To live every moment guided by love. Isn’t that the dream?

Taking every step feeling in our whole beings the love we have for life. To love — and to be loved: connected, full of joy, and eager to share all the goodness. Love that wants to be celebrated!

Oh, and the well-being of loving ourselves! Self-love, self-acceptance, self-worth. Wouldn’t that be the ideal life?

We all get glimpses of that — but the pendulum of life keeps moving and taking us to different experiences.

The thing is, love is not the only thing that lives in our hearts. 

Love is a human necessity – we need love. Yet, love is not enough. Relationships full of love can still fall apart.

As every challenging interaction we have with other people shows us, the heart is slightly more robust than we would like to think.

In my spiritual practice, we say there are three flames burning in the heart.

The first one is the Flame of Love, this burning love we mostly relate to.

The second one is the Flame of Truth. Wisdom. Honesty. Understanding.

What is the point of being loving, nice, and kind to everyone if it is not fully honest? If we don’t act on our words and feelings, and our thoughts and words are not connected to our actions? If we are nice even when we know we should truly be firm for the highest good?

There are many levels of wisdom. Existential wisdom; who we are, where do we come from, why we are here.

There’s our collective reality; how we treat the environment, the social and power structures we have created, and no longer serve us. Do we dare to look into them?

Then there’s our self-awareness, and being honest in our relationships. What do I want? What do I need? How do I want to give love and receive love? Can I say clearly what I want and stand for myself? Do I go after it?

And the other way around. What is it that I don’t want? What I don’t like? What goes against my values? How often do I conceal the truth from others with an excuse that I am protecting them when in truth I am only protecting myself from not having to deal with their reactions? 

How aligned am I?

I know, so many questions! Yet they all relate to our ability to be honest, by first and foremost being able to look at ourselves.

Truth serves love. Self-love and love for others. Self-acceptance and acceptance of others. Self-respect and respect for others. 

Wisdom brings much empowerment to love.

Love, without truth to fuel its potential, is weak, full of excuses. Truth without love can be harsh. Love and truth together is a pretty strong combo.

The third flame is the Flame of Transformation.

The transformation that occurs inside of us when we act out of love and truth for something bigger than you and me. The transformation that comes out of self-love, the true igniter of change: for out of self-love, how could I stagnate and not allow myself to heal and become who I truly am?

That’s the flame of devotion. Purpose, service, divine love. Big love that allows us to be our higher selves, and not act out of fear.

Devotion to your divine self in its highest form, supporting our healing and growth.

We are perfect as we are & we need to grow. Both, together, are true. The flame of transformation fuels us with love for the journey of growth.

Would a mother allow her small child to eat a whole gallon of ice cream?

Living from the heart is not eternal fluidity, to allow anything, being nice saying yes to everything.

Because living in truth will not allow that. Wisdom knows how to nurture us for our best.

And this is the word I connect more easily with love: nurture. Love wants us to grow, strong, and healthy. As we water a plant, we know too much water and sunlight can be as damaging as too little. And so it’s ok to have some ice-cream here and there, but not too much or all the time. Living from the heart is about being nurturing, even if that sometimes means we can’t say yes, comply, be over-protective and be kind.

Connecting to the chakras, the heart energy center is governed by the element of air.

The air we breathe fuels our flames, and as we breathe in and out we are taught that we are to receive and to give back. Inhale, exhale.

It is the element of water that is all about fluidity. Air is fluid, but it is different. Air is light, it never stagnates, and it can’t be held back. The element of air is concerned with ideals, with direction and vision. The heart has longings, and it carries patience, compassion, and understanding.

In ancient Egypt, it was believed that when a person died, their heart was put on a scale weighted against a feather (also a great reference to the element of air). It’s a beautiful metaphor that a healthy heart is a light heart, and it can only be light if nothing stagnates. Everything comes in, everything goes out.

Air is the element in between, connecting what is above and what is below. Heaven and Earth. Higher body, lower body. Air has the big picture, and therefore doesn’t act selfishly. Think of an eagle, flying high, seeing it all from above, knowing where it is going and using the wind as support to get there — not to just flow wherever the wind blows.

Loving virtues such as understanding, compassion, kindness, and patience are derived from having the big picture and oneness with all.

Yet, when I think of the heart I think mostly of spiders, for the heart is the spider in the web, connecting all sides of us, pumping the blood that is sent to the wholeness of our being, where above and below connect.

A healthy heart has big wings. But these wings belong to a body that also has feet to walk on the earth, a voice to express itself fully, instincts taking care of one’s survival and an emotional body processing what is going on with us. 

Living from the heart means nurturing our wings to fly high, sure, but flying also includes taking off, and landing. Without disregarding the other sides of existence and stepping on ourselves. No living creature in this planet can live by only flying. Birds also have feet, and create nests on solid trees. Flying takes a lot of energy and we need to know when to rest and to ground. Spider-webs are not only strong on their on but they are suspended using solid structures for support.

As I see it, living from the heart is living in alignment.

Alignment of the three flames. Love, truth, transformation.

Alignment of our divine self with our ‘animal’ self, if I can call it that.

Alignment of the different facets of our being.

This alignment leads to integration, oneness.

It’s a work of connection. Self-connection and connection with all.

To love, in truth, and allow love to transform us.


A way to start connecting more to the heart and awakening it is through the element of air.

Air is never stagnant. This means that, in the heart, nothing stays. Everything comes in and everything goes out.

An easy way to practice this is through your breathing. 

Notice: are you breathing in as much as you breathe out? Or is one of these two sides more potent than the other? Can you balance them, so there’s no stagnation?

This is a simple exercise: breathe in for a count of four, and breathe out for a count of four. Breathe in and out in the same intensity. And stay like this for five to ten minutes. Notice what your body does, how it feels.

This is such a simple exercise but representative of what is going on in your heart, in your relationship to life and all around you. Are you taking in too much and not letting it out, so it stays heavy on you — or are you not taking enough but giving away too much?

Yes we can learn so much about ourselves through our breathing, and even start balancing ourselves. So breathe in and out on a count of four, and in the same intensity.

Go Deeper

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