In the summer of 2013 I was contacted by someone who wanted to trade a psychic reading for an item in my etsy shop. If you know me at all, you know there’s no way I would refuse such an offer. One of the things she told me is that I needed to open my heart chakra. She was right. I had closed my heart as protection from all the betrayal and injury from others that I had experienced in my life. So I went to work. I did heart opening meditations on youtube, ordered a yoga dvd specifically focused on opening the heart chakra, and I ordered green stones like jade to aid in the process. But my heart was still damaged, hurt and closed off from the world. In fact, some of the heart opening techniques I was using were overbearing. I was digging up old feelings that were really difficult to deal with, and I experienced a lot of anxiety that summer.
I started attending kirtan every week. Kirtan is a practice of bhakti yoga, and it’s a yoga of the heart. Every week we would chant to Krishna. (I didn’t know that at the time.) Krishna is the energy of love. Before chanting this mantra (hare krishna, hare krishna, krishna krishna, hare hare. Hare ram, hare ram. Ram ram, hare hare) Samata guided us to think about a time when we experience pure unconditional love. I thought about the pure unconditional love I feel for my loyal dog. And as we began chating I felt my heart chakra FLY open like a door. Love came flying in. I became aware that love is everything and love is the most powerful thing there is in the entire universe. Love is our truth, and love is what we are. Love can combat evil and transform any situation at the turn of a dime. Being open to and experiencing that love, I started to feel the deep, deep pain of not receiving pure, unconditional love from those I love so dearly and the pain of losing those people. This time it was a healthy process because I was in a place of love. For four weeks I cried while chanting hare krishna, but on the fifth week I did not. I had cleared away a lot of that pain, and I was now free to simply experience pure love.
This heart opening has transformed my life. Encapsulating that pure, divine love helps me to live my purpose which is to encourage others to reach their highest potential. I’ve experienced the transformation that happens when someone is in pain and I give them a long hug. This act is the most powerful act in the world. It transcends any conflict, and you can physically see the healing that takes place in the other person.
We’re so, so lacking in love, and yet it’s all around us. We are love. We come from love. We’re created by love. But we’ve been so wounded by the world around us that we closed our hearts because we didn’t have the strength to be vulnerable. But in so doing we closed ourselves off to life, to the essence of the universe. Opening our hearts is the path to really living, to knowing our power and escaping from the seclusion, desolation and loneliness of living inside of these little bodies in the big scary world. Opening our hearts is our connection to life, to the universe and to our source.
Here’s a krishna chant for you to enjoy.