Friday, September 27, 2013

The Heart Chakra - The Center of Love

The Heart Chakra - The Center of Love
The Heart chakra lies at the center of our chakra system. Its colour is green representing harmony and balance.  The energy of the heart center finds its equivalents in nature, in the woods, green fields, and peaceful unspoiled landscapes. The element of the heart chakra is air, which represents freedom, openness, lightness and softness.  Air implies spaciousness, which is achieved through letting go and softening.  The way into the heart center is to soften with compassion and acceptance.

The heart chakra is associated with the power of love. Situated in the center of the energy body, the heart chakra forms the center of one's humanity and feeling for others.   The love of the heart chakra is a kind of awareness that serves as a foundation for selflessness and compassion. To arrive at the heart chakra, we must transcend the ego-strength of the 3rd chakra and its selfish desires - we must surrender to the forces larger than the self.  When the heart energy is strong and flowing, only then are we willing to put others before ourselves and experience empathy and true compassion.  The love generated at the heart center extends to all of humanity.  From this kind of openness of the heart comes tolerance and acceptance for oneself, and for others.  In its pure open state the 4th chakra forms the center of true unconditional love.

Air represents breath, the vital process through which we stay alive.  Breath is one of the primary keys to opening the heart chakra

The heart is related to the element of air, and is ruled by the breath.  Working with the breath, expanding the breath invites the heart to soften and become spacious.  Air is light and spacious. Increase your ability to embody the element of air by increasing spaciousness around you, by opening the breath, and by lightening up.

Practices to Open the Heart:

Gratitude invites the heart to open.  Express gratitude to another.  Express gratitude for their patience, loyalty, sense of humor, generosity or any other quality you appreciate in them.
Generosity.  Surprise someone with an unexpected act of generosity.
Forgiveness. Forgiveness frees the heart from the past.  When we let go of old hurts, we make room for more love in our lives.

The heart chakra represents the basic right to love and to be loved.

"List the conditions you put on yourself in order to receive love"
"What kind of conditions do you require of another before you are willing to share your heart?"
"Are you able to be compassionate with yourself and others?"
"Do you love yourself.  Do you love freely?"

Love, Balance, Relationship, and Intimacy

The purpose of the heart energy is to achieve perfect union through love.  Connection and oneness, harmony and love is expressed via the heart center, and its power binds people together. The basic issues of the heart chakra deals with balance, love and relationship.  Through balance we find a center from which to love, through love we form relationships.  Relationships endure when balance is maintained - our inner balance and our balance in relationship with others. With inner balance their is stability, self-awareness and self-acceptance, and there is harmony.  Love is a state of being in harmony with oneself. Love brings us to into a deeper connection with ourselves.  Love takes us into our bodies; desires put us in touch with our physical needs and wants.  The intimacy of love connects us to self-acceptance as it invites us to share our deepest selves, and forces us towards self-awareness.  To have intimacy we first need to have a sense of self (3rd chakra issues) and an acceptance of self.  We must honour the self within to be able to honour the self with another. Self-acceptance, and self-love are necessary to love another.  We must be intimate with ourselves to share ourselves with another.  Our relationships with others reflect our relationships with ourselves.

Social Identity

In the heart chakra, we create a social identity, or a persona.  It is the identity, or the personality that interacts with others.  It is the roles that we play.  It is the "front-stage" presentation of the story of our lives. Our social identity is the aspect of our characters that is perceived by others - our patterns of behaviour . These patterns are universally understood as archetypes.  Archetypes are the patterns created by the collective unconscious, and inherited through the ages of human existence. We know archetypes as pre-existing patterns of energy emerging from the core of the human experience.  The archetypes are a psychic system of the collective, universal and impersonal nature, identical in all individuals.

The Archetypes of the Heart Chakra are: the Lover and the Pretender.  With awareness to the patterns of these archetypes and an understanding of their characters, we can objectively observe our heart energies expressed in the world. We can witness our social identities, and bring consciousness to the roles we play.

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