Opening the heart in troubled times
Does it all feel like bleakness and grasping and doom? I hear you, and I know how challenging it is to stay connected to our hearts when every iota of incoming data makes us want to shut it all down, curl Into a small space and not re-emerge til it’s safe. The heart is wary, and feels broken, perhaps.
But remember the depth of love to which we are all eternally connected. It is vital to reignite that connection whenever we feel it dim, and especially now, because this is our work in a world that is turning toward darkness and fear. Staying connected to the heart is also, frankly, more comfortable than surrendering to despair. Rest as you need to, but when you’re ready, here are some tips to reconnect to our fiercest source of power.
First, ask for your heart chakra to be opened. Invite spiritual energy to work with you, via your intention in meditation, yoga, japa or other spiritual practices.
Second, try heart-opening yoga postures. You should practice hatha yoga anyway to facilitate the flow of Divine energy through the entire body, which helps activate all the chakras, but focus a lot on backbending.
Here’s why: We instinctively protect the vulnerable front side of our bodies by crossing our arms, slouching forward, downward gazing, and similar "closed" postural expressions. Backbending is a gestural correction that expresses a willingness instead to be open and vulnerable. Protect your back, obviously, but the more you open the front body, the more comfortable you will become opening yourself to people, situations, beauty, heartbreak, and all the related emotional responses.
If that sounds scary, it’s because it is. Heart opening is sacred, intense work, and it will challenge you mightily.
Third, meditate with a focus on the heart chakra (anahata). Focus your attention there, perhaps while visualizing the color green and chanting the seed mantra yam (“yahm”). You may experience mild palpitations while doing this. (Generally harmless, but by all means consult a doctor if they are strong enough to be worrisome.)
Finally, try to remain open to whatever happens. Know that if you get scared, it will pass. Fear is just energy, often misinterpreted. Know that beneath the fear lies a Love of such power and immensity, it can and will conquer all “opponents.” It is literally what you’re made of.
You’ll know your efforts are working if you find yourself softening, forgiving others’ slights and imperfections, becoming more accepting of situations that once troubled you, flowing gracefully through challenging moments, and seeing a beauty in all of Creation that was less obvious before.
I have at times experienced a sort of energetic “orgasm” of love that flooded my entire body, doubled me over and reduced me to tears. It is an expression the Divine Love that resides in us always. It is Love recognizing and upholding itself. The more you let that Love flow through you, the more it will replenish itself for the benefit of you and the world as a whole.
(Reprinted in part from my post on Quora)