Create the Life You Imagine ~ March 2019
Entering the Heart Center
“Our real journey in life is interior. It is a matter of growth, of deepening, of an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts”
~ Thomas Merton
When we begin to regularly connect with the fourth chakra energy of our heart center, we hit an important developmental stage in the evolution of our awareness and consciousness, and we open the capacity to make monumental leaps forward in realizing the higher possibilities of our lives. Before we move up to explore our upper triangle power centers, however, let’s review how the first four power centers impact the development of our consciousness and our capacity to move through our lives with expanded awareness and a greater sense of joy and presence.
Remember that the lower triangle is your “personality” self. It is home to your physical body (first chakra), your emotional body (second chakra) and your mental body (third chakra). As we worked through these centers over the last several weeks we explored the powers and vulnerabilities of each of these centers and we recognized that moving through these centers is a developmental process. The first three power centers open and develop in observable and overlapping stages. The first chakra opens from ages 0-5 as our life experiences allow us to make sense of our physical body and the workings of the physical world. The second chakra becomes active from about ages 2-13 as we explore our emotional body through our relationships with other people. The third chakra wakes up from about ages 9-25 as we begin to use our mental body to think, analyze, plan and make decisions with increasing independence. As we navigate through these stages we work through these formative life questions: Am I safe and protected? Am I loved, respected and cared for? Am I smart, competent and capable? You might recognize the alignment of these stages with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Physical and Safety Needs; Belonging and Love Needs; and Competency and Esteem Needs.
During these critical life stages we answer these formative life questions based on the experiences we have in life. We record these experiences in our chakra centers and we begin to form life narratives that reflect these early life experiences and that drive our reactions and responses to new life experiences. Positive early life experiences allow us to move through these life stages with relative ease, and you can imagine that these chakra centers stay relatively clear and open. More challenging life experiences create stress, pain and trauma, and you can imagine that these difficult experiences get stored like hardened energy into rocks or even boulders in these centers that clutter up our energy system and make it difficult to engage in new experiences without bumping into and activating the old stories.
The more cluttered up our lower triangle is with difficult life experiences, the more energy it takes to navigate life and to protect and defend our personality self from real or perceived threats, and the less energy we have to continue to grow and evolve into higher states of consciousness and awareness. It is like we are constantly getting tripped up by the rocks and boulders of past experiences and we use up most of our precious life energy managing the stress, anxiety and reactivity of the lower triangle. We get into predictable patterns of reactivity that we repeat again and again and again, making it difficult or impossible to activate the higher operating system of our Soul Self and stopping us from remembering and expressing the truth of who we really are.
As we think about the developmental evolution of our consciousness, during the earliest chapters of life I define our awareness as operating at the “Pre-Me” level. At this level of awareness, a child doesn’t have an organized sense of self and is really just a stream of physical and emotional reactions to the events of life. Physically they are wet, dry, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, tired, and so on. Emotionally they are happy, sad, excited, scared, mad or glad, depending on the experience they are having from moment to moment. At the Pre-Me stage children depend on others for their care and support, just as we would place a preemie baby in a neonatal intensive care unit to be monitored and cared for by trained professionals.
As our third chakra awareness begins to kick in, we start to develop a more conscious sense of self as our mental body starts to sort, organize and direct our thoughts, feelings and actions. I define this as the “Me” level of consciousness, and this is the small self voice we have described that focuses on the outer world and on managing life from the survival perspective of the lower triangle. The Me self keeps very busy monitoring the physical, emotional and mental reactions registering in our chakra centers and trying to keep it all together. However, as we have all experienced, sometimes the Me self reactivity creates lots of stress and struggle as it flails around in the emotional goo of past experiences or in the mental chaos caused by anxious fears and apprehensions about the future.
The connection to our fourth chakra is a turning point in our consciousness. As we discussed last week, this center is the balancing point of our energetic system and it is where we open the access channel to our Soul Self, or what we have called our higher operating system. Because the fourth chakra opens our awareness to unity consciousness, it has the ability to hold all of our parts together and to rise above the suffering and anxiety of the Me self. Connecting to the fourth chakra is like locking the handle bar onto a tricycle. Without the handle bar to steer the tricycle, the movement of the three spinning wheels are not organized and the tricycle just goes around and around in circles. But when you lock on the handle bar you gain the ability to steer the tricycle in a new direction and to navigate the road with greater control.
The meeting of the fourth chakra with the lower triangle locks the handle bar onto the three spinning wheels or chakra centers of the lower triangle. The connection to the fourth chakra creates a better integrated personality and prepares us to move forward on our consciousness journey. Because the fourth chakra does not operate in the duality thinking of the Me self, it has the capacity to bring the reactive parts of the lower triangle into awareness and to calm and direct the energies of the lower triangle in more productive ways.
The Me self lives inside all the stories of the past and cannot break out of the reactive patterns. It spins around scanning the environment to avoid pain and suffering and asking, how will that impact me, how are they treating me, how will that hurt me, how will that disempower me? It can quickly become a small self “me-me-me” pity party built on the fear of vulnerability created by the experiences of our past. But from the vantage point of the fourth chakra, we can use the energy of love and compassion that are the hallmarks of this center to do a gentle life balancing review—we can look down into the lower triangle and listen deeply to the stories and experiences that have piled up over time, and slowly and consciously clear the rock-like hardened energy of the past.
Ken Wilbur, a brilliant teacher of spiritual psychology, says that the process of coming into higher levels of consciousness and awareness is about growing up, waking up and then cleaning up our energy systems. We spend the first half of life growing up and filling our lower triangle memory banks with millions of experiences that we use to organize our stories about ourselves, about others and about life. Some of those stories are positive and productive and move us forward on our journey of consciousness, and some of those stories are damaging and destructive and stop us in our tracks despite our deeper desire to move forward.
As we hit the fourth chakra we have experiences of waking up. Through these awakening experiences, we begin to see that there is something bigger going on in the universe and that we have possibilities that are more expansive than our lower triangle, small self, Me personality can even imagine. If we are wise, we also recognize that we need to peer down into that lower triangle memory bank and clean up the clutter of stories from our past that interfere with our ability to operate our personality with focus, freedom and flexibility. The goal at this stage of the process is to raise our consciousness out of the lower triangle Me self and to increasingly anchor our awareness in the integrating energy of the fourth chakra heart center.
Growing up, waking up and cleaning up is an inside job and a process that takes time, commitment and awareness. We spend the first half of life constructing our life scripts from the level of our Me self, and until we can sort through, clean up and create some new stories, we just find new opportunities to reenact the old ones. The waking up experience is a feeling of liberation from the limiting beliefs of the small self and a part of us wants to race ahead on our journey of consciousness. But just when we think we are ready to trade in our tricycle for a Porsche, we bump into an experience that triggers a difficult story in our lower triangle and we get the chance to wake up again and clean up the old story. If we can stay patient, engaged and aware of our lower triangle responses, over time we can clean up that lower triangle so our personality self is clear, flexible, free and nimble. Then our lower triangle is transformed into a marvelous vehicle for our invisible Soul Self, and we can use our lower triangle as the vehicle to bring this higher consciousness of our Soul Self into expression in our lives and in the world.
Wishing you the blessings and light of the Soul, as you create the life you imagine.
As I think about the growing up, waking up and cleaning up formula for our consciousness journey, it reminds me of preparing a home for a new baby or for the arrival of a very special guest. We get that “nesting” instinct and start to busily clean up the house and clear away the clutter, so our home is beautiful, ready and prepared for this special visitor. As we prepare to engage the higher energies of our Soul Self we need to do the same thing. We need to clean up our lower triangle and clear out the emotional and mental clutter, so we are ready and prepared for the sacred visit of our Soul energy into our lives.
As you do some of your own clean-up work this week, anchor your awareness in your heart center and with great love and compassion, begin to take a self-reflective inventory of your lower triangle. Think about the three life stages I described and the critical questions for each stage, and journal about any experiences you had in life that compromised your ability to answer these questions with a resounding “Yes.” The goal this week is just to bring those past experiences into awareness without any judgment or resistance. We all have difficult experiences in life and right now we just want to name them. Next week I will share with you a fourth chakra process to transform the stories left behind by those difficult experiences, and to free up the energy that has gotten hardened around them.
Remember the heart center is tied to the breath. So as you do this work, don’t hold your breath and dive deeply inside that lower triangle and into the suffering or trauma of the old stories. Rather, stay energetically anchored above that lower triangle in the heart center, breathing deeply into and around those memories, like you are watching them as the flashback scenes on a movie screen. Here are the questions for your memory journal:
Am I safe and protected (Ages 0-5)?
Am I loved, respected and cared for (Ages 2-13)?
Am I smart, competent and capable (Ages 9-25)?
To activate our Soul energy, we need to rise above our lower triangle and make our heart our home in our energy system. To inspire you this week, click below to find Kate's My Heart Your Home to remind you to invite the energy of your Soul into your heart. 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.