This week’s WordPress writing challenge is The Golden Years, which got me to thinking about what that phrase means to me. I do love a challenge. Of course, then the Bowie song started running around in my head, as music is wont to do…
Don’t let me hear you say life’s taking you nowhere, angel. Golden years, gold, whoop whoop whoop. David Bowie
It’s a song of youthful exuberance – not to mention rather a lot of cocaine, apparently.
So I questioned myself. What are my golden years? Many people subscribe to the idea of school days being the best days, but I don’t. How could your best days be over before you’ve even figured out what to do with your life? And even though I loved university, my teenage and early twenties years were a time of disillusionment and descent into nihilism. If anything I became less golden, more dark and bleak. Lost in deep philosophical questions about myself and my place in this world.
My thirties were mostly happily spent mothering three boys – which I loved – and being in a difficult marriage – which I didn’t.
The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him. Cher
My mum always said her forties were her golden years – post the frenetic years of raising very young children, and with a sense of comfortability within herself – and I tend to agree. Apart for the hiccup of actually letting go of my thirties as a concept, when the digits slid over last year, I have to say I feel better about life than I ever have. Wouldn’t mind my 25 year-old body back, but what evs.
The golden age is before us, not behind us. William Shakespeare
Let’s segue here. Thinking golden, makes me think of the solar plexus chakra, the third chakra, which is said to radiate a golden yellow energy like the sun. This week I have been meditating on this chakra. Why? Well, read on.
Known as Manipura in Sanskrit – which means lustrous gem – its themes of self-care and personal power have been recurring for me lately. It’s easy to forget about caring for yourself, in this crazy and demanding world we live in. And the result of an unbalanced Manipura? Anxiety, indecision, stifled will, and suppressed energy. Er, no thanks.
Always believe in your soul. You’ve got the power to know you’re indestructible. Always believe in, because you are Gold – Spandau Ballet
Manipura is the seat of personal power and will. It its the fire that fuels our metabolism, and if it’s activated it increases our energy, drive, and sense of purpose. Who couldn’t use some of that?
Located in the area of the diaphragm and stomach, this chakra relates to concepts of self-definition, personal power, and positive emotional expression. Balancing this chakra brings the ability to create healthy boundaries, balanced personal power, will power, and positive self-value.
Manipura is about your individuality, about allowing yourself to be yourself, and accepting others as they are. It’s about taking responsibility for you and your life, not blaming or making yourself a victim. This requires belief in yourself and good boundaries with others.
Part of the reason my forties feel so golden is that I have finally understood the concept of honouring my own power. In the past I tended to let others call the shots in my relationships. Trusting my intuition, as a guide to self-expression, has proved to be the most empowering thing I could do.
We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses—one foot is on the horse called “fate,” the other on the horse called “free will.” And the question you have to ask every day is—which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort? Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
The fire energy of Manipura ignites your passion and will, encouraging you to take risks towards living your dream. As such it is the catalyst for your intentions, the chakra in which they transform from imagination to a will to action.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anaïs Nin
My last post, on vision boards, was all about using your imagination and creativity to visualise your intentions. This is an important place to start. However if your intentions stay at that level, they don’t manifest in reality. The solar plexus chakra is the place where intention is transformed by the will into strategic action planning, with the fuel of passion to power things along.
I am finally coming to the realization that my greatest ambition is to be what I already am. Thomas Merton
So if you are feeling lacklustre, and wondering where your get up and go went. If you find yourself feeling angry that other people seem to be walking all over you and not realising you have your own needs. If your inner fire has been doused with apathy. It might be a good time to get back in touch with the energy of your solar plexus chakra.
Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, “I’m possible.” Audrey Hepburn
A great place to start is by reflecting on your successes and accomplishments, a reminder to yourself that you are a unique, worthy and valuable person. As you bring to mind your self-worth, imagine a bright, golden sun in the middle of your belly. Feel its warm rays radiate out to your entire body and surrounds.
As if the sorrows and stupidities of the world could overwhelm me now that I realize what we all are. I wish everyone could realize this, but there is no way of telling people they are all walking around shining like the sun. Thomas Merton
Let your golden chakra shine like the sun. Like manipura, life is a lustrous gem, deserving of deep reverence. Laughing ignites this chakra too, so if meditation is not your thing, try the comedy club or a funny movie.
Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such. Henry Miller
So here’s to making THESE years, this year, right now, the golden years, for whatever stage of life you are in.
If your third chakra is strong, you stay on task. You live deliberately. Your actions are in accordance with your intentions. You make a plan to do something, and you do it—without resistance, apology, or complaint. Anodea Judith & Lion Goodman, Creating on Purpose
I love these affirmations for empowering the solar plexus chakra from Therese Kerr’s wonderful website – written by Natalie Southgate of Chakradance – and this article is also where much of my information about this chakra comes from.
“I am worthy of the best in life.”
“I am capable.”
“I am powerful.”
“I set and reach my goals.”
“I stand up for myself and for what I believe in.”
“I know who I am and where I am going.”