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 The Chakras

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words – LISTEN” – Rumi

Our chakras are part of our subtle body and most of these ‘wheels’ (Sanskrit meaning of Chakras) run along the spine. They are like energetic power centres that both take in and distribute energy throughout the body. Each one of your chakras fuels and sustains aspects of your life and your body.

Think of the chakras as happy and eager workers who spend the day caretaking, managing and organising every aspect of your life. E.g. there is a chakra whose role is to look after your career, a chakra that looks after your abundance, one that makes sure you rest and enjoy yourself etc

There are 7 major chakras that correspond to the nerve plexus and endocrine glands in our physical body.

The first three chakras in our physical body sometimes get bad press. I like to think of them as the juicy chakras, the taboo stuff, the things we don’t (or are taught shouldn’t) talk about – money, sex, passion, pleasure, family, security, power, sensuality, boundaries, shame and guilt, fear, our relationship to our body, our sense of right to be here, our unfelt emotions buried deep down in our body to name a few aspects.

When we go further up the system the energy becomes more refined and is a more subtle frequency – they relate to your expression and are connected to the spiritual essence.These are qualities like seeing the bigger picture, feeling interconnected to all aspects of life, speaking our truth from our heart, active listening, connection to spirit / sources / the upper world / spirit helpers / angels etc.

These are the chakras we tend to run towards and want to open when we first start a spiritual practice – the desire to escape what is happening within and around us. We can use energy healing, meditation, yoga and spiritual practices to escape our life, emotions, challenges or we can use them to support us to be in our body (Embodied) so we can feel them, get to know them, comfort them, change them and release them.

Ever Flowing Balance

There is a need for balance (which is ever moving and flowing) between the Upper and the Lower Chakras. Being too stuck in either one doesn’t support us to our optimal level. Too much in the lower chakras and we can feel stuck, unable to move forward or heal and fearful. Too much in the upper chakras and we are away the fairies, unable to birth our creative ideas, easily knocked off our centre.

As we walk the path of self healing and personal development it’s important to come back to wholeness – balance between light and dark, unconscious and conscious, upper and lower etc.

Neither is good or bad, better or worse than the other. They are just different but each nourishes a different aspect of our being.

Brigid by Ruth Sanderson

What do Chakras Do?

The chakras are affected by the way you interact with life’s situations, peoples and places on a physical, mental and emotional level. Your chakras collect and absorb energy & information and those little ‘chakra workers’ I mentioned earlier take that information and store it in the relevant place.

When they are in balance and hamony, we are more open and recepitive to life, can listen inward, take action based on alignment, have a deeper sense of gratitude, have compassion for ourselves, can navigate the challenges of life differently.

When they are out of balance, we may find ourselves stuck in old patterns, lost in our emotions, difficulty in moving forward and the inner critic ruling our internal dialogue.

To take some pressure of you feeling you have to get your chakras balanced…. living a life based on soul growth on evolution is not a goal or a destination – we will always be learning, revisting old hurts and reclaiming more our true nature and full vitality. We are not a 10 step plan. 

Every little bit of healing and self understanding enables us to shine another aspect of our soul energy, our true nature into our life and the world. One little shift can have a massive impact on our life.

Imagine if one of those inner critic voices suddenly learned it was loved and you embraced it – imagine how much energy there would be within you to be redirected to another aspect of your life, your family, your relationships. Imagine if you walked around your life without that voice telling you ‘you are not loved’ – that’s HUGE! So remember small steps can great massive results.

We can use the chakras as a guide to our own self realisation.

Chakras do not work alone as much as we talk about them individually. Each chakra works along with the others – they are part of a whole system. The chakras are not just ‘chatting’ to each other, they are also feeding and transmitting information to and from our organs, our endocrine body, our skeletal system, our physcial, mental and emotional body and spiritual body.

We often chat about open your heart chakra as if it’s just a matter of thinking it. In order to allow our heart chakra to open, we may need to feel safe (root), we may need to know it’s safe to speak honestly in my relationships (throat), we may need to allow ourselves to feel the emotions, the hurt, the pain, the love – to allow them to release and also to allow LOVE in (sacral), we may need to learn how to set healthy boundaries in our relationship and also how to respect our partners (solar plexus). The same is for other aspects of our live – each chakra can hold an aspect of energy related to it.

The Vertical Flow

Within our energetic body there is the flow of energy from the Earth to Source which is called the upward path of Spiritual Liberation. I see it as an elevator lifting you out of the dense, earthly, taking care of the basic details of life and moving you towards matters of the mind and spirit.

There is also the flow of energy from Source to the Earth through our bodies which is called the downward path of earthly manifestation. I see this as our ability to take the gifts of our spiritual practice into our daily life – to birth the creative ideas, to listen and action the spiritual guidance and inspiraton we receive. To ground the spiritual. To make it earthly.

A spiritual practice (our reiki practice) for me isn’t worth much if it doesn’t have an effect on how I am in relationship with myself, others, life and nature. A spiritual practice can nourish us on all levels. We live in a physical body on a physical plane, the physical body is what houses our soul – so let your practice nourish your physically and spiritually.

Example of Downward Flow

You might have an idea, then form your idea into images, talk about it to your friends, and give it your energy until you manifest a finished product. If your energy is blocked, you may have lots of ideas, talk about them with your friends, but somehow they never come to completion.

The upward current, begins at the ground and rises through the body step by step toward ever more awareness, gaining increasing freedom from the imitations of the physical world with each step. It allows us to wake up new possibilities, and liberate ourselves from constricting or compulsive behaviours. If this energy current is blocked, you may not be able to liberate, which means you are limited by constricting or destructive patterns such as health problems, addictions, or compulsive activities.

We are socialized to value the upward path: do the right lower chakra stuff, like go to the right school, get the right job etc. and that will lead to fulfilment of the higher chakras – happiness, clarity, sense of purpose and so on. We are generally not offered tools for mastering the downward path of using the divine wisdom of your higher chakras to nurture lower chakra domains, namely healthy relationships. We are taught to favour the “talk” (intellect, abstractions and the ethereal) over the “walk” (the day-to-day actions that nurture intimacy).

Horizontal Flow

There are also 2 horizontal flows. These occur through the chakras themselves as they interact with the outside world. If these currents are blocked you may have compromised social interactions, or difficulty receiving and expressing one or more of the chakra – related aspects.

Current of Reception:  You receive energy from those around you in the form of information, emotions, love, or touch.

Current of Expression:  You express what’s inside of you, such as your thoughts, creativity, or your love.

Brigid by Ruth Sanderson

My Chakras are blocked!!

This is one of the most common things I hear as a practitioner and teacher of reiki. Along with I need to close my chakras, how can I protect myself while sharing reiki, so and so has negative energy.

I’ve had people sit in front of me in sessions crying because someone told them their chakras were closed or blocked. People come to learn reiki after someone tells them they have ‘negative’ energy.

It’s saddens me to see that someone can be left in fear after sessions rather than feeling empowered or knowing they have the power within themselves to heal. That when we are in pain, our soul / inner child is looking for love and attention, it’s looking to be heard and witnessed. We don’t need to be afraid of energy, it’s just energy – it’s neither good or bad. We chat as if we can ‘catch’ the negative energy. Imagine if you were in pain, grief, anger, worry – would you want someone to be there to listen to you and ask you what you need or someone who feels they need to protect themselves from you. I feel it’s time we move beyond those simplistic ways of looking at energy and go deeper into our understanding of healing. To open to self inquiry at those moments where we are judging something as negative or blocked so we can know ourselves more.

Blocks are not something to be afraid of nor do they mean that there is something wrong with you. Everyone has ‘blocks’ whether they are aware of it or not. Blocks are simply energy that has gathered in your body and isn’t moving to it’s optimal level – it could be a pattern, an emotions, a belief, a way of being, a thought pattern. It’s like knots on a rope. A knot is neither good or bad, it’s just there. When we become aware of that knot, we can leave it or unknot it. The same with energy.  It’s neither good nor bad, It’s just energy. That part of you is just looking attention, for healing and compassion.

Some ‘blocks’ support us until we reach a point in our live where that pattern or way of reacting is no longer condusive to the way we wish to live our life. E.g. If I learned to leave my body when there was confrontation , then this pattern was trying to keep me safe – it was doing the best it could at that stage. As an adult I may have become aware of this pattern and see how it affects me in speaking up for myself, having honest conversations, sharing my feelings without being scared – I can decide that I don’t want to move forward in live this way, so I can learn how to heal it bit by bit – heal the inner child, the fear and learn how to speak for myself etc.

Core Energy of Each Chakra

These are often called the 7 demons of the chakras… nothing to be afraid of! The are just the core energies that can deeply affect a chakra – our way of being in the world and our relationship to ourelves.

The root chakra – FEAR. Fear of not having enough, fear of survival, fear of being in our body, fear of lack, fear of love, fear of not being safe, fear of not having security, fear of the unknown, fear of addressing / healing / discussing family issues, fear of intimacy. fear of change, fear of making a decision, fear of getting it wrong, fear of death. As we know fear can come in many shapes and sizes. It is unique to each of us.  It can keep us rooted in the same spot, growing in no direction.

The sacral chakra – GUILT. Guilt from pleasure, guilt around our bodies, guilt around our sexual nature, guilt around intimacy, guilt about our emotions, guilt of eating and enjoying food, guilt of joy, guilt of sensuality and sexuality. Guilt around anything that gives us pleasure.

The solar plexus – SHAME. Being ashamed of ourselves, our choices, our desires, our pleasure, our body. We can also have shame around our gifts and talents, brilliant ideas, power and greatness.

Brene Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.

The heart chakra – GRIEF. If we lock grief in and don’t allow ourselves to carry our grief in a healing way then it can binds us to the past. It’s like a wound that doesn’t heal – is raw to the touch. Is can be the grief of a death of a loved one, grief of the end of a job or relationship, grief over any transition in life.

The throat chakra – LIES. What lies do we buy into? What lies do we believe? Is it the little lies that we tell ourselves, the lies we buy into from our own conditioning and society, lies to our parents or partners, the lies we tell when we fear to speak our truth, and the sneaky little white lies.

The third eye –  DELUSION. As mentioned earlier, it’s normal when people first step on the path of awakening they desire to open their third eye. We only think of it as a psychic centre but it’s also where the spiritual ego gets the strongest. It’s where as spiritual seekers we can put ourselves on  higher ground than those who are not ‘awake’ i.e. we think we are better than, know more than, have accomplished more than those who are ‘asleep’. Where we judge people for not being awake, where we think everyone should get on this spiritual train and see others as people we need ‘protecting’ from as they are ‘lower’ vibration. The exact opposite to what self realisation and the healing path is about. This chakra is a place for clarity, focus, bigger picture and feeling interconnected with all of life – seeing the divine within each other.

The crown chakra– ATTACHMENT. Attachment is based on a desired outcome or result. Anything can become an attachement – the outcome of a healing session, our achievements, our spiritual experiences, material things, places, love, partner etc. Attachments can create suffering and dram, as what happens when things change. Attachment keeps our mind cluttered and prevents us from releasing any limited beliefs or blockages. “What things am I attached to?  Who?  Why?  What is it about them that creates the attachment?”

 

 

Journal Prompts for Exploring Your Chakra System

How do I connect to my internal world? What practices do I have that support me getting to know myself on all levels.

How can I use compassionate self inquiry to get to know what aspects of myself are showing up e.g. inner child, fear, worry, anger, joy, expansion etc

How do I feel supported or unsupported in life – by myself, by others and by spirit?

What did I learn about money, love, boundaries (insert any word here that you wish to explore) from my family? Can I identify patterns I’d like to end? Are there any family traditions I’d like to continue into my own life?

How connected am I to my physical, emotional, and spiritual self?

If I was to paint my life in the color of the 7 chakras, what color or chakra seems to resonate or jump out the most?

In what ways can I fully feel and express my emotions?

Who or what do I feel drives my life? Do I feel it’s outside of my hands or within my power?

What brings me joy? What do I enjoy doing? What lifts me up and moves me forward? How can I do more of that?

What drags me down and pulls me back? How can I do less of that?

What situations cause me to keep putting my needs last?

How do I feel about setting, creating and maintaining boundaries?

How do I feel about respecting other peoples boundaries?

How do I actively love myself? What’s holding myself back from loving myself more?

What would self love look like? What one action can I take to show myself love and compassion?

How compassionate and accepting are my thoughts about myself? Do I speak to myself like I am a child that is hurting, fearful, worried? How can I reassure that inner child?

How can I more fully understand what I’m feeling in various moments and situations in my life?

How can I practice aligning the thoughts in my head with the feelings in my heart and the emotions in my stomach?

How can I use visualization as a tool to create more magic in my life?

How connected am I to my intuition?

How can I follow through on my intuition more?

How can I become more open-minded when it comes to different ways of thinking or being?

How do I seek greater meaning in my life?

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