Mantra Monday: “I Honor My Connection to the Universe.”

The crown chakra is associated with being connected to a higher power. You can choose to sub in God, the Divine, my Inner Wisdom or any word/entity that better resounds within your soul. The Universe is what makes most sense for me. I feel that it covers all beings, nature and celestial entities.

Deficiencies in the crown chakra are associated with a lack of connection, skepticism or confusion. Excess energy in the crown chakra can manifest itself in hyper-spiritualization and a lack of grounding in the real world.

Forced religiosity and a lack of questioning or exploration of spirituality can also throw the crown chakra out of alignment. For myself, I believe my crown chakra has always been seeking a type of connection, but it did not find it until I became an adult. I was not finding it in church while growing. I had so many questions and things being taught were not adding up to me. For a few years in my early adulthood, I tried to shut my crown chakra off completely and deny any connection with a higher power or spirituality. In the past few years, I have been working to re-establish that connection in new ways, which sparked the development of this blog.

I chose lotus pose (padmasana) to work on my crown chakra. Lotus pose is both grounding and lifting. Sitting in the stillness of meditation with the intent to listen and connect opens up the crown chakra. Meditation is what has helped me establish and explore my connection the Universe, the Divine, God and my Inner Wisdom.

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Mantra Monday: “I Allow Myself to be Loved.”

The chakras continue to become more tangible and meaningful as life unfolds. As I focus on the heart chakra and deepening meaningful connections with others, I am also reminded of what throws the heart chakra off balance most: GRIEF.

It’s hard to make to adulthood without experiencing some form of grief or loss. This can of course be the physical loss of a loved one, but it does not always have to be defined simply in terms of someone we love passing away. It can be the loss of a relationship, friendship or dream. Loss and the subsequent grief are apart of the human journey.

The heart chakra that has not recovered or grown calloused from these experiences can present itself as untrustworthy of others, closed off or too clingy. It can be difficult, but it is so important to let others support us in those moments of grief and continue to open our hearts up to new relationships, concepts and wonder. After a loss, it can be tempting to close ourselves down and not allow hurt to enter into our hearts again. But, we also close ourselves off to new beginnings, connections and experiences.

I was so very fortunate to have a strong support system after losing my father to a homicide. His death was sudden and unexpected. There was nothing in place for a funeral and I had to figure out a whole mess of things, quickly. But, I did not have to do it alone. I had family and close friends that rallied around me for support. I had people step up and take care of things without being asked. I had friends, co-workers and people I had not even been in contact with recently, send support, love and even money to help me bury my dad.

I will never ever forget that.

I lost my dad in an awful manner and I could have easily fell down a hole of hate and anger. But, humanity did not let me. They made it impossible to focus on the ugliness because they kept showing up with beauty.

Ed lost his dad this past week. He is now facing his own journey of grief and loss and I just hope I can show him the love and support he deserves. I took this picture at the coffee shop we met up at a few days after his dad passed, to start planning his funeral. We sat and cried. We talked about my dad. We talked about his dad. We allowed one another to grieve and be supported.

I think it was no accident that I ordered a matcha latte and the barista served it with a heart swirl. Green is the color associated with the heart chakra and this picture will now serve as a reminder to always love and allow myself to love.

heart chakra

Hot Butterfly and the Solar Plexus

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had stomach issues.  The area that starts from the end of my rib cage to the beginning of the pelvic area, has always been a sensitive part of my body. When I was a baby, mom said she had to help me move things along during my bowl movements. When I was in elementary school, I use to obsess over belly pains which were more made up than factual.

As an adult, I continue to have stomach issues which now manifests itself as painful bloating.  Sometimes when I’m at work, I find myself trying to escape so that I can run to the restroom and message away the gas.  A weak stomach has always been part of my dad’s side of the family.  It was something that was accepted and maintained by my relatives who suffered from the same thing.

Spiritually, I believe there are deeper generational issues which are the root cause for the discomfort.  In referencing the book, Chakras For Beginners I’m finding that a lot of the issues come from a lack of self control and self esteem.  I can relate to this because discipline has always been something I’ve struggled with.  Like most people, there are certain things I love to over indulge in without limits.  I allow myself to plunge deep into the pool of self gratification until I get so tired of something I have to leave it.  It’s something I need to work on in my personal life.

One of the ways I’ve been approaching the healing of solar plexus is by asking Spirit to lead me to places or events that will force me to focus on it.  I’ve found that at work I struggle with this area the most.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to feel confident and assertive over decisions I’ve made.  When I find myself in those situations, I remember to pause for a moment, and remember that now is an opportunity to heal this area.

I’ve also been asking Angelina to give me some ideas on Yoga moves that would help stretch out my stomach.  I don’t expect the problem will disappear any time soon, but at least I’m gaining insight into a part of my body that needs some attention.

In the mean time, Chakras continue to remind me of Chaka Khan.  I dedicate this next post to all the butterfly’s who suffer from a soft solar plexus.

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Mantra Monday: “I Allow Myself to Feel Pleasure”

This past week’s focus was on the Sacral Chakra. The Sacral Chakra is associated with pleasure, creativity and sexual energy. When this chakra is too closed, there can be repression, suppression of creativity, a sense of being out of touch with sexuality or a denial of pleasure. This chakra can also be too open and one can be overly sexual and too free in their creativity, without the balance of being grounded to reality.

I find most of the time, my sacral chakra is pretty balanced, but can be knocked off and closed down when I am feeling tense and putting too much pressure on myself. The main culprit that attacks this chakra is guilt.

From a woman’s perspective, I think women particularly have a hard time keeping this chakra in balance. Generally speaking, I think guilt can often creep in when we want to give ourselves time to experience pleasure and explore our own creativity.

Personally, I struggle with allowing time to do things completely for myself. I feel GUILTY when I want to take a day alone, when I want to not talk to my family and would rather attend a yoga class (alone), get a massage or simply read in bed.

However, I have found that those moments alone to basque in simple pleasures or let my creativity flow through journaling or blogging keep me balanced and calm. When I have denied myself these joys for too long, I feel tense, frustrated and easily irritable.

One of my absolute favorite yoga poses is specially for this chakra. It is Goddess pose, which is done by turning the corners of the feet in opposing directions and sinking down into the hips, with a stable pelvis. Once the legs feel solid, various options can be taken with the arms. I like moving my arms around sometimes and letting the creative energy flow around my body, or settling in to a mudra with my hands.

I Allow Myself to Feel Pleasure This pose does have a feminine flair. It is truly opening to the sacral chakra (which is on located in the lower abdomen) and takes solid strength in the hips and groin. It can look very pretty, but it is also a very strong pose that takes focus, stability and strength. I believe this describes women beautifully. I love how solid I feel in those pose, yet free to move and flow.

What keeps your creativity, sexuality or pleasure from freely flowing?

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Tell Me I’m Not An Animal

As I continue my exploration of the seven chakras, I’d like to reflect on the hazards of religion and the Sacral chakra; also known as the second chakra.

First of all, I believe having a religion or a belief system is important in the formative years of life.  One thing religion has always done is given me a structure and a sense of security when life becomes too much.  But there’s one aspect of religion I’m a little skeptical of and that’s heaven.  I use to believe in it; but when I realized how it played into my ego by cataloging and charting all my good deeds, I started to question the concept.

One of the tenants of religion is to deny the body.  The body and its desires are not to be trusted and can only lead to sin and ultimately eternal damnation.  Where is the natural human tendency of making mistakes, learning from them and doing better next time?  Many of the great saints purged their bodies by inflicting pain on themselves in order to purify their mental as well as physical state of natural sin.  I see this action as a way of getting rid of the problem all together rather than embracing the process of being a flawed human.

Girl World and Embracing Animal Instincts

As I release the old religious thought that has held me in bondage for such a long time, I’m replacing those old thought patterns with new ideas from the pagan world.  One of the best worldly examples I can relate to is a clip from Mean Girls:

Human beings are animals.  The Sacral chakra is all about tending to the natural animal instinct that is embedded in human DNA.  I don’t care what argument I hear to the contrary, if you hang out in a zoo long enough – especially during feeding time – there are a lot of similarities between the trough and the food court at any local mall.  I’ve been learning to embrace the animal side rather than subdue it and act like it isn’t there.

I’m learning about personal responsibility and the regular habit of checking in with myself if I ever feel out of balance; if I’m feeling too power hungry or manipulative I know it’s time to step back.  On the flip side, if I’m wallowing in guilt, overly concerned about what people think or feeling lost, than I know my sacral is under active.

It all goes back to what I wrote about earlier: reality starts from inside and what ever is going on inside of me will get projected onto the outside world.  As of right now, I feel like Chaka Khan and I’m singing to the world – ain’t nobody gonna tell me how to feel.

Through the Fire With the Root Chakra

Over the next couple of Fridays, I’ll be reviewing the seven chakras and how they relate and give insight into my own personal life.

What I love about studying the chakras are all the colors; but what I love most of all – are the baubles associated to each one!  It’s not really jewelry but a color or stone that represents and reminds the observer what each chakra represents.  The root chakra is red, which happens to be my favorite color, so I went crazy looking for pretty pictures on the internet:

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Studying the Chakras Requires Honesty Through Self Reflection

The Red Root

I could go on forever about this but I’m going to stop here and continue it next Friday when I review the Sacral Chakra.  Until then, I’d like to sign off with one of my all time favorite love songs by Chaka Khan: Through the Fire.  The lyrics are fitting for this area of my body.

“I know you’re afraid of what you feel
You still need time to heal”

Chakras, Chaka Khan and Refocusing

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reflecting on how life unfolds in its own time.  There are no rules or time limits as to when our eyes open up to the next phase of life.  Sometimes that phase has already started but we refuse to see it.

I remember reading about a couple in the book The Five Love Languages who had gone through twenty years of marriage before they realized their relationship was loveless.  As a married couple they got along very well together but their relationship was mostly business.  They related to one another as two acquaintances who were bound together through mutual associations.  It wasn’t until they read the book that their eyes were open to the possibilities of what a love relationship could be.

Recently I started reading and studying the seven Chakras and I’m finding the same to be true in my own life.  I’m just starting to open my eyes to the possibility of what life can be.

One of the first eye openers or areas of life I never thought of was my inner reality.  Whatever is happening on the inside of me is being projected onto the outside world.  Life isn’t what happens on the outside and works its way in; it’s the inside seeping out.

In the next couple of weeks, I’d like to review each of the seven chakras and how they’re changing my view of the outside world.

In the mean time, I can’t help but think of Chaka Khan when I say the word chakras.  I love her songs Feel For You and Through the Fire.  So after each post I’m going to include a video from the Every Woman herself.

Next week I’ll be starting with the root chakra:

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