Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Listen to your gut. Follow your heart.

The chakras are our internal navigation system. We gain valuable information by paying attention to what we are experiencing in these energy centers. During my last post, I wrote about the root and the sacral chakras. Now we focus on the solar plexus and the heart.

The solar plexus is the third chakra. It is located between the navel and the sternum. This is the chakra that illuminates the consciousness, the sense of self, our sense of power in who we are. Who am I? The purpose here, as we claim our authentic selves, is transformation.

The first chakra is all about the tribe and security. The second is about expanding relationship to the outside world. This third chakra is about identity, about knowing the self, and being able to embrace the self, be in relationship to the self.
Transformation comes as we claim who we are. This happens by the breaking of old patterns and the forming of new ones. We break the patterns of consciousness and behavior that dismiss our self-worth. Our culture focuses on self-worth grounded in achievement, looks, the accumulation of goods, and superficial power. All of these values are based in ego-driven accomplishments. When we look to these external standards, we actually give away our sense of who we are, our self-worth, and our personal power to things or to others. “When natural gifts and talents become subverted into socially acceptable behavior, energy gets locked away and may find instead an unacceptable channel of expression as one either demands to be seen or is afraid to show the self,” writes Caroline Myss in her inspiring book, Anatomy of the Spirit.

For me, it was fear of showing the self that lead to deep depression, self-loathing, and suicidal thinking. When I began to heal this part of myself, transformation happened, and I blossomed in energy and personal power.

Alternatively, when we experience ourselves as we are, we find we are whole, complete, and perfect, just as we are. You are complete as you are. In this moment. This is the moment of transformation. I don’t need to be thinner, wealthier, healthier, less judgmental, more active, or kinder than I am at this very moment. I am fine, just as I am. In this moment. Now.

What would happen if I, or you, started living that way? You are just as you should be right now. Perfect, as you are. I’m fine, just as I am. Sit with this idea for a moment. How does it feel, in your belly?

This is a balanced solar plexus. When this chakra is balanced, we cease giving away our power. We own who we are. We take full responsibility for our lives and cease feeling a victim. And this is a process, this transformation that is riddled with fear. It involves moving past tribal, parental, or familial support, to seek our own truth.

When the solar plexus is blocked, it can manifest itself in disturbance in the digestive system.
Overeating: protecting yourself
Undereating: self-loathing; starve the self
Constipation: holding back, refusing to let go of old thinking or ways of being
Ulcer: eating away at the self
Vomiting: violent rejection of ideas or self

A sense of self, centered in the third chakra, is about a sense of personal power. When we are “in it” we are confident, assertive, proactive, disciplined, excited about life.

When our sense of self is off balance, we are filled with doubts and self-judgment. Our energy drains away and we are in shame. Then we are in a self-esteem and energy drain. This is the feeling of worthlessness and it is centered in the belly.
What do you notice about your solar plexus? Does it feel hollow? Churning? Placid and even?

So, now, the heart. This fourth chakra is the bridge between the lower chakras (the more earthy chakras) and the upper chakras (higher consciousness). It is included in both categories, both the lower and the upper.

This is where connection happens. The third chakra is about connection to the self, about love of self. The fourth chakra is about connection to and love of others, not just people but also animals, the planet, the universe. This is where that feeling that all is one is centered.

This is where joy, bliss, love, and compassion are located. It is where we find release from judgment and where we dwell in forgiveness. It is where we take emotional and spiritual pleasure.

The heart chakra is the pathway to the realm of spirit in which all God’s creatures are one and where love is eternal and unconditional.The heart is cut off when we feel the need to protect ourselves, when we resist connection, when we are in judgment.When the heart is open, relationships, possessions, and work take on a new lightness and perspective.

We become the source of love in our lives, rather than making our outer reality responsible for the love we need. The flow of divine love is in us and through us, in our heart chakras. It is all we really need, after all. The divine source is love. All is one. We open ourselves to the relatedness of all life when we center in our hearts and allow love to flow through us. This is why our relationships, our friends, our job, our living situation cannot give us what we need. We want to look to those things for our happiness. But it truly is the divine connection, this great love, flowing through us that gives us the connection we seek.

People who are blocked around the heart chakra tend to be suspicious, critical, fearful, and negative. They struggle with judgment. Fear is present. And they shut down and cut off.Physical symptoms include heart disease, angina, blockages, fluid. All things that cut off.

Heart opening happens when we spend time in nature, when we choose courage and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and in meditation when we focus on the heart and the energy that flows through it.

For heart opening meditation, I suggest you place a hand over your heart-space. Take several deeper than normal breaths. Allow your mind to focus on the heart space, resting in the gentle, clock-wise motion of energy you find there. As you continue to breath, keep your focus on that movement of the heart, relaxing into it, allowing your heart to open more and more. You may enjoy listening to quiet music as you do so.

© 2015 Janet Tuck

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