most women know that if they don't feel good emotionally, they will take it out on themselves physically thinking they aren't attractive enough, fit enough, thin enough, etc. Physical demonstrations of an imbalanced Heart Chakra are heart palpitations, asthma, pneumonia, upper back and shoulder problems. Similar to the solar plexus chakra, self-love is key to maintaining a healthy Heart Chakra. Our wounded self and wounded ego have to heal.

But rather than just focus on emotional wounds, I also mentioned that the heart chakra is from where happiness, honesty, respect, love and compassion emanate. One thing Andrew and I strongly felt from the start of our relationship was the immediate connection between our heart chakras. As he once said, it was like a cord was instantly tied between the two of our heart centers and we were able to sense it right away. Some people argue that that's why break-ups can be so difficult; once such a bond is made, rupturing an energy cord leads to significant damage. Many know that fights, break ups, or any emotional damage in a relationship actually physically hurt. After all, there's a reason why we have a term like "heart strings".

Beyond romantic love, our heart chakra is also the center of our capacity for compassion, which allows us all to live better lives and create a healthier society. Compassion involves unconditional love, an ability to let go, forgive, and trust. Unconditional love, or Metta, implies kindness and living and embodying our desire for it. It begins with loving and respecting ourselves, and through those experiences, reaching out to others. When we channel Metta we encourage it and bring it out in others. Whatever we generate comes back to us and makes us all stronger. Can you imagine a society so open and loving?

Exercises that are good for your Anahata involve anything heart related so once again swimming is a good choice. Another option I have for you is Yoga Download's Power Yoga 4 Practice which is a donation-based class (and can be downloaded from their website). It begins and ends with a meditation to increase Metta.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself to know how your heart chakra is doing are: how many emotional memories do you think you have that need healing? What are they? Are they taking over the way you perceive the world or some of your relationships? How can you forgive yourself, and what else should you forgive? When getting my Reiki sessions from Andrew, I'm often shocked by how many negative or hurtful memories come up when he moves through certain energy fields of mine. My goal to know that I'm a perfectly aligned person is to have every place he works on generate a positive rather than a negative memory. As you can tell, I truly believe in this stuff. Can't wait for another session tonight!

As you can see through the chronological juice pictures throughout this post, my day focused on clean green foods representative of Anahata. It was was very conducive to some serious veggie juicing and blending. I started my day with a glass of Meredith's Green Monster Smoothie (sans banana), which I could drink every day if I remembered to buy spinach more often! I followed up with cucumber-celery-parsley juice with a side shot of kombucha (forgot to take a pic until halfway through). My food day ended with a delicious Spinach Soup I found ages ago on Heather's blog. I also had some bee pollen and superfood mix as post-workout snacks. And because I'm a die hard foodie, I haven't been able to spend time away from the kitchen at all, so I also created what I believe is an amazing raw zucchini-yellow squash lasagna. Though I'll post a recipe soon, the gist of it was layering zucchini and lasagna, marinara sauce, and fermented nut cheese in layers as high as my dehydrator would allow. Andrew said it was delicious and I did snack on some with romaine lettuce. It was amazing, just like the real thing... only better:

As always, some final affirmations:

I am a being of unconditional love and compassion.

My heart is open and flows freely with love for myself and others.

I grow from all of my experiences. They serve to make me a healthier, stronger, and better person.

Only I am responsible for the quality of my life.

I strive to enhance my life and those of others.

I strive to create a healthy foundation upon which I and others can thrive.

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