You can think of cracks as being the broken bits in your heart, or you can think of them as letting the light in – and letting your light, and love, out.
For Valentines Day, and well, everyday, I’m thinking of the cracks in my heart as veins of pure light, crevices glowing golden with compassion, rivers or ruby red radiating inward, radiating outward, fissures oozing love like lava.
As Leonard Cohen famously sings: ‘there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’. Just as important, I think, is letting your light, and your love, out.
Like everyone, I’ve been heartbroken. I could choose to think of these breaks as flaws from failed relationships, fractured dreams. I could see the weakness in the cracks – chinks and clefts in the armour that protects what’s left of my heart. Or I can choose to see the evidence of my strength in surviving heartbreak – of being broken but not shattered.
For Valentines Day, and everyday, I’m trying to imagine those cracks widening and deepening to allow more heart chakra energy to flow – in, through, and out. I want to crack my heart open, little by little, more and more, so that more love might flow through the channels carved in the cracks.
How to crack open your heart
When we crack open our hearts, we are open to both giving and receiving love (including loving ourselves) – a really open heart means a balance of both.
The heart chakra is the fourth chakra of seven, sitting at the centre of our energy system – it literally connects the lower three chakras with the three higher ones. It bonds each of us as individuals with our own needs, desires and identities, with every other living thing in the universe. When our heart chakra is healthy our connection to others is open and compassionate – we realise that it is love that unites us all.
The Sanskrit name for the heart chakra is Anahata – which translates a “unhurt, unstruck and unbeaten”. It literally means that nothing can hurt or touch love. Yep, love is pretty powerful.
When your heart chakra is open you love yourself and know that this allows you to love others. You are kind and generous and you love unconditionally. People sense your warmth and compassion.
Physically you are open through your chest and upper (thoracic) spine. You stand straight, shoulders back and down, not curled in, shoulders rounded as though to protect your heart from hurt because you know that ultimately love can’t really be hurt, it always prevails. To love and to let yourself be loved is always worth the risk.
If you heart chakra is over-active you may be ruled by emotions and you may become co-dependent. If it is under-active you may feel unworthy of love and close down your heart out of fear.
I wrote about opening the heart in this post last year, and I’m including the tips I shared.
1) Puff your chest out (boobs of course look bigger too, bonus) – roll your shoulder blades down and back and focus on the middle point of your back between your shoulder blades. Send love there. If you find joy in prayer then imagine this is a position of exaltation.
2) Breathe into your thoracic spine – we often shallow breathe. A full yogic breath fills your stomach, rip cage, lungs and throat – and focus on filling the chest area around your heart and the back of your heart. If the breath catches, release through it.
3) Check your hands as you stand and walk – consciously spread your fingers and open your palms – avoid grasping, clutching and clinging – actions that come from fear not love. Open hands show an attitude of giving and receiving.
4) Focus on your heart beat and imagine it is love beating through your body, calming and warming
5) Fold forward from a seated position on the floor – don’t just flop, puff your chest first and then fold from the spine so that you are literally melting your heart to the floor (you probably won’t get there but you could hug a pillow, or better still, a person)!
6) Do a small, random act of kindness and notice how you physically feel – does your heart feel warm and open?
Physically, the heart chakra is associated with the heart and circulatory system (of course) as well as the shoulders, chest, upper back, arms and hands. It is symbolized by the colour green, which also symbolizes nature – in love and in nature we are all connected.
Green has always been my favourite colour.
All love resides within my heart
I am open to love and kindness
Love is the answer to everything
I am connected with all other human beings and every living thing
Linking up with the very lovely Grace for FYBF.
PS – In my absent-mindedness this week I managed to iron a hole in the back of this favourite green top. I love it so much (and it is still showing for sale online), that I’m tempted to buy a new one – a Valentine’s gift of love to myself perhaps! Bit worried about what the burned hole says about my heart chakra!!