I’ve felt stuck in the mud, drenched in tears and serene as though floating on calm peaceful waters. That’s all in the last month and a half.
No, there haven’t really been any huge life-changing, emotionally charged events.
I’ve been traveling through my chakras.
I am co-leading a monthly series of workshops at Just B Yoga incorporating crystal singing bowls to tune our chakras.
Chakras are energy wheels or centers aligned with our spinal column. There are seven of these energetic centers from the base of our spine to the crown of our head. They have their own energies, elemental connections, emotional integrations and behavioral impacts.
There are about 20 people participating in the series, taking a journey through September to connect with their energy centers, learn what’s out of balance, what excessive or depleted. Maybe learn something about their own patterns and tendencies.
My partner, Gale Amon, is a spiritual teacher and healer. He is an ordained priest of the Order of Melchizedek and is a mater practitioner of Reiki. He owns a set of crystal singing bowls aligned to each chakra and has been conducting energy workshops using the bowls for several years.
We incorporate yoga postures, singing bowl vibration with essential oils, gems and other elements to connect with our energy centers. We are journaling and sharing on a private Facebook group.
What I didn’t expect was the journey I would take myself.
I now realize I’m not just facilitating the workshop but I’m also experiencing and doing my own inner healing work with the participants.
It’s an extra benefit but it’s also a space of vulnerability I’m not always comfortable with.
This type of work is deeply personal and revealing. To do it with sincerity requires honesty. As a teacher I think we try to shield our own vulnerabilities and weaknesses. We don’t want our students to feel they shouldn’t have faith in our practice or that our practice hasn’t yielded some level of healing or effective spiritual connection.
I’ve decided to explore sharing the revelations and resistances I experience along the way. I should embrace exposing my practice for whatever example it has to reveal to myself and others.
The group started the sessions in March with Chakra 1, our root and space of security – Mooladhara. This past Sunday we stepped into Chakra 2, our space of fluidity, emotions, sensory experience – Swadhisthana.
I’m a competitive person who can get stuck with that kind of energy. I can also hold on to emotions of pain and fear for a long time, so much that it can prevent me from finding the joy in present moment. I thrive on change, which can sometimes mean I don’t finish some things because I’m moving on to the next thing.
I’ll stop there because that’s the kind of stuff we’ve worked on so far. And that’s enough to work on for a lifetime in itself! These are some key things that I’ve held in the focus of my chakra practice since we began.
For the workshop participants we are encouraging a daily engagement in the chakra work choosing from a variety of ways. Meditation, exercises, visualization, diet/fasting, journaling and more.
During a recent walking meditation I realized my foot was hurting as I was walking. I became aware that I was clenching my foot as I was walking, as though I was bracing against the step. I used this as the point of meditation when we moved to seated. Why was I bracing against a secure rooted step? Did I not trust the earth beneath me?
The answer was no. I’ve been in a mode lately with various projects to “make it happen.”
That’s a place of force and mistrust. It defies what’s real in favor of creating a state that I want, not one that’s happening naturally. It’s been humbling to sit with this since then and notice when I’m trying to force things – actions, behaviors, deadlines, other people….
I believe I’m a person of faith and trust. But when confronted with this nature in me I’m forced to sit with my insecurity, my fear, my vulnerability. If I fail, I will….and I go down a rabbit hole of desperation and destitution. That’s why I cling so hard and force so hard and work so hard – to succeed.
Now I get to work on what is success, how I define it, what I associate it meaning. Yay. More work.
Now on to reflections on Chakra 2 and started a a cleanse with a juice fast this week. I’ve spent more time in my tai chi form, allowing the energy to flow, exploring fluid motions. I’ve also focused on a lot of hip opening yoga poses to access this chakra.
Emotionally, I’ve allowed myself to stay open to what I feel, not avoid it or subdue them.
“Don’t force and don’t resist” has been my mantra.
I’m not a fan of big displays of emotion, so this chakra is a difficult one for me in some aspects. Yet, I’m a big fan of change, majorly so. I’m a complex being!
Chakra 2 is a space I’ll be swimming in for a while and learning to bring balance to.
Here’s some reflections from others in the group.
Workshop participant: “Chakra two as of today – I was incredibly angry and frustrated. Potentially capable of punching someone if they said the wrong thing. (which is not like me) apparently I had a whole host of anger down there. then, all of a sudden, it lifted. I realized the anger was my over controlling third chakra trying to control my expression and my growth into actually being a woman. still frustrated but I think sleep will help and I have a new excitement about hmmm growing up goddess”
Another participant: “My biggest struggle right now is accepting how slowly the universe has us work through things. We are to sit in this state of “experience” for much longer than some of us more impulsive souls might like. (note to self lol)”
Participant: “It’s interesting to me that when I begin to work on something, such as the sacral chakra, then life brings in something to test me and force me to lean into the pain, bear down on the negative voices and work with renewed determination. Thanks for yesterday’s class, especially the meditation that suggested we find an affirmation. What came in for me was: you are enough, just as you are. Its a hard thing for me to believe, but I am willing to work with it and see where it leads.”
Participant: “Updates of chakra two… I have only consumed one medium glass of moscato, my sleep patterns have been really interesting. I find that I need less sleep and have lots more energy. I am really enjoying music again, I am more outspoken, I crave sweets a lot less (which is sooo odd because I usually crave sweets and chocolate like crazy) and I am letting stuff roll off my back with more grace and ease. I also require less food… what’s that about. Oh this wild Chakra 2 ride! What’s next???”
The point of the work we’re doing isn’t to find perfection or to criticize ourselves for our tendencies. Instead the hope is to bring awareness to our patterns and what’s taking us out of balance.
Root and security is good. But if we cling excessively we become stuck and unmoving.
Emotional expression and fluidity is good. We are sensual and expressive beings. Too little can create depression and feelings of guilt or shame and too much can create instability.
I’m grateful for the community that has come together to do this work with us. I’m humbled at the opportunity to practice MY practice openly with this group and get to learn about myself and grow and heal.
Who knows what chakra 3 – our space of fire and will – is going to bring?