“There is a light that shines beyond the world, beyond everything, beyond all, beyond the highest heaven. This is the light that shines within your heart.”— Upanishads


The heart chakra IS the heart of the matter.


The fourth of the seven chakras, the heart chakra is located in the center of your chest. There are three chakras below the heart center, which work with the energies of the earth—your ability to stay grounded, to know your body and physical senses, and to work with your sense of self. There are three chakras above the heart center, which work with the energies of the “heavens”—your communication and expression, your “third eye” abilities to connect with the invisible forces around you, and the crown of your connection with Source. And right there in the middle is the heart chakra, which has to mediate between heaven and earth.

The heart chakra is known as Anahata in Sanskrit. The word anahata means “unhurt, un-struck, and unbeaten.” Imagine feeling like nothing can hurt you, nothing negative is coming at you, and you are on top of all situations in your life. Imagine being able to love unconditionally! That is the provenance of the heart chakra.

You don’t have to think of the heart center in Hindu terms. Tibetan Buddhists call this energy center the “heart wheel,” and consider it very important in meditation. When you recite a mantra, first it is heard verbally, then mentally, and finally inside of the heart. Later, the practitioner drops into the central channel at the level of the heart to experience the Yoga of Clear Light.



In Kabbalah, the center of the Tree of Life is associated with the heart region. Christian Kabbalists associate this area with Jesus and with healing. Sufis, the mystics of Islam, talk about the Sirr—the secret, innermost heart of the heart, where Allah manifests his mystery to Himself. In the Chinese system of Qigong, the heart region is call the dantian, the “furnace” that transforms the qi energy into shen, spirit energy.

When you work to clear and balance your fourth chakra, you grow spiritually. It is in the heart that you can come into universal love and dissolve the illusion of separateness. It is here you can heal, both emotionally and physically. It is when you open your heart to love so you can forgive yourself and others, connect deeply to others, rise above the lower emotions of anger, hatred, and envy, and rise to a higher state of consciousness. It is in the heart center that you experience peace and deep inner balance.

A balanced heart chakra is beautiful. It is the center of compassion, altruism, devotion, and the ability to accept that all the circumstances of your life are within the divine order.

However, most of us have built walls around our heart chakra to protect ourselves from getting hurt again. A blocked heart chakra can make you feel defensive, or you may be critical, controlling, withdrawn, or afraid of letting go. You are likely to feel lonely, and think of others as being separate from you. Your life may be full of suffering.

So how can you open your heart and bring that center into balance? Here are 9 ways:


  1. Get out in nature. The color of the heart center is green. Let the green of nature start the process of healing for you.
  2. Before you meditate visualize green light filling and surrounding your heart center.
  3. Allow yourself to receive love, including loving yourself!
  4. Love others unselfishly, not demanding anything in return.
  5. Be thankful. Gratitude is a great way to stop finding fault in everyone around you.
  6. Learn to forgive. A lot of heart chakra blockage is caused by not letting go of past hurts.
  7. Move your body. Try a practice like yoga or tai chi to gently let go of stiffness and open your heart center.
  8. Work with a compassionate and proficient therapist to deal with relationships that need healing and with releasing deep emotional wounds.
  9. Use affirmations such as: “I am loved,” “I give and receive love freely” and “I am connected to everything in the universe.”



As you do the practices and meditations that are designed to help you open your heart, your ability to love grows. You go beyond what we think of as love (the affection and warmth we feel for someone) to unconditional love (love as a force that comes through you and has no attachment) and on to universal love, where you understand that love is the Source of your own being. You will be a more caring and joyous individual.


Simple Acts of Kindness

You can have Thanksgiving with or without turkey but you can’t have Thanksgiving without expressing gratitude. Simple acts of kindness were very visible in the days and weeks following Superstorm Sandy. Everyone thinks of New Yorkers and Jersey-ites as tough folk, but they were as busy thinking about their neighbors as about themselves in the aftermath of this catastrophic event.


It’s hard to imagine the “city that never sleeps” being totally dark below 40th Street. No power, which means no hot shower, no hot food, no heat, no elevators, no land line phones, no computer, no TV, no gas available for the car, and no way to charge the cell phone when texting is the only means of communication. So what happened?


A New York startup company named Moxy set up a cell-phone charging station that also broadcast Wi-Fi at a branch of Chase bank. Duracell, the battery company, drove its trucks into battered Battery Park with phone chargers and internet accessible laptops. Homes that had power set up extension cords and power strips so passersby could charge their phones. Even the CNN news truck that Anderson Cooper was working out of in the devastated city of Hoboken shared power for people to charge their phones and get online to assure loved ones of their safety. Gyms that had power opened their doors free to non-members so they could have showers and at least get in a work-out. Some doctors set out signs on the street offering free medical care. Various restaurants offered free meals. Individuals set up tables filled with snacks, or hot coffee. People whose homes had power brought in friends and sometimes total strangers to share a meal, a hot shower, or a place to sleep. A large veterinary practice offered free office visits for traumatized pets. Whole Foods set out free provisions. Everyone pitched in. Rather than further burdening official rescue workers, some private citizens took jet skis or row boats or even inflated air mattresses to bring stranded storm victims to dry land. Facebook and Twitter were flooded with offers of shelter and hot showers.


Why does it take an event of this magnitude to bring out the best in us?


It’s so easy to do something small and simple that can bring a smile to someone’s face, can lighten someone’s burden for a moment or two, or can actually change someone’s life. Here are 25 suggestions for simple acts of kindness:

  1. Help someone who is struggling with old age or heavy bags to cross the street.
  2. Stand up for someone who is being bullied.
  3. Offer to buy a meal for a homeless person.
  4. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  5. For your birthday, get the same number of dollar bills as your age and hand them out during the day.
  6. Spread holiday cheer by paying for strangers to fill up their cars with gas.
  7. Post a request on social media for a homebound invalid to receive cards and well wishes.
  8. Stop to help an animal that has been injured.
  9. Stand near a busy street holding a sign that says “Love.”
  10. Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
  11. Send someone a note of thanks.
  12. Pay for the drinks or food at the next table in a restaurant.
  13. Give a big tip to someone who doesn’t expect it.
  14. Pick up trash instead of ignoring it.
  15. Compliment someone.
  16. Give another driver your parking spot.
  17. Let a car in front of you in traffic.
  18. Tell your family members or your co-workers or boss how much you appreciate them.
  19. Leave a book on a train or bus for someone else to read.
  20. Let that harried mother go ahead of you on line in the grocery store.
  21. Thank the people in your community who make a difference—the police, firemen, teachers, nurses, bus drivers . . .
  22. Cheer up the lonely.
  23. Clean up graffiti.
  24. Adopt a soldier.
  25. Smile.


Put the thanks back in Thanksgiving. You’ll be amazed at how doing something as small as smiling at a store clerk or sincerely thanking the person who prepared your holiday meal can make you feel better about yourself and the world. For my part, let me thank you for your willingness to work on yourselves and your interest in healing and higher consciousness.


Isis: Goddess of Healing

Isis: Goddess of HealingIsis is a goddess who is a totally timeless expression of the Divine Feminine; she is as relevant today as she was in ancient times. Devoted to empowering others, Isis supports the awakening of humanity as we head into a new World Age. She brings value and respect to the roles of wife and mother, is the patron of magic, nature, and healing, and is considered a protector of the dead. As a matter of fact, the singer Rihanna recently had a very large tattoo done below her breasts of Isis with her wings outstretched as a tribute to her late grandmother. It is said that Isis stretches her wings over the foot of the casket to protect the dead.

Her compassion, love, and tenderness have made her especially dear to women throughout time. As the protector of women, Isis helped women in childbirth and comforted women when their loved ones died. She shows us that women have great reservoirs of strength and inspiration.

Isis reconnects us with our innate healing powers, and so is beloved by healers. She supports everyone’s quest to reclaim their individual power and take responsibility for their healing journey. She shows us our ability to heal ourselves and to heal others. Isis can help to awaken your healing abilities and healing intuition, your ability to communicate with the physical body and to intuit any needs you may have for healing. She empowers you to use the healing power of love and gratitude and to raise the energy level of the physical body by connecting to Source.

In the myths of ancient Egypt, Isis and her brother/husband Osiris were the divine rulers of the gods. Overcome by envy and seeking to gain more power and control, her brother Set killed Osiris. Everything Isis does is done with great power and intention. Her grief over the death of her husband was so great that it was said her tears of sorrow caused the Nile to flood. Isis is actually one of a very few deities that have wings in Egyptian mythology, which in her case may represent the wind. In the Osiris legend it is said that Isis wailed and moaned like the wind. These days, we often conceal our grief, and are expected back at work the day after a funeral. We have forgotten how to mourn, how to honor the process of grieving. Isis reminds us that grief is a powerful part of our experience in life and should not be repressed. Grief that is not expressed can eventually become physical illness.

The basis of the Isis-Osiris myth is the wheel of life, death, and rebirth, with Isis as the Giver of Life as well as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guide to the Dead—representing the deep mysteries of the feminine ability to create and to bring forth life, even from death. Isis couldn’t accept the death of Osiris and used her abilities to resurrect him, at least long enough to conceive their child Horus, who became the God of the Sun as Isis was Goddess of the Moon. When Set “killed” Osiris a second time, Isis collected the remains and performed the very first embalming.

Isis is also known as the Lady of the Words of Power. In another myth, Isis tricks Ra, the God of the Sun, into revealing his secret name by making a snake bite him, and she is the only one who can cure him. Ra was an uncaring deity, and the world suffered under his reign. When Isis uttered his secret name, Ra was healed, but she was able to claim his powers of life and death and soon became the most powerful of the Egyptian gods and goddesses, using her powers to benefit the people. Once she had his secret name, she had the power to manifest and create with words. So Isis reminds us of the power of our words and cautions us to choose our words carefully. Isis often is implored to “use the true name of Ra” during rituals.

Not much survives about the ancient Egyptian rituals for Isis, but it is clear that both priests and priestesses officiated at her cult. By the Greco-Roman era, many of her priests and priestesses were considered to be healers with special powers, which included the interpretation of dreams and the ability to control the weather by braiding or not combing their hair (the Egyptians believed knots had magical powers).

Isis had a central role in Egyptian magic spells and ritual, especially those of protection and healing. When her son Horus was wounded, she healed him with the power of her milk, and that became a standard feature of Isis’s healing spells that invoked the curative powers of the milk of Isis. As a healer, Isis also used spells, a healing rod, and sacred rattles and cymbals. Together with the god Thoth, she taught mankind the secrets of medicine.

The ancient Egyptian goddess has many gifts to share with modern men and women and is a symbol of the return of the Divine Feminine. Isis embodies the strengths of the feminine, the capacity to feel deeply about relationships, and the source of sustenance and protection.
The myth of Isis and Osiris also remind us of the need for renewal and reconnection in our relationships, as well as a reminder to acknowledge and accept our emotions.


Standing in Your Power




When you hear the word “power,” do you think of control over other people, or money, or even forcefully influencing the course of events? Well, that’s one dictator-type of way to define power, but there is another definition: the ability to act in a effective way. For example, there is the power of speech, or the power to raise the dead, or the basic power of saying no to what you don’t want and yes to what you do want.



So what does it mean to stand in your own power? It means you honor whatever is really important to you. It means you know who you are, what you are capable of, and why you make the decisions you make. Nothing can rock your boat or shake the foundation of who you are.


But let’s face it, most of us get in our way. We indulge in self-doubt, self-sabotage, and mind games like “I don’t deserve this,” or “I’m not good enough.” Do you feel powerless? Are you scared of what others will say about you? Do you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, or inadequate to handle the complexities of your to-do list? Do you keep sabotaging your own success?


Then you’re not standing in your own power.


It’s easy to give your power away. Do you let your partner always choose where you’re going to eat or which movie you see? Do you kowtow to your kids’ demands? To your boss’s? Do you take on whatever you’re asked to do, no matter how full your plate is already? Do you invalidate your own thoughts and feelings to please others? What or who are you allowing to rule your life?


Pleasing others is a habit. You probably developed it when you were very young when you learned that being cute or using good manners or getting good grades made your parents happy and that made you feel good. Or maybe you had to push away your own needs to fit into your family. You learned to keep your opinions, thoughts, and emotions to yourself. You—the real you—was silenced. You followed the crowd rather than making waves. You learned to give away your power for the approval of others.


At what cost? You denied your own voice, the authentic you.


So, how do you stop giving your power away? Before you agree to make 30 cupcakes for the school holiday party when you have a looming work deadline, STOP and ask yourself what you REALLY want. Then, honor yourself. Keep standing in your power as you clearly say NO. In order to stand in your power, you have to allow yourself the option of saying no. It doesn’t matter what the home room teacher thinks about you. It doesn’t matter if your kids get mad at you. You simply can’t do it all without hurting yourself.


At some point, all of us face the choice of either claiming our power or giving it away. Focus on what is right for you. Quit worrying about what other people think of you. Have the courage to stand up for yourself. Dare to endure criticism from others. Be willing to shock the people who assume you will always comply with whatever they ask of you.

Standing in your power doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It means that you accept yourself as you are—your weaknesses and your strengths, your smart actions and your foolish blunders—no matter what anyone else thinks about you.

Don’t think you have to wait until you feel ready or worthy. Remember, no matter what you do, some people simply won’t like you; you will never be able to make everyone else happy. When you don’t take care of yourself because you are trying to make others happy, you start to resent the very people you are trying to please.


Whenever the situation arises where you have to make a decision about what to do, ask yourself this question: Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please someone else? Be clear about your priorities. What’s more important than your own balance, harmony, and health?


Simply put: Don’t be a martyr! We all know those unfortunate souls who bend over backwards to make others happy when everyone can see that they are ignoring their own needs. It’s the harried mother whose kids look impeccable while she hasn’t washed her hair in a week and her clothes look like they came out of the dirty laundry basket. Martyrs don’t love or nurture themselves. You, on the other hand, do!


Pleasing someone else is not the same as caring for them. It’s the old story: if you’re not caring for yourself, you’ll have nothing left, no inner resources, to really care for another. It is vital that you learn to stand in your own power for your own mental, physical, emotional, and even your spiritual health!


Do you have trouble connecting with your intuition? When you’ve learned to stand in your own power, your own I AM, you will be able to connect on a much deeper level to your spiritual core and to the invisible realms. Think about it.