Singing your soul home

sambrown5Our task is to chant the world, chant the beauty. The world is a reflection of our chanting. Billy Yellow

Considering that this post is based on the chakra of communication and expression – the throat chakra – it seems rather ironic that this week I have experienced a chronic writer’s block, as well as a more pervasive block in my emotions and self-expression, that has left me feeling more angry and frustrated than expressive.

Maybe it’s something in the air, the planetary alignments, it seems that everyone is out of sorts this week. We are all like pressure cookers waiting for that final blast of heat that pops our lids.

And yet, surely the purpose of opening up our energy centres is to allow these very blocks to surface and be cleared.

Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Rainer Maria Rilke

The throat chakra has always felt to me like a gateway between the realms of ordinary and non-ordinary reality. Here we transcend the element air and move into ether, the great void of potential energy. In a realm of subtle vibrational energy, any thought, sound, or intention can immediately shift things energetically. Here creation begins.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world. The Dhammapada 

It is here, in this etheric world of sound and vibration, we begin to understand how our thoughts and words have power. How the intentions behind these sounds really do contribute to our reality, to the world’s reality. And then the task becomes how to shift these often entrenched ways of thinking and speaking, our learned reactions to the world, and create a higher vibration that lifts our spirit as well as the collective energy field. Chanting does this. Creative expression does this.

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Art activates the creative impulse in the brain-body-mind system, which to me is the God Impulse. It opens the portals of both our inward as well as our outer sensory systems. We are no longer encapsulated bags of skin dragging around dreary little egos. With art and music we become an organizing environment, our frequencies are raised. And we become re-frequenced with regard to world and time. And that is why the artist and musician often is the one who tells the emerging story, because their frequencies and their sensitivities have been honed and heightened to the point that they are picking up the rhythms of awakening. Jean Houston

In ancient cultures there was a perception of a divine harmony in the movements of the sun, moon, stars, and planets – the music of the spheres. The ancients designed their temples and stone circles based on these natural cycles. According to Joscelyn Godwin, Professor of Music at Colgate University, “the Australian Aboriginal culture, which is our planet’s longest continuously existing culture, has a 50,000 year history of using music to maintain the natural order. They perceive the landscape as a series of ‘songlines’, each representing an aspect of their cosmology, and they sing these songs to keep the life energy of the earth and the people in balance.”

Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. Rumi

Australian aboriginals believed that without knowing the songs of the various species of plant and animal life, and being able to communicate with the nature spirits in this way, they literally would not survive. Like many indigenous cultures, their rituals, songs, dances, and art were interwoven with, both the practical matters of monitoring the seasons and moving to suitable shelter and hunting grounds, to matters of the spirit and living in harmony of the whole of creation.

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The throat chakra is representative of this concept of ‘as above, so below’, heaven and earth, our inner and outer worlds.

Our throat chakra is a bridge between our inner and outer selves – who we feel we truly are, and how we represent ourselves in the world. Lisa Erickson

Vissudha is the chakra of truth, communication, and expression. Represented by the archetype of the communicator, or alternately, as I have experienced this week, its shadow archetype, the silent child – realised as an inability for self-expression, self-doubt, self-criticism, and negative perceptions.

It’s hard to imagine how I would shift these blocks on my own, I am so thankful to be a part of my shamanic and Chakradance communities where there is a wealth of shared experience, wisdom, and support.

My teacher Sandra Ingerman is very humble in both expressing her difficulties over the years with aspects of journeying, and emphasising the need for practice. It’s not meant to be easy to become a ‘hollow bone’. We do get distracted by our mind’s chatter.

In shamanic journeying we aim to be like a hollow bone, to leave our ego-mind behind and allow spirit to carry our consciousness on the journey. In order to achieve this, we need to find rituals that allow us to leave our ego state of ordinary reality, to ’empty’ ourselves out, in order to become a receptacle for helping spirits, and to journey to the hidden realms of non-ordinary reality, or the ‘otherworld’ as the Celts so poetically refer to it.

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This week I had the pleasure of teaching two Chakradance classes, one of which was focused entirely on the throat chakra. This chakra corresponds to the element of ether which, according to Carl Jung, is the sound and substance of the angelic realms.

By the time you reach this chakra, you are operating at a mostly vibrational level. Although the chakra is based in the physical throat and affects physiological areas of the throat, the ears and the thyroid gland, the energy of this centre is large and subtle, and very, very blue.

To harmonise the throat chakra, we use sound, through humming, chanting, singing, even shouting to release any pent up energy. If you are anything like me, every few weeks I need to play loud metal music and ‘sing my guts out’- it’s incredibly cleansing!

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all. Emily Dickinson

In Chakradance, we revert to an ancient form of heavy metal, the chanting of mantra sounds. For the throat chakra the sound is ‘ham’ – pronounced like ‘hum’ not the cured meat!

A mantra is a sacred sound which, when recited or chanted repetitively, can bring about a vibrational connection with certain aspects of the subtle energy body, higher self, or spirit. The Sanskrit word mantra consists of the root man- “to think” (also in manas “mind”) and the suffix -tra, designating tools or instruments, hence a literal translation would be “instrument of thought”.

The most well-known mantra is probably the “om”, “ohm” or “aum.” The syllable “om” is first described as all-encompassing mystical entity in the Upanishads. Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound “OM”.

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Before creation began it was “Shunyākāsha”, the emptiness or the void. Shunyākāsha, meaning literally “no sky”, is more than nothingness, because everything then existed in a latent state of potentiality. The vibration of “OM” symbolises the manifestation of God in form, it is the reflection of the absolute reality, without beginning or end, and embracing all that exists.

The mantra “OM” is the name of God, the vibration of the Supreme. When taken letter by letter, A-U-M represents the divine energy (Shakti) united in its three elementary aspects: Bhrahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation) and Shiva Shakti (liberation, and/or destruction). [Wikipedia]

In the ancient Egypt, Athens and Rome, for example, sound was understood to be the fundamental creative force of the universe. You find knowledge of this in the sacred texts of different traditions. For example, in the book of Genesis, it is written “And the Lord SAID ‘Let there be light’” and in the Gospel according to St. John, is the statement “In the Beginning was the word”- the creation of the universe occurring through sound. Jonathan Goldman

Mantras can be used to resonate and harmonise the chakras, starting with low tones at the base, moving through mid-tones at the heart, and high tones at the crown. Interestingly the do-re-mi tones – as in “Do -a deer – a female deer…” – align quite nicely with the chakras. So many of us Western-raised kids have been singing basic mantras without even knowing it.

To penetrate the mysteries of music is to prepare for initiation into those fathomless mysteries of man and cosmos. Joscelyn Godwin

Try this Johnathan Goldman vocal toning the chakras video – it only takes 8 minutes and you’ll be buzzing with good vibrations.

Preparing for the throat Chakradance, I was chanting ‘ham’ for many hours this week. I observe a state of deep calm and ‘otherworldliness’ come over me after these chanting sessions. We all need different techniques to access a state of non-ordinary reality. For me being in a sacred space, either my space or nature, chanting and dancing, or making acoustic noises with drums or rattles, really helps me transition.

Spending time in communion with the throat chakra has highlighted a need to find my voice, to express myself, to make sound, both as communication and expression. Something happens to my soul when I voice this unfettered expression. Many of my partners have been powerful personalities and great singers and I have always tended to stay quiet in their midst. By vocalising with passion, I am finding my own voice, and suddenly it is like a dam bursting, and so much emotion that has been held back is allowed to flow freely.

In shamanism we find power songs or soul songs, which often come through a deep connection with the land.

You need to learn that there are songs that can connect you with the Earth; there are dances that you can dance. When you go to a place on the Earth, if the land calls out to you and says dance, then you should come alive and dance for the power in that spot. You should let a song come up out of you for the Earth, and the words don’t really matter; it’s the feeling. Pretty soon, as you open up to that kind of energy, you’re no longer simply you; you’ve become an Earth spirit, just feeling and hearing everything. That’s what we do at many of our ceremonies, we transform. Sun Bear

Back in January, I found my power place, sitting in a rock pool by the ocean. I started singing an Ani DeFranco song, but soon I was just crooning, wailing, I don’t even know what sound-making was coming from deep within me. It just came and I kept singing it and the more I sang, the more I felt that the ocean was holding me in my pain. That somehow my pain was a gateway to this kind of openness that would allow me to sit in the shallows and make these sounds. I was completely carried away, without inhibition.

Smiling with the mouth of the ocean
And I’ll wave to you with the arms of the mountain
I’ll see you. Faith No More

That emergent song stayed with me, and I use it in ceremony to connect me to that place of power that I connected with. It is a place within, but I also visualise that physical place and reconnect with the spirit of that land that so generously bestowed its power on me.

A power song is said to connect us with our helping spirits: power animals and guides, and to call our power home, both in the summoning of these spirit powers, but also singing our lost soul parts home. This correlation between voice and power makes sense to me.

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Finding voice is a theme in Celtic stories, like this one of the bard-poet Caedmon. Caedmon arrived in Ireland in 650, into a highly musical culture. At gatherings a harp would be passed around and everyone had a turn, singing and playing.

“Often at a drinking gathering, when there was an occasion of joy when all must in turn sing with a harp, when Caedmon saw the harp nearing him, he arose for shame from that feast and went home.”

One night, after quietly slipping out of another gathering, he went to tend the animals in the stables. There, “When he set his limbs at rest and fell asleep, some man stood by him in his dream and hailed and greeted him and addressed him by his name: “Caedmon, sing me something.”

Caedmon responded, “I do not know how to sing and for that reason I went out from this feast and went hither.”

To which the figure responded, “Nevertheless, you must sing.”

“What must I sing?” asked the bewildered Caedmon.

Said this mysterious figure: “Sing to me of the first Creation.”

Caedmon then launched out in a fine blaze of song, with an erudition and musical intelligence that he never known before. The day following, he described his dream to his foreman, who brought the event to the attention of the Abbess Hilda. Caedmon’s gift was tested and confirmed when he composed and sang for her and her counsellors. 

Excerpt from The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience, by Robert Tindall and Susana Bustos 

sambrown2Caedmon’s song, like those who still sing in traditional shamanic cultures, had the quality of creating the world anew. When the bards sang, although they told the old stories and myths, each telling created these stories new, and their listeners experienced these tales as vivid visions through the power of the bard’s voice. The song literally took them on a journey.

Sing in me, muse, and through me tell the story of the man of many ways. Homer

In the Irish bardic tradition, stories were meant to evolve and change over time. A talented bard could deliver an old myth with exactly the power needed in that moment to bring about healing, wisdom, and transmutation.

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. Muriel Rukeyser

In the Irish mythological cycle, the poet Amergin invoked the spirit of the land, the goddess Éire, and cajoled her to give over the land to the people, by singing of his spiritual connection with the land and it’s animal and elemental spirits:

I am the wind that breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows,
I am the ox of the seven combatants,
I am the vulture upon the rocks,
I am a beam of the sun,
I am the fairest of plants,
I am the wild boar in valor,
I am a salmon in the water,
I am a lake in the plain,
I am a word of science,
I am the point of the lance in battle,
I am the God who created in the head the fire. Amergin

What he is saying, is that he is the spirit that lives in all things. In a shamanic state we can journey to any aspect of the spirit that lives in all things – we can connect with the salmon or the boar, the lake or the sun. The separation of energy and matter we experience as a barrier in ordinary reality, simply does not apply in non-ordinary realms.

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Seeking Your Power Song by Kristin Madden

Find a place where you feel safe and are unlikely to be disturbed.
Make an offering of thanks to the spirits of this place and to the Creator. Ask for their blessings and protection in this work that you are about to do.
Enter shamanic or meditative trance by your usual method.
Go deep within your Self. Find who you are at your core, beyond your identity and the roles you play in this world. Feel yourself embodying the True You as you are filled with the energy of the multiverse. You are open to healing energy and to communication with spirit guides.
Begin to sing from this place of vitality, honesty, and power. Allow all you feel and all that you are to flow into your song. Be aware of any changes in your energy or body as the song becomes part of your being.
When you feel you have experienced what you set out to do, or that your song is complete for now, give thanks to all those that walk with you, guide you, and enliven you. Sit in silence for a moment and take note of how you feel. Then return to normal consciousness.

If you don’t feel confident entering a trance-state, simply sit in nature, in a place that appeals to you where you can be undisturbed, and begin to hum or chant and allow yourself to be carried away with the sounds and the sensual feel of the place. Notice the sounds, the smells, can you feel the breeze on your skin, the sunshine?

Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away. Mary Oliver

Allow yourself to be immersed in this place, this sensory connection will enable you to shift from your purely rational mind into a full body sensual experience of the place.

Don’t worry if a ‘song’ doesn’t come, just get used to experiencing the spirit of a place in this way. Over time, you’ll find as your sensory awareness awakens, you’ll begin to express your connection with the place in a creative way. Just let it unfold.

The stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own. Mary Oliver

 

Bless!

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Art by Sam Brown – view at ceruleansam.com and on Facebook

Sam began painting fantasy and science fiction themes which he still enjoys today. Over time, subjects such as anthropology, metaphysics and mysticism began to influence the content of his paintings and led to his magnetism toward the archetype of the spiral. A pattern seen throughout the Universe, the spiral has been utilized by many cultures over time and has several meanings associated with it. One being that of a spiritual journey… a spiral path which we all share.

Visit Sam on Facebook to see his creative process in action – it’s fascinating!

 

Sources:

On Earth as it is in Heaven: an interview with musicologist Joscelyn Goodwin

Shamanic Song among the Ancient Celts on Roaming the Mind – the online home for the writing and work of Robert Tindall and Susana E. Bustos.

 

The sweet spot

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She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. Elizabeth Edwards

This week marks both the four month anniversary of my break-up with the one I thought was ‘the One’ and the six year anniversary of my marriage ending. My second marriage, that is.

It would be easy to just fall in a heap of ‘woe is me’ weeping. Truth to told my heart is heavy and raw, but I feel that the time has come to just launch myself forward and embrace life as best I can.

The time has come to shake off the doldrums, and what better way than the Sacral Chakradance. The moon is new, the celestial energy is ripe for a rebirth of fresh, vital energy.

The sacral chakra, based in the lower belly, is the colour of a vibrant orange sunset, the centre of femininity, sensuality and feeling, the dance expresses itself through the traditional belly dances of the East.

It’s element is water, so the imagery of the dance is of flowing rivers, and the ocean, and the full moon. It is the chakra of emotions, of feeling, of the senses.

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As I have written previously, I feel that igniting the belly chakras is a great way to move through difficult emotions and replenish the lust for life, that can become depleted after prolonged illness or times of grief and sadness.

Last week I cancelled a hot date becuase I was feeling so down and disillusioned. I am hoping that moving through this sad energy and revitalising my belly chakras will shift me into reclaiming my inner goddess energy. Into feeling alive with the energy of the senses, feeling the flow of sacral energy through my belly.

In her amazing book, Vagina, Naomi Wolf describes the connection between female sexuality and creativity, she calls this the Goddess energy.

Calling to mind writers and artists like Anais Nin and Georgia O’Keefe, whose creativity skyrocketed during their passionate love affairs, Wolf uses both anedoctal evidence and medical science to support the theory that an orgasmic women is a women in full force of her energy.

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The tantric tradition supports this notion absolutely, for both men and women, a healthy and satisfying sexual and creative life is a integral part of their vitality. Fortunately for many of us, tantric breath work and practices can be done alone as well as with a partner, so being single doesn’t preclude anyone from accessing this aspect of their spiritual vitality.

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Rumi

The sacral chakra is connected to our creativity, our flow. That there exists this connection between emotion, sensuality, and creativity, makes perfect sense to me. The grief of the past few months has had a dulling effect on my vitality. Making a conscious intention to revitalise my sensuality has created a shift, and as a result I am smiling more, singing, feeling lighter. Feeling in the flow of my energy.

The sacral chakra – or Svadhisthana in sankrit – means “sweetness” or “one’s own place”. I like to call it “the sweet spot.” This alludes to the sensual bliss of an awakened sacral chakra, but more broadly to the awakening to a place in our own lives where we can embrace bliss in every area of our life.

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What makes you smile? What makes you happy? What makes your heart sing? What are you passionate about? Is there any reason not to follow your bliss? For many of us the secret to success in life lies in following our heart and doing what we love, living in alignment with our natural gifts and talents.

There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being. Thomas Merton

The sacral chakra resonates to the colour orange – the colour of positive emotions, pleasure and success. The colour of flame that represents your true nature, and refers to the true and pure essence of the real you.

Svadhisthana is the seat of sexual desire, pleasure and nurturing. The sacred art of tantra uses divine energy, including this sensual, sacral energy, to propel Kundalini energy up the spine, inspiring bliss and enlightenment.

The Svadhisthana allows you to find pleasure in self-expression. Whatever that may mean for you, it may be writing, painting, dancing, singing, gardening, parenting, being of service to others – we all have our innate gifts to share with the world.

The self-respect that comes from doing the things we love and feel gifted at, flows from our sacral chakra – if you’re enthusiastic, sociable, energetic and self-assured, your sacral chakra is strong.

Here a little video to show you how to balance your sacral chakra:

After discovering Sally Kempton’s wonderful book, Awakening Shakti: The transformative power of the Goddesses of Yoga, when I was attracted to the energy of Kali, I have continued to read about the hindu goddesses in their myriad forms.

Yesterday feeling depleted and lacklustre, heading out on a date when I had absolutely zero confidence in my appeal to anyone except the dog (you know they love us unconditionally), I picked up this book and began reading about Lakshmi. I kid you not, after about ten minutes I felt my mojo begin to return. Rejection hadn’t made me undesirable, it had just made me feel that way.

Lakshmi throws the spell of the intoxicating sweetness of the divine; to be close to her is a profound happiness and to feel her within the heart is to make existence a rapture and a marvel; grace and charm and tenderness flow out from her like light from the sun and wherever she fixes her wonderful gaze or lets fall the loveliness of her smile, the soul is seized and made captive and plunged into the depths of an unfathomable bliss. Shri Aurobindo

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Prayer to Lakshmi:

O mother

Deeply embedded

Is my fear, my insecurity

Have mercy, O mother, on my wretched state.

Uproot it

With the joy that arises from your sweet and compassionate glance

Plant in us the seed of auspiciousness

As we make our way in the world.

Of her many names, one means lotus, the sacred flower that blossoms in the waters and roots itself in soil. The lotus represent the manifest world, so Lakshmi’s power can be seen as the manifestation of this flow, the energy of the waters and the fertile soil into life.

Lakshmi is beauty and life. When Lord Shiva inadvertently disrespects her, she withdraws from the three realms, and all the flowers wilt and the crops fail. She doesn’t create mass destruction like Kali, she simply withdraws her luscious, life-giving energy from the world. And the world is a drier, colourless place for her absence.

Lakshmi represents the fine balance between giving and receiving. The cycle of the natural world. As we enter into the Chinese New year of the Yin Wood Sheep, a very feminine, receptive, and nurturing time. After the strong yang energy of last year, this year is a time for nurturing, for reflection, for reestablishing our flow.

The energy of Lakshmi is the perfect meditation to restore balance and harmony to our depleted bellies. Here’s to finding your sweet spot!

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Sacral chakra affirmation by HealingJourneysEnergy.com

As I focus on this orange light that radiates from my sacral centre, I feel radiant, alive and strong.

I am able to feel all the positive emotions, I embrace them as they allow me to stand in power.

I am able to feel all the negative emotions, feelings of fear, anxiousness, doubt and I truly understand what causes them, I accept them as they bring about feelings of joy, dignity and peace as they teach me lessons of growth and truth.

I am at peace and I lovingly release any negatives feelings that cause me any discomfort and pain.

(A deep breath in) I lovingly acknowledge, accept and appreciate.

Bless!

Images:

Tantra Goddess

Khajuraho

Lakshmi

Tantra healing

Tantra Art

Further Reading:

http://www.originmagazine.com/2012/10/23/free-your-sacred-belly-by-shiva-rea/

https://sensualblissvoyager.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/imbalance-in-the-sacral-or-sex-chakra/

http://www.chakrahealing.com/blog/sacral-chakra-healing/

Too much of a good thing

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E-motions are energy in motion. If they are not expressed, the energy is repressed. As energy it has to go somewhere. Emotional energy moves us, as does all energy. John Bradshaw

Yeah well, MY emotions are certainly energetic this week. I should have known, that on the week of focusing on the sacral chakra, I’d be hormonal and emotional.

I was emotional even driving to work this morning. The dog threw up on the carpet right before I had to leave home, I forgot to (a) brush my hair (b) bring a hairbrush. I limped into 7-Eleven (my foot is hurting again), after dropping my beautiful new fluorite crystal on the road when I got out of the car – it smashed to smithereens.

Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course. William Shakespeare

7-Eleven was out of hairbrushes. The girl just stood there looking vacantly at the empty drawer saying “they’re usually here.”

By this stage my emotions had reached boiling point. I limped back to the car and drove in tears, raging against all the deities I’d ever prayed to, that they were no friggin help at all. And despite realising that on the scale of world issues my hormonal morning probably rated pretty low, I was not happy with the level of service I was receiving.

Tears are a river that takes you somewhere… Tears lift your boat off the rocks, off dry ground, carrying it downriver to someplace better. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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I stopped ranting and crying when I realised the cars around me were giving me a wide berth, “stay away from the crazy/road-rage lady.”

Now let me say, there was more behind my emotionality than I have mentioned here. I am still very affected by seeing my dad so unwell lately and my relationship is… I don’t even know what it is. We are either having a break up or a break through – I’ll keep you posted as news comes to hand.

The sacral chakra is all about feelings, emotions, inhibitions, connectness with others, sexuality, sensuality, femininity – all the warm, soft and gooey stuff of life.

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty. Albert Einstein

The main function of this chakra is emotional flow. The sacral chakra is located at the lower belly. Its Sanskrit name is svadhisthana, meaning sweetness. It is associated with our connection to other people, creativity, energy, confidence, and sexual health.

A person may be disconnected and cold towards others if this chakra is under-active. Or if its overactive, they may seem needy, overly emotional, and co-dependent. Yes! I realise I have an overactive sacral, I see that too, thanks for pointing it out through.

I had thought that over-active chakras were a good thing, I mean you can’t have too much of a good thing, right?

We all begin the process before we are ready, before we are strong enough, before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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Mostly I try to keep my emotions under wraps. It’s better that way, they scare people. After years of learning to ‘act better than I feel’ and ‘fake it til I make it’ and other such stoic affirmations, I now – mostly – project the demeanour of a very calm, together person. People say it to me all the time “you’re so calm.” Yeah. Except when you are behind me in traffic on a bad hormone day.

Physically, the sacral chakra governs our sexual development, our reproductive and urinary systems, including the kidneys and bladder. The sacral chakra corresponds to the ovaries and testes, the endocrine glands which regulate sexual development, reproduction, and the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

The sacral chakra is about feeling and sexuality. When the sacral chakra is open, your feelings flow freely, you can experience intimacy with others, your creativity flows, and you can express yourself without being over-emotional.

The gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill, for a time, the subject’s dream of total union with the loved being… A moment of affirmation; for a certain time, though a finite one, a deranged interval, something has been successful: I have been fulfilled. Roland Barthes

According the Curative Soul common psychological symptoms of an unbalanced sacral chakra are: eating disorders, addictions, low self-confidence, dependency issues, low libido, and unbalanced emotions.

Common physical symptoms of an unbalanced sacral chakra are: kidney problems and urinary tract infections, chronic lower back pain, sexual disorders, infertility, gynecological problems, dysfunctional menstrual cycles, and problems with the intestines, spleen, and gallbladder.

A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

According to Caroline Myss, “The challenge of the second chakra is to learn what motivates us to make the choices we do.” This centre governs our need to control other people. We are connected via our sacral energy to everyone and everything we want to control. In this way we both ‘invest’ our energy in the need to control others, and are affected by others who desire to control us.

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All our sexual desires, memories, competition, shame, and envy are recorded in this chakra. Sexuality, power, money and creativity meld together in a melting pot of desires in this centre.

The sacral chakra energy holds the power of choice to create your own reality. The creative potentiality of the sacral chakra can be moved by trust and love or by fear and negativity. Our emotions can impact the choices we make and thus the consequences we have to deal with. Feelings of blame, shame, guilt, unattractiveness, insecurity, neediness, dependency sap our energy through this chakra.

Sacral chakra is where ideas come to be born, if our creativity is aborted the scars are recorded in this energy centre. Health issues of the reproductive organs can be as much linked to stifled creativity as to sexual memory.

Wherever thought goes, energy and life force follow. Caroline Myss writes that the second chakra gets unbalanced by stifled creative energy, money and sexual conflicts, power struggles, life energy directed into dead-end relationships or jobs, and control tactics that do not follow the spiritual rule to “Honour One Another.”

How do we disconnect our energy circuits from people or objects that sap energy? The first step is awareness. Check in often and notice where your thoughts are. Are they with you in the present, or have they drifted off to the past, the future, or with some person or object? Next, mentally cut the connection and literally call your spirit back. Calling one’s spirit back is not a one-time event; it’s a practice. Jule Klotter

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The term ’empath’ seems to be a new age buzzword of the moment. It basically describes a state were folks, like me, are strongly affected by their own and other people’s emotional energy. Clarissa Pinkola Estes talks about this as a need to grow a thicker skin. Instead of walking around with our nerves jangling in the breeze, it’s important to be able to feel an appropriate and manageable level of emotions.

Caroline Myss explains that this chakra yearns for a connection with the sacred. It is a fundamental need of this chakra to have a daily nurturing rapport with the sacred.

Try this morning meditation by Caroline Myss to balance the sacral chakra.

Allow the truth ‘Honor One Another’ to penetrate your body.
Move your attention gradually up your spine to your lower back, hips and genital area.
Feel the fire and vibrant energy of this area.
Focus that energy toward the key areas of this chakra:
Relationships: Who am I going to be with today?
Work: What am I going to do today?
Money: How do I feel about it today?
Creativity: What am I going to create today?

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Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires. Lao Tzu

Deedre Diemer, in her book, The ABC of Chakra Therapy, writes that when are chakras are open and balanced, it means we have the ability to be more or less open as the situation warrants. In a room alone with our lover we may choose to be very open, not so much at work.

The chakradance of the sacral chakra is my favourite. Dancing with my hips and belly to middle-Eastern influences music, I feel this chakra flow. Using the imagery of a stream flowing through me, I can finally let go of the build up of emotion and be cleansed. I connect my the divine feminine. I become divine and glow with my sensual nature. I feel my creativity flow.

Last night I ran a bath. The sacral chakra resonates to the element of water, to the flow of water. I poured wild orange and geranium oil in, added some sea salt and let the emotional storm melt away. I asked that this excess energy flow down the drain with the water. Then I slept.

It seems to me, the name of this chakra ‘sweetness’ alludes to its proper balance. When we are sane and calm, when our emotions flow gently and appropriately, when we are neither bitter nor naive. When our desire for love and creative thirst is sensual and pleasurable, but not grasping and needy.

There is a time in our lives, usually in mid-life, when a woman has to make a decision – possibly the most important psychic decision of her future life – and that is, whether to be bitter or not. Women often come to this in their late thirties or early forties. They are at the point where they are full up to their ears with everything and they’ve “had it” and “the last straw has broken the camel’s back” and they’re “pissed off and pooped out.” Their dreams of their twenties may be lying in a crumple. There may be broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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Affirmations by Natalie Southgate:

I relish the sweet exchange of intimacy and connectedness.

Pleasure is a good and valuable part of my life.

I give myself permission to fully enjoy my sexuality.

I allow abundance and prosperity into my life.

I allow my emotions to flow through me in a healthy way.

I am open to experiencing the present moment through my senses.

The universe is full of sweetness and beauty.

 

 

Bless!

 

Read more at:

http://www.myss.com/library/practice/morning.asp

www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/introduction.php

http://www.chakra-anatomy.com/sacral-chakra.html

http://theresekerr.com/the-sacral-chakra-the-key-to-your-emotional-well-being/

Images:

Title image

Jiali Ji Embrace

Embrace Your Heart

The Embrace Estefan Gargost

Embrace Andrea Barbieri

 

Calling in your community

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Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka

The older I get the more amazed I become at how crude our attempts at communication are. And by ‘our’ I mean humans, in general. I mean, we’ve been doing this communicating thing for a long time, and yet there is still so much misunderstanding in the world. Sometimes, this is a result of blatant misinformation, say in the worst of advertising or politics, where obscuring the truth for personal, political, and monetary gain, is rife.

But what of the majority of us people, out in the world trying to be the best we can, and often finding ourselves baffled by how much people misunderstand us. Or is that just me? Please say it isn’t so!

I have often felt misunderstood by other people, when in fact, it was my communication that was not clear. A lack of clarity which seems to stem from inner confusion and lack of integrity to my truth. My communication becomes wobbly and unclear when I am internally conflicted about what I am saying.

Obviously I am a good communicator at times – hopefully you understand what you are reading right now.

For me, it is in the deeply personal, emotionally-charged issues, or in areas where I feel insecure or doubtful, that my communication wanes. It is literally as if the power goes out of my self-expression, and I am speaking in dull whispers that people just don’t hear. As such I realise the power of communicating resides in me. When my personal power, confidence, and self belief is strong, my communication is clear. When my inner energy is weak or unresolved, my communication becomes like static white noise and it is indecipherable.

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I had a perfect example this week, where I felt other people had either not heard something I had expressed, or had failed to grasp its importance and consigned this – deeply precious – knowledge about me, in a file marked “extraneous stuff about…”

Fortunately I have done enough personal work in this area to no longer assign blame to the other person. I may feel hurt, that’s fair enough, then I ask myself if perhaps the communication block originates in me.

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.William Faulkner

I think very few people are great communicators, but gee, you know it when you meet one. They clarify everything, and you just know they hear what you meant to say, and you heard what they meant to say. It’s magic. And not coincidentally, they are usually people of great integrity and clear inner vision.

We all have our programmed communication nuances, from our culture, our families, our schools, even the TV we did or did not grow up watching. Add to that issues of shyness, depression, various buried neuroses, prejudices, and shadow aspects, and whoa mama! It’s a whole melting pot of murky and mixed signals out there!

Possibly we are not clearly saying what we think we are saying, and even if we are, the other person is probably hearing what they think they are hearing, not what we are actually trying to say. Did you get that? Geez…

This is why I love the dance of the vissudha, the throat chakra. The dance of communication, self-expression, and truth. In some ways it is the chakra I have had the most powerful awakening in. As someone who would have preferred to hide from the world and its rough edges, having the dharma of a writer and teacher has not allowed that. I had to learn to communicate better.

This is a great visual and sound healing for the throat chakra. It’s quite hypnotic!

Speaking of communication, I launched my Chakradance business this week. YAY! Which consisted of me finishing my website and promoting my chakradance classes. Check it out here: http://www.rawmojo.com.au

All this is very consistent with the throat chakra, and its theme of communication. Bringing my business vision into the world happens through the gateway of communication. So I am writing, publishing and talking about my venture.

In my chakra-based business plan, I explored the throat chakra with the following themes and question:

Throat chakra – Communication – Creativity – Expression. How can I authentically express my vision?

It is becoming really clear to me that business is about two interrelated things: providing something that fulfils a need in your community, and relationships. Relationships are about communication. So the ability to communicate clearly is vital to success in life at the personal and vocational levels.

As I said before, I am seeing how vital it is to my communication that I am clear and clean about my intentions and desires with myself. When I speak from my genuine enthusiasm for Chakradance, people connect to that energy and are enthused.

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To cram in as much practice for when I start Chakradance classes in a couple of weeks, I’ve been chakradancing almost every day. It’s not a chore, in fact, the more I do it, the more excited I become at the prospect of this being my service to others.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

My passion for Chakradance has many positive flow-on effects. This works at a number of levels. It begins with my personal practice, and the benefits I receive from Chakradance. Then, it involves me communicating this from a place of enthusiasm. I teach for the sake of enabling others to experience the joy and healing that I have.

Removing profit motives from my business vision, I focus on calling in my community. What does that mean?

The concept of calling in my community came to me as I danced the throat chakra. It feels like good old-fashioned word of mouth. I talk to and teach people, and then they talk to others about their experience, they bring their friends out of love and a desire to share something beautiful.

My insight in the dance was very strong – I must not push or force my vision into reality. I must allow this to grow at it’s own pace. People will come to classes when it is right for them. The very next day a friend messaged me to say she had booked herself and three friends into the class.

I am also beginning to see Chakradance as my main spiritual practice. I have always longed for a practice that consolidated all my disparate beliefs and rituals and techniques. Chakradance does that really well.

Its combination of Indian Vedic wisdom – which I have been drawn to since I was a child listening to the Beatles – Jungian psychology, colour, crystals, plants and flower essences, shamanic dance and vision journeying, and recognition of angels, guide and gods, and goddesses. It really has everything I have ever loved and found useful and healing for myself.

I am also seeking a clarity for my spiritual practice. For so long I have taken bits and pieces from many disciplines and traditions, but I have a strong yearning, a calling, if you will, to find a discipline I can call my own. I have the breadth, now it’s time for the depth of practice.

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So I am using my chakradance practice as a kind of vision quest. I am actively asking to be shown my spiritual path, and I am receiving lots of visions.

After last week’s vision in the third eye meditation class, I have been very aware of archetypal images cropping up in my life.

After I asked for this guidance, for 3 days straight I kept seeing a business van with the name ‘Celtic’ painted on it. I literally saw it twice a day, going to and from work, in different streets each time. It was not until I said aloud “okay, I get it, Celtic” That I stopped seeing it.

My visions in the past around the throat chakra have been three women in robes chanting, and three pillars or columns.

This week I have been seeing these images a lot. As is always the case when archetypal images emerge. Like the Celtic van, suddenly they are everywhere. It makes sense to me, since the brain functions as a filter to information – so we literally only see a small percentage of the stimulus around us.

Yet when our subconscious is speaking to us – especially when we have expressed a conscious desire for that to happen – these archetypal images are registered in our mind, and become like a constantly beating drum, reminding us of some vital information our subconscious wants us to have.

I discovered Artemis is associated with three pillars. Three pillars – representing the triple Great Goddess – maiden, mother, crone, and the phases of the moon. She was also a virgin goddess, which ties in nicely with the theme of purity, associated with the throat chakra.

As a read more about shamanic practice, I have a feeling that much of this information that comes from our subconscious is retrieved  at a level our conscious mind doesn’t comprehend. So even though these images may seem disparate and meaningless to my mind, that doesn’t mean they are. It may be information that is being stored and will become meaningful to me at some future time. The famous ‘AHA!’ moment.

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Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is. Joseph Campbell

Vissudha, the sanskrit works for the chakra literally means purification.

In the throat chakradance, we chant and sing to cleanse the throat chakra, and enhance our ability for self-expression.

Recently, I have been investigating the interplay between the chakras and the endocrine system. Whilst some of the connections seem a little nebulous, the link between the throat chakra and the thyroid glands is quite established.

The thyroid gland is located in the lower neck, and helps to regulate the metabolism.

An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Both conditions have serious health implications.

According to Anodea Judith, when issues of self‑expression and communication cause the throat chakra to be imbalanced, thyroid problems can result.

Triggers as subtle as noise pollution, criticism, an environment of dishonesty, and stifled creativity can cause imbalance in this chakra.

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Just as the thyroid assists in physical metabolism, the throat chakra metabolizes and moves energy between all the chakras.

Tracey LeBeau says the signs of imbalances in the Throat Chakra are – depending on whether the chakra is over-active or under-active – are either talking too much, or not speaking up. So either listening more, to sounds that soothe this chakra, or speaking up more, sometimes by practicing difficult conversations aloud, will help realign this chakra.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. Coco Chanel

Chanting and humming, listening to vibrational sounds are among the best ways to clear and balance this chakra.

This is another beautiful meditation to clear away chakra blockages. I suggest just listening to it with your eyes closed, it’s not very visually exciting!

Enjoy exploring this chakra with colour and crystals too. Anything in the light to mid-blue range will resonate with the throat chakra. Wear a bright blue scarf. And get outside under that blue sky, imagine your vissudha expanding to the far reaches of the sky, resonating with the blue light of purity, harmony, truth and creativity.

Affirmations on the throat chakra by Chakradance founder Natalie Southgate:

“I can speak freely”

“What I say has value”

“I can express myself”

“I am heard.”

“Creativity flows through me.”

“It is my essence to create.”

“When I listen I hear the truth.”

“I am able to speak to others clearly and eloquently.”

“It is good, right, and safe for me to express my true essence.”

“My truth is necessary.”

“I allow my essence to express itself in my life.”

 

Bless!

 

Sources:

Stressed Thyroid Glands and Yoga

The Throat Chakra and the Body

 

Title Image: Throat Chakra Vissudha by Rebelbam

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Vissudha

Light Blue Lady

Lettera Amorosa by Georges Braque

Blue Mandala

 

Life – live and unplugged

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Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Brene Brown

Last night I went to see Jen Cloher play a show with her band. Standing, encased in my lover’s arms, my head resting against his shoulder, I was relishing in the moment, in the music. As Jen played her achingly beautiful song ‘Hold My Hand,’ I realised that here I stood with the man I love, listening to Jen sing the very same song, that only weeks before I had been singing in my car whilst thinking of how much I missed having this man in my life. Yearning for him.

And as imagination bodies forth
 the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen 
turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing, a local habitation and a name. William Shakespeare 

And now he is in my life. It was a little surreal. To see the shift that can happen in a matter of weeks. To see what happens when we open ourselves up to new possibilities.

Intentions have power, but only when we set ourselves free. Only when we can unplug ourselves from the tangled web of energetic cords that bind us to our fears, resentments, and regrets.

I have spent more of my life than I care to admit, imagining glorious things for myself, and then scolding myself for thinking such things could ever happen to me. I would never have dreamed of actually telling anyone about my flights of fancy, they’d just laugh. They’d call me silly. Who did I think I was? Someone special? Pul-ease.

femine treeAnd yet here I am baring my silly dreams to the world.

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Dr. Seuss

In my last post, I wrote that when low self-esteem causes us to seek validation and approval from others, it depletes our solar plexus chakra. As this chakra is the centre of our ‘life force energy,’ we need to consciously use this energy for our own needs: metabolism, power, and will. Only then can we be a force in the world.

In theory, I have known this for a while, but as the saying goes, the longest distance is between the head and the heart, or in this case the head and the gut.

Last week though, I finally ‘got’ it. I saw in neon technicolour my tendency to try to please others, investing my energy in their perception of me. I saw how this drains me, and even the little hits of approval I receive, do nothing to stem this haemorrhaging power.

And I saw clearly that when I am consciously in my power, when I accept myself unconditionally, and express myself uncensored, without needing the approval of others, oh, put sunglasses on baby, because that’s when I shine.

How ironic that when we try to impress others we lose the very power that makes us impressive in the first place.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings

And this takes a great deal of vulnerability. Unplugging from what other people think, from what our ‘tribe’ says is the way to achieve, unplugging from the quest for approval, and praise, and accolades, and money, and validation, and recognition, that’s not an easy ask.

Writing this blog is an act of courage for me, I see that now. Courage comes in many forms, and no, I won’t be nominating myself for a medal of valour, but that’s not to say courage can only be exhibited in the face of external combat.

I used to think I was alone in my doubts and fearful thoughts, but I’m not. Music has always reassured me of that. It’s okay to be vulnerable in music. I really loved a line from Jen Cloher’s new song about the “sushi train” of thoughts riding around and around in her head. It’s a powerful image. Powerful yet banal, as these thoughts often are. Fear happens to us all, and there is such power in admitting it.

We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us. Brene Brown

Last year I was introduced to Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. I’ll pop it in here for those who haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch.

Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. Brene Brown

The idea Brene espouses is that vulnerability is the pathway to true intimacy with ourselves, with others, and our authentic place in the world. Vulnerability isn’t weakness, it is the ability to risk baring yourself in order to be real, to be open, and to grow.

So when my last post went gangbusters – I got more hits in one week than I get in most months – I thought it was kind of funny, because it had felt a little raw and unpolished when I published it. Maybe that’s the point, raw is good. Raw is real and vulnerable.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change. Brene Brown

Chakradance is a perfect place to explore vulnerability for me. It’s more than just dancing, it’s a journey within, to connect with our true essence, and I never quite know what will come up for me. Will it be joy, exuberance, tears, trauma, raw primal power?

Kat Gal wrote a great post in Tiny Buddha about her journey with meditative dance. I have to admit to similar experiences with the practice. A freedom from care of what I look like, from needing to be or do anything except what my body wants to express in that moment. It’s incredibly liberating.

In movement meditation class, people move their bodies as they feel like it, without judgment, just letting everything go, just being present, just being themselves. Kat Gal

earth-heartBeing fully present sounds great in theory but in reality, it’s not always comfortable. Sure when I’m seeing faeries and angels, dancing in golden pixie dust, and exchanging light rays with the moon goddess, it Rocks the Casbah, when I’m curled up in a foetal position releasing childhood trauma, not so much.

However, I have found that the faerie dust comes after I release the trauma and reclaim that lost part of self. There is a particular brand of joy that comes from facing your own darkness and seeing it has it’s own specks of light.

It’s the yin and the yang, the light and the dark, the doing and the receiving, and there’s a beauty in releasing trauma this way, it’s both powerful and empowering.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. Coco Chanel

As I express my vulnerability and my innocence in this journey towards wholeness and integration, with childlike wonder and awe, I inspire others to do the same. People are so hungry for that feeling of aliveness that comes from uninhibited self-expression, the part of us that is creative, imaginative, the dancing, the joyful, the spontaneous, the unrestrained free spirit that wants to come out and play.

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends. William Shakespeare

Creativity and vulnerability have infiltrated my business planning processes this week. In my last post I expressed the mental block I was experiencing in this area and I have been inundated with helpful suggestions to assist in my business planning.

It turns out this process can be incredibly heartfelt and creative, and thanks to the assistance of Johannah from Confetti Design, I have been shown a process to be creative in my expression of my business goals and the result is pure gold!

Since I have been putting my business aspirations out there, I have had some great discussions with other small business folk. It makes me laugh, because I never wanted to admit my vulnerability, yet in this blog, it seems to be all I do, and every time it is so freeing. And other people tell me it helps them too, and then people offer me assistance.

When will I just have faith that being vulnerable is the way to go, always, all the time, and put it as my default setting? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.)

There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community. M. Scott Peck

treeoflifeAll that time I have spent hiding from the world, from people. When really, you are often just like me. Just doing your best, feeling a little insecure, trying to make a difference.

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. Maya Angelou

This week the gift I received from dancing the sacral chakra was the realisation that openness and vulnerability are essential to the creative life. Every week brings a new gift of awakening to self.

Chakradance, for me, has been a process of reclaiming my spirit, of breaking it down into the seven chakras, and being present with each aspect of my spirit in order to reintegrate it into the whole. Wholeness.

As I get excited by my vision and talk about it to others, it magnetizes, it attracts.

The truth is I love exploring the chakras – it feels amazing, it transforms my whole being and therefore my whole experience of life. It’s like being transported into a parallel universe of infinite love and possibilities. I want everyone to experience this awakening. Chakradance is an astounding way to do this. It’s fun, it works on multiple levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It meets you where you are and brings gifts with every dance.

While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance. Hans Bos

Affirmations from Jon Patch’s blog inspired by Brene Brown’s video:

I am worthy
I tell the story of who I am with my whole heart
I have the courage to be seen as imperfect
I let myself be seen
I love with my whole heart
I am enough
I am willing to be vulnerable

Bless!

 

 

Images:

Gravity is a lie by Chiara Fersini

Feminine tree

Earth heart

Tree of life

 

Stuck in the middle with you

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you. Stealers Wheel

It may have appeared in my last post that I am a mirror-gazing, Louise Hay enthusiast. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Except it’s not really true. So I would like to clarify a few things. One, I don’t do affirmations into the mirror, it doesn’t work for me, so I don’t do it. Two, I admire Louise Hay immensely for her tireless healing work, and I use many of her affirmations, but mostly reading her book “Heal your Life” just propelled me off into my own self-discovery around being comfortable in my own skin. I don’t pretend to be a Louise Hay expert, so please don’t expect me to be one.

Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. Mark Twain

Many years ago a wise woman told me that in examining all of the many approaches to living life, I should take what I like and leave the rest. It’s another way of saying live and let live. It also encourages me to keep an open mind, try new things for myself and make my own decisions about what works for me – as I encourage you, dear reader, to do. Don’t take my word for it, find your own medicine.

Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they’ll turn out. Randall Munroe

The first quote is from a song I used to listen to in my days of monopolising the jukebox at my local pub. I still love this song, with it’s classic ‘how did I get here?’ and ‘now what?’ sentiment. It also makes me think of my journey into self-acceptance. As I said it didn’t come from mirror gazing – although if yours does, bless you and no judgement here – mine was more from a rude awakening that “holy shit, I’m stuck here in the middle of this body for a whole lifetime, now what?”

Sometimes – actually most of the time – the human race just baffles me. I have to actively entice myself to engage with the world en masse, my personality and preference is to withdraw. Living in a cave sounds really appealing sometimes.

So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself. Alan Wilson Watts

Connecting with others is very much related to the second chakra, which is the chakra I am exploring in Chakradance this week. The second chakra governs our senses, our emotions, giving and receiving nurture, as well as our creativity, sexuality, and relationship to money.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African Proverb

My introspective personality tends to rumination. Introspection is helpful at times. I guess, for me, it comes down to thinking versus intuition – but how do you tell the difference? To me, intuition is never indecisive, it may be quiet, it may get drowned out by wordly clamours, or it may be the answer is ‘I don’t know yet’. In which case stillness is required, being, not more thinking. Intuition is an effortless decision-making process. Well, apart from the effort of letting go of my thinking, that is!

Know your awareness, by feeling your experience. Jeddah Mali

As I dance through the weeks of the Chakradance training, I feel as if I am revisiting my seven intentions and seven chakras. Last week was the base chakra and my intention of home. I did a massive spring clean of my home space, clearing out the old to make space in my life. Then I experienced a journey of self-love into my body, grounding through the root chakra, through visualisation and earthing practices.

Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable. M. Scott Peck

This week is the second chakra and my second intention, community. The dance of the second or sacral chakra, was just beautiful. The energy of the sacral chakra is very flowing, like water. The dance began with the hips – which I love, I have always been a hippy dancer, love to belly-dance. The visualisations were first of being in water, then of dancing under the full moon. I had a fabulous time, I was transported first to an underwater world, then to an Arabian desert under the full moon, where I belly-danced my heart out. Jung believed the second chakra was the gateway to the unconscious, a mysterious, watery netherworld of unlimited possibilities.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’ Kurt Vonnegut

Svadhisthana – the sanskrit name for the second chakra, meaning sweetness – is where self-discovery, or individuation, begins. Jung believed that the second chakra was the beginning of the symbolic journey into the unconscious, a journey manifested through the remaining chakras. Chakradance draws on Jungian archetypes, and his concept of the shadow. The term ‘shadow’ is not intended as dark or negative in meaning, but as in ‘invisible’, it is literally the parts of ourselves we deny or refuse to accept.

Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise. Julie Cameron

The archetype associated with the sacral chakra is the Empress/Martyr. It is an archetype of feminine receptive power, the energy of water and the moon is strongly associated with this energy centre. The chakra resonates to the colour orange and is centred around the area of the reproductive organs. This chakra allows feelings to flow, encourages nurture, allows the setting of loving boundaries, creativity, and sensual expression.

Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.’ Hugh MacLeod

Christianne Northrup writes that the key to balancing the spiritual and emotional issues that can block energy in the second chakra is addressing your drives toward sex, money, and relationships; co-creating with others; defining boundaries; including when to be assertive and when to be passive.

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven. The Byrds

Caroline Myss believes that while the base chakra is the tribal chakra, the sacral chakra is about how you relate one-to-one, it is your need to control other people, places and things. It is the place where you feel the heat of competition, the sting of jealousy, and the pang of measuring yourself against others. Wanting to control others, to feel needed, is the martyr shadow side of this chakra. When unconsciously seeking to be needed, it costs you energy, transmitting a part of your spirit to infiltrate that other person’s energy, plus you are also the recipient of other people doing this to you.

The second chakra connects you to everyone and everything you have ever wanted to control. Caroline Myss

According to Caroline Myss, trauma comes from investing your energy into perceptions you know are not true. Competition, vengeance, unforgiveness. These are tribal beliefs about justice. The second chakra requires that you shift to divine justice, trust in the divine karmic accounting system. This includes your beliefs about money. And your occupation, in the sense that what you do with your time can either be expressing your creative flow or stifling your creative flow.

I work extremely hard doing what I love, mainly to ensure that I don’t have to work extremely hard doing what I hate. Hugh MacLeod

Monetary affluence is influenced by this energy centre, as money is an energetic flow. According to Rev. Dr. Susan Corso, there are two modes of money flow: circulation and congestion. Circulation is paying your bills, giving to charity, practising trust and generousity. Congestion is hoarding, being fearful, and stingy.

Money is meant to keep moving from hand to hand, which is why it is called currency. Greed and hoarding undermine, even destroy, the purpose of money and cause the current to stagnate. The more that money flows in a society, the richer the society is, because the flow supports the unfolding of human potential in all of its citizens. Mayuri Onerheim

So money is a current, a currency. It should flow in the now. Rev. Dr. Susan Corso provides some techniques for getting in the flow with money yourself. She suggests you ‘pray your bills,’ that is, you give thanks for what the bills represent, shelter, water, heat, clothing, food, and for the money to pay them.

For me, it’s helpful to remember that humans survived for centuries without money. Animals today survive without it. Chris Cade

She also suggests you ‘bless your money,’ so whatever money comes through you, you bless and send on its way. These practices recognise money as an energy in motion, and resist the need to grasp or attach to it, which actually stops its flow and decreases your chance of abundance and affluence. I will certainly be giving these tips a go!

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. Douglas Adams

Money is a resource, not a need. Money is conceptual; those bits of paper have no value except though our consensus. Old forms of currency had inherent value, salt, that has value, gold has value. Money has no inherent value. So what I want is not money, but freedom, choice, and security, these attributes we have have given to the concept of money.

The economic system is a human invention. The idea of capitalism, free enterprise, corporations – these are not forces of nature. There are some things in nature we have to live with – physics, chemistry, biology… Why do we bow before human-created ideas? We can change those things! We can’t change our dependence on the biosphere for our survival. David Suzuki

It’s a pretty ludicrous concept really. However it is the current paradigm, so the lesson for me is that my attachment to outcomes, whether about money or anything in life, stops the flow. So my job is to remain unattached. Money or no money, I am okay with either for my highest good.

If you do what you need, you’re surviving. If you do what you want, you’re living. Unknown

The healing aspect of this chakra, according to Carline Myss, is in shared spiritual experience, the need to experience the sacred in connection with others. Ritual is a fundamental human need: for us to have daily rapport with the sacred. To share this experience is to honour one another. Vitality in this chakra comes from divine connections with others, this can be meeting with a beloved group of friends for coffee and deep and meaningful talks, dancing, choirs, group meditation, yoga, bushwalking in a group – anything that connects you with others and the divinity of life in a sacred way.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 

Today’s affirmations on the sacral chakra by Natalie Southgate:

Pleasure is a good and valuable part of my life.

I give myself permission to fully enjoy my sexuality.

I allow abundance and prosperity into my life.

I allow my emotions to flow through me in a healthy way.

I am open to experiencing the present moment through my senses.

The universe is full of sweetness and beauty.

I easily express my emotions – they feel free and flowing.

have an abundance of healthy, sensual pleasures in my life.

I ensure that I am always hydrated and I enjoy drinking water.

I can identify what I need, and ask for it.

I enjoy stimulating and healthy sexual relationships.

I love to dance, moving with music feels good to me.

I am in touch with my sensitive side.

Bless!

 

Further Reading

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/03/escape-the-shoulda-woulda-coulda-by-energizing-your-second-chakra/

http://www.wellbeing.com.au/blog/the-sacral-chakra-your-emotional-centre/

http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/symbolism-of-chakra-system-of-kundalini.html

http://www.logosofmoney.com/conscious-money/sex-and-money/

http://www.susancorso.com/PDFs/Prayer/Omnifaith_Financial_Surplus_Practices.pdf

 

Title image: Toni Carmine Salerno Angels, Goddesses, and Gods oracle cards

Getting creative: Vision boards, God boxes, and crafty things

vision board1

You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny. Upanishads

As I got myself deeper into contemplation about the science of intention in my last post, almost convincing myself to become a physicist – just to prove my own theories – the thought occurred to me that, perhaps, I had got a little off track. Just a little.

Maybe, I thought to myself, it’s time to revisit my intentions for this blog.

You see, I had these seven intentions for these things I desired in my life, and I wondered what would happen if I tested out various ways of manifesting intentions. And I thought I might write a blog to chronicle the experiences I had along the way. That’s it. Nice and simple. No PhD in physics, chemistry, or even philosophy, required.

This post is all about making stuff: vision boards, God boxes, and the idea of creating visual representations of my intentions – which seems to be a popular practice in manifesting intentions. Maybe I should have called this post ‘Manifesting Intentions 101’.

So arts’n’crafty stuff, that should be easy, right? Especially after attempting to wrap my head around algebra in the last post.

Surprisingly, no. Being somewhat of an pseudo-intellectual, I have some resistance to the use of craft activities as a medium for manifesting. Well, I do publicly anyway. I mean there’s creating beautiful, worthy things, and then there’s making collages to attract a new car. Okay, so maybe I’m a bit of a craft snob. I think it goes back to art class in school. I never got to do the stuff I wanted, as such there was a lot of teenage girl eye-rolling at the crafts we were forced to do.

I’m afraid I haven’t improved much with the eye-rolling.

This week, at home with my hideous sore throat for two days, I set myself up in bed with a bunch of old magazines, scissors, glue, and a scrapbook. The very same scrapbook I bought at the beginning of this adventure ten weeks ago. Thus far it had remained untouched as I read, researched, and grappled with the various esoteric concepts I thought I should get clear about before I, you know, made stuff out of paper and glue.

altar vision boardsFortunately the head cold rendered me docile enough to quite enjoy a task that captured my hands without requiring too much mental exertion. Without any theoretical framework whatsoever, I happily spent several hours making my vision boards, representing my intentions of home and purpose. Then I made one entirely of picturesque scenes of Eastern temples. An intention to travel, perhaps? I think yes!

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Here’s my guilty secret. I LOVED making the vision boards – it was fun. When my son came home from school, he was elated to see me surrounded by cut-outs and glue, and apart from a break to make dinner, I continued with them until bedtime. I was hooked. And apparently having fun, generating joy around your intentions is a REALLY good thing. It sure felt good.

And the funny part is, I realised, those vision boards, they look an awful like my fridge-door. My fridge is plastered with quotes and postcards and my son’s bits from school. You see, I have been vision-boarding the heck out of my fridge door and I didn’t even realise it.

The concept of making a visual or physical object to represent a connection with the creative energy of the universe is not new to me. Many, many, many years ago when I was at a women’s rehab, we made God boxes. A God box is an actual box that you put little handwritten notes of problems, desires, or people that you want an certain outcome for. You write it down, put it in your God box as a visual representation of petitional prayer, or of letting go of something that is worrying you.

I can tell you, there was A LOT of eye rolling in that room of twenty odd women, some of whom had just got out of jail, and most of whom were crack addicts from the streets of South Minneapolis (not quite LA, but a long way from Melbourne). Yet as we sat with our plain white boxes, decorating them with feathers, sequins, and paint, something quite magical transpired. The room became light, not as in ‘let there be light’, but a lightness, a levity overtook those women. There was laughter, and banter, as our hands placed the decorations just so. There was the good-natured teasing of the heavily tattooed ex-jailbird who proudly displayed her finished box, which would have put Mardi-Gras to shame with its collision of rainbow-hued feathers and gold sequins.

I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time. Lady Gaga

Most of those women, myself included, would not have prayed if you put a gun to their heads, and yet we used those God boxes. I’m sure most of the petitions involved someone eating that last cookie or not cleaning out the ring in the tub after they took a bath. But we learned the power of letting go by writing those silly little notes and putting them in our multicoloured postboxes to God.

I kept that box until it fell apart about ten years ago. Then a few years later, after I left my marriage, and felt that every day I needed to let go of so many impossible things, I found this beautiful box at Ishka and the tradition was reborn.

god box 2

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr Seuss

As I did a Google search on vision boards, to try to find some theory behind the practice, I was somewhat put off by the plethora of commercialism accompanying the concept. I had finally watched The Secret DVD this week – I mean how can you write a blog like this and NOT watch it? I have to admit I had avoided it in the past and had it written off as a kind of twee New Age informercial – think Dan Brown meets Tony Robbins. Well, what can I say? Now I have watched it, tick, let’s leave it at that.

The reality is, people have been visually portraying their intentions since early humans mixed up a bit of dirt and berries and painted that giant buffalo, the one they intended to catch and eat for dinner, on the cave wall. Its obviously a very primal instinct to put our thoughts into a more concrete form to assist the manifesting process along. Isn’t that the whole idea of churches and temples, to create a physical space that attracts God?

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. Aristotle

I am coming to the realisation that some serious discernment is required in the quest for understanding the power of intention. There is the ancient wisdom from the Vedic texts, buddhism, mysticism, philosophy, and more recently quantum physics, and then there is the revamped interpretations of all that knowledge by a spectrum of ‘experts’ ranging from the highly educated and pragmatic, to the downright shonky.

That said, I continue to read widely, watch all sorts of things online, and basically take what I like and leave the rest.

This article on The God Box did appeal to me. Mary Lou Quinlan – women’s marketing expert and author – was inspired to write a book after finding her mother’s God box when she died. These boxes revealed her mother’s innermost thoughts, fears, and desires, through her little notes to God.

She inhaled a worry. She exhaled a prayer. Mary Lou Quinlan

This has evolved into The God Box Project which aims to empower women and girls to fulfil their dreams. She is currently performing a play, based on her book, The God Box: A Daughter’s Story and donating all the proceeds of tickets and book sales to not-for-profit organizations dedicated to women, family and educational causes. All from her mother’s quiet intentions. Pretty amazing.

Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it. Pema Chödrön

So, vision boards, God boxes, and overcoming my aversion to craftiness. It all seems so hokey. This is a real exercise in humility – I feel embarrassed to publish a post admitting that I am actually doing this stuff. It all feels very teenage girl, as if  any minute now I’ll be sticking pictures of Johnny Depp to my wall again. Actually…

Anyway, I had a serendipitous moment as I cleaned out my God box from last year in order to take some photos. It was a pretty crappy year, so I used it a lot – and I read my many petitions to God.

I asked that my brother and sister-in-law have a baby (they’re pregnant) – tick.

I asked for travel (and in spite of having very little money I went to the UK last year thanks to my lovely friends in Birmingham) – tick.

I asked to find the perfect school for my son to love and thrive in – tick.

I asked for help with my dad’s health and my mum’s difficulty caring for him – tick.

I asked for the strength to let go of a relationship that despite my best hopes and efforts, just didn’t work – tick.

There was some other ones too, but these really struck me. It may not seem much, but when I put these things in my God box, I did so because based on the circumstances at that time, a solution to these problems seemed impossible.

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. Martin Luther King Jr.

vision home

So I wrote out my seven intentions for 2014 and put them in my God box. I’m a big believer in the multi-faceted approach.

This discovery has renewed my faith in intentions – realising the idea is neither new nor unsubstantiated to me. Surely with this demonstrated success of my past intentions, I can suffer the taunts of my friends and colleagues for making and sticking up magazine collages to my wall. Especially if in a year’s time I can say, “ooh, look, I’m a paid writer and published author with a fabulous home and traveling the world as part of my work.” Who looks silly now?

And yes, I am embarrassed to put that out there too. But as my dad always says “in for a penny, in for a pound.”

To be honest, I think I would be looking pretty silly if I did expect all that to happen from a few vision boards. Obviously I realise the vision boards are only part of the process. I have to actually put in some footwork too. As such I am compiling a list of magazines I’d like to write for and I’m sending them submissions. I’m networking with other writers – in fact pretty much everywhere I go at the moment, I am meeting new writers. And as a result of stating my intention to write so publicly, people I have known for a while who never knew I wrote are offering support to me.

Maybe intentions are cosmic navigational aids, they ensure you are pointed in the right direction, for a significant amount of time, thereby increasingly the likelihood of you following through with actions, and being aware of the opportunities that lie in the direction of your dreams.

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. Barbara Kingsolver

And on the home front, I bought some lavender seeds so I can grow lavender in my hanging baskets. I’m decluttering and rearranging my living space. My vision board showed a peaceful, uncluttered living space, so I can make that a reality right now.

In this way, I can see how vision boards help. They are very right brain, so they use your creative side to harness your imagination, intuition, and holistic way of thinking. This allows you to play with your purpose, plan, and vision, in a way that a list of goals does not. Creating a vision board requires that you focus on only a few things at a time, and really decide what resonates with you. Do I really need to live in a mansion or just somewhere with a sense of space? The use of images creates emotional connections, which according to experts on manifesting intention, such as Wayne Dyer, is fundamental to making them real. 

Vision boards are also hard to avoid – unless you hide them away – I see my mine about 100 times a day. That’s a lot of reinforcement. Unlike my God box where I write something down and then forget about it, I mean, ‘let it go’, I am constantly revisiting my intentions every time I look at my vision board. And in doing so, I see the parallels between my intentions and what I already have.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

In addition to that, it is also about realising that all the materials for creating yourself are already here. You already are everything you need to be, you are not broken or damaged or sick. All the materials of the universe exist within you. Intent is not about being more, having more, doing more. It’s just about embracing being. Fully, wholly being.

And in the spirit of being all you need, today’s affirmations are from Farnoosh Brock, of Prolific Living

All that I need will come to me at the right time and place in this life.

I am deeply fulfilled with who I am.

I am a unique child of this world.

I am too big a gift to this world to feel self-pity and sadness.

I love and approve of myself. I embrace the rhythm and the flowing of my own heart.

I have every bit as much brightness to offer the world as the next person.

I matter and what I have to offer this world also matters.

I may be one in 7 billion but I am also one in 7 billion!

Bless!

Seven intentions for seven chakras

falags 2

After publishing my last post I was absolutely wracked with self-doubt. Where was I going with all this? I love a tangent as much as the next person but I had started a blog on intentions, not chakra healing – for crying out loud!

I have learned to allow these emotional waves – tsunamis at times – to just ebb and flow. Or in the case of the emotional tsunami, to flood the whole dang place and render me a clean slate. These waves seem to be a reaction to “putting myself out there.” Being an introvert at heart, I keep a lot of my beliefs private, so publishing them for anyone to read can be a little confronting. I also can be a prey to great self-doubt, something which has stopped me in the past from doing the things I love and believe in. So I let this reaction ride and do what I have learned to do, just be still. Allow the feelings to pass, and stay true to my intentions. What’s the alternative, a life run by self-limiting doubt and fear?

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark —Michelangelo Buonarroti

As such, I spent a blessed and blissed day of sanctuary spent resting and reading. A practice my lovely friend calls ‘extreme self-care.’

I am learning to allow myself such days, once an impossibility with three young children, work, study, and a rather demanding (now ex-) husband. Now life has changed and I make the time and have a degree of solitude built into my life to ensure I can recharge and rejuvenate.

Speaking of recharging, I read somewhere that the chakras are like batteries for our bodies – sorry that I can’t source that quote, I read so much online on my phone while I was watching my son play cricket, I’m not sure what I read where – but I really liked the analogy. I have been doing a chakra meditation every morning and I love it so much that I go to sleep early just to get to my favourite part of the day again. This from a reformed night owl!

Here is the closing of that meditation and a completely accurate reflection of how blissed out and connected I feel at that time.

Your body is full of energy, your emotions are harmonious and warm, your thoughts are bright and clear, your heart is open and loving, you are kind compassionate and understanding, you communicate clearly and cleanly, you are able to see your inner being, and you are able to know the truth of who you really are. Simply use intention to allow the maximum flow possible. Jeddah Mali

I thought I might have been a bit whacko with my seemingly tenuous link between chakras and manifesting intentions. However in yet another lesson called ‘trust your intuition’ I discovered that the correlation between healthy chakras and manifesting is well documented. 

A quick google search on ‘chakras and manifesting’ put the idea to bed that I was alone in this kookiness. There’s a huge body of work, with super-qualified chakra expert Anodea Judith having written a book all about it called Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting Through the Chakras – and if you go to this site and register your email you get two free audio meditation downloads. They also have some wonderful interviews with their authors. I’m a big fan of free stuff.

It seems my intuition about the importance of balancing the root chakra as a key to manifesting and flow was pretty spot on. Anodea Judith believes that is the greatest block to manifesting, as the base chakra is key in converting our energetic intentions into action in the physical world. She says it is possible to clear the blocks and misalignment in our chakras though, and that’s what her book is all about. As Thoreau (again, sigh) so eloquently puts it:

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them —Henry David Thoreau

Here’s some highlights of an interview with Anodea and co-author Lion Goodman, if you are interested the interview is available online here.

The jist of Creating on Purpose is that all creation is co-creation between energy forces which are always at work, and through awareness and energetic healing we can become a clear ‘bridge’ for these forces to flow through, and we can quite literally use our consciousness to change the world:

You are an active agent in the creation of reality. Two powerful evolutionary forces are at work simultaneously— one from the top down, and the other from the bottom up. Spirit, or the light of consciousness, is evolving downward into embodiment, infusing matter with Spirit. At the same time, matter is evolving upward into Spirit, into conscious awareness. You are a rainbow bridge that ties these two forces together. You stand between heaven and earth as both a co-creation of these two forces and a co-creator with these two forces. You are being trained to become a more capable co-creator with the Universe. You have the ability to draw down your own vision of what you want to create in your life and to manifest it here in the physical world. Your soul has a purpose for being here.

The ancient vedic texts called this upward journey mukti, or freedom; Anodea calls it the ‘current of liberation’. This current enables you to liberate yourself from limitations and attachments. It is the commonly conceptualised path of enlightenment by ascending from the lower chakras through to the crown chakra.

Less understood is the downward path, which the ancient masters called bhukti meaning “enjoyment”. The descending current of bhukti is the process by which consciousness densifies into physical form. In its simplest form this can be thought of as the process used in any body movement. When you walk your consciousness tells your brain to instruct your body to walk, this thought travels via energy signals to the nerves in your legs, where it manifests physically as you walking. 

This downward path of energy is the process of manifestation, where ideas and intentions catalyse and are transformed into physical reality. This process begins at the seventh chakra at the crown and moves down to the base or first chakra.

In Creating on Purpose, Anodea and Lion outline seven manifestation principles, which describe how the seven chakras are involved in various stages of manifestation. Lion is very clear that this is not about sitting still and manifesting abundance, this is co-creation between our energetic and physical forms which requires action.

For an intention to manifest there has to be an idea in your consciousness (7th chakra) you visualise it, including looking at all kind of related things and letting your imagination play with the idea (6th chakra), you communicate with people who can be helpful and talk about it (5th chakra), you ensure right relationships around this intention (4th chakra), you create action plans (3rd chakra), you infuse your intention with passion (2nd chakra) and you actualise the intention in the physical world (1st chakra).

The other process is dealing with resistance. Like my aforementioned reaction to putting myself out there, it is natural to experience resistance to any new intention or action. You need to identify and remove these obstacles and unblock your chakras to allow the current to flow freely.

Here’s the seven manifestation principles and some of the potential blocks you may experience in relation to each chakra/stage:

Chakra Seven: Consciousness Creates is the idea or intention which can be blocked by the limiting beliefs you have about yourself.

Chakra Six: Vision Vitalises is the process of insight and using imagination to think outside box which requires your imagination to be flowing and unblocked, and your use of visualisation. 

Chakra Five: Conversation Catalyses is the use of communication, either in your own thoughts or in conversation with others, to further your intention and can be blocked by the inner critic and self-defeating thoughts.

Chakra Four: Love Enlivens is the way you relate to other people as part of the co-creation process. Blockages occur in your old relationships patterns with people, such as being unable to ask for what you need or fear of rejection.

Chakra Three: Power Produces is harnessing your will power to create action plans, which can be blocked if you have stifled your will power in any way, or by a lack of focus in your will in the face of distractions or conflicting choices.

Chakra Two: Pleasure Pleases is about engaging your passion, pleasurable feelings, and your positive emotions in this process, and can be blocked by suppressed feelings, sense of unworthiness, and guilt.

Chakra One: Matter Matters is the final stage where intention become reality in the physical form and can be blocked by a feeling of not being grounded in your body, or not being physically present in acting out your plans, such as not honouring your appointments and commitments.

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do —Epictetus

Whereas Anodea believes blocks in the 1st chakra are the main obstacle, her co-author Lion Goodman believes the main obstacle is our limiting beliefs, and these can affect and ultimately block all the chakras.

Where do these blocks come from? You created them! That’s right. You created them either to protect yourself from pain or as an expression of a belief you were taught. So to use the analogy of Lion Goodman, it’s time to clean out the belief closet!

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are usually right —Henry Ford

There are some great visualisations available online for clearing blocks and drawing energy down the chakras. Like this meditation.

Even if you don’t believe in this theory of chakras affecting energy flow, one of the key factors in the reading I have done on manifesting intentions is the ability to maintain a clear, unwavering focus. When I’m feeling anxious and emotionally unbalanced, I’m unable to focus on anything, much less manifest anything. Like attracts like, so balanced and harmonious flow is more likely to attract abundance. And having experienced my energy flow, as well as the opposite, it makes sense to me that being in a state of disharmony would affect manifesting intentions into reality. I am more than willing to believe I need internal balance and harmony to manifest abundance. I also like the combination of energy work and pragmatism that Lion and Anodea recommend.

This has got me to thinking more and more about the connection between my seven intentions and the seven chakras, and the way they align is so amazing! Here’s how I see them now…

  1. Home – base
 chakra
  2. Community – sacral chakra
  3. 
Purpose – solar plexus chakra
  4. Health – heart chakra
  5. Abundance – throat chakra (relates to thoughts and communicating ‘I am’ affirmations)
  6. Joy – third eye chakra (the insight that joy is your natural state of being)
  7. Love – crown chakra (the deep wisdom that love is truth of who you really are)

So cool. Here’s seven affirmations for seven chakras, I am on a roll (actually these are from Louise Hay, bless her cotton socks!)

By the way, if you have a hard time with affirmations, thinking they are perhaps self-centred and self-indulgent as I used to, remember what the Course in Miracles says “When I am healed I am not healed alone.” When you heal yourself, you heal all of creation. So come on, once more with feeling!

I love myself therefore I provide myself a comfortable home.

I love myself therefore I take loving care of my body.

I love myself therefore I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing.

I love myself therefore I think and behave in a loving way toward all people.

I love myself therefore I forgive and release the past.

I love myself therefore I live in the now, experience each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure.

I love myself therefore I trust that I am our spirit and that divine wisdom guides me.

Bless!

Sharing your gifts with the world

wishing fairy star crystals

Do what you love. Share your gifts with the world. This is your purpose.

Although I believe it really is that simple, what does that actually mean? How DO you live like that?

I have often felt that I needed an owner’s manual for living life. I mean what am I REALLY doing here? It always seemed that there should be more to life than birth, death, and some filler in between. It felt like there should be some purpose to it. Why else would you study philosophy? Or literature? Or history? Or theology? If there was no big purpose behind it all, the humanities department wouldn’t exist, right?

Other people seem to have some internal navigation system they follow that leads them to their purpose, their dreams. But not me. I hid in books and music for the first 16 years of my life. I was a closet writer and artist – I mean literally, I sat in my closet and wrote. Then at 17, I followed a cute guy to the pub and stayed there for 10 years. Sometime later, after I was done with partying, I followed another cute guy to his house and kids and stayed there for another 10 years. There was no lack of chutzpah in me when it came to risk-taking behaviour with men and ‘partying’, but when it came to following MY dreams. The risk of really putting myself out there in the world. My chutzpah evaporates. Gone. Vamoose.

The problem is doubt. You can set yourself a purpose, but what happens when doubt comes in? For me it’s like a black hole that sucks up all my energy, passion, and resolve. It leaves me feeling deflated and lethargic, and thinking “who am I to be a force in this world?”

Part of the reason I wrote this blog – a big part – is to commit to examining my purpose, my dreams, my passions, to create thoughtful and authentic intentions. Alone I could lose faith in myself, in this process. With you reading, I may still lose faith but I am compelled to carry on regardless. You, kind reader, are my dutch courage. Because you are reading, and I want to continue writing, I keep going back to my intentions, like a dog with a bone.

“Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” Henry David Thoreau

This is my third intention: purpose.

The word purpose has its etymological roots in the Old French and Latin words meaning to plan and propose. Modern usage of the word seems to have propelled it from a proposition or plan, to a feeling of resolve or determination, and the idea that there is significant meaning or reason behind the something that is being planned or done, a sense of intelligent, thoughtful design. It’s a lofty word, for me anyway, that evokes a requirement for ethical thought, as if the things we do must have a benevolent and beneficial purpose.

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

Purpose, to me, asks the question, what I am here for? What do I bring to the world as the result of my existence? What is the vision of the world I give my whole heart to? It makes sense to me to start with what I love and what I am good at – these must be my gifts, surely.

The inner critic in me will say “Does this actually matter, or should you just be content that you have a job and a roof over your head?” Certainly material needs are important. I’m not about to do a buddha and renounce all worldly goods to pursue my dharma. Possibly because I’m not even sure what that is yet.

I know this probably sounds unbelievably self-indulgent, like I’m on a journey of self-discovery and it’s all about me, me, me. Its easy to be judgemental of this stuff. You may say, “oh you meditate for an hour a day, how lucky you are to have the time.” The truth is, I make the time, I make it a priority, and I don’t spend that time in the morning at the gym, as I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I exercise, but that fervent quest for the perfect body has been replaced with a desire to start living from within. I may be a bit rounder than I was, but I’m more peaceful. Maybe a little like the buddha after all…

I digress. The point is I do believe it’s worth asking ourselves what matters to us, and where can we make a meaningful contribution to the world. I’m sure that if more people did a bit of self-enquiry the world would be in a much more harmonious state. We wouldn’t all be running around trying to get our needs met by money, cars, jobs, perfect bodies, parties, and love affairs. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that stuff, it’s just a bit meaningless if all you have is external to your being). And seeing as I’m on this journey of intentionality, I figure I may as well really investigate this stuff once and for all.

So I started by making a little list…

I love… people, writing, travel, wellbeing, reading, learning, creative expression, sharing ideas, retreats, nature, yoga.

I am good at… research, compassion, helping people, communication.

That is all good stuff. So what’s stopping me from going out there and doing it? Good question.

Every morning I meditate on letting go of old ideas and releasing what is blocking me from living my highest good and deepest truth. During these meditations I have discovered many old patterns of fear associated with my concepts of work and purpose. These old thinking patterns are punitive, never-ending, and usually boil down to a few ideas. I’m not good enough. Life is not meant to be easy. Who am I to enjoy these things, this life? That’s for special people. Life is a slog, hard work. And so on…

I cringe when these thoughts come up because they are NOT what I truly believe. Well, obviously somewhere along the line I have believed in them, but now I see how limiting and destructive they are. I often use this device to challenge my thinking:

“Would I speak to a loved one this way?”

If the answer is no, I quickly realise I shouldn’t be speaking to myself that way either.

An equally valid, and far more useful line of questioning is: Who am I not to be love? Who am I not to share my gifts with the world?

Meditating on the concept of purpose, I get a lot of feedback, and I’m not always sure what are my head thoughts and what are my heart thoughts. That is, what are the old mental programs and what is my truth. I also get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I want to do to make a difference in the world. I realise this self-reflection is not something you can do only once and get definitive answers. Over time, however, there are some simple recurring messages: nourish and honour your body, generosity, kindness, service to others in need, help where you can, and do not cause harm.

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Henry David Thoreau

I quote Thoreau a lot, I know. But dang, he’s good! He’s basically talking about creating new neural pathways – in the 1850’s!

When I find myself overwhelmed in the day with so much to pray for – bush fires, wars, Tony Abbott – I set a ground rule of three things. Each day I can choose three things to pray for but if something or someone else touches my heart as it crosses my path in that day, I pray in that moment. Prayer of this kind can be as simple as visualising that person or situation and sending them love. Or using the Ho’oponopono practice of saying: “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

Today what touches my heart is the death of Luke Batty. I am sending out a massive prayer blast for Rosie Batty and all those impacted by domestic violence. Thank you for these words from Marianne Williamson.

Let’s all stop for a moment, close our eyes, and send love and peace to Rosie Batty and her son Luke and to all those affected in any way by his death. Tune in and send love from your heart to them. We send as well our peace and healing to Luke’s father who perpetrated this crime, and who has since passed away. May all people suffering from untreated mental illness and in deep emotional pain and at risk of harming themselves or another be brought to a place of peace, healing, and love.

Does praying like this make the world a better place? I think so. What’s the alternative? Feeding the fearful, negative thoughts that these events create? Hurt people hurt people, if we can bring more love into the world, isn’t it possible we can bring about healing and reduce violence and suffering in all forms? I think so.

Living your purpose or living with purpose? It’s a subtle distinction, isn’t it? For me, at this moment, it seems less about discovering my grand purpose and design, and more about living with purpose, that is, in a purposeful, mindful way – being present to what is within me and around me in every moment. It’s all too easy to get hell-bent on some wacky scheme for living my dream life and miss the signposts right in front of me. Instead I focus on being in a place of allowing and trust, of receptivity. This way I get to live well and let life unfold for me.

So it seems that this lofty idea of purpose can be simple in its essence after all. Love who you are. Be with those you love. (And like the old song says, “If you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with.”) Feel love in what you do. Feel thankfulness.

Let’s see if I can turn that into today’s affirmation: 

I do what I love and I love what I do. I love and accept myself and others. I am in a place of allowing and trust, of receptivity. I am living well and letting life unfold for me. I am thankful and loving for my life now and to come.

That’s a whole lotta love! Bless.

Feeling your flow

flow

This week I found myself a comfy banana lounge by the sea and settled in for some serious research. Okay, serious might not be an apt description. It was actually pretty fun reading all about manifesting and the law of attraction, and there may have been some snoozing – also known as beta brain-wave processing, I’ll have you know.

I read about five books on the subject, some more speed-reading than research, but I think I have some key ideas that seem to pop up in most of the theories, and being the loving soul that I am, I’m happy to share my findings with you.

The first step seems to be gratitude and thankfulness, both for what is, and what is being manifested. Rhonda Byrne reminds us that “like attracts like”, positivity and thankfulness attract more to be positive and thankful for.

The second step is to use your imagination, but really focus on the feelings. Visualise your completed goal as if it’s already happened. Feel as you would if the thing you desire had already come to pass. Feelings are the pathway to the subconscious. By feeling the intention you imprint on your subconscious which then directs your conscious mind. Wayne Dyer always envisages a completed book when he writes, he knows he can write it because in his imagination it already exists. Sayonara writer’s block!

The third step is inviting ‘The Flow’, the divine, the source, spirit, God, the universe, all that is – whatever way you think of it – to guide you.

Think of it as designing a life, imagine it, feel it and assume that it is so. Be consistent. Do it all the time, let all your thinking be positive, thankful, and imaginative.

Try this exercise Wayne Dyer uses: recite positive “I am” statements. Say whatever you want to manifest. I am loving. I am joy. I am abundantly fulfilled. I am vibrantly healthy. I am working my dream job. 

Remember it’s ‘I am’, not ‘I will be’. The field of possibilities exist only in the present moment. ‘I will be’ is saying it’s eternally just out of reach. How frustrating would that be? Also only use positive statements. So instead of ‘I am not depressed’ say ‘I am depression free’.

The books I read so far were Wayne Dyer Wishes Fulfilled, Esther and Jerry Hicks Money, and the Law of Attraction, Joe Vitale The Key and Rhonda Byrne The Magic. These are the big names in manifesting and intentionality. I also read a book by Summer McStravick called Creative Flowdreaming. Check her website out flowdreaming.com.

The Flow is pretty much whatever your concept of life is. For me, it is living life with loving attitude and effortless actions. Allowing life to unfold and trusting it is all as it should be. You know, go with the flow. Summer writes that the Flow is always aligned with kind of person I wish to be, by imaging my intentions, then allowing the Flow in, I can be assured of manifesting the greatest outcome in alignment with the compassionate, loving, generous person I wish to be. And that the outcome will be for the good of all humanity, as the Flow is aligned with everyone’s highest good.

I was glad I read her book, it was practical and sensible. Some people say intention is all in the details, that you have to be really specific, I was relieved that Summer suggested leaving “the Flow” some room to move. I think now the pressure is off choosing the curtains for my dream home, I can have some fun playing with making vision boards!

After all that information and trying out some of the simple exercises, I started to see some serious synchronicity in my day today. During my tea break I read a blog I like. The blogger was off to Uganda with a children’s sponsorship project. Every morning since the typhoon in the Philippines I pray and send them light. I have donated money and often wondered what more I should do. I read this blog and thought “I’d like to sponsor a child”. So I followed the links to the organisation she mentioned and chose the option of ‘no preference’ for the child’s age and country – going with the flow. It came up with a child in the Philippines! So I now sponsor a little boy called Roque.

Back at work I saw a book whose title intrigued me Zero Limits: the Quest for Miracles Through Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono, what a great word, what’s not to be intrigued by? It was written by Joe Vitale (who wrote The Key) so I thought I’ll go with this flow. At lunchtime I was listening to a recorded talk and the speaker mentioned Ho’oponopono. Twice in an hour? I’d never heard the word before!

So what is it? I’m glad you asked! Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Morrnah Simeona, a modern Hawaiian healer adapted the traditional hoʻoponopono of family mutual forgiveness to the address the broader social issues of the modern society. After Simeona’s passing in 1992, her former student Ihaleakala Hew Len, co-authored two books with Joe Vitale. The mantra they use is “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” It basically is thought to undo all karma, or consequences of cause and effect, in the world. (source: Wikipedia)

I can’t wait to play with that one! The day has just been like bada bing bada boom! In the flow, baby!

You may be wondering, but what about that house you were going to manifest? Trust me, this is all laying the foundations of what is to come. I’m a research girl, once I have my synthesis of theory down, I’ll get to some focused manifesting, but right now, I’m just loving what the flow brings.

The couple of days I spent at the beach, I was completely content in relishing the ocean, the feeling of swimming, appreciating the simple things, my happy dog, the sand, and the sunset that made everything pink-hued.

Awash with thankful awareness of simple pleasures, I experienced such joy and rejuvenation, reading, contemplating, enjoying nature, and taking photos. Connecting with the things I love in this process. It felt wonderful.

For now, it feels like the end-goals matter less than aligning with my higher self. Being myself. Loving being myself. Aligned with the nature of my being: Joy. Peace. Love. Childlike wonderment. Present moment awareness. Connectedness.

I am blissfully playing with creativity. (How’s that for an ‘I am’ statement?)

A quote from Henry David Thoreau to finish with: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

Bless!