Coming from the Heart

When doing a flower essence consultation, I usually use my pulse-reading skills to ascertain the health and balance of the person, both physically and on more subtle energetic levels. Basically, that means reading the state of their chakra system. Blockages, weaknesses, irritations or other imbalances in individual chakras frequently describe the main problems in a person's life. Having read hundreds of pulses in the last few years, certain patterns have emerged. I see a large number of people making their first steps into a higher awareness, opening up to the energies of the upper chakra points. I also see many people who are facing challenges and troubles with these first steps, hitting blockages that temporarily halt their growth. Most commonly, these blocks occur at the level of the heart and/or throat chakras -- people are having difficulty coming from the heart and speaking the truth they find there.

The inability to "come from the heart" may seem like an odd therapeutic description, but it sums up an important spiritual dilemma facing all too many of us these days. As I've come to know it, heart energies are about having a smooth, free-flowing connection with others. To an extent, these connections are about emotions, but the feelings can be more dispassionate than that. The word "compassion" (in the sense that Buddhism defines it) may come closest. The heart transcends the usual biological imperatives (survival, sex, power and prestige) represented by the three lower chakra points, creating the opportunity to emerge as a spiritual being ready to make soul-to-soul contacts with the people about us. We literally set aside our egotism and separateness, joining our energies with others. When done freely and in a balanced manner, this is the relationship we call love.

All too often, the heart is either shut down or expressing its energy in a distorted, unbalanced fashion based on fear. When this happens, love turns to coldness, spite, envy, jealousy, etc. -- what I call the "perversions of love". We set up emotional barriers to "protect" ourselves by shutting other people out of our lives. We become less authentic and open in the way we express ourselves, hiding behind a mask of deception and withdrawal until we no longer remember who we really are. Of course, this deprives us of the love the heart needs to flourish, causing the heart to shut down even more in an ever-deepening spiral. It's times like these that flower essences can be most useful, helping us to break free of this emotional death spiral.

Of all the flower essences I've ever made, I think the one I use the most is Lily of the Valley. I call this remedy the essence for breaking through a hardened heart. In herbalism and homeopathy, Lily of the Valley is a powerful medicine for the physical heart, strengthening a failing heart, steadying its erratic beats. I use it as an essence when I feel the person's heart energies are shut down or walled off, creating a sense of isolation and a lack of personal warmth. It's as though the person surrounded their heart in a stony shell that prevents any contact with others. By breaking through this protective barrier, the heart is again free to join its energies with others. There is often a sense of lightness when taking this remedy, as well as a profound relaxation of the chest (especially the muscles of the rib cage), as the burdens of our own defenses are lifted away. This feeling of lightness and openness with others is our spiritual birthright. Without opening up to compassion like this, the doors of the spiritual path remain closed.

Another remedy I'm becoming fond of lately is Gold gem elixir. A gem elixir is made and used just like a flower essence, except that metals or crystals are used in the process instead of flowers. Gold has always been associated with the sun and the heart in many esoteric traditions. Even homeopathy recognizes the power of Gold on the heart. As a gem elixir, it wakes up dormant heart energies, bringing warmth and vitality to this area of the body. It releases a open, magnanimous attitude in the way we relate to others. It combines strength and personal power with compassion. Metaphorically, it brings the sun into your heart and lets you shine.

Two of the more commonly known heart remedies are Holly and Yerba Santa. Holly is for treating those perversions of love I mentioned, pure and simple. It turns the heart around after it becomes lost and expresses love in a twisted fashion. Yerba Santa, on the other hand, is for a beaten down and discouraged heart. Often our attempts to open up result in being hurt by others, making one reluctant to ever try it again. The inner self is "protected" by hiding it away. Yerba Santa makes it easier to risk contact once more. And obviously, there are many other, less frequently used essences, too.

This is a time of immense spiritual growth in our lives, but it's impossible to experience this growth properly if you're hiding your true self from others -- and ultimately from yourself. This is why the heart center is so important to the spiritual path -- either you come to terms with these energies within you or your path is blocked. There's no reaching higher states of consciousness unless the heart is open first. You either come from the heart or you don't come at all. Let some flowers light up your heart!