Archive for the ‘Chakras’ Category

Shame and the Third Chakra [Solar Plexus]

Written by Kate • January 24, 2012 •
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Image Thanks to Kat224k

Image Thanks to Kat224k

Recently I made a mistake, one which a lot of other people probably wouldn’t consider a mistake. It’s an ordinary kind of mistake, the kind we go through life making all the time. I’m at the point in my life where I can see that I’ve made my mistake and I’m no longer chewed up by it, at least to the extent I was.

I took stock in the days following my mistake to see how far it is that I’ve come. Rather than saying my habitual harsh words and spending hours and days trying to figure out how I can use this example to avoid making any sort of mistake at all in the future, I sat with my guilt, shame, and unkind beliefs.  For a wonderful book on the differences between guilt and shame, see Brene Brown‘s I Thought It Was Just Me. It’s been a wonderful process, to see how I’ve come -from a place where ordinary mistakes used to cause me endless suffering through my feeling a sense of shame, remorse, guilt, and stupidity over even the smallest of mistakes. I have been called a perfectionist in my life, which is to me another word for someone who’s afraid to really live.

In that I’ve been getting to know the chakra system, I see that shame is located, for me, in the third chakra, the solar plexus. I wrote about this chakra in a previous post.  I know that this chakra is associated with our sense of power in the world and is obviously located in the solar plexus. And to prove it, as I consider my mistake, I’ve had a lot of unpleasant feelings in my solar plexus, like an unpleasant roller coaster and a sense of contraction.

Shame

The feeling of shame in the pit of our stomach arises from the false belief that what we’ve done has diminished us, that it has defined us either in our own eyes or in the eyes of others as something “less” than what we had been. Perhaps you’ve felt the following before:

  • Flip flops in your stomach when you think on the issue
  • A sense of contraction or of involuntary sucking in of your stomach when you think about the issue
  • Nausea when you think about your issues
  • A sense of your stomach dropping out when you think on the issue

These physical feelings are your body’s way of showing you that your beliefs are off and that the sensations of guilt, shame, and remorse are due to your thoughts around what you’ve done, rather than what you’ve actually done. But if you listen to your body’s signals, you can turn around your beliefs about you’ve done and what you’re experiencing and rid yourself of your suffering.

Brene Brown calls it shame resilience and she encourages everyone to become more resilient to shame, which is not a useful emotion. Byron Katie calls it accepting what is.

Giving Your Power Away

One of the reasons that shame can felt in your third chakra is that to feel shame, we have given our power away to someone or something else. We have decided that whatever we have done has diminished us to the point that if others found out, we would be considered bad. Therefore, we are elevating the thoughts and opinions of others over our own sense of self.  And yes, it’s that we’ve internalized these external beliefs so that it’s our own shame. But if you explore your feelings more fully, you’ll see that your shame is based on having thoughts of being exposed, that someone you love and/or respect will find out what you’ve done and you’ll be rejected or criticized or made to feel bad.

Remember, what you’ve done has NOT defined. It’s what you think about what you’ve done that defines you.

Healing Your Shame

To start to heal your shame, I would recommend, in addition to reading Brene Brown’s book on shame, I Thought It Was Just Me, you can also understand that it is only your thoughts that create the belief around your sense of shame and it is you who creates the meaning out of what you’ve done.

So you’ve bounced a check, does that mean you’re a bad person or you made a mistake?

So you said something boundlessly inappropriate, does that mean you’re stupid or you made a mistake?

It’s up to you.

Or is the mistake on even larger proportions?

So you slept with your best friend’s husband, does this define you forever or have you made a mistake?

So you embezzled some funds at the office, does this define you forever or have you made a mistake?

Again, it’s all up to you.  Your shame can make you want to crawl up and die and not do the right thing after having made a mistake. And you can punish yourself for months for one small mistake and then when you make another, as you inevitably will, you will continue with your shame. Or if you consider that the mistake is big enough, you may punish yourself forever for the one mistake, and it will define you, because you let it. You took on and internalized someone else’s sense of right and wrong and have used that tool as a weapon against yourself. Or you can heal your shame, do the right thing in this moment, and in the next moment, and in the next, and be the person you’re supposed to be, without the shame, mistakes and all.

And as I mention in this post, there is no destination. You’ll never make it to the point that you’ll be perfect. Why are you even trying?

Balancing the Third Chakra

To help with your shame and to get your third chakra more balanced, I am including some of the strengthening recommendations I cited in my original post. Remember to also question your thoughts about your shame to be able to catch what your core beliefs are around mistakes, being perfect, and who has power over you.

Many of the balancing methods below don’t cost a thing and can take just a few minutes each day.

Honor Yourself

  • Find out what it is that you want to do with your life or your free time
  • Practice saying no so that you can begin saying it without guilt
  • Sleep on it or take your time in committing to anything
  • Build your courage.
  • Read Steve Pavlina’s Post: How to Give Your Power Away– and then stop doing it
  • Start a project and finish it. Acknowledge this accomplish and feel the power it gives back to you. Then do another.

Stop Trying So Hard

  • Don’t force yourself. If you’re trying and coming up against a lot of resistance. Stop. Take a deep breath. Find out about the resistance and where it’s coming from. Visualize instead how easy the task is and that you can do it easily and with grace.
  • If something really isn’t working, give it up. Don’t feel guilty about it. Begin with something that is easy and comes to you without resistance. Follow your joy.

Yell. Or Hit Something

  • Yell as loudly and as hard as you can. And again. And again. Yelling not only strengthens your core, it releases some of the pent up power you’ve been repressing and allows the energy to move through you.
  • Hit something, like a punching bag, some pillows or the bed. This too release some of the power you’ve been holding on to.
  • If you can make the time, take a kick boxing or other martial arts course in your gym or area. This will increase your sense of personal power and ability to protect yourself.

Protect Your Solar Plexus

  • When you know you’re going to be in a tough situation, such as the first time you say no and stick to your guns, knowing you’ll disappoint that certain someone, or when you need to have a tough discussion with your colleagues, or it’s time to ask for a raise, don’t go “belly to belly”. In these situations, turn slightly so that you are positioned so that your solar plexus isn’t facing him/her/them directly.  This prevents their energy from entering your chakra’s aura and allows you to better maintain your power and will.
  • When a conversations starts to go wrong and you can feel yourself losing your power, put your hand up and block your solar plexus’ aura so that you aren’t being bombarded with their chakra energy.
  • Another way to increase your power in the middle of a situation is to, in addition to physically blocking your solar plexus, is to visualize your solar plexus as a disk or a ball of light and that it is getting bigger, warmer, and brighter. Quickly imagine it growing in intensity and you will feel your power flow back to you.

Laugh

  • Laughing at life can greatly increase your sense of power by not taking everything so seriously.
  • Rent a comedy and really laugh for as long as you can.

Physically Strengthen Your Core

  • Sit ups and other core strengthening exercises help to anchor your solar plexus in power. By increasing your strength physically, you can increase your strength psychically and emotionally.
  • Rock Climb on a local wall or take course.
  • Take a Pilates Course at your local gym.
  • Anodea Judithrecommends the following yoga poses as solar plexus strengtheners:

Good luck. And I wish for you a more shame resilient life!

 

 

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Manifesting with the Chakras

Written by Kate • December 13, 2011 •
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The 7 Chakras and the Wheel of Life

As I continue on my own path towards spiritual enlightenment, I have been studying several different methodologies on how to heal ourselves and to move into a different level of living, one free from suffering. One of these methodologies is the chakras system. I didn’t know much about the chakras until the past year or so and there is so much to learn! A system that can explain our intrinsic nature and one that has been around for a millennium or more is definitely complex. So I don’t pretend to fully understand the chakras and all the nuances, effects, and benefits of opening and balancing each chakra. But I’m beginning to understand it.

If you’d like an overview of each chakra, you can check out my previous blogs on the root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, and third eye chakra, and the crown chakra.

One of the most compelling aspects of the system is how to open and/or balance each chakra, as I mentioned in each of my blogs on each of the chakras. In addition to beginning to live a life that supports opening each chakra, you can also heal yourself by using a visualization technique.  Follow these steps while sitting comfortably in a chair, with your feet on the ground.

  1. Begin to visualize white light coming in through the crown chakra from either your eighth chakra or from Source or from the Divine -whichever works for you.
  2. On your in breath, bring the white light to each chakra, starting at the crown chakra, one after the next, all the way down to your root chakra.
  3. On your out breath, you can push the white light down through the root chakra, through your legs, into the earth, releasing any blockages into the earth.
  4. Know that all your blockages are being healed or cleared out through the grounding with the earth.
  5. As necessary, do this for as many breaths as you need to feel the clearing.

As a side note: I spent several months unable to do any visualization, which concerned me [as you can imagine]. I couldn’t figure out “what was wrong with me”.  I kept meditating and working on healing myself through prayer, forgiveness and other methods. I can now visualize with the best of them! So if you’re struggling with being able to use the visualization in this post, don’t sweat it.  Try to work around it or through it but be gentle with yourself.

Now you’re clear and able to better manifest your ideas and dreams. To understand how the process of getting the spark of an idea becomes real in this world, I want to take you through how you begin manifesting through the chakras, I will take you from each chakra to the next.

Most important ideas come to you when you’re busy doing other things, a time in which the busy mind/ego is quiet and distracted, like in the shower or while driving on your commute.  This idea comes to you and it must travel between each of the chakras, which may individually decide whether or not it’s a good idea.  Remember that the chakras are each an energy source in your body and each is designed to help you with an aspect of yourself and each is equally important to daily life and your decision making process. And although I’m writing this post like your chakras are separate from you, I’m artificially slowing down an instantaneous internal process that happens often at the subconscious level, to help explain it in more detail.  Your limiting beliefs may be quashing an idea before you’re ever aware you made a decision.

You may get the spark of an idea that comes to you. You can know that this is the spark of an idea is coming from your connection to Source or the Divine because it doesn’t push and it doesn’t keep coming back again and again, insistent, from different angles. [That’s your ego and it is very, very pushy.] So this spark comes to you through the crown chakra and you get enough of the download to think that it’s the start of a very good idea. This idea then descends to the third eye chakra.

The third eye chakra helps us see the idea, to perceive it as an actual concept rather than the spark of an idea. The process of moving from the crown to the third eye chakra actually begins to bring the idea into being, by perceiving the concept in a way the mind can understand.  At this point, the third eye helps to decide if this idea is something that can be made real and that is somewhat understood. If so, it moves to the throat chakra for further evaluation. If not, the idea, like so many of our ideas, floats off as unimportant or as a funny little idea and is gone.

Once it’s passed the sixth chakra, it descends into the throat chakra. As you may know, this chakra is the place of discernment, of decision, of choice. This is where you decide if you want to continue with this idea by making it even more “real”. You may even say aloud, “I just had the best idea” and it’s something that you can begin to explain, even if only to yourself. Through your discernment, your voice, you’re beginning to bring the idea into the world, from the spark to an actual idea to one that you’re using your powers of discernment to continue make real.  Once you’ve agreed on the idea through the throat chakra, it descends into the heart chakra.

The heart chakra is the nexus point in the system, the meeting place between the top three, more spiritual chakras and the bottom three, more body oriented chakras.  This is where you decide, either consciously or subconsciously, about whether this decision is a good idea or not in terms of whether it feels good, whether or not it heals or hurts your heart.  If it feels good, like it’s the right decision for you, it now descends into the third chakra, the solar plexus chakra.

The solar plexus chakra processes the idea in terms of whether or not you both have the will to do it and whether or not it will diminish your standing in the world. Will this idea make you stronger?  Or perhaps even though it may seemingly make you look foolish to others, it is ultimately good for your sense of self?  If it’s a good decision, it continues to the sacral chakra.

The sacral chakra reviews the idea through the lens of creativity and your emotions. Do you have the creative will to bring this idea to life? Are you willing to put your creativity and your emotions behind this idea? If it isn’t vetoed by the sacral chakra, the idea then descends to on to the last chakra, the root chakra.

The root chakra processes each idea in terms of whether or not the idea will affect your basic security and your affiliations with your tribe. If you move forward with this decision, will you still be safe or not? Of course, sometimes the answer to this will be no, it’s not safer, but it’s still the “right” thing to do, when it’s time to move past the ideas that your tribe has inculcated in you.  But sometime the idea is so scary, something just too demanding and the answer, for now, has to be no.

If all of the chakra centers are “go”, then you’ve effectively taken the spark of an idea, made the concept real, decided it was a good decision that positively affected your heart, that you had the power, creativity, and security to do it.  It then gets done. The vague concept of a plot becomes a novel. The spark of a business concept becomes your new business. The new way to tackle your problem becomes your new modus operandi. Or even you realize that you need to hydrate more and you get yourself a large glass of water.

Continue to work on healing and opening each of your chakras, while also working on becoming aware of your limiting beliefs. As you begin to do so, you’ll see new ideas, bigger ideas, manifesting at a faster rate.

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Extraordinary Chakra Meditation CD by Syl Carson of Bodhi Yoga

Written by Kate • June 29, 2011 •
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I was recently introduced to Syl Carson through Carol Tuttle‘s Chakra Resonance home study program.  During the session in which the focus was on the throat chakra, Syl brought in her [then] new Chakra Resonance Theta Healing CD.  She played part of the five-minute seed sound/Chakra Resonance for the throat chakra.  The hair stood on the back of my neck, it was so gorgeous. It was haunting, it was lyrical and I had to have it.

I thought about it and I hesitated because it actually is a CD and it appears there is no downloadable version of it any where. After some additional thought, I realized I can just buy the CD, like it’s 1999!

It arrived over the weekend and I’ve played the Throat Chakra and her Om Nama Shiva 2 again and again. It is just so lovely and so penetrating. The others are quite good as well but these are magnificent.

I wish it was on iTunes so you could sample it but it looks like Syl is still a bit old school. If you don’t mind taking a chance and spending $15, I highly recommend it!

 

 

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Continuing on the First Chakra

Written by Kate • June 23, 2011 •
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Root Chakra- Image thanks to Rodessa4

Clarity Through Action

As I mentioned on Tuesday, as Marie Forleo likes to say, clarity comes from action, not learning. And if you’re anything like me, you read about the chakras but didn’t actually work on any of them the first time around. But getting clear: it’s in the doing, not the reading about doing.

So let’s continue taking another, deeper look at how to heal the root chakra. In Tuesday’s post, I created a 10 minute routine in which you can ground yourself with stillness and some serious self-love, through affirmations and movement. Here’s some additional work that you can use to ground yourself, especially when you’re feeling stressed and ungrounded. It doesn’t take any time at all in one sense but it takes commitment and self-awareness.

Honor Yourself

This may seem like a strange one but by telling the truth, facing what needs to be faced, we become more grounded. Lying, fibbing, and not honoring what we’re feeling lead to subtle but real “kinks” in our energy flow.  This is especially true about lying to ourselves.

So for one day only – try to tell the absolute truth for one day. This may require that you don’t say anything at all, in some situations.

  • Tell the truth in every situation. Are you eating because you’re hungry or because you’re upset? Tell yourself the truth. Do you want to go to that event or would you rather stay home in your jammies? Don’t commit to anything until you can tell yourself the truth.
  • Honor your commitments. If you’ve said you’ll do something, do it. This means eating well, or going to bed on time, or exercising like you said, or meditating like you said. By honoring your commitments, you can learn to trust yourself again.

Do you have any other methods by which you ground yourself? How have you healed your money or food or other basic necessity insecurities?

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The 7 Chakras- Working on the Root Chakra

Written by Kate • June 21, 2011 •
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Image thanks to Rodessa4

Clarity Through Action

As Marie Forleo likes to say, clarity comes from action, not learning. If you’re anything like me, you read about the chakras but didn’t actually work on any of them the first time around. But getting clear, it’s in the doing, not the reading about doing.

So let’s take another, deeper look at how to heal the root chakra. In today’s and Thursday’s post, I’m going to create a 10 minute routine in which you can ground yourself with stillness and some serious self-love, through affirmations and movement. I absolutely know that trying to create another daily ritual for ourselves can be screamingly difficult, but taking care of yourself is a priority.

Creating Your 10 Minute Routine- Action

For the first 10 minute routine, you need to commit to the 10 minutes for just two days. Can you do that? I think you can and here’s how. First, create a game plan that you can really live with. So create 10 minutes for yourself for just Wednesday and Thursday morning, afternoon, or evening, which ever suits you best.

But truly figure out and commit to the 10 minutes you’ll take for yourself on Wednesday and Thursday.  And everyone can find 10 minutes in their day. So visualize it. Is it first thing? Right after you exercise in the morning? Is it just after you shower? Is it at lunch, before you’ve eaten? Is it the final 10 minutes before you go to bed?

On a Personal Note – My Routine

For me, my routine is in the morning. I get up and exercise immediately. No negotiating with myself, I just get up and exercise. Then after my blood is flowing and I’m no longer feeling the least bit sleepy due to the exercise, I meditate for 20 minutes.  Exercise and meditation- every day. It goes hand in hand for me.

But no matter when you do it, commit to your 10 minutes for just two days. Commit to doing imperfectly.

Root Chakra – 10 Minutes of Healing

Find Stillness/Grounding

  • Meditate for 5 minutes each day. Put the timer on your phone for 5 minutes and then release. If you’re new to it or not that good at it, don’t worry. Everyone starts from this place. The monkey mind wants to reign supreme and we all, all of us, get caught thinking rather that meditating. Just release that too. As you may know, there are plenty of ways to meditate. The important thing is to release thoughts as they come and be in stillness for just these 5 minutes.
  • After your 5 minutes of imperfect meditation, say the following loving-kindness affirmations to yourself -three times. This should take less than 1 minute. But put your heart into it and really bless yourself with these loving affirmations.
    • May I be well.
    • May I know peace.
    • May I be free from suffering

Bless Yourself and Your Day

Take the remaining 4 minutes and bless yourself and your day. Don’t worry if you’re not religious, or if you are. I don’t mean it in the traditional way.

I got this from Christie Marie Sheldon‘s, who’s Love or Above– in reference to David Hawkin‘s Power versus Force, I highly recommend.

  1. First, close your eyes and connect to your higher power – whatever that feels like for you. Let this higher power permeate through your entire body.
  2. Hold up your hands, bringing them together and then apart again and again until you can feel a ball of energy between your hands.
  3. Imbue the ball of energy with light and love and then naming it your day.
  4. Call on all the things you want for your day, including abundance, focus, loving feelings, power to complete projects, guidance from your guides, charisma, peace, restfulness – whatever you need to help you have the best day. Seed them into your day.
  5. Then bless this day with love, life, and source energy. Bless it 3 to 4 times, with feeling.
  6. Finally, put the ball of light into your heart chakra and have it suffuse your entire being with elements you seeded your day with.  Breathe it in.

And then enjoy your day, feeling grounded and peaceful!

 

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