Love in abundance, comes only through great love
I have always jokingly praised yoga for keeping me from losing my mind while taking public transportation. It is amazing what the breath can do.
I have channeled my breath, deep inhalations and slow exhalations, on several occasions when there were times of stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion. Engaging the breath has given my brain a moment to relax and relate rather than react.
A few years ago there was subway strike and stress levels were raised across the board with packed, late trains filled with annoyed people rushing to work then rushing home to repeat the cycle.
One morning, I asked a woman if I could sit. She was in a three-row seat and she gave me the nastiest look I have ever received…ever. We were all in this together, I thought. Of course, she apprehensively moved in slow motion. How dare I inconvenience her, right? I sat but I was pissed and I recognized that my breathing was quick-paced. Noticing my behavior, I focused my energy by listening to calming music and took deep inhales and exhales. As the train continued to add more people and less space, my “friendly” companion wanted to spark conversation and commensurate. I did not give her the satisfaction. Ultimately when she left the train, she told me to have a good day. I mustered up a smile but I didn’t want to. Forcing a smile on my face was my way of letting go of her and her bad energy and trying my hand at kindness when it is not always the first route at times.
It’s very hard to show compassion when faced with rude, unfriendly people. I feel that yoga kicks in just when a random person is yelling in my face or someone doesn’t hold the door as if no one is behind them. In the city, I am constantly taking a deep inhalation and exhalation so that I don’t transfer negative actions to someone else. I aim to do acts of kindness all day no matter how small and without anticipating anything in return. Letting someone in front of me during traffic or not honking the horn has made me feel better and I hope it makes other people think of doing the same. These little daily things matter as the sum could result in an overall unhappy disposition. The heart chakra applies to the little things. What one may think as insignificant, may generate positive or negative thoughts.
Like water, air is life. The element for the 4th chakra, is air which is incredibly important. The heart chakra balances the physical and spiritual chakras at the center of your chest which also corresponds with your lungs and thymus gland. One can go weeks without food, days without water, hours without heat but ONLY minutes without air.
I aim to continue balancing my needs because I believe in the idea of keeping your cup full. Like a bank account, if my heart isn’t tended to or if I hold my breath, I am going to need a deposit soon and too many withdrawals will leave you broke, sad and suffocating. Though learning to love oneself is a journey, I am glad I have arrived to realize that taking care of myself is fine and that can only help others along the way.
If you are experiencing an imbalance, you may notice feelings of anger, jealousy, loneliness or maybe you lack boundaries and overly willing to please. If you have a balanced heart, you feel a natural compassion for others. You love them right where they are.
Tips for loving yourself!
- Be nice to yourself. Begin your day with a smile and positive affirmations
- Listen to peppy music to get your energy up
- Wear green to invoke the feeling of love around you
- Meditate and practice yoga postures which lead with the heart
If you have other ideas, please share!!