October 12, 2010

C’mon baby light my fire (tales of the 3rd Chakra)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

It ain’t bragging if you can do it. 



*This post is dedicated to National Coming out Day …. may we each experience that deep sense of self worth that is a full expression of who we are that is met with love and acceptance.

The third chakra is Manipura.  Sometimes referred to as the solar plexus chakra, sometimes said to reside behind the navel.  Anywhere you put it, it is all about will, our fire, our pursuits.  This is where we stoke the fires and get moving and follow thru; in some practices this is the first chakra to be balanced in order to give one the ability to stick with a practice.  This is an interesting place for me to focus.

this is the chakra most related to self esteem.  What images thoughts, feelings does “self esteem” bring up for you?  Does your childhood flash before your eyes? And if so, are you happy and well liked and enjoying life; or, like me, does a chill run down your spine as you remember shyness, fear, shame, doubt and a whole lot of teasing?   For your sake I hope it was the previous.  But sadly for MANY of us the later is true.  Kids can be cruel; and it can be difficult to develop a healthy sense of self awareness even under the best circumstances.  Now if for any reason you are “different”  then it can be nigh unto impossible to come out unscathed.  (although I have to say age has taught me that even those that you thought had it all experienced a lot of grief, it seems we are all in this together after all…go figure)

I was recently recounting my joyful times riding on the school bus. The gum that was put in my long hair, the times I was tripped walking down the aisle,  how the fumes made me sick and I would fall asleep and the chanting “is aminda on the bus” (I hated being called out…inevitably this is what led to the tripping as I tried to leave) The bus driver letting me stay asleep and making me ride to the end of the route, the food I would wake up to in my lap….good times, good times.  I don’t know why I was teased; I can’t remember…I just remember how it felt and how that feeling has clung to me over the years….this feeling that somehow it was my fault; that there was something obviously wrong with me to bring about other cooler children’s loathing; so that feeling coalesced.

And that’s where I come from; this painful self loathing that fades in and out; this deep seated desire to break free of the past and fly…but those inner voices that still crop up and tell me I’m ugly; or stupid; or I can’t do something. It’s physical almost isn’t it?   And when I start to break free I worry about ego and conceit. I get held back by this voice that says “don’t get cocky”.  Looking for this balance of self worth and narcissism.  Is it really OK to think “damn I’m good”…it it OK not to?  This line is constantly shifting.

I have shifted so much over the years; branching out, doing things that used to frighten me, while there are still more fears to overcome. I want to look back with pride at my accomplishments; yet I still look forward at how much I still wish to achieve.  I am coming to realize that this is exactly what saps my energy and my will; this battle within myself…But that’s OK I just keep moving towards center. I keep alternating between stoking and dousing the fire….

If you too struggle with issues of self esteem and worth, of vacillating between dominating and cow-towing; then perhaps your Center — manipura could use a little balancing.  I recommend Anodea Judith and Ambika Wauter’s work on the chakras to work with these vital energies. I am outlining some excerpts below:

Is your third chakra too hot? excessive characteristics: dominating, controlling, overly competitive, arrogant; hyperactive; stubborn, driven (compulsively focused toward goals) attracted to sedatives

Is your third chakra being doused? deficient characteristics: passivity, lack of energy, poor digestion; tendency toward submission; tendency to be cold; blaming; low self-esteem, lack of confidence, weak will, poor self-discipline, use of stimulants

How to tell if it is “just right”: Balanced:  reliable, good self-discipline, positive sense of self, confident, warm, energetic, spontaneous, playful, humorous, able to take calculated risks.

From www.allgoodthings.com:



When the lumbar plexus and the entire area covered above is not working properly, the following physical symptoms can appear: gas pains, chronic tiredness, irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, hernias, sterility, bladder problems, menstrual problems, cramps, bed-wetting, knee pains, sciatica, low back pain, difficult or painful urination, numbness, poor circulation in legs, shin splints, swollen ankles, weak arches, leg cramps and cold feet. (Some of these are obviously the same as the sacral Chakra).

  • Element—Fire, Air principle
  • Endocrine gland—The pancreas and adrenal cortex (outer), which play vital roles in our digestion and how our bodies convert food into energy for our physical strength and stamina. This Chakra is located between the sternum (breast bone) and the belly button. It is placed within these areas, but in different spots, by everyone! Some say it is the navel, while others say it is the solar plexus, while others say it is the pancreas, or the spleen. It is probably a good idea to just follow your own feeling when you begin to center yourself and focus on the area that you feel is the strongest between your belly button and your solar plexus (just where the sternum at the breast bone).
  • Energetic Life Force—Will and Power, knowledge of how the body works, plasmic, waking consciousness
  • Essential Oils—Juniper, lavender, bergamot, rosemary. Also for aromatherapy: peppermint, bougainvillea, frangipani, ylang-ylang, cedar, clove
  • Female Spin—Counter clockwise; Male Spin—Clockwise
  • Flower Essences—Aspen, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Honeysuckle
  • Function—Sustenance, digestion, preservation of species, freedom to be oneself, mental functioning, power, control. Here you feel that you belong to the universe. You experience spiritual wisdom with childlike laughter. It is here that the gases are held within, and control the liver (the place where the mystical and holy fire forever burns).
  • Gemstone—Amber, gold, yellow or citrine topaz, citrine, Tiger’s eye, gold calcite, gold, peridot, yellow tourmaline, Laguna agate, Labradorite, howlite, jasper, chalcedony, Morganite, heliodor, yellow sapphire
  • Goddess—Lakini
  • Keywords—Higher vitality, energy, inner strength, lustrous jewel, purpose, will power, career, self-esteem, making of decisions, astral body, anger.
  • Lotus Petals—10 (bluish, like a rain cloud)
  • Mantra—RAM (called Chakra seedsby my teacher) There are meditations given later in this series for each Chakra.
  • Meditation purpose—Ability to enter into other bodies; healer; seer of hidden treasures. OM (aum) and the tone is haaaaaaaa.
  • Meridians—Heart (fire energy Yin organ); Small Intestine (fire energy Yang organ)
  • Musical Tone—E (Mi)


Asana (yoga pose) for the week:

Navasana (Boat Pose)

Wellness Tip of the Week: (From Anodea Judith…Chakra Balancing Workbook)

To increase your fire; learn to take risks: There is nothing safe about claiming your power.Power is like a muscle. It doesn’t develop unless it is exercised. You will not develop your power by having others take risks for you, or by making sure the outcome of a venture is guaranteed before you begin. Power is only developed when you take risks, move beyond your comfort level, and push yourself into new territory. And when you move beyond your comfort level, you will make mistakes and feel clumsy and perhaps self-conscious. Perfectionism is symptomatic of attaching too much importance to “looking good.” AND CAN ONLY MAKE IT DIFFUCULT FOR YOU TO MOVE FORWARD. GIVE YOURSELF ROOM TO EXPOLRE, TO FLOUNDER, AND TO LEARN. 

Mantra of the week:

Inhale: I am Exhale: Divine

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