You feel love when you give love. And you need an open, balanced Heart Chakra to be the compassionate, loving person that is the real you. If you agree with more than 4 or 5 of the following statements, you may want to look at ways to heal your Heart Chakra…
Heart Chakra Questionnaire (Check those statement you agree with.)
- I often put others ahead of myself.
- I’m tired from being a caregiver.
- I’m angry and resentful about the way I’ve been treated.
- I find it hard to forgive or let go of hurt feelings.
- I’m very empathic – feeling other’s feelings.
- My heart has been broken.
- I have heart problems (hypertension or high cholesterol).
- I have lung problems (asthma, allergies or frequent coughs).
- I have problems in my love life.
- I feel numb and a loss of passion.
- I release my stress by connecting with friends or family.
- I don’t get enough hugs, kisses or massages.
- I often get heartburn after eating.
- I don’t really like vegetables.
- Relationship problems cause me to overeat.
Located at the center of your chest, the fourth chakra, the Heart Chakra, is associated with the physical organs – the heart and lungs. If your Heart Chakra is blocked or imbalanced, you may experience physical issues with these organs, such as hypertension or respiratory ailments, or feel pain in the upper back and shoulders. You may feel emotional insensitivity, sorrow, depression, resentment, or dependency on nicotine or marijuana.
When the Heart Chakra is balanced, you are able to feel love, openly giving and receiving it. You are able to be compassionate without taking on other’s feelings. You can let go of sadness, release old resentments, forgive yourselves and others, and move forward with emotional empowerment.
The Heart Chakra is the bridge between the lower three chakras – the Root Chakra which relates to our safety and security; the Sacral Chakra, which relates to our creativity and sexuality; the Solar Plexus Chakra, which is the base of our personal power and identity; and the higher three chakras – the Throat Chakra, which is associated with speaking our truth; the Third Eye Chakra, which opens us to our higher knowing and intuition; and the Crown Chakra, our connection to spirit.
Heart Chakra Healing Foods: While the first three chakras are fed by protein, fats and carbohydrates, the Heart Chakra is balanced through phytochemicals or macronutrients, especially those in green vegetables. The rising energy imparted by leafy greens, for instance, feeds our expansion, growth and opening in all directions, like the feeling of love and a willingness to give of ourselves.
Foods, especially that share colors with the chakras, carry vibrations that can activate or balance your chakras. So, nourish your Heart Chakra with the many green vegetables – from kale, spinach, chard, collard, dandelion and mustard greens, to lettuce and sprouts of all kinds, and nourishing and health-protective cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. There’s also bok choy, cabbage, arugula, green peas and peppers, leeks and green onions, watercress, zucchini, celery, and more. Take a stroll through your local Farmer’s Market and appreciate the abundance of green veggies and choose your favorites, then open up and try some new ones. Ask how to best prepare them and savor their delicious flavors.
Also, include green fruit in your diet, from green apples, pears, grapes and kiwi, to that best salad ingredient of all – avocados.
Heart Chakra Healing Activities: You can strengthen the healing effect of your food by adding in some green veggies at each meal, for instance, adding some leafy greens to your morning smoothie or green peppers in your omelet, having a large salad at lunch, and steaming broccoli or zucchini for your side dish at dinner. Make your meal with love and gratitude, for the people who grew your food, to the people you will share it with. Say grace before meals, such as this one suggested by Shakti Gawain: “May this food bless and nourish my body, and keep me at my ideal weight.”
We often overeat to fill a feeling of emptiness or lack of love. If sharing food is one of the major ways your mother has expressed her love to you, or you to your family, think of other ways to feed the longing of your own heart, rather than with food. Instead, pamper yourself with a massage or social activity, or reach out to others through volunteer work.
Exercising with others is recommended for the Heart Chakra. Join in a yoga class, a team sport, an aerobics or spin class at the gym, take a walk with a friend or partner, or play catch with your children.
Healing Visualization: One of my favorite visualizations if I’m feeling a relationship problem, is to imagine playing catch with the person I’m having difficulty with. In your mind’s eye, see a person you are having a problem with. See if they catch the ball and throw it back. If not, surround the game of catch or relationship with a green glow, send that person love and forgiveness, and through magical thinking, have them throw the ball back and forth with you. And then catch yourself smiling.
When we balance our chakras, we craft our lives the way we want them to be, rather than living in constant reaction to forces outside of us. These spirals of energy are wheels that heal, feeding the body good energy and profoundly affecting our metabolism, as well as emotions, sensations and behaviors.
Heart Chakra Recipes: One of my favorite, easy recipes for the Heart Chakra is sauteed kale. First, I slice and sautee an onion and some garlic, add chopped kale and cook until tender. Top with seasonings of your choice – my family loves it mixed with some vinagrette dressing. These days, you can pick up Kale Chips as a snack almost everywhere, a great replacement for less healthy potato chips. Or make your own…
Homemade Kale Chips:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Rinse and dry a bunch of kale (organic is best) and sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale leaves with your hands.
- Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a single layer of kale and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the leaves are crisp. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.