Posts Tagged ‘Chakras’

The Fifth Chakra- The Throat Chakra

Written by Kate • June 9, 2011 •
5 comments

Image thanks to FeelReikiThe Fifth Chakra- The Throat Chakra

The fifth of the seven chakras is known as the Throat chakra. It’s located, as you can imagine, at the base of your throat, where your collarbones meet. Its function is expressing your truth, creativity, and energy.  It is associated with the color blue and the ether element.

This is the sixth post of 10 posts on the 7 Chakras System. Here is the first post, an Overview of the 7 Chakras, here is the second post, the Root Chakra, here is the third post, the Sacral Chakra, here is the fourth, the Solar Plexus Chakra, and here is the fifth post, the Heart Chakra.

As Anodea Judith states in Wheels of Life, “Each step upward [through the 7 Chakras] decreases the boundaries and separation and takes us closer to unity. We arrive at this unity through the ability of consciousness to make connections…Communication is the act of connection…Communication can be seen as a symbolic system that mediates between the abstract and manifested idea”.

We can therefore see that the Throat chakra helps us put our thoughts and ideas into the first stages of creating them, through the act of expressing them verbally and turning them into vibrations in our physical world.

Open and Balanced

When your throat chakra is open and balanced, you understand that your communications are powerful and have direct impact on those in your life and on what you create in your life.  You therefore ensure- nearly effortlessly- each time you communicate with someone, it is an expression of your highest self and your creativity and is in harmony with your spirit. As you experience your thoughts and actions, in expressing your ideas, you are expressing your creativity, your words are the start of any creation and making them come into life.

Another way to look at it is that the drive to say what you need to say, to speak your truth, comes from your solar plexus chakra. In passing the heart chakra, what you need to say is softened with love and what comes out are words full of truth, love, and respect.

Unbalanced or Weak

Signs of an unbalanced or weak chakra are the inability to express yourself well, going along with others to just get along, and it can even feel like your throat is blocked. You can also know that your throat chakra is out of balance or is weak when you are often harsh, critical, or seem to always say the wrong thing.

At either end of the extremes in which your throat chakra is unbalanced is 1) a near total inability to express yourself and you stay in silence in most experiences with most people in your life and 2) a near total need to fill the silence with chatter and you can’t stop talking.

An unbalanced throat chakra is often associated with a weak or unbalanced third chakra, your solar plexus chakra. This is because your will, your power center is also weak or unbalanced. By combining these two unbalanced chakras, you either aren’t able to say what you want because you’re too afraid of the reaction you’ll get, or of hurting someone else, or simply can’t do it due to the lack of will/power.

 

Causes

A weak or unbalanced fifth chakra can be caused by a weak solar plexus chakra, a childhood in which you had to express your natural expression either through the direct or indirect expectations of your family, or by putting yourself in situations in which you decided it would be best to not express how you feel- and it became a bad habit.

Family dynamics, in which some sort of dysfunction was expected to be ignored, or in which self-expression was extremely frowned up, can also weaken your throat chakra.

Symptoms of a Throat Chakra Imbalance

The following questions are from Sonia Choquette‘s book, True Balance:

  • I speak clearly and people understand what I’m trying to say
  • I understand that what I say, what words I use, are powerful.
  • I can express my needs without getting angry or upset.
  • I am careful not to criticize unfairly.
  • I am a good negotiator.
  • I can listen to others without needing to interrupt.
  • I speak with optimism.

If you answered no to some or many of the above-listed questions, your throat chakra is probably out of balance.

Ways to Balance Your Fifth Chakra

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

Speak Well

  • Remember your create your life. Speak positively throughout the day- making positive predictions.
  • Practice an attitude of gratitude and express your gratitude.
  • Practice saying no so that you can begin saying it without guilt.
  • Practice saying what you want -in advance of a situation- and then say what you practiced.

Respect Silence

  • Engage in silence for a few hours.
  • Respond to negativity in others with silence.
  • Breathe before you speak.
  • Count to 10 or 50 before you respond to someone.
  • Really listen to your conversational partner. Ask yourself if your intended contribution improves the conversation. If not, continue listening.

Express Yourself

  • Yell or Scream as loudly and as hard as you can. And again. And again. Yelling not only strengthens your throat, it releases some of the pent up energy you’ve been repressing and allows the energy to move through you.
  • Sing out loud. Just for fun. And really belt it out!
  • Give a speech.
  • Join Toastmasters and teach yourself how to express yourself in front of a crowd
  • Learn some good new jokes and tell them well to your friends and at parties.
  • Speak the truth for one whole day.

Strengthen and Exercise Your Throat

  • Anodea Judith recommends the following exercises and yoga poses as throat strengtheners:
    • Neck Rolls
    • Shoulder Stand
    • Plow
    • Fish Pose
    • Head Lifts- Lie on your back. Slowly lift your head, leaving your shoulders in contact with the floor. Try to look at your toes. Hold this until you can feel the energy move into your throat.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Unfamiliar with EFT? Check out this page to show you the basics, for free. There are many other sites that have a more thorough explanation of the technique but they require you to provide your email address. Your choice!

EFT at the highest level: you first state your concerns and that you deeply love and accept yourself. You then release each of the specific ideas, anxieties, and fears that you are feeling. Then you state affirmations or better ideas that should replace your anxieties and fears and that make you feel better, more empowered by thinking them.

Deeply Love and Accept Yourself

You first touch the karate chop point [as shown on the link] while releasing the block through stating, “Even though I feel _______ [like I can’t say what I really think because it will hurt other people, like I don’t have the courage to say what I think because other people will hate me, like I can’t get the words out, like I can’t ever say the right thing… etc], I deeply love and accept myself.

Release

Then go through each point tapping three or four times at each point; eyebrow, side of eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, the collar bone, under the breast/ribcage, under arm, and crown – while releasing whatever it is you’re experiencing.

You can go around the tapping circuit a few times until you’ve fully release what you need to.

Starting tapping at the eyebrow and going through each point: I release the feelings that I don’t have enough power to speak my truth, that I’ll lose everyone if I say exactly what I feel, that I have to keep silent…etc [Keep tapping].

I release all of this from my body. [Keep tapping].

I release from my throat chakra, from my whole body:

lack of authority, inability to express myself, fear of speaking honestly, ____ … [fill in whatever you’re feeling that is keeping you from expressing yourself as you want, from saying what you feel, from really communicating your thoughts and feelings -as you keep tapping]

Affirmations

Now you begin replacing the feelings and beliefs you’ve just released through saying affirmations that work for you, while tapping through the entire circuit again.

[Start tapping] I am powerful. I can speak with clarity and kindness. My family and friends support me in expressing myself. I can express myself well and with clarity. I can say what I need to say with kindness and clarity. I honor myself and others by telling the truth…  [Fill in what works for you….]

Keep Going

Continue with any of these suggestions from yoga to EFT, to help heal yourself so that you can communicate your creativity, your will, and your truth. These balancing techniques will help balance your chakra and make you able to feel more able to communicate and authentically connect to create a life you want to live.

Once you feel balanced, powerful, and strong again, consider looking at your next chakra, the sixth chakra.

What helps you tell the truth about what you’re really feeling to your family? To your partner/spouse? What are some things you do to keep yourself true to your own compass?

Next up: The Sixth Chakra- the Third Eye Chakra

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The Fourth Chakra- The Heart Chakra

Written by Kate • June 7, 2011 •
1 comment

Image thanks to FeelReikiThe Fourth Chakra- The Heart Chakra

The fourth of the seven chakras is known as the Heart chakra. It’s located in the middle of your chest, in the middle in your breast bone. Its function is to enable us to feel compassion, love, emotions, self-acceptance, and forgiveness.  It is associated with the color green and the air element.

It is said that the heart chakra is the most important chakra, as it integrates the higher chakras with the lower chakras and allows you to feel and express the most important force in the world – love.

This is the fifth post of 10 posts on the 7 Chakras System. Here is the first post, an Overview of the 7 Chakras, here is the second post, the Root Chakra, here is the third post, the Sacral Chakra, and here is the fourth, the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Open and Balanced

When your heart chakra is open and balanced, you feel love, feel for those beyond yourself. You’re interested in not just your well-being, but the well-being of those around your, your family, friends, colleagues, compatriots, and even the world. As Sonia Choquette says, “This energy center encourages us to shift away from the frame of mind “me against the world” toward a more generous and friend “me as part of the world” outlook…The heart center expands our capacity to be generous, sensitive, kind, merciful, forgiving, tolerant, and emotionally tender. It opens our ability to see into the hears of those around us and recognize the goods in all people, even when their behavior isn’t considerate.”

Unbalanced or Weak

Signs of an unbalanced or weak chakra is the tendency to withdraw from close connectedness with others through a myriad of defensive posturings. You may be critical, suspicious, and defensive of those around you and in the world. This feeling may actually make things worse for you as you expect criticism and negativity and that is what you engender in others, provoking in others what you feared.

Causes

A weak or unbalanced fourth chakra can be caused by wounding from a relationship that didn’t go as planned, over protecting our heart which becomes a pattern and then a state of life- unconnected, adrift, and lonely. A classic example of someone with a closed heart chakra is the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dicken‘s “A Christmas Carol“. Through his choices and their consequences, his life became so cut off and then so closed but we got to see what a delightful person he became as his heart chakra opened up through the visits of each of his ghosts.

Symptoms of a Heart Chakra Imbalance

  • I trust others
  • I can turn any situation into a pleasant one
  • I tend to look on the brighter side of things
  • I like to help others
  • I have close, loving connections with several people in my life
  • I don’t judge others- living and let live
  • It’s hard to offend me and I give people the benefit of doubt

If you answered no to some or many of the above-listed questions, your heart chakra is probably out of balance.

Example of a Situation that Can Throw Your Heart Chakra Out of Balance

From my own life experience, I know of a time when I was so hurt by my Mom’s attempt to help me in life that I closed off my heart chakra for years, much to Mom’s deep regret.  When I was 13 or so, my Mom took me aside and told me that I cried a lot for my age and for my peers, that it seems like I was a cry baby and that people think worse of me for my quick response – crying and being upset.  I was deeply wounded by this, and embarrassed. So in that moment, I decided I would “show them” and never cry again.  And I didn’t – for about 10 years.

The thing is that I’m a person who is naturally quick to tears and now, knowing myself so much better than I did lo those many years ago, is unashamed of my sentimentally and empathy, I cry when it comes to me.

In the years I didn’t cry, I was known as being particularly judgmental of others and quite tough [in a bad way], almost brittle. I can remember the initial effort it took for me not to cry and I’m not sure I can describe the feeling it created in me, a sort of burning hotness, especially along my scalp, that constricted me at so many levels. To further assist in keeping my emotions at bay, for we can’t choose which to let in and which not to, I used to lie in bed at night and envision taking a blanket of snow and laying it over my emotions so that they would be under the ice, at the back of me. This was very effective in sealing up my emotions and hardening me to life.

But as I went through college and started to make connections with others, I realized that this need to be so emotionless, so dry, was not serving anyone, least of all me. So I make the decision to open up again and over the ensuing years, I have come to my current emotional state, open! And I claim the appropriateness to just cry when it feels right. And I’m very close with my Mom who’s happy that I moved on from the unintended effect of what she thought was going to be helpful advice.

Ways to Balance Your Fourth Chakra

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

Love

  • Tell two people in your life what exactly it is that you appreciate in them. Don’t expect anything in return. Just shower them with appreciation.
  • See a romantic movie, or a romantic comedy
  • Read some loving poetry
  • Volunteer to help someone, like through a shelter or an organization
  • Tell the people in your life that you love them

Breathe

  • As this chakra’s element is air, deep breathing really helps. Just sit and begin to breathe more deeply. Really fill up your belly, your chest, and upper chest with air and then breathe out, reversing the flow.
  • Begin a habit of deep breathing every hour on the hour for several breaths.
  • The Breath of Fire
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing

Do Some Heart Openers

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Unfamiliar with EFT? Check out this page to show you the basics, for free. There are many other sites that have a more thorough explanation of the technique but they require you to provide your email address. Your choice!

EFT at the highest level: you first state your concerns and that you deeply love and accept yourself. You then release each of the specific ideas, anxieties, and fears that you are feeling. Then you state affirmations or better ideas that should replace your anxieties and fears and that make you feel better, more empowered by thinking them.

Deeply Love and Accept Yourself

You first touch the karate chop point [as shown on the link] while releasing the block through stating, “Even though I feel alone and sad, even though I think _______ [ I’ll never find love, disconnected from my feelings, unloved, etc], I deeply love and accept myself.

Release

Then go through each point tapping three or four times at each point; eyebrow, side of eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, the collar bone, under the breast/ribcage, under arm, and crown – while releasing whatever it is you’re experiencing.

You can go around the tapping circuit a few times until you’ve fully release what you need to.

Starting tapping at the eyebrow and going through each point: I release the feelings that I’m hiding, I can’t create a good relationship, I will be rejected, I will be disappointed/hurt/left, it’s not safe to express my feelings …etc [Keep tapping].

I release all of this from my body. [Keep tapping].

I release from my heart chakra, from my whole body:

Lack of love, lack of connection, blocked from my emotion, don’t care what others feel or need ____ … [fill in whatever you’re feeling that is keeping you from connecting with others, from feeling compassion, from having an abundance of love in your life -as you keep tapping]

Affirmations

Now you begin replacing the feelings and beliefs you’ve just released through saying affirmations that work for you, while tapping through the entire circuit again.

[Start tapping] I am loving and lovable. My heart is healed. I care about others. People love me.  I am creating strong, loving relationships. I want to heal myself and others. I give myself permission to be in a supporting, loving relationship.  [Fill in what works for you….]

Keep Going

Continue with any of these suggestions from yoga, to EFT, to reframing these issues so that you can become the loving, connected, compassionate person you were meant to be. These balancing techniques will help balance your chakra and make you love and create the connections you need in your life.

Once you feel balanced, opening, and loving again, consider looking at your next chakra, the fifth chakra.

What helps you open up your heart? What are some things you do to ensure you stay connected with others?

Next up: The Fifth Chakra- the Throat Chakra

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The Third Chakra- The Solar Plexus Chakra

Written by Kate • June 2, 2011 •
6 comments

Image Thanks to Kat224k

Image Thanks to Kat224k

The Third Chakra- The Solar Plexus Chakra

The third  of the seven chakras is known as the Solar Plexus chakra. It’s located between the navel and the solar plexus, up from the sacral chakra. Its function is to give us our will, our power, our assertiveness.  It is associated with the color yellow (yellow) and the fire element.

This is the fourth post of 10 posts on the 7 Chakras System. Here is the first post, an Overview of the 7 Chakras, here is the second post, the Root Chakra, and here is the third post, the Sacral Chakra.

Anodea Judith has a great book that really dives deep into the Chakra system, the Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System. As she states: “The first two chakras combine to bring us to this new level [the third chakra]. The first chakra brought us solidity, stability, focus, and form. There we experienced unity. From this ground, we moved to chakra two and experienced difference, change, and movement. Here we embraced polarities and discovered the passion of difference, choice, emotion, and desire. We expended beyond mere survival instincts toward the desire for pleasure and merging with another.

As we put together matter and movement, we find that they create a thirst state: energy. If we rub two sticks together, we eventually get a a spark that can ignite a fire. In the physical work, we call this combustion. In the body, it relates to metabolism. Psychologically, it relates to the spark of enthusiasm that ignites power an will; in our behavior, it is the realm of activity.

This is our third chakra. Its purpose is transformation. Just as fire transforms matter to heat and light, the third chakra transforms the passive elements of earth and water into dynamic energy and power. Earth and water are passive. They flow downward, subject to gravity and follow the path of least resistance. Fire, by contrast, moves upward, destroying form, and takes the raw energy of matter to a new dimension- to heat and light.

I love this concept of fire moving upward, consuming raw energy and putting out new matter – of heat and light. By applying our will in the right way and for the right things, we are unstoppable.

Open and Balanced

When your solar plexus chakra is open and balanced, you are able to say no easily and without guilt,  can express yourself to your colleagues, boss, and loved ones with ease and truthfulness, and have no fear in addressing authority figures.  You aren’t easily threatened or intimidated in any situation.

Unbalanced or Weak

Signs of an unbalanced or weak chakra are the inability to really say what you think for fear of the reaction you’ll get, being intimidated or threatened by others who seem more powerful then you, feeling fear or nervousness in addressing authority figures, and not feeling like you’re in charge of your life.

Causes

A weak or unbalanced third chakra can be caused in a variety of ways. Some of us learn it early, to trust authority for its own sake and to not listen to our internal compass. Some of us, in a weak moment, unintentionally give it away by allowing someone in our life to have more power over us than we intended- to be loved, or admired, or wanted, or out of fear of rejection. Some of us stay in unhelpful or hostile environments, knowingly, until something better comes along. All of this shuts down or weakens this solar plexus chakra.

Symptoms of a Solar Plexus Chakra Imbalance

  • Can you say no easily and without guilt?
  • Is what you want the ideology that is guiding your life?
  • Do you speak your mind openly and honestly?
  • Can you speak with authority figures confidently?
  • Can you allow others to be uncomfortable or unhappy with your decisions without changing your mind or trying to fix them?
  • Are you in charge of your life?

If you answered no to some or many of the above-listed questions, your solar plexus chakra is probably out of balance.

Examples of Situations that Can Throw Your Solar Plexus Chakra Out of Balance

An extreme example of a situation that throw you out of balance is living in a hostile or abusive situation. You live in a situation in which you are abused either physically or verbally and your power has been given away.  Whenever we go against our own wants and desires and intuition in order to get along, in order to be liked or loved, we give away our power. [This is different than consciously choosing to go along with something-like watching a movie that your mate chooses- because you’re doing with love and consciously.]

Choosing a profession, choosing a house, or a style because it will please your parents, your beloved, your friends, all of this gives away your power.  Codependent lifestyles is one of imbalance, as well. We’re propping the other person up at the expense of our self.

Ways to Balance Your Third Chakra

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:

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Unfamiliar with EFT? Check out this page to show you the basics, for free. There are many other sites that have a more thorough explanation of the technique but they require you to provide your email address. Your choice!

EFT at the highest level: you first state your concerns and that you deeply love and accept yourself. You then release each of the specific ideas, anxieties, and fears that you are feeling. Then you state affirmations or better ideas that should replace your anxieties and fears and that make you feel better, more empowered by thinking them.

Deeply Love and Accept Yourself

You first touch the karate chop point [as shown on the link] while releasing the block through stating, “Even though I feel I’m not strong enough, even though I think I_______ [don’t have enough power, have to please others first ], I deeply love and accept myself.

Release

Then go through each point tapping three or four times at each point; eyebrow, side of eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, the collar bone, under the breast/ribcage, under arm, and crown – while releasing whatever it is you’re experiencing.

You can go around the tapping circuit a few times until you’ve fully release what you need to.

Starting tapping at the eyebrow and going through each point: I release the feelings that I’m not strong enough, I can’t succeed, I can’t express what I want without losing everything, …etc [Keep tapping].

I release all of this from my body. [Keep tapping].

I release from my solar plexus chakra, from my whole body:

Lack of success, lack of power, inability to say what I mean, ____ … [fill in whatever you’re feeling that is keeping you from being authentically you, sure in yourself, able to say what you mean -as you keep tapping]

Affirmations

Now you begin replacing the feelings and beliefs you’ve just released through saying affirmations that work for you, while tapping through the entire circuit again.

[Start tapping] I am powerful. I can create what I will.  I give myself permission to be powerful. I use my power wisely. My needs are as important as anyone else’s. I have high self-esteem. I am successful. I am confident and secure.  [Fill in what works for you….]

Keep Going

Continue with any of these suggestions from yoga, to EFT, to letting yourself really be powerful and in charge of your own life. These balancing techniques will help balance your chakra and make you able to feel more able to be authentically you without fear of loss or rejection, be able to express your power, your will and your ability to create a life you want to live.

Once you feel balanced, powerful, and strong again, consider looking at your next chakra, the fourth chakra.

What helps you own your own power? What are some things you do to keep yourself true to your own compass?

Next up: The Fourth Chakra- the Heart Chakra

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The Second Chakra

Written by Kate • May 31, 2011 •
3 comments

Second Chakra

Image thanks to ScubaLove

 

The Second Chakra- The Sacral Chakra

The second of the seven chakras is known as the sacral chakra. It’s located between the pubic bone and navel, up from the root chakra. Its function is to allow us to feel desire and pleasure and our sexuality.  It is associated with the color orange and the water element.

As I mentioned in my last post on the first chakra, the root chakra is associated with the first two years of life. We spend the first two years or so of our life, focused solely on surviving with little thought to the other aspects of life which, later, will so completely consume our lives. As infants and toddlers, we simply want and need to be fed, clothed, housed, taken care of, and loved.

After the first few years and life is less about eating and being taken care of, we’re now focused on exploring life and experiencing pleasure and desire, and much later in our lives, it’s about our sexuality. The second chakra is associated with ages 2-4 or so.

This is the third post of 10 posts on the 7 Chakras System. Here is the first post, an Overview of the 7 Chakras, and here is the second post, The Root Chakra.

Open and Balanced
When your sacral chakra is open and balanced, you affirm your ability to feel pleasure, to be sexual, to satisfy your desires for a variety of experiences, and you have a lack of guilt about taking care of yourself.  You can firmly say, “I feel. I desire. I want.” You live a life that has pleasure, beauty, sensations, and some form of pampering. And as an adult, you enjoy your sex life and feel good about being sexual- without guilty, shame, or any negative feelings.

Unbalanced or Weak
Signs of an unbalanced or weak chakra are two sides of the same coin. If you often deny yourself pleasure and live a utilitarian type life style or if you indulge in nearly every whim, denying yourself nothing, you probably have an unbalanced chakra.

Causes
We either deny ourselves nothing or everything, to a larger extent. By denying ourselves pleasure, spontaneity, joyfulness, beauty, and art, we can throw our chakra out of balance.

Also by denying ourselves true pleasure, and substituting something else for beauty, pleasure, and sensuality, through eating, drinking or buying things or having sex in exchange for a feeling of pleasure, we also throw our chakras out of balance.

Symptoms of a Sacral Chakra Imbalance

  • Do you nurture yourself- take long baths, get massages, enjoy a play, do things you enjoy?
  • Do you listen to your body? Do you acknowledge your feelings?
  • Do you enjoy sex with your partner and feel good about the act itself?
  • Do you have beauty in your life; flowers, art, nice things that make you happy when you look at them?
  • Do you celebrate your accomplishments, big and small?
  • Do you allow yourself good food, good wine, nice desserts?

If you answered no to some or many of the above-listed questions, your sacral chakra is probably out of balance.

Examples of Situations that Can Throw Your Sacral Chakra Out of Balance

Denying Ourselves Pleasure
A common way that many dieters throw their sacral chakra out of balance is through their method of dieting. Many diets have us eating far less than the calorie intake required to maintain even our goal weight in order to create the calorie deficit for a quick loss of weight. One of the first things to go is many of the foods that provide us pleasure. So we no longer will give ourselves desserts or use fat or oils to spice up our dishes. And we no longer eat pleasurable food and instead eat our diet food.

Or some diets suggest that we reward ourselves only when we lose the targeted amount of weight, so we cut out clothes shopping, massages, new shoes, and anything else that brings us pleasures. Some diets even have us do both.

And so there goes pleasure through eating, savoring a glass of good wine, or taking care of non-basic needs through nice clothing when required or a new pair of shoes. This can spiral to denying ourselves any pleasure so that we keep to our diets or a schedule or our ideal that pleasure and enjoying life isn’t OK, that we need to sacrifice in order to be happy.

As a side note, I’ve been following Tonya Leigh, a weight loss mentor who would rather have her clients focusing on filling their life up with pleasure and her theory is that when her clients get happy, they get thinner. Her new course, Slim Chic and Savvy, began yesterday. [I don’t get paid for this reference. Just an interesting note about pleasure in your life]

Substitution for the Real Thing
Another common way that younger people especially try to increase pleasure in their life is by overindulging in eating food or having sex, often to excess in order to have some sense of pleasure and connection in their lives.

When dieting or overly strict eating causes loss of enjoyment of the food itself and we no longer allow ourselves anything luxurious in this every day act, we can then binge or eat past fullness. We at least can enjoy the feeling that eating gives us, calming us down and numbing us out.

And when we don’t have a connection and don’t understand or believe our sexuality is natural and can be a loving and wonderful experience, we can trade sex for connection, for pleasure, for sensations.

All addictions can be traced to the sacral chakra, substituting sensation for our need for true pleasure, beauty, and joyfulness in life.

Ways to Balance Your Second Chakra

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

Pamper Yourself

  • Take a long bubble bath with scented candles
  • Take the time to read a new, juicy fiction book
  • Take 20 minutes after dinner and enjoy a nice glass of dessert wine, just because
  • Make yourself a fabulous meal
  • Get a massage
  • Buy yourself a new pair of shoes, just because
  • Dress in the clothes that make you feel like a million bucks, just because

Play

  • Have fun doing something you really enjoy, like a game of cards, Scrabble or your favorite board game
  • Play World of Warcraft or your other favorite online game and enjoy the time spent “goofing off” without guilt
  • Go bowling
  • See some improv or do some of your improv with your friends
  • Do something fun just because you enjoy it

Be Outside

  • Go on a walk in nature, in a park, around a lake, in a garden
  • Enjoy a long walk listening to your favorite music
  • Go camping in a gorgeous setting

Change Your Space

  • Add some color to your walls.
  • Light candles and enjoy an evening reading by candlelight
  • Hang some art that pleases you, even if it’s a framed picture from one of your magazines

Really Enjoy What You’re Doing

  • Rather than over eating, create a sumptuous meal for yourself and enjoy it. Savor each bite and only eat until you get the beginning of the full sensation.
  • Really connect with someone rather than having mindless sex in order to feel. The connection will feel much better and do more for you in the long run.

Yoga
Some of yoga poses are quite helpful, such as hip and sacral openers. They can be done on your carpet in your bedroom or any space where have a little bit of room and 5 minutes free from interruptions. Anodea Judith recommends the following:

  • Goddess Pose
  • Pelvic Tilts
  • Hip circles [circle your hips in small circles, increasing the size of the circles as you go]

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Unfamiliar with EFT? Check out this page to show you the basics, for free. There are many other sites that have a more thorough explanation of the technique but they require you to provide your email address. Your choice!

EFT at the highest level: you first state your concerns and that you deeply love and accept yourself. You then release each of the specific ideas, anxieties, and fears that you are feeling. Then you state affirmations or better ideas that should replace your anxieties and fears and that make you feel better, more empowered by thinking them.

Deeply Love and Accept Yourself
You first touch the karate chop point [as shown on the link] while releasing the block through stating, “Even though I am not good enough, even though I think I_______ [shouldn’t enjoy myself, enjoy food, drink, have sex, etc ], I deeply love and accept myself.

Release
Then go through each point tapping three or four times at each point; eyebrow, side of eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, the collar bone, under the breast/ribcage, under arm, and crown – while releasing whatever it is you’re experiencing.  You can go around the tapping circuit a few times until you’ve fully release what you need to.

Starting tapping at the eyebrow and going through each point:
I release the feelings that I’m bad, I don’t deserve good things, sex is dirty, sex isn’t good, love is hard, love is constricting, relationships are hard, I can’t connect, …etc

[Keep tapping]. I release all of this from my body.

[Keep tapping]. I release from my sacral chakra, from my whole body:

No relationships, denying myself is good, have to use sex to be noticed, have to use sex to connect, low self-esteem, bad relationships, patterns of bad relationships, … [fill in whatever you’re feeling that is keeping you from enjoying your life as pleasurable and full of beauty -as you keep tapping]

Affirmations
Now you begin replacing the feelings and beliefs you’ve just released through saying affirmations that work for you, while tapping through the entire circuit again.

[Start tapping] I am worth it. I deserve to have pleasures. Desire is a good thing. Sex is sacred and good.  I deserve to have good things in my life. I am comfortable with my body. I take care of myself. I love myself and my body. Marriage is easy.  I can nurture myself and my family. I am of the light.  [Fill in what works for you….]

Keep Going
Continue with any of these suggestions from yoga, to EFT, to letting yourself really feel life and all the delightful abundance it has to offer. These balancing techniques will help balance your chakra and make you able to feel more able to nurture yourself and your playful, pleasure loving part of you. Once you feel balanced, playful, and curious again, consider looking at your next chakra, the third  chakra.

What helps you experience the delights that life has to offer? What are some ways you take care of yourself?

Next up: The Third Chakra- the Solar Plexus Chakra

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The First Chakra- The Root Chakra

Written by Kate • May 26, 2011 •
7 comments

Root Chakra- Image thanks to Rodessa4

 

The First Chakra-  The Root Chakra

The first of the seven chakras is known as the root chakra. It’s located at the perineum and the base of the spine, the lowest parts of the trunk of your body.  Its function is to provide for survival and for security and grounding, to have your basic needs met.  It is associated with the color red and the earth element.

See the first article in this series, the overview of the 7 Chakras.

When we’re born, our root chakra is like a bud waiting to bloom and this chakra is associated with the first two years of life. Our other chakras are closed.  We spend the first two years or so of our life, focused solely on surviving with little thought to the other aspects of life which, later, will so completely consume our lives. But for now, as infants and toddlers, we simply want and need to be fed, clothed, housed, taken care of, and loved.  It is these aspects of the root chakra we take into later life.

Open and Balanced
When your root chakra is open and balanced, you have a basic sense of security, of being grounded with a peaceful sense of stillness. You can firmly say, “I have a right to exist, a right to be here”. You feel, for the most part, that you have enough money to meet your basic needs, that your housing and job situations are secure, and that in a most basic sense, you are taken care of and your needs are met.

Unbalanced or Weak
When your root chakra is unbalanced or weak, you feel, as you can imagine, insecure, unmoored, concerned about money, your job, your house, your family, and can feel a low level anxiety [or keenly felt fear] about basic survival needs.

Causes
There are two types of root chakra imbalance issues. The first can be deeply rooted based on a childhood that didn’t meet your basic needs. You were raised in a home that didn’t provide some or many of your basic needs; enough food, enough basics, parents worried about money, several moves which uprooted you from home after home, or the loss of a parent.

The second can be situational and one that arises later in life based on a new crisis, such as loss of a job, loss of a home, sudden financial crises, or other situations in which your basic needs that are no longer being met.

Symptoms of a Root Chakra Imbalance

  • Are you afraid you don’t have enough?
  • Are you worried that you’ll never have enough?
  • Do constantly worry about money?
  • Do you feel like you need someone else to take care of you, like you’re not enough to take care of yourself?
  • Are you preoccupied with food or money or a sense of control over life?
  • Are you worried about what is around the corner, rather than trusting that life will go well?

If you answered yes to some or many of the above-listed questions, your root chakra is probably out of balance.

Examples of Situations that Can Throw Your Root Chakra Out of Balance

I have a few examples from my own life in which I recognize that have created instability in my own life and that I still work on, even years later.

Peace Corps Benin and Buffets
In the mid-90s, I joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to the West African country of Benin. In addition to uprooting myself from my job, my friends, and my close family, I flew to an entirely different continent and plucked myself down into a new place in the midst of a foreign culture surrounded by total strangers. But this I was expecting and while I felt quite homesick and understood more fully just how deeply I had put down roots in my life in Washington, DC, I was excited about the experience.

We then went to a neighboring country of Togo, where Peace Corps holds its training for both Benin and Togo. That year, the Peace Corps in Benin, for the first time, decided to change its normal operations and condense two training groups of 40 to one group of 80. This would allow Peace Corps to focus fully on training just once a year, thereby saving time, money, and difficulty of two separate groups.  The only problem was that the training staff was accustomed to handling 40 trainees and it turns out they didn’t quite have enough space for all of us.  So a few of us were housed in across the street, with the teachers. No problem!

But when it came to meal time, the cooking staff was also unfamiliar with cooking enough for 80 people versus 40, which meant there was never enough food to go around. If you didn’t get there early, there was a real chance that you wouldn’t have enough to eat. And we didn’t know enough yet to go into town and get our own food so for the those early weeks, I was at the Peace Corps’ mercy to get my food, clean water, and all my basic survival needs.  So in the six weeks I trained in Togo, I learned to get to the chow hall early and “get my share” or I would go without.  We then went back to Benin and finished the rest of our training in a larger city and never really had to be concerned about getting our a regular meal, and by that time I was more focused on how ill I had become- getting used to the dysentery that I would occasionally get and the giardia that I would often get over the next two years. But that’s a different story.

I hadn’t realize the effect my six-weeks of potentially no-food-at-each-meal would have on me for, well, the rest of my life. Upon my return to the US, when I saw a buffet at someone’s home or at a restaurant, I had an urge to get up and get what I need-imagine me feeling like I need to elbow out other guests,  to pounce on the food.  It felt desperate and out of control, and I didn’t like the feeling.  So I faced the sense of deprivation I get from a buffet -oh the irony- and in the first few years after my return, I made myself sit and allow everyone else to get their food before me. I acknowledged in my mind that there was plenty of food and I would have everything I wanted to eat and more when I was ready. And I acknowledged that I had the power to meet my own needs.

Now, 15 years later, I can still feel a surge of small panic and my mind shouts: “THERE’S NOT ENOUGH FOOD” at some buffet situations. And if that happens, I take a deep breath and I know that I can provide. Even if there isn’t enough food, it’s not an emergency. And in all likelihood, there will be enough at this and at every other buffet.  I ground myself, I feel the security knowing that I can provide for myself no matter the circumstances.

Renting A House- In Foreclosure
A few years ago, we moved out to the exurbs to try out the quiet life, after living in the heart of DC for years. We weren’t sure we’d like it so we decided to rent. Three months after we moved in -on a two-year lease- we got the notice that the house payments had been in arrears for nine months and the house was moving into foreclosure.  It took a few months but the owners saved the house from foreclosure the day before it was to go on the block. However, the threat of foreclosure [on a house for which we were still paying rent!] and what seemed like immediate eviction, even in these times,  loomed for the rest of our lease. We then spent the next 18 months trying to buy a house- but never knowing if we’d get a foreclosure notice.

We succeeded in buying a great house in a great area nearby and moved in. It was only then that I realized the depth of how insecure I had felt, how I never really moved into the rental, fully unpacked, “let my hair” down because I wanted to be able to leave on a few months notice. Now that I have a home, I feel settled. I feel rooted. I feel secure. I love this sense of belonging.

Knowing What You Know Through Stillness
Sometimes when you’re in the middle of your life, you can’t recognize what’s going on and what’s driving your sense of unease, your constant worry.   Stillness is a nearly universal remedy for understanding what is at the heart of your unease.

Take a moment. Find at least 5 minutes of uninterrupted time for yourself. Take several long, slow deep breaths and get yourself into as relaxed a state as possible. Ask yourself about what you’re anxious about. What are you worried about? Do you feel like you have enough food? Money? Or are you worried that you won’t in the future? Take an inventory of your basic concerns about food, money, your job, your housing, your ability to meet your most basic needs. You may be in the middle of a situation in which your basic needs aren’t being met or you’re on the verge of losing your job, your home, your car, or your marriage.  And you can have gone through any of this and are now in a new situation but you haven’t yet healed yourself of these upheavals and still feel the anxiety and unease of your money/job/marriage/life woes. No matter the situation, if you have root chakra issues, there are a variety of ways through which you can ground yourself.

Ways to Ground Yourself
Many of the remedies below don’t cost a thing and can take just a few minutes each day. If you’re actually going through a true crisis, it’s something you will get through and soon enough you’ll be on the other side of the situation, one way or another. The following suggestions will help lessen the stress and anxiety these issues can bring up.

And if the anxiety and fears are simply a way of life based on your childhood and past experience but you really aren’t in actual crisis, try to wake to the fact that you do have enough money. That you do have a loving family. That you do have your basic needs met.

Be Outside

  • Go on a walk in nature, in a park, around a lake, in a garden
  • Lie on the ground
  • Garden. Plant a flower or a plant or weed your space.
  • Walk in the grass barefoot

Take Care of Yourself

  • Organize Your Space
  • Clean Up Your House
  • Get a massage
  • Meditate for at least 5 minutes per day, but preferably 20 minutes
  • Say some loving-kindness affirmations to yourself
    • May I be well.
    • May I know peace.
    • May I be free from suffering.
  • Eat a nutritious, well prepared meal.
  • Listen to your body and honor what you’re feeling, what to do, don’t want to do, want to say.
  • Spend some time at the library or bookstore, browsing your favorite section.
  • Cherish yourself in a way that makes you feel centered, even for a brief time.

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.

Yoga
Many of the basic hatha yoga poses are quite grounding. They can be done on your carpet in your bedroom or any space where have a little bit of room and 5 minutes free from interruptions. These include:

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Unfamiliar with EFT? Check out this page to show you the basics, for free. There are many other sites that have a more thorough explanation of the technique but they require you to provide your email address. Your choice!

EFT at the highest level: you first state your concerns and that you deeply love and accept yourself. You then release each of the specific ideas, anxieties, and fears that you are feeling. Then you state affirmations or better ideas that should replace your anxieties and fears and that make you feel better, more empowered by thinking them.

Deeply Love and Accept Yourself

You first touch the karate chop point [as shown on the link] while releasing the block through stating, “Even though I _______ [worry about money, feel life isn’t going to work out, have anxiety about my job, worry constantly about losing my home, etc], I deeply love and accept myself.

Release

Then go through each point tapping three or four times at each point; eyebrow, side of eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, the collar bone, under the breast/ribcage, under arm, and crown – while releasing whatever it is you’re fearing.  You can go around the tapping circuit a few times until you’ve fully release what you need to.

Starting tapping at the eyebrow and going through each point:

I release the fears the make me feel stuck, my worries about money, my feeling like I can’t make money, my feelings about not having enough, my feeling that I can’t ever have enough, never good enough…etc

[Keep tapping]. I release all of this from my body.

[Keep tapping]. I release from my root chakra, from my whole body:

Living paycheck to paycheck, not able to stay in a good job, not able to get a good job.. [fill in whatever fears you’re feeling that are keeping from meeting your basic needs -as you keep tapping]

Affirmations

Now you begin replacing the fears and anxieties you’ve just released through saying affirmations that work for you, while tapping through the entire circuit again.

[Start tapping] I am worth it. I deserve to be here. I count. I can make a lot of money. I live an amazing life. I can have more than enough to meet my needs.  Life is easy and fun. I can easily and gracefully provide for myself and my family. I have total abundance in all areas of my life. I am richly rewarded for all that I do. I create healthy relationships. I am of the light.  [Fill in what works for you….]

Keep Going

Continue with any of these suggestions, from hatha yoga, to EFT, to taking care of yourself. These grounding techniques will help balance your chakras and make you feel more grounded and centered as you go through your life. Once you feel balanced, centered, and still, consider looking at your next chakra, the sacral chakra.

What helps to ground you? Are there other ways you have to bring yourself back to center?

Next up: The Second Chakra- the Sacral Chakra

Chakra Overview– This is the first in a series on the 7 Chakras

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