Filling Your Cups: Self-Care and the Chakras, Chakra 4

Self-Care for the Fourth Chakra: LOVING LIFE!

Photo from, from the artist belle-co

I picked this photograph to represent this 4th chakra because Joy and Love for Life are big parts of filling up the energy battery of the 4th chakra. So often people think of “Love” just the love between people in a romantic relationship. While that is indeed a very special aspect of love, it is just one part.

The heart chakra is the energy center that is most well understood in Western culture, even if people mostly associate it mostly with romantic love. The concepts behind the other chakras can feel pretty foreign to most, but “chakra” is becoming a more commonly known word. We can thank the mythos of our cultural stories, movies, and television for the familiar idea of an emotional heart center. We realize this emotional center is more than the vital, physical heart that pumps life-giving, oxygenated blood through the body system.

This emotional heart, or heart chakra, is the center where we experience love, having “heart” or the capacity to care for something beyond ourselves: be it the love of a sport, a cause, a group of people in need, the Earth, or a special person (to name a few). There are lots of kinds of love – brotherly or sisterly love, love for a friend, soul-friend, family member, or coworker. Then there is love that might be more accurately and comfortably described as compassion, caring, empathy, or appreciation for colleagues, patients, clients, people who you interact with through a work or volunteering situation, neighbors, people who have similar belief systems, or even people in need that you see on the news or on TV. Heck we can even feel love or compassion for fictional characters! (Lust as well – but that is more talking about the 2nd chakra).

There is love for the self, and the capacity to receive love (which can be difficult for some people). In fact this whole blog series on Self-Care for the Chakras is one big way of talking about self-love, or caring for yourself.

Love for Life is another form of love! It can be a big passion for something special, or just the ability to laugh and have fun, doing everyday things, or special activities designed for fun. Silliness is often part of this, just the ability to take life less seriously, and loosen-up can be a very joyful experience.

Love can also be expressed and felt as Devotion – or Love for the Divine (please insert the name or names that you choose here). I have respect for whatever you belief and hold sacred. Please don’t get cranky with me for not thinking there is one right way of having faith. I want to be inclusive to people of all beliefs and faiths here.

The Beatles sang, “All you need is love!” I feel strongly that all of our energy batteries (chakras) need fed, but this 4th chakra energy battery is undoubtedly a very important one! When there is a lack of feeling of love for life, there can be an overwhelming “blah feeling,”even sadness or depression. Hey, everyone can have bad days and challenging life experiences. Most people forget how to love life from time to time, from minutes to years. But coming back to loving life again and again as a practice … makes it easier. It’s my intention to spend as much time as I can loving life. Loving life can include but doesn’t always mean jumping up for joy/ Sometimes loving life is more of a quiet appreciation, or even thinking – wow this thing that is happening is difficult, but I do know (even if I forget what that feels like right now) that love is all around me.

How about you? Do you have an intention to Love Life? Perhaps you haven’t thought of it like that before. If not, maybe you’d like to start!  Here’s some more ideas about how to do that!

A little more on the topic of Loving Life: I had a turning point a couple of decades ago with this chakra. I was getting to this notion intuitively and through reading some inspirational

books, but this little affirmation encapsulated it, and I started saying it many times a day for a year or more. I still say this affirmation sometimes and smile, because this affirmation has become one of my intentions for life, and a new way of thinking and being. In the book, Mudras, Yoga With Your Hands, Gertrud Hirschi shares the affirmation “I love life and life loves me.” I love simple things that are profound. This affirmation means so much to me. What do these words mean to you?

This affirmation provided a lot of healing for my 4th chakra. Growing up, I felt a little like an outsider. It took awhile for me to feel lovable from more than just a few people in my inner circle. To feel worthy, lovable, worth caring for has been a practice and a journey, as it is for many of us. Saying this affirmation with intention, I began to see how life loved me in so many ways – the cool breeze on my face, a tree waving “hi” in the breeze, the beautiful sky I happened to see, a random stranger smiling at me, a happy exchange with someone in a store or passed by on the street. I began appreciating more, when life situations brought kindness and goodness my way. Just sitting with a tree and sending it love, I started to feel it loving me back. Horses, dogs, plants, rivers, people… by seeing and looking for that love and goodness with them, I started to feel it reflected back to me. It’s a practice that has changed my life. Please note my use of the word “practice.” It is something that needs to be returned to, gets easier with time, and grows with intention and attention.

Love for Life is something worth reflecting upon. Focusing on your capacity for Happiness, Joy, and Love for Life fills your energy battery so you can bring more heart energy to your relationship. Feeling love for life is part of loving yourself. If one tries just to fill up their heart chakra or love battery only with love from their special person, it can drain that person and the relationship. It can become addictive, codependent, obsessive, and sometimes downright weird. Love can become a drug – especially when you think you can only get it in a love relationship. Find appropriate ways to connect with caring, kindness, and joy for life that fill your heart chakra, and you’ll find your heart can keep expanding its capacity for feeling love for life.

What do you love about life? What brings you joy? These are often questions that I ask my clients, because connecting again to what we love helps us to connect with our purpose for being here. Being sad, being depressed – can sometimes be a symptom of being disconnected to your soul’s purpose, and be a sign that this (or another) energy battery is low. I’m not discounting biology, genetics, physiology, or science, just adding that this can be a soul-level piece of the puzzle.

There is always Love around us! Divine Light and Love is present (I believe, and I know I’m not alone here) in everyone and everything! It is a vibration. Did you ever notice how when you’re in a crappy mood (I was reminded of this this morning) that things just seem to conspire to continue your crappy mood? Mechanical things may suddenly glitch, appointments you were counting on get cancelled, and things just don’t go your way?

When that happens, pause. Take a moment to open your heart – through prayer, thinking of what you are grateful for (even if it’s a few little things), visualizing love around you (perhaps from the Divine, your ancestors, or angels), listening to beautiful music, seeing images that fill your heart (find a puppy, kitten, and baby video, or pictures of adorable couples holding hands!)… whatever works for you. You may find this shifts your experience.

Here is a prayer and intention that may also help, that I wrote for this reason, inspired by Lisa Barnett’s book: From Questioning to Knowing, 73 Prayers to Transform Your Life.

Intention For Accessing the Love That is Always Around You

Dear Beloved Friend, Goddess, God (please replace those words as needed to fit your spiritual or religious beliefs), Please hold me in your grace today.
Help me to remember that your love is always present, inside and around me, everywhere.
Help me to remember at least three ways you have already touched my life today with Divine Love.
(Pause to let those thoughts come to you). I am grateful.
It is my intention to be in the flow of Divine Love, Compassion, and Grace today.
I open my eyes and heart to see opportunities for aligning with light and love, and sharing that energy through my thoughts, words, and actions.
I feel how Divine light and love expands and grows as I give and receive it.
I remember that all beings are worthy of love and kindness, and I endeavor to see the divine spark in all beings I interact with.
Please help me to love life today, and to not deflect but to receive the love and kindness that is given to me.
I feel my heart energy grow, and my joy for life grow, as I live in this grace of giving and receiving love and kindness.
The cup of my heart overflows!
And so it is.

Wishing you love and kindness in your day, and all days to come. <3

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