Being with the Heart – Anahata Chakra

Responding to all things associated with the heart stirs feelings of love, affection, compassion and a willingness to open up to feelings that connect us with each other, with all living things and with the universe.

I know I need more heart stirrings in my life. Moreover, I believe we all do.

Continuing with my exploration of the chakras, the energy centres we have in our astral body, the heart chakra, known as the Anahata chakra, is sometimes referred to as the bridge connecting our state of being in the physical world (the chakras centres below the heart) with our more spiritual self (the chakras found above the heart in our throat, our third eye and our crown).

If our heart chakra is blocked, we can remain ‘imprisoned’ in our desires for physical comforts, sexual stimulations and every experience in life driven by the ego. We neglect (or we are unaware of) human qualities and experiences such as profound love, creativity, self expression and a desire to know the truth, and to come to know our Higher Selves.

Another way of viewing this is that the bridge at our heart chakra connects our thoughts and our emotions, with our spirituality. In my own exploration of the chakras and my own spiritual journey, I believe the Anahata or heart chakra has become the most chakra of all for where I currently am on my journey.

When I practice asanas and pranayama and when I meditate, focusing on the heart chakra, I am working on developing:

  • My capacity for empathy for other people
  • My capacity and empathy for all animals, nature and the planet
  • My intensity for which I can care for another person and all life forms
  • My emotional openness
  • My self-knowledge and capacity for self-reflection
  • The compassion and love I feel for myself
  • How peaceful and calm I can feel and for how long I can sustain this feeling

I know I need to work on my heart chakra. Why? Because I am aware I sometimes feel feelings of irritability with others, I can be judgemental, I can feel hurt in response to the actions of others, I can feel restless and agitated and sometimes I struggle to find empathy or compassion. All traits of being human some might say and why not just accept this and carry on?

For me, being aware of these traits in myself is something I choose not to ignore. I strive to be centred and to be the best I can be, to feel at peace with myself and others around me and to connect at a higher level and develop my spiritual practice.

In my psychotherapy training, I discovered the ‘real’ relationship; being with another and experiencing unconditional love, a love that is compassionate, a love without reason or attraction and born of the understanding we are all one and all in this together. We are all travelling on the same journey, a long and arduous one from unconsciousness to consciousness.

Awakening my heart chakra and discovering who I truly am is bringing me peace and contentment.

Chakra work and the practice of developing self awareness and a greater understanding of what is and what isn’t real isn’t always easy. It’s a path I stumbled upon back in 2009 when I discovered yoga. It is one that is fulfilling and enriching and never-ending.

LIHazleton.
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How to Be

I am enough.

You are enough.

We are all enough.

So many people are caught up in doing rather than being. They keep themselves busy achieving and fulfilling the roles they assign themselves and end up creating stress and anxiety in their lives. They feel as though unless they perform, achieve or fulfil a role, they are unworthy.

But this is not so.

We are enough and can reside in just being and have everything we need within ourselves to feel good without striving to meet self-imposed goals and deadlines.

But, for many people, this isn’t known. Without being aware of what they are doing, people are constantly massaging their egos in order to feel good about themselves.

The ego is our self image, our social mask, the role we are playing. Many people are unaware of the vice-like grip the ego can have and can fall victim to it. Unfortunately, this is the accepted norm i.e. the belief that our identities are wrapped up in who we are and what we do. We use labels to describe ourselves; we are mothers, fathers, doctors, bus drivers, tennis players … in addition, we employ self talk which can either inflate or deflate our ego; I am kind, I am generous, I am lazy, I am selfish …

But the ego is not who we really are.

I have been pondering this for many months and wondering how I can massage my ego less and be in the world as I truly am, as the real me, rather than put on a mask and rely on my ego when in social situations and when I am out and about generally.

After many months of socially isolating, I am slowing emerging back into the world, meeting friends, enjoying day trips away from home, coffee and meals out. Holidays in the UK are planned and travel further afield is being discussed.

In my previous blog post https://lihazleton.com/2020/06/28/emerging/ I wrote about emerging being a process and how I would like to resist falling back into old habits and ways of being. I have been pondering how I can achieve this and how to make effective and long-lasting changes.

For a long time, I have been using daily meditation and yoga practices to connect to the ‘real me’ — the part of me that is unchanging, the essence of my spirit, the pure consciousness that abides within. It is my hope that by continuing with these practices, where I can connect with the ‘real me’, I will be able to find that feeling when I am with others, when I am out and about in the wider world and away from the calm and peaceful surroundings of my home.

In the past, I have used my strong ego-self to thrive. I have survived an emotionally abusive upbringing, unloving and difficult relationships with men, a highly demanding and stressful corporate career and many challenging personal situations. These are all advantages of having a strong self image driven by a strong ego. I have thrived by employing and relying on my ego, rather than being transparent and showing my true nature. This has worked, but only so far. My relationships, my wellbeing, my sense of self, my contentment, what makes me feel happy and fulfilled have all suffered because of my ego. I lost myself along the way and suffered from worry, stress and anxiety.

A strong ego has many pitfalls and disadvantages. The negative side of the ego manifests as arrogance, pride, vanity, judgements, and prejudices. In the more extreme cases, it emerges as the need to control, the lust for power, fanaticism, or an obsession with materialism. I regret to say, in the past, I have often fallen foul of these unloving qualities and still do, if I am not careful.

So, I have been spending time in awareness of my ego and watching it like a hawk. If I catch it taking over, displaying those parts of me that are not the ‘real me’, I take action and come back to my heart, the centre of who I really am.

The more I meditate, the more I use my breath to connect to my centre during my physical yoga practices, the more I can let go of my ego and just be, knowing I am enough.

With time, with sustained practice, I hope this will become easier and I can take the feeling of being the ‘real me’ with me wherever I go.

I have discovered I can let go of my ego self, knowing that high self esteem doesn’t come from a massaged ego, but comes from cultivating spiritual values of truth, beauty, love, compassion, creativity, inner peace and bliss.

Being myself, being yourself is the ultimate form of self worth.

I am enough.

You are enough.

We are all enough.

How then is this linked to my writing?

Writing is a creative art, a form of self expression. I write because it helps me discover, what I think, what I feel, what I am grateful for, what I want to be in this world and how I can best serve. It is helping me discover my purpose and the true nature of who I AM.

LIHazleton.
Follow me on Twitter where I connect with other writers and all things writing. Follow me on Instagram if you love nature, dogs and other animals.