Introduction Guide – Rebalancing the Chakras
Solar plexus chakra: Manipura
The third chakra is located in our solar plexus, associated with the color yellow, it connects to our ego, will, personal power and autonomy. This is often called the power chakra. The first chakra was about foundations, a ground to root so we are able to rise up towards the stars. The second chakra is about getting energy moving in your body. The third chakra is about the power behind the movement; that creates friction, fire (agni). When you light your inner fire you can do anything in life, it gives you willpower, determination, discipline. Once this fire is ignited it can burn away personal blockages. It will not be a surprise that its element is fire.
The past week we practiced to release and we listened to our desires. The third chakra trumps desires as the will to create a goal can be more important ( example: you want to stay in bed but you have to finish a project). We have to train the will to become stronger than the desires. You can do this by focusing your energy in the right directions. Setting intentions helps you with this. It is important to choose an intention that fits your purpose.
Assess your solar plexus chakra:
A balanced solar plexus chakra connects to your ego; it is how you see yourself with your beliefs, habits and traits. With a healthy ego you feel self-confident, able to solve problems, have a sense of meaning and you are resilient. Our ego gets a bad reputation; like it is something we need to let go off or transcend. The reality is that we need an ego to be able to function in the world. It allows us to grow up with a loving sense of self and have meaningful relations.
When we experience trauma; emotional and/or physical hurtful events, our ego can be hurt and we learn to compensate this hurt by developing different coping mechanisms that can be toxic to ourselves and to the people around us. When this chakra off balance it can threaten our self-confidence, cause confusion and even depression.
An excessive third chakra can result in dominating, controlling behaviour and being constantly active. It can result in dismissing other people’s feelings and opinions, feelings of superiority and anger.
A deficient chakra can result in weak, passive behaviour and fatigue. You might have a negative self-image and/or give too much energy to other people.
Which area in your life can you either strengthen or release the energy in this chakra?
Assess your chakra now. When its deficient: you have a hard time finishing tasks, you give your power away to other people/institutions, you might think you are not good enough. You don’t feel confident or you let people step over your boundaries.
When it’s healthy you are proud of the person you are, you feel generally confident and in charge of your own life.
If it is excessive you can become arrogant, opinionated, so focused on your productivity you stop taking care of yourself and push yourself to exhaustion, dominate others on what you think that needs to get done.What can you do to balance this chakra?
• Form new habits:
– Start waking up earlier, drink warm lemon water
– take a 5 minute meditation. Set your intention for the day: formulate and realise a goal. This can be anything you have been putting off ranging from household chores to getting your body moving.
Cut bad habits slowly. Cold turkey stopping will most likely make you fall back. Enjoy and immerse yourself in all your bad habits; be mindful about them and ask yourself why am I doing this? Increasing your consciousness can lead to a gradual release of the bad habit.
• Focus on what you want not on what you don’t want (“don’t think about a pink elephant”) always set positive intentions.
• Burn your boats: remove the path backwards: publicly state your goals/consequences, remove yourself from your old lifestyle.
• Workout. Any workout that suits you as long as it ignites your fire within. It can be running, yoga, swimming. Fitness.
• Feed yourself properly. This can change from day to day. Listen to what your body needs and stack up on fruits and veggies.
Questions to ask yourself:
2. Who are you surrounding yourself with? You might feel different from your family and / or friends. The first step is to accept that you are different from your ‘tribe’. Break free from the value system which does not suit who you truly are. We are all influenced by others but without a good sense of self you become a sponge; taking in other people’s opinions of you as your own. Embrace you’re different and separate yourself from toxic people and find a tribe that better suits you.
3. How is your willpower? Investigate if your actions focus on short- or long- term gratification? Delay short term gratification. Resist temptation and wait for you will end up happier. Resist that what is not good for you, go for what you is good for you. Willpower is like a muscle, train it and it will become stronger.
4. How is your self-confidence? Are you looking for approval from others?
5. Are you pushing yourself to exhaustion in some areas? Where can you release pressure on yourself?
6. Where are you overcontrolling or too much “laissez-faire?”
7. How are you dealing with anger?
8. Observe yourself, how are you feeling? Listen to your gut. Sit still in meditation. Ask yourself a question or if you have a dilemma, pose yourself the dilemma and give yourself possible solutions. Observe how you are feeling each time. You give yourself a possible solution but you feel heavy? Or have a sinking feeling or just a general ‘meh’ feeling? This is not your solution. When you give yourself a solution and you feel light, filled with energy, then this is your solution.
We are all here on this world to be our unique self. We all have a certain gift and something to add to this world. And at the same time, we are all connected on a higher level. The third chakra is about cultivating a healthy ego and shine out our original individual self.
Power up your chakra with essential oils and the right foods
How I did it – “Back off, my friend”
I had the perfect recipe for being bullied: I was reflective, I liked learning and reading, I did not like sports and I was very sensitive so the ‘mean kids’ decided that I was too fat. In middle school I therefore decided to blend in with other people and when one of my classmates asked me for cigarettes I not only started to smoke but I would also hand out cigarettes to them. My fragile self-esteem never got the time nor the wisdom to re-enforce itself and after a few more blows to it my coping strategies were born. I forced myself to become an extravert, I became a smoker, a few years later a “social drinker” and I have had an eating disorder in between as well. In my twenties I survived on mostly liquids: white wine, coffee, orange juice. I was finally skinny. But I had no sense of self and if you had asked me at that time: which direction would you like to go from here you probably would have gotten the answer: “anywhere, I don’t care. Where do you want to go?”.
At some point I came across an old Cherokee story which is about a battle that goes on inside us all between the good wolf and the bad wolf. The story ends with that the wolf that will win is the one you give the most attention to. So for some time I decided that I had to just stop this unhealthy behaviour on my willpower and stop thinking about it. But obviously, this became like the pink elephant in the room and whenever my sense of self was in danger again, I reverted back to my old coping strategies.
I always liked philosophy books and when I learned about Patanjali’s “eight limbs of yoga” book I was delighted that I finally had guidelines on how I could end my suffering. According to Patanjali; asana’s or the yoga poses are only one aspect or limb of this process and when I came across the first two limbs I learned that I did have to give attention to the bad wolf. Even more, I had to embrace her. To shine a light in these dark corners of my soul and to deal with my stuff before I could even start letting go of my toxic behaviours and thoughts.
Through yoga I learned that I have all the wisdom and power within me to heal myself. That I don’t need external sources to tell me that I look OK, that I behave OK. I stopped comparing myself to other people and I became nicer to myself. I stopped hurting myself with negative self-talk. That in turn led me into a process of gradually stopping my unhealthy behaviour. I slowly fed myself with bites of confidence and I developed my own opinions and felt less the need to listen to other people’s opinions and my self-esteem grew day by day.
I stopped believing this negative mental chatter and slowly this nagging voice in my head became softer and softer until I almost cannot hear it anymore. My boundaries became clear and stronger and I re-found my sense of direction. Other people’s thoughts and opinion’s don’t matter much anymore and I grew into the real me. It is as if I cleaned the windows of my soul and shed the layers of myself that were no longer true.
You too can regain your personal power. Investigate your beliefs you hold around yourself. Do you feel confident that you too have a unique talent to share with the world?
Ready to re-ignite your fire?
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