So it begins…

We reach for the sun and call upon the yellow ray. The ray of life, the ray of creation, the ray of consciousness, the spark of fire. We call upon the flame to burn within us and temper our passions into strength. With strength we fight the dark, pulsing and straining, to realise it is a part of ourselves, part of our strength, part of our fear. We laugh, and put down the fight, merging, becoming whole, becoming stronger. Anodea Judith

Will you take a moment and come for a mental meander with me? Follow me down a verdant garden path, under draped yellow flower lights, past a Buddha garden into another world…

I created this space. With my own hands. A sanctuary, a place of love and light, where the very walls and floors are imbued with my vision. Hand-polishing the floorboards and painting the walls, whilst practicing the Chakradance script, I have embedded the essence of Chakradance in the walls and floors of my studio.

Yes, my body aches, and hurts. My flesh is covered in so many cuts and bruises and blisters, a reality that any novice renovator would empathise with. I am physically stretched to my limits. Financially stretched to my limits.

And yet, I have never felt so happy and grateful to be alive. Hell, I have never felt so alive. Is this what to feels like to manifest your intentions? And it isn’t what I thought. Intentions do not manifest through meditation and divine blessing alone, but through hard labour, dedication and self-sacrifice. Is this what it means to set your heart on a goal and doggedly follow it through, clearing hurdles, diving through obstacles, embracing the unknown? Ah!

Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed. Paulo Coelho

flower lightsstudio

Last night, at the end of a of my first Chakradance class, I was feeling such a wave of gratitude, first to the powers that be, yes, but also, to myself. I was able to acknowledge how hard I have worked to make this dream a reality. And that’s new for me.

I am usually a ‘never enough’ kind of girl, especially when it comes to my owns achievements, I have a rather critical eye. Something about this endeavour, setting up my Chakradance studio, has bypassed that to a degree. I felt happy, I felt satisfied, I felt grateful. I told myself “You did it, girl!”

I never imagined a year ago when I bought the Chakradance DVD that it would lead me to this point. And yet everything has prepared me for this. Years of meditation, a fascination with the chakras, and healing, and inner journeying, has culminated here.

Part of me keeps expecting a crash. I mean it was only twelve months ago my adrenal system crashed, and I was unable to crawl my way out of bed for a few months.

I can’t help but think perhaps I am pushing myself too hard, and yet, there’s no evidence to suggest that. And in fact, despite my renovation-related injuries and a reasonable tiredness, I feel great. I make sure I finish each day with a salt bath and meditation, and despite some understandable muscle soreness, my body is holding up amazingly well.

SONY DSC

Survival is not enough – we must learn to thrive. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Perhaps its time to acknowledge the power source within – my solar plexus chakra.

Known as Manipura in Sanskrit – which means lustrous gem – the third chakra revolves around themes of personal power, physical power, self-expression, and will. It’s the fire that fuels our metabolism, and if it’s activated it increases our vitality, drive, and sense of purpose.

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. In some ways, this chakra is our ‘inner teenager’ – inviting us to address issues of identity and unbridled passion.

Located in the area of the diaphragm and stomach, this chakra relates to concepts of self-definition, personal power, and positive emotional expression. This is your core, your centre.

This chakra represents our “get up and go,” our action, our will, our vitality, and our sense of personal power. Its name, Manipura, means “lustrous gem.” We can think of it as a glowing yellow Sun, radiating through the centre of our body. Anodea Judith

dance-in-todays-sun

Balancing this chakra brings the ability to create healthy boundaries, balanced personal power, will power, and positive self-value. It governs the digestive system, the lower back, and the nervous system.

The energy of manipura is expressed as the element of fire. Traditional aboriginal cultures have strong relationships to fire using it in shamanic rituals and land-care, as well as for warmth and food preparation.

Jung believed in the connection between the psyche and the chakras, now it seems this connection is expanding to physiological connections between the chakras and the physical organs of the body. Jung equated the energy moving up through the chakras, known as the ‘kundalini rising’ as analogous to the awakening of the soul experienced in all cultures, described by Jung as the emergence, and ultimately the assimilation of the unconscious self. He saw the chakra system as a framework for the developmental phases of higher consciousness.

The manipura represents the stage where we are born again, into the fire of passion and awareness of a self beyond a relationship to others: family, tribe and community. It is entering the fire that allows us to emerge and connect with the spirit world, the world of the gods, and the cosmos, the collective unconscious, in Jung’s words it is “what will follow when you have made your acquaintance with the unconscious.”

But what is passion, what are emotions? There is the source of fire, there is the fullness of energy.  A man who is not on fire is nothing: he is ridiculous, he is two-dimensional. … So when people become acquainted with the unconscious they often get into an extraordinary state – they flare up, they explode, old buried emotions come up, they begin to weep about things which happened forty years ago. Carl Jung

sun_dance_2_by_visualsoup

The Solar Plexus Chakra is particularly associated with the adrenal glands which regulate the immune system and metabolism, and the pancreas which regulates insulin production.

The adrenal glands are two glands that sit on top of your kidneys that are made up of the adrenal cortex – the outer part of the gland – and the adrenal medulla – the inner part of the gland. The adrenal cortex produces cortisol – which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress – and aldosterone – which helps control blood pressure. The adrenal medulla produces adrenalin – which helps your body react to stress.

The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. All the body’s cells use glucose (sugar) as an energy source. The level of sugar in the blood is kept constant by insulin, which is made by special cells in the pancreas. If the cells are not working properly and insulin is lacking then diabetes develops.

We often associate adrenalin with the ‘fight or flight’ response, our instinctual survival response to a real or perceived threat.

The problem is, in our busy modern lives, we tend to live in a constant state of such arousal, aggravated by excessive caffeine intake, and so our adrenals either tire out, or never get a chance to do their other important jobs. The adrenal glands release hormones that are essential for to life, so we need to take care of them.

What is this life flowing in our bodes like fire? What is it? Life is like a hot iron. Ready to pour. Choose the mould and life will burn it. Mahabharata

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Last year, in fact exactly about a year ago, I suffered from adrenal fatigue (amongst other things including severe anaemia and depression). It was health crisis most likely as a result of having thrived on stress for too long. After my divorce, well truthfully long before my divorce, my life was very stressful and I had never really settled into a calm and relaxed space.

Although I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, it has been valuable for me to see the toll that long-term stress took on my health.

And even as I write this, I feel a touch of that bone-weariness again. I know I have been pushing myself, burning the candle at both ends. At work and then painting half the night, or at the hospital with my dad.

Good sleep habits are the best remedy for adrenal fatigue. I was prescribed 9pm bedtimes, which I stuck to religiously for 6 months or more, and it really helped. I have got undisciplined again, and it’s not highly conducive to dating or having a social life, but I need to find a happy medium.

The Solar Plexus Chakradance is the dance of the hero warrior. The music is tribal and dynamic, the guided imagery encourages us to reconnect with our inner masculine energy and power. There is something incredibly liberating about dancing like a Kiwi Haka – grunting and stamping my feet. It releases a part of me that seems to lie dormant much of the time.

Creating and holding a vision for our endeavours does not mean being attached to perfect outcomes, more it is a compass to hold and refer to when the sun clouds over and the seas get rocky. It is a vision of the direction we saw from the high vantage point on the coast before we set sail, and once we found ourselves out at sea, we can refer to that vision for guidance, inspiration, direction and courage.

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Woodchopper Exercise by Anodea Judith

Stand with feet planted firmly on the ground, knees slightly bent, heels about two feet apart. Raise arms together over the head with hands joined. Arch back slightly. Making an “ah” sound as you descend, swing the whole upper portion of the body downward bringing your hands between your legs and through. The motion should be smooth and rapid, emitting as much force and power as is possible. Let the sound be full and loud. Repeat five to ten times in a session, and feel the energy break through into your upper body. This exercise is also an excellent anger release.

Affirmations from Chakra Anatomy:

I love and accept myself.
I stand up for myself.
I am strong and courageous.
I am worthy of love, kindness, and respect.
I choose the best for myself.
I express myself in a powerful way.
I am proud of my achievements.
I honor my self.
I choose healthy relationships.
I am authentic.
I direct my own life.
I appreciate my strengths.
I feel my own power.
I am free to choose in any situation.
I seek opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
I am at peace with myself.

Bless!

 

Images:

Sun Dance

Last dance with the sun by goddessathenaiegirl

Dance in today’s sun

Sun dance by visualsoup

Dancing woman

Beautiful couple dance love sun

Sources:

Manipura – The Power Chakra by Anodea Judith

The adrenal glands

Jung illuminates the fires of the solar plexus chakra

A look at C.G. Jung’s English Seminar on the Kundalini Yoga by Kevin Aiello

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