Alchemy of the Heart

There is a saying that the longest journey you will take in this life is from your head to your heart. At times, traveling this path is challenging because our fearful mind thinks it knows best. The truth is that the mind is best used when it can be a humble servant, surrendering its fears to the limitless love, wisdom, and wholeness found within our heart.

Although the power of the heart is well understood within many spiritual traditions, science is now catching up with this ageless wisdom. Gregg Braden explains that the heart’s electric field is 100 times stronger than the brain’s electrical field, and the heart’s magnetic field is 5,000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field. Our hearts are truly super conductors of love!

With all of this magnetic and electrical power, the heart is actually an energy vortex that can be accessed and used to transmute fear into love. This is the alchemy of the heart. Utilizing the heart’s incredible alchemical power is a practical way to feel better and release fears and painful emotions you may be experiencing.

Here is one of my favorite exercises to utilize the power of the heart. It’s especially helpful to do this when you are experiencing emotional pain, because the feeling will be easy to access. Keep in mind that the feeling can also be in the form of a negative thought or self-judgment, as these thoughts generate painful emotions.

To begin the exercise, notice where you feel the negative emotion in your body. If you have a hard time feeling the emotion physically, just hold your awareness on the negative feeling. Second, visually imagine bringing the feeling into your heart. It can be helpful to imagine the emotion as a tangible object that you are moving into the heart space. Because energy follows awareness, you are basically using your awareness to visually move the emotion (which holds an energy) into the vortex of the heart.

You can also use your breath to direct the emotion into your heart. As you inhale, use the movement of your breath to guide the emotion into the heart space. As you exhale, just relax. Take as many breaths as you need until you feel the emotion centered in the heart.

I also find it helpful to use your hands to guide the emotion into your heart. Although this is an internal process, it does help to sweep the hands from the part of the body where you feel the emotion and imagine that you are guiding the energy of the emotion into the heart. You can experiment and see whether visualization, a guided breath, or hand movements (or a combination of the three) works best for you.

Once you can feel the emotion in the area of your heart, place both your hands over your heart as a way to “hold” the energy there. The emotion can stay in the heart area without this physical gesture, but I find that this helps. As you “hold” the emotion in your heart, take some deep, mindful breaths. Imagine breathing the emotion into your heart with each inhale and relax on the exhale.

The last step is to affirm to yourself that this emotion, this painful part of you, is okay. A good affirmation is, “I love and accept this part of myself.” If the emotion is especially intense, it helps to repeat the affirmation as a mantra or prayer as you breathe and hold your hands over your heart.

Often, the painful emotion will want to move away from the heart and back into another part of the body. I have found that consistently bringing the emotion back into the heart (even if it retreats time and time again) helps to transmute the negative emotion.

The heart can transform any negative emotion or thought, no matter how intense or overwhelming they feel. In my experience, this exercise seems to work the best with the thoughts and emotions that many people would describe as the darkest, most shameful and guilty parts of themselves. However, less intense negative emotions can certainly be transmuted in the heart space as well.

As you continue traveling the path of this dynamic, beautiful, and mysterious life experience, remember that relief from painful emotions is never far away. Through the alchemy of the heart, we can powerfully transform fear into love.

With love & gratitude ~ Erin Stohl

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About the writer: Erin Stohl

Guided by the path of the heart, Erin supports others on the journey of remembering their True Self. She combines traditional, somatic, and spiritual psychotherapy with energy work, nutrition support and other mindfulness-based practices.

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