From The Heart
Updated: Feb 5
The end of last year I began a focus on the chakras, which as an energy healer and yoga practitioner, is a crucial element to my practice. Every month, I wanted to focus on a new chakra, and since we have now transitioned into 2020, I think it is time to reflect upon my first month, and to summarise my learnings on the heart. And why I decided to start with the heart? Intuition mainly: 2019 felt like a year that highlighted the importance of a coherent heart, and I began to understand that it is here that we meet our source. What happens when you connect to your source? The removal of suffering, and instead, perpetual joy.
Personally, I struggled with the word suffering.
It always seemed quite severe, but in fact we can experience suffering on many levels: doubt, fear, loneliness, confusion, alienation, sadness, grief, the list goes on. During our lives we may experience these egoic states to varying degrees, and some of us may live in an endless cycle of suffering. In the Western world we tend to blame our parents, and in the East, they seem to accuse the stars of their fate.
Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and one of his most famous quotes relating to suffering says,
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
My children often say, “but what if this happens?”, or “what if that happens”. We are encouraged to believe that young people live with a certain blissful ignorance, giving them a better grasp on the present moment however, I wonder if we can see signs of anxiety from a young age. My husband and try to alleviate concerns with, “don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet, because it might never happen”. But even at this early stage, these worries signify the start of a conditioned mind.
During the heart based yoga class I taught this month, we laid down on our backs and thought about a time when we experienced pure joy in our hearts: that feeling when we were absorbed by the moment, where there was no future, and no past. I like to repeat this exercise, and often I recall a time when I was a kid, (maybe 13) and I was riding my pony through English woodland. I don’t consider myself a hugely visual person, but I can almost feel the fresh, crisp air; see the frost on the trees in a sparkling winter wonderland; and feel joy, just me and my horse, in the moment.
In today’s fast paced world, it is imperative to remember these joyous moments in our life, which are often linked to a connection with nature, or moments of unadulterated play. Stress has become a major contributor to heart disease, which is now the leading cause of death for both men and women. In my reiki workshops I talk about disease as dis-ease, which can stem from many factors, but simply put: it is an inability to maintain a mental and emotional equilibrium.
Two of my biggest teachings this year had a similar approach to shining a light on the heart:
The first was Joe Dispenza’s book, “Becoming Supernatural”. His research around heart coherence has shown that we can regulate our internal states, independent of external environments, which requires knowledge, application, and practice. If we truly embody “high-frequency” emotions, like gratitude, they feed into our future; and in perfecting this, we can shape our future entirely. He states that we can rewrite our patterning and alter our destiny with clear intention (coherent brain) with an elevated emotion (coherent heart). When we combine these states we can change our biological energy (i.e. “become supernatural”), and when we change our energy, we change our lives.
“The brain thinks, but the heart knows.” Dr Joe Dispenza
The second teaching came from a workshop in August 2019 with Yogarupa Rod Stryker, called Empowering the Heart. The content was a culmination of the most essential teachings that he has been sharing for decades. Focusing on techniques of meditation and Yoga Nidra, Stryker’s practice aims to relieve participants from their grief and sorrow, and slowly unveil the heart’s sublime nature, which leads to healing, innate wisdom, and worldly success: something we all hold at our centre.
I learned there is a place where you and your source meet, where there is the possibility to experience the finite self, and also the infinite; where self rests with its maker. Stryker calls this, ‘the heart lotus’, or ‘cave of the heart’. In order to reach self mastery, you have to shine the light in that cave, the ‘light of perception’.
So everyday our practice involved shining the light on the chief veils of darkness: the desire to dominate, attachment, jealousy, and self righteousness. Asana (postures) combined with mantras, breathworth, yoga Nidra and of course, meditation with contemplation, were all practiced twice a day. Practicing this daily, you can begin to feel a shift between morning and afternoon, as you come into contact with your heart’s guiding light.
It has become clear to me that we can all shine light into our hearts to find peace and freedom. And with a coherent heart we are able to exercise heightened emotions to influence our future destiny. If your heart is lit up, you’ll stop blaming others and yourself, and you will leave the cycle of perpetual suffering so many of us fall victim to in our fast-paced lives, void of community, spiritual practice, and a connection to our truest self.
So, moving into 2020 I have more tools, more practice, and more opportunities to discover who I truly am, and in turn influence my future. Combining these with Reiki is not only imperative for my personal development, but also for my Reiki teaching. Reiki is my ‘go-to’ to keep me on track, to give me energy so I can create time for my daily practices, and to keep me balanced during hectic family life. My yoga also provides a similar balance, instead using the power (or ‘shaki’) to create change and develop purpose.
From this, I hope to encourage you to look a little deeper at the work of Joe Dispenza and Rod Stryker, and perhaps begin exploration into a spiritual practice of your own, which could in turn, change your future. So as we all sit down with a piece of paper to begin finalising our goals for 2020, I urge you to look for achievable and lasting change through mindful, meditative practices, and shine a light on your heart as it contains all the answers.