Here is what I've learned over the last 2 years and beyond...
This is an excerpt I wrote about a year ago, but I've just reread it and feel that it rings true more than ever. We close our hearts during times of grief, times of extended sadness, times of stress, times of pain, times of a challenging relationships, times of fear, times of extreme long-term illness. So my heart has been shut down for quite some time now.
Even given that kind of shut down, I've been keenly aware of the kind of energy that this gives off. Especially when I've just moved back across the country in search of a new life (again), in the hopes of setting my dreams in motion, meeting new people, beginning a new chapter. You sort of need to be "on". And I have been "OFF". In isolation mode.
I want that new life. But my heart has been closed and has become even more so upon my diagnosis of Lyme Disease. Physically I had begun to hold my breath more and more, even while I was doing my breathwork routine and meditation in the mornings. I just wasn't expanding like I used to. And for the rest of the day, I would literally catch myself holding my breath completely. Holding on for dear life frankly. And then there was the fetal position I've assumed during healing and recovery. I have been totally caved in. My ribs have forgotten how to expand, as my rib muscles have become restricted. My shoulders have forgotten how to hold themselves high as they hunch over in big brother protective mode of my heart. My head is down. And I admit, I have not wanted to participate in the world.
This is Lyme Disease.
So over the next few months, I have vowed once again to OPEN MYSELF UP.
Breathing full breaths of positive love and healing air into my lungs. Filling my heart space with vibrant color and happiness. Holding my head high. And strengthening my spirit by connecting with my meditation practice and crystals and the earth.
AN OPEN HEART INVITES HEALING AND BEAUTY AND VIBRANT LIVING INTO IT!
THE FOURTH CHAKRA | ANAHATA CHAKRA (HEART)
The fourth chakra, the heart chakra, rests in the center of the chakra system, at the core of our spirit. Its physical location is the heart, upper chest, and upper back. The fourth is the balance point, integrating the world of matter (the lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (the upper three chakras). Through the heart chakra, we open to and connect with harmony and peace. The health of our heart center registers the quality and power of love in our life. In Sanskrit, the heart chakra is called Anahata, which means "unstruck" or "unhurt." Its name implies that deep beneath our personal stories of brokenness and the pain in our heart, wholeness, boundless love, and a wellspring of compassion reside.
This chakra's element is air. Air spreads and energizes. Like water, air assumes the shape of whatever it fills, yet it is less subject to gravity than water. When you feel swept up in love, you often need to replant your first chakra in order to stay grounded. Air permeates breath, so pranayama practice helps balance and tone this chakra. All forms of Pranayama can help you use more air, more prana, thereby increasing your vitality and enthusiasm for life.
**Chakra info from Yoga Journal