Kalla is one of my client who consulted me about relationship problems. For some reason, she could never attract the type of man she wanted and usually found herself dating married men or guys otherwise unavailable. When I looked at her chakras, I saw that her Heart chakra was tiny, barely functioning, and had a large cord with her father. We did some healing work to remove the cord and stabilize her Heart center. But there was still much that she needed to do for herself to strengthen this chakra.
The Heart, or Fourth chakra, is the energy center that governs our ability to give and receive love. It is the bridge between the lower, or personal, chakras (Root, Sacral, and Solar Plexus) and the transpersonal, more spiritual chakras (Throat, Third Eye, and Crown). It is a conduit for Divine energy from above and earthly strength from below. You might say that the Fourth chakra is at the heart of our entire energy system, and it is fundamental for expressing empathy and compassion, as well as building relationships and community.
Heart Chakra Basics
This chakra is located in the center of our chest, near our physical heart, and in the center of our energy system. The color associated with it is typically green, though I also use rose light and energy for Heart chakra work. It is associated with the thymus, heart, lungs, circulatory system, arms, and hands.
Represented by the twelve-petaled lotus, this chakra develops fully by age seven, helping us define our social identity separate from our mother and father. It is the chakra where we often have cords with others and from which much of our relating to the world occurs (along with the Third chakra). Known as the anahata chakra in Sanskrit, it is the wellspring of joy, warmth, gratitude, and forgiveness, allowing us to feel connected with other beings and the natural world.
Common Fourth Chakra Problems
I find the Fourth chakra is often compromised in some way with my clients. If the chakra is overactive, then the person may be especially focused on relationships. There may be hyper-vigilance, over-giving, or a high demand for their partners and friends to be constantly attentive and available. On the other hand, an underactive Heart chakra might manifest as being unable to form relationships, a lack of self-love and esteem, neediness, or “hard-heartedness.” People who don’t have opportunities to nurture often have sluggish Fourth chakras.
Because this chakra is the bridge between the lower and upper chakras, if it is sluggish, still, or under-energized, energy does not flow freely through the system. People may be “stuck” in the spiritual world all the time and unable to attend to practical details of life because energy can’t flow down. Or, they may be selfish and lack connection to others because the energy can’t flow up. A balanced Heart chakra helps the entire system find harmony between the mundane and the spiritual, between self and other.
Strengthen Your Heart Chakra
With Kalla, I traced her weak Heart chakra back to her father who was, unsurprisingly, not emotionally available. She was forever trying to earn his love, and this struggle was affecting her relationships. She needed to feed her Heart chakra with self-love and self-care, so we devised a weekly checklist of things she would do just for herself. Part of this included becoming her own “good father,” which, for her, meant being more self-reliant financially. She also created a gratitude practice and started a volunteering at a local animal shelter. These activities helped her tap into the natural aspects of the Fourth chakra, allowing her to nurture other beings and see where love and joy were already present in her life.
Almost any person with an unbalanced Heart chakra can benefit from starting a gratitude practice and finding ways to be of service to others (although this can be tricky if over-giving is a problem). Self-care is always something I work on with clients, as well as finding ways to connect to the natural world. This may include getting a pet, growing a garden, getting a houseplant, or planning outdoor activities for recreation. Uplifting music, books, or imagery are also beneficial if this chakra is weak or sluggish.
A simple meditation—which I had Kalla do, too—is to sit for just a few minutes each day with jasmine or rose incense, listening to spiritual music of your choice. Hold your hand over your heart chakra, and just practice breathing in and out from there. Imagine the chakra becoming strong, energized, and balanced as you do so.
The Fourth chakra is the heart of our energy system. It can easily become stressed in life, but taking the time to rebalance it brings many benefits. Most people intrinsically want to express and receive love, yet love is freely available from the Divine…and is the true healing energy. Strengthening the Heart chakra will make relationships easier and allow us to be more balanced in our lives as both spiritual and earthly beings.