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Friday, February 4, 2011

Foods for the Heart Chakra

Thankfully I got over my writer's block procrastination mode, finished up Chapter 3, and am moving on to the next chapter of the latest book which is focused on Heart Chakra stuff. The 4th or Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest.

The main issues of the heart chakra involve love and relationships. But unlike lower chakras, where love is dependent on others, such as the tribal love of the root chakra, or the sexual love of the second chakra, heart chakra love is a state of being that is both enduring and constant regardless of external influences. When the heart chakra is fully developed and balanced, we have a sense of forgiveness and compassion. This is not just for others, but for ourselves as well. We have developed full self-acceptance. This chakra typically develops around the age range of 21-28. Once we understand our place in the world, have gained our sense of independence, and are clear on our own personal power, we can develop this sense of acceptance. It is a challenging chakra because we start to move away from the tangible, solid and earthly goals of the lower chakras into a more spiritual nature. And, along the way, "broken hearts and spirits" can set us back in this development.

When the heart chakra is spinning too fast, the person can be very conditional in their love. It is an overly dramatic, possessive type of love. If this chakra is blocked, the person may feel unworthy of receiving love, have a deep fear of rejection, and be quite self-pitying. Emotional dysfunctions experienced with an unbalanced heart chakra include co-dependency, fears concerning loneliness,commitment or betrayal, and melancholic moods.

When your heart chakra is balanced, you feel compassion and your love is unconditional and nurturing. Most of all you feel accepting of yourself. This balance is achieved through appropriate boundaries where you neither give yourself away to others, nor demand others give themselves to you. It is about finding the supportive love you need from within, so that you can accept others and yourself without external influences.

The color that resonates with this chakra is green. It is a bright grassy green- the color of broccoli, lettuce and leafy vegetables. So the foods most typically associated with this chakra are vegetables. Zucchini, artichokes, parsley, are all good for the heart chakra. Hmmm.....

On the other hand... as we get closer to Valentine's Day, there is a very strong link between chocolate and the heart, is there not? It certainly seems more appealing to me to reach for chocolate to soothe an aching heart than for a green leafy salad!

Chocolate has a long history. It started out as a drink. The Aztecs and Mayans supposedly drank chocolate mixed with honey, vanilla and chile. Later, soldiers and the elite both drank chocolate, and it was common at festivals and celebrations. The cacao tree is native to Central and South America and is rather "fussy" in nature- takes some work to produce. When the Spanish brought chocolate to Europe, the food became embedded in struggles. Stories of laws, slavery, horticultural attempts to change and cultivate, and even smuggling are all part of chocholate's history. Sounds like some typical love stories and boundary issues. In the 1800's, tea and coffee threatened to replace chocolate and it was losing it's popularity. But thanks to a few household names like Cadbury, Lindt, and Hershey, chocolate was transformed into a confection by extracting cacao oil or butter and adding sugar. It was marketed with flowers and became a token of romance. It was even implied that it had aphrodisiac powers. Chocolate seems to be heading back to it's early days lately as chocolate with less oil and sugar, and more than 65% cacao, have been reported to be good for your blood pressure and helpful in lowering cholesterol. In other words, good for your heart!

I guess a good balance would be a leafy green salad with lots of broccoli in it and a cup of mexican hot chocolate to "still thy aching heart", but I going to experiment with a molten chocolate cake recipe for the book!

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