Create the Life You Imagine ~ June 2019
The Practice: Self Love and Acceptance—How do I hold and include all the parts together as I grow into awareness of the Mystery that is unfolding around me and through me?
"And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
~ Thomas Merton
As we continue to move from the crown down, we emerge into the heart center from that fifth chakra funnel where a piece of the Divine was channeled into each one of us. Our Soul is a distinctive and unique expression of that Divine energy and if we allow that energy to flow down into the heart center, still in deep connection with that Divine Field of consciousness, we will be overwhelmed by the Mystery of the One Source suddenly appearing in so many beautiful forms and expressions. You might imagine walking through a gate and emerging into a stunning and diverse cosmic garden, and let your mind summon up images of ethereal plants, flowers, birds, animals and butterflies, all glimmering with light and stunning in the variety of shapes, colors, and forms that appear as far as the eye can see.
As a mom of four, this movement from the fifth chakra expression center into the heart center reminds me of the elementary self-portraits that all of my children and their classmates painted in their school each year. As parents we entered the school to see all the walls lined with the artistic self-renderings of the children. I remember all the art work looking so lovely, and the children feeling so proud of themselves and their work, and the school being lively and alive with the Mystery of that Divine consciousness moving through each of those little humans. I was just overwhelmed every year by the distinctive beauty of each child and the many ways they found to express their inner light through their paintings. I posit that none one of us as parents were looking at the art work or the children and judging, comparing or valuing the children’s artwork or their worthiness; we all just smiled with love and appreciation at the beauty all around us and felt grateful for the privilege of participating in such a delight filled moment in time.
This is fourth chakra energy. The hallmark of this fourth chakra energy is Unity consciousness—the One in the many and the many in the One. There is no separation, no small self thinking, no judgment or comparison, no me or mine, just radical inclusivity, a deep sense of present moment awareness and full-bodied appreciation for the experience of participating in the Divine Dance with all of creation in all of its forms. The words we tend to associate with this center are love, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and joy. When we are fully flowing in this stream of Divine Love in our heart center, it really is an overwhelming experience of delight in the face of All That Is.
When we think about words like love and acceptance, however, we tend to immediately think of the other. We “should” ourselves about our obligation to love and accept and forgive others. But the imperative of the fourth chakra power as we flow down into our personality is that we must love and accept ourselves first. When we flow from the crown down, it is easier to remember that we are each a ray of that Divine Light and to accept fully the experiences that lie in front of us as part of our path of awareness, growth, evolution and return that we will each undertake. As we looked at all those little beings in the elementary school, I’m sure we all knew that despite the magical paintings on the wall and the glimmering light all around us in that moment, that each of our children would move out into the world and experience their share of challenges and hardships, and that they would stumble and sometimes fall. But that truth about the process of life did not dim the light we saw around our children in that moment or the hope and optimism we had for their futures. We simply surrounded them with love and accepted what was unfolding in that moment, and in all the moments to come, knowing that each of them was an expression of the Divine. This is a gift we must give to ourselves.
The extraordinary capacity of the fourth chakra heart center is its ability to hold all the parts and the pieces together in one wholistic embrace, including the light and the shadow of all things we will encounter in this experience of Life. The heart center holds everything together in non-dual, non-judgmental, non-attachment. It brings a both-and, either-or orientation to life and it includes without judgment or rejection all the parts of myself, the magical and the messy; it accepts all the parts of others, the delightful and the dreadful; and it says yes to all the parts of life, the exhilarating and the debilitating. The heart center emerges from the Divine Flow and moves into the experience of life with gratitude and appreciation, and when the small self ego gets battered and bruised on the more difficult edges of life, it invites it in and listens to its difficult stories with love and care and compassion. If we can stand in this sacred energy of the heart center and enter fully into the flow of that Divine energy, we change the charge we bring into life from fear to love, from competition to cooperation, from exclusivity to inclusivity, from anxiety to acceptance, and from judgment to forgiveness. In this way the fourth chakra becomes a balancing point, a safe harbor, where we can receive and transform our pain and the pain of others through the power of love and compassion.
Let me be clear that this fourth chakra energy is not a naïve, wishy-washy, Hallmark movie version of love. This Divine Love is big enough to hold all of my joy and all of my suffering as I live into my fullest expression of that Mystery, and it is big enough to hold all of yours. In this fourth chakra energy we will be held with gentleness and kindness and compassion as we seek to shed the suffering and disappointment of the small self and to live into the expansive and transformative Mystery in which we all participate every moment. Even in our brokenness and our messiness, we are called back into relationship and wholeness with ourselves and with others if we move from the crown down. Here is the choice: Will we enter into that Divine Flow through the power of our heart center, or will we get seduced by the separated self thinking of the lower triangle for the sake of protection, safety and certainty?
The shadow side of the fourth chakra is activated when we enter it in suffering from the small self of the lower triangle. When life gets difficult and hard we enter the fourth chakra looking for protection and our small self instinct is to shut down and shutter the door, and to close off our heart because we don’t think we can bear the pain, sadness, disappointment or grief that are inevitable parts of life. But if we remember to flow from the crown down, the heart responds to the pain of the lower triangle with love and compassion but doesn’t get pulled down into the lower triangle drama. Our fourth chakra invites us into open-hearted engagement even when, perhaps especially when, it’s hard. It knows that grief, sadness, and pain are the holes in the personality that lead us into the heart, and then to our Soul, and this movement opens the way back into wholeness.
If you ever read the book, The Shack, the Divine energy in the story was represented in part by a female character that talked about all the different humans she watches and when each one came up in conversation she said, “Oh, he’s my favorite,” or “Oh, she’s my favorite.” When one of the characters remarked that they can’t all be your favorite, she said she just loved them all—the ones that were put together, the ones that were messy, the ones that were stuck, and the ones that were evolving—because they all were an expression of the Divine Dance expressing itself in many forms. This is a great representation of our fourth chakra power. When we are living in the flow of our fourth chakra power center, we know that life is a creative art project and like those elementary children we are trying to paint the very best expression of ourselves as we go. Our journey will be more life-giving if we can stay in that flow and hold ourselves with compassion as we make our way, willing to be in the process of Life with ourselves and with others in an energy of love and acceptance.
In his latest book, The Universal Christ, Franciscan author Richard Rohr wrote that, “God loves things by becoming us.” This is fourth chakra mystical awareness—that the light of the Divine is shining in us, in others and in all things in creation. Through this beautiful and simple phrase, Rohr invites us to see and experience “The Divine DNA” moving through us and through all things. The Trappist Monk and spiritual teacher, Thomas Merton, had just such a breakthrough mystical experience in the middle of a busy city street, and he described it like this:
“I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers…This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud...I have the immense joy of being [a human being], a member of a race in which [the Divine Mystery becomes] incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
The heart center remembers that we are all shining like a sun and invites us to live our lives in the inclusive, wholistic and healing energy of that flow.
Wishing you the blessings and light of the Soul, as you create the life you imagine.
This week you can activate the energy of the heart center by activating your inner artist like those elementary students. Find some time during this holiday week to paint, color or draw the energy of your heart center. Don’t paint your personality, paint your Soul sitting in the energy of your heart. Use colors, glitter, ribbons or whatever else you can find that makes you feel that magical and glistening energy of the Soul emerging from that upper triangle funnel and into the heart center.
If art isn’t your thing or you want to add another layer to your practice, then in your meditation, let yourself imagine that upper triangle funnel filling with light. Now imagine a spark of that light emerging as your Soul from the end of the funnel and into your heart center. Your Soul feels alive with light and energy as it emerges, and it is drawn to a majestic gate. Inside that gate is a cosmic garden designed just for you. Imagine all of its beauty, trees, flowers, birds and animals. Sense the colors, sounds, and smells of the garden. Let your imagination bring anything that would make you feel joyful or content into the garden—maybe a bench or a chaise lounge or a water feature or a statue. Find a place to rest in that garden and let the light of the sun pour over your body surrounding you with light and penetrating through every cell of your body. Feel your breath moving gently in and out of your lungs and connect with the joy and contentment to be found in every moment and in every breath. Inside this garden you will always be reconnected with your Soul, your True Self, and you can receive all the love, compassion, and acceptance you need to live into the power of your Soul and to bring it into full expression in your life. If you ask, you may experience a Divine presence in your garden, an angel, ancestor, teacher or guide, who may offer you a message or wisdom to help you on your way. Know that you can return to this garden anytime you need to connect with your Soul or this Divine presence, to restore your balance and to renew your energy.
To inspire you this week, click below to find Kate singing In This Very Room to help you return to your heart center. In the heart center there is always quite enough love and quite enough power. Let this energy fill your meditation practice and your week.You might use it in the background during the breathing meditation, by going to the Products Page on my website and just scroll down to the Transcendence CD and click the track. Both of Kate's CD's are available for purchase on that page.