Joy in the Heart Center
Posted: November 19th, 2020
The chakras are a wonderful energy system of the body. Though, they are not the only energy system. Just like within the tangible body, there are many systems, which help us to breathe and digest or cleanse, for instance, there are energy systems that reveal how our energy moves, or doesn’t. I even believe that there are systems of the energy body yet to be known.
The part of this energy system, the chakras, that we will consider here runs the length of the spine and has been studied for centuries. During our blog-time together this month, this will be a great place to explore. It is so easy unconsciously to assume we know it all or have seen it all. So, let’s use this time to get closer to what matters.
But you are talking “airy fairy,” you might say.
OK, hold on.
I’d like to introduce you to a new way to know and befriend yourself, a new system to access, a more subtle system that is a part of your makeup that will help you find more joy.
Now that you are listening, I want to share an anecdote with you to demonstrate finding your heart center. Before the election, I met the first person who I love who voted, decidedly, for Trump. Don’t get me wrong, I have met supporters on every side, who voted yes, when I voted no. But as a woman of color, let’s just say I believed all the people in my front row would not vote in the Trump-card direction.
When I found out, I almost literally fell off of my chair and went home when she first uttered this, but as a part of my practice, I felt my way into my heart chakra to hear what she could say about her choice. She is by no means a fool. This person I would call in the middle of the night if in trouble was not missing a screw. Though we had been enjoying libations, we were not that high.
It was in this moment that I found a reason to listen more deeply and stay in my heart with all of the loving things that I know about this person. And I learned a couple things that I’d like to share with you. But for this, we will have to go through the “airy fairy” foundation.
Some Stuff about the Chakras
At the root of the spine, coccygeal, or primate tail, we begin. All around this area, front, back and out into the periphery, this energy begins and moves, or gets stuck. I know that I struggle with this part of my chakra system as I lost my mother at a young age and struggle to find equilibrium with the masculine. I know that the foundation where safety exists for me has been shattered over again by my interaction with people in power or with people who I thought were there to protect me. What about you? Think back to your childhood. What is your foundation built of?
The second chakra is pubis to navel. It is where we create. Here, energy moves or doesn’t, as well. Here, we also feel pleasure and find comfort enough in our bodies to create: children, careers, art… you name it. It starts with our ability to access and free, if need be, this center so that we can create what we desire. What are you creating right now? What is giving you pleasure and how do you feel in your own skin?
The third chakra is where we access our power, our fire, our drive. That is why Pilates is so empowering, or core work in any practice we might entertain. Core work creates more of that fire and demands that we stand tall. It impacts our stature, our posture. When the energy at this center is moving well, we know that we belong here at this time in this place. We are assertive and strong, without being pushy and inflexible. How does your core feel? Think about the literal core but also consider beyond that to the core of you. How strong do you feel?
And then the heart, oh, the heart. It is the center, that is not just about the tangible-organ-beating heart, as each chakra does inform organs, but is not synonymous with them. The heart chakra is in the center, linking the lower triangle of chakras with the upper. It is the bridge. It houses our compassion and acceptance. It is where we connect with the other as ourselves. How do you find value in yourself? If your value (as well as someone else’s) is predicated based on your ability to perform, or vote, there is an imbalance in the heart chakra.
So though there are three more chakras running the length of the spine that are above the heart (and I encourage you to learn more about them here at Chopra), I’d like to stop here and come back to our previously mentioned visual: my friend and I and our time at the dinner table of our hearts, sharing our vote through all of our trauma, and stagnation, in and amongst our chakra system.
The heart really is the center of this magical system, bridging the lower half to the upper.
Other systems connect and intersect here. Life changes at and through the heart center. Through the heart, new discoveries are nurtured.
From the heart center, I could see that my friend had a different set of trials along her road. Though we share a deep connection, she has her own obstructions along her energy roadway. She was voting to feed her journey, not mine. She was voting to assuage her pain, not mine. Knowing that, I could understand, not just my friend, but all Trump supporters, all voters, all human beings. Everyone is voting from their system’s settings, not around that, and not for me or from mine.
The heart chakra is all about joy, our ability to be with another in their strength or weaknesses to celebrate all that means that they are, that we are. When we shut down or stagnate the heart center, we choose not to accept another and thus find less joy. When we can authentically tap into this center, we hold others and ourselves as valuable beyond our box or bubble. We open to feeling how no matter all the errors our systems may incur, and we all have incurred them, we matter. Each of us matters.
The next time you want to shut down your joy and fall off of a chair in disbelief, like me, come back to your heart by using the breath. Breathing is a perfect gift into the heart. Feeling the lungs expand and contract, helps you to feel and become more aware of your center.
So as I sat there holding my heart and listening, I remembered: joy is in our systems when we take the time to remember who we all really are, whether our behavior shows others this or not. Our systems are joyful when we are in our most receptive, feeling state, loving all we are and all that we may one day come to know ourselves to be. Beyond all the labels and seeking and need, there is joy, right in the center of you. It starts with you. How deeply can you hold space here and listen?
About Courtney Rohan
A 200-hour certified teacher in the Yoga of Energy Flow, Courtney has been teaching yoga for 14 years. After completing her undergraduate work at Rutgers in English and Psychology, Courtney obtained a graduate degree in Education at Arcadia University and began teaching English in the public school system in Philadelphia while studying to become a certified Yoga and Thai Massage instructor. In addition to teaching Yoga, Courtney is a writer and freelance editor and has worked on a diverse range of material from manuscripts to children’s books and essays. As an Intuitive Coach and lifelong educator, Courtney works to commandeer possible approaches to support creation, manifestation, and healing while leading her students toward enlightenment.