This last week things almost seemed like normal again. We had a great weekend with family, and I could feel my heart crack open when I spent the evening with my granddaughters. Lots of laughter and people talking over each other, just as it should be. It was in the midst of all of that I realized how abnormal everything had been over the last 18 months and how it had affected me more than I was willing to admit.
Many years ago, when I wasn’t really sure which end was up, I embarked on a healing journey through the body’s energy centers from root to crown. It was a balm to my broken spirit. After contemplating my weekend, I realized that it was just this kind of systematic work that would be helpful now.
I would love to have you along on this adventure. Feel free to do any of the practices that call to you. See what works and what doesn’t but always set your intention to care for yourself and to calm your mind and body.
The Energy Centers
Let me say a little more about these energy centers, often referred to as Chakras in yogic philosophy. There are tons of them, but the main ones we generally work with are seven in number. They start at the base of the spine and ascend through the belly, solar plexus, heart, throat, brow, and crown of the head. Each has its own energy, with a corresponding element, issue, color, stone, and operating principle. I won’t go through all of that here, but I would like to introduce you if you aren’t familiar with them and give you a sense of their energy and goals.
- The first is the Root Chakra at the base of the spine, its element is earth, and its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, and physical health.
- The second is the Chakra of Sweetness and sensuality, located in the abdomen and pelvis, its element is water, and its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation.
- The third Chakra is our power center, located in the solar plexus; its element is fire, its goals are vitality, the strength of will, and purpose.
- Chakra four is our center of unconditional love, located in the heart, its element is air, and its goals are balance, compassion, and acceptance.
- Chakra five is our center of communication, located at the throat, its element is sound, and its goals are clear communication, creativity, and resonance.
- Chakra six is where our intuition resides, located at the brow, its element is light, and its goals are perception and imagination.
- Chakra seven is our center of deep understanding; it is at the crown of the head, its element is thought, and its goals are wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual connection.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
Next week we will begin to work with the Root Chakra to ground ourselves and give us a solid foundation for the work ahead. First, Chakra work has to do with the body, our sense of safety, our livelihood, and stability. From here, we can ascend through the different energy centers to find our equilibrium in all aspects of our lives.
Please don’t rush through this work and if it feels more comfortable, think of these as energies you are working with-One of our cultural failings is that we often grasp the beginnings of understanding but never go deep.
We will use many different techniques, including meditations, movement, body awareness, journaling, and of course, mindfulness. Kind, mindful awareness and self-care will be the foundation that we always return to.
Let’s Begin with Mindfulness of the Body
- Close your eyes if that is comfortable, and take a moment to settle, resting your body comfortably in the chair or on the floor.
- Take two deep breaths feeling the body gently lift on the in-breath and relax and release on the out-breath.
- As you are ready, release the breath and allow it to return to its natural rhythm. Feeling it flow through the body like quiet waves on the sea.
- Now, bring your attention to the body, the pose you are sitting, standing, or lying in. Notice the parts of you touching the floor, feeling the sensations of being here in this position. Become aware of the muscles working to keep you in this position, notice where you are experiencing tightness or discomfort, and adjust your posture to create more ease.
- If your mind wanders to thoughts of the past and future, simply without any judgment, bring your attention back to what is happening right here and now.
- As you are ready, gently open your eyes and gaze around the room, letting in the light and shadow.
- And now, moving into the rest of your day, bringing your attention to the present moment as best you can.
Want to learn more? Checkout The Sevenfold Journey