“… and the magic woman said: “Surely I can tie all winds and storms in a single thread, but I cannot give you any greater power than what you already have within you – which is the purity of your heart. Don’t you see how powerful it is? How with your lightness of step, and kindness of rhythm you touch the hands and hearts of all people and little animals? There is no greater power than the power of love. And it is only this love that can defeat all snow kingdoms and melt ice from people’s hearts returning them to love. Even with all my magic, I bow to such power.” ~ The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

To read my full essay on the power of love, I welcome you to read What The Snow Queen Knows. And today, I’ll share with you three beautiful things to know about the heart space, and how you may connect to its energy for deeper and more fulfilling relationships within and with others.

Whenever we speak of the heart we often think of our chakras – so before we begin, let’s first clarify this. In the Western world there is a belief that there are seven chakras, and the heart is the 4th, which essentially acts as a balancer and harmonizer – it’s a kind of a seal of time. From the higher chakras we absorb or are opened to more macro, abstract and timeless information, and then the lower three chakras are very “now” spaces and are basically what “digests” this higher information into the current moment through our past experiences, thoughts, conditioning, and emotions, which is why it is so important to cleanse and balance the mental and emotional bodies, so that we can tune into the correct information without much misunderstanding, conditioning or bias.

In this way, our heart is the space where the past meets the future in the present – and this is how we are born, soul meets flesh, and our heart starts beating so that we are alive and able to love.

The so-called seven chakras talked about in the West are not necessarily seven – and this is not an end all be all. They were brought from the East, and interpreted in a way that would make sense in the West and then evolved and changed through the years even more; but there are various schools of thoughts and spiritual traditions in the East, each one using different “chakras”. There is actually no consensus in Hinduism, and never has been, about the number of chakras and it is differently interpreted depending on cultures. Some use three, while others and also some as written in ancient mystical text, use hundreds. So what matters most is to understand the essence and energy of the heart space itself.

In Bhakti Yoga, while the number of chakras varies from Western thought, the focus is always on the heart space because this is the center of spiritual devotion. Devotion is the veil through which awareness shows its beautiful face. There are many ways to practice devotion, not only religious or spiritual – devotion is found in the tending to another, whether person or cause, and in walking a kindness and patience of rhythm.

When one enters mysticism and begins their walk on the spiritual path, often times the focus or pressure may be on the development of their intuitive or psychic abilities – which begins from the heart connection and expansion. But the actual purpose of psychic development, or the essence of it, is personal development. What we need to understand is that even if we don’t have incredible cities and worlds open up through intuitive abilities and visions, the biggest gift is to be able to sit with God in our heart, i.e. union within and openness towards.

Christian monks sit in prayer and this is their way; Buddhist monks sit in meditation and this is their way. Even if we can only give ourselves a few minutes each day to sit with love, sit with peace, sit with trust and with acceptance, this is a meaningful way. Think back to all the spiritual masters throughout humanity – you did not see any of them lead with their psychic abilities, nor did they even think this was a big deal after all. What they taught us was the importance of deepening our connection to our heart, to know thyself, to become an embodiment of love and to be of service to others.

It really doesn’t mean all that much to have psychic visions nor see or read the future like perhaps Nostradamus did – it actually isn’t a big deal to do that, we won’t get special treats on the other side if we do, and that’s not the point of incarnation anyway. In its essence, spiritual development is about a deepening, an opening; it is about our ability to sit with God in our heart – to sit with love in our heart, to feel love in our body, to feel peace in our body. Because only then can we feel beyond our self truly and in a more meaningful way; and then have the capacity to build and nourish more fulfilling relationships with others.

Three Things to Know about the Heart Space

The Open Pathway

The chakra or space of the heart is represented by the element of air. The root is earth, the sacral is water, the solar is fire – and our heart is air. It is about freedom, openness and ability to flow continuously. To think of it more visually: there are some old buildings in the Yucatan that you might have seen whether online or during your travels, where they have really long corridors; and if you stand in the center of the corridor, you’d feel the breeze cooling your skin as everywhere else the heat and humidity can be really extreme. They call these “the heart of the building”.

In the same way, hearts are meant to be open, as they are portals and gateways. This is why you’d often read or learn that the heart is the initiatory pathway towards higher consciousness. The heart is what connects us to another person, and when two hearts are open and connect, we build our bridge of love.

So let’s look at an example within the context of a relationship. I had a client who was in long distance relationship, and once she kept writing messages to her partner because he wasn’t replying. The more he was quiet, the longer her messages became; and the longer they became, the quieter he became. She tried each key in her purse to open up the door to him – but he had locked it from inside – and there she was, standing alone in the corridor of their relationship. Naturally, she’d eventually pull back and close her door as well. And then, there would be no one in the corridor to meet in togetherness.

All he’d need to do is just say, “I hear you, I see you.” If he doesn’t have the ability to respond nor does he want to open up why and share his vulnerability, because perhaps he is going through a hard time, that’s okay – but he needs to just say, “I hear you, I see you.” That’s all we want in relationship – to be seen and heard, otherwise, there is no connection, to bridge between us. Keep the doors open, because love needs openness to breathe and thrive.

Feminine energy is like water, it needs to flow, and yet simultaneously be held in some sense of stability. When there is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty coming from her partner, a woman’s nervous system begins to de-regulate and her worries increase; and she will use every single tool in her capacity to keep herself on the surface of the water, so that she doesn’t drown. She needs to feel a sense of knowing and control, that everything will be okay, and if her partner isn’t letting her know what’s going on, she’ll feel really unstable. So when women are confused and feel chaotic in relationships, it is usually because their partner isn’t clear about his intentions, feelings and situation.

A woman needs stability, consistency, and trusting that she can rely on her partner. So what her partner needs to do in those times is not close-off nor keep quiet, but rather, he needs to just let her know he is still there, and even if he has problems or doesn’t know the path forward, together they’ll figure it all out. We don’t need to always have all the answers to the future, but togetherness and open communication is what every relationship needs.

The Two Chambers

The next thing to know about the heart is that it has two chambers. The first receives blood, and the second pumps it out – this is how we are alive. In astrology, the two houses associated with the heart are the 4th and the 5th. The 4th house is our first chamber – it is how we were loved, we received love, life, blood, we learned to be nurtured and loved, so that we can nurture and love others also. It is the home of our heart, the church within, and the part of us that we hold most sacredly – it is our ability to love and be loved. It is also our mother, and deepest part of us, and often times when people have blocked heart energy the way to open it is through healing the relationship with their mother, to forgive, heal and if possible, build a better relationship with her.

The second chamber of the heart is then the 5th house – as out of our ability to love we express this love externally through creativity, joy and playfulness. Our laughter creates laughter in others, our playfulness and joy inspire others, and we create many things each day, not only babies – we create meals, art, and beautiful experiences with our family.

What this all reminds us is that the heart is about interdependence, just like we as human beings are interdependent – love is about giving and receiving, giving and receiving, giving and receiving. This creates love, life, all and everything. Relationships too thrive on interdependence, and both people need to engage and give and receive, otherwise love cannot sustain nor be nurtured.

The Heart, The Love

So last, but certainly not least, is “I love you”. I’ve written about this before when we talked about the power of prayer, and there I shared how saying “I love you” can be one of our most powerful prayers. What is prayer? It is connection – creating a bridge made of love, trust and faith, it’s an openness and inviting to deepen and connect. What often blocks our heart space is fear – and one feels fear no matter the shape or form, our entire body contracts. On the other hand, when we feel love, our heart space opens, our energy expands, and your body will feel more relaxed.

When we speak these words truly there is no fear, no doubt, no judgment, no expectation, no condition, no hatred, no greed within them. So when a person says “I love you” and they mean it truly, it fills their entire body with heart energy. There is no fear, no resistance, no judgment – only love and trust, and in that is surrender opening us to live wholeheartedly.

The purpose of prayer is union – you cannot unite with anything nor anyone without trust, without surrender of your control and without the humility that you don’t know it all, as we need to treasure the humility that there is something beyond us. This is what prayer is, and this is what love is. And this is why devotion is the key to the heart opening.

You yourself were born of love, of prayers, of the gift and the mutual decision of all your cells that united together to mutually say yes to you, yes to life. And now you have a nose to smell the apples and flowers, you have ears to adore the laughter of your family, you have feet to be in a relationship with the earth and to dance barefoot freely, you have hands with which to hold another’s hands, and you have lips to speak love. In so many ways, and more, our heart and our love are felt and embodied.

Love consciously, and love fully, do not be afraid to love and be loved, and to express this gift of love you’ve been gifted to feel. Our beloved is a gift of God, our family is a gift of God, love itself is a seed of God; it is gift we were gifted that resides in our heart – and we are meant to nourish it, nurture it, water it, so that it grows in a beautiful flower that will scent the lives of others around us. And to love, is truly, the most beautiful gift we can give another, and ourselves.

For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.

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Cover photograph by me of our beautiful wild roses.

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