December 12, 2014

I Swear, This Year will be Different: A Sacral Chakra Guide to the Holidays.


Chakras? Really?

Spinning balls of light supposedly housed in our bodies—can they seriously help with the holidays?

Here’s the thing: chakras get a lot of flack for being New Agey, woo-woo and impractical. Granted, there is a lot of ungrounded chakra-talk going on in the world. However, what happens if we set those judgements and preconceived notions aside and re-frame chakras as a way to learn more about ourselves and how to feel more confident and centered in our daily lives?

If you’ve experienced guilt, post-holiday-overspending and overeating-shame, never having quite enough money or time around the holidays or really poor boundaries with family members then you might be surprised how the sacral chakra can help.

Imagine. It’s January. You wake up slightly nauseous, not sure why all of your money is missing, who is sleeping next to you and why there’s a chicken in your house.

Are you recovering from a weekend in Vegas? Maybe.

More than likely—you’re just waking up from a three-week bender on the holidays.

Note: this is not your annual, pre-holiday get-your-shizzle-together, don’t overeat, overspend or overcommit, make a budget, say no, remember the true meaning of Christmas and plan what calories you’re going to consume on the days when you go to a big party lecture.

We’re all adults here. I know you know these things and, to be honest, I don’t care if you do any of them. What I care about is you. The deep down, God-given, soul part of you and whether or not you are bringing that part of yourself, unapologetically, into your life.

Because when you can do that you’ll know what you actually believe, what you enjoy eating and drinking, who you truly want to spend your time with and what you want to spend your money on.

Every year, the majority of us wake up in January and wonder, “What the heck just happened?!” It’s an epidemic and I’m over it. (I’m speaking to myself here, too.)

I’m tired of starting the New Year…well, tired. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all woke up one day in early-January thinking, “Man, I feel well-rested. I had amazing times and meaningful conversations with my family these past few weeks. I ate good food with friends and don’t regret any of it. I received what I wanted and gave thoughtful gifts within my budget. I don’t have credit card debt and I’m ready to start this new year from a solid place.”

No guilt. No shame. Boom.

If this sounds like a fairy tale, the life coach in me is going to challenge you to set that thought aside for a moment and do a little sacral chakra investigating. All of the great (and taboo) sacral chakra themes are tied up in this time of year and, believe me, this chakra hits on a lot of our cultural taboos: money, emotions, boundaries, 1:1 relationships, what do others think of me (and my gifts), power, intimacy, intrinsic value, giving, receiving, shame, true enjoyment and pleasure, expression, art, addictions, creation, guilt.

Those are some daunting themes, eh? Do you really want to sit around the holiday table and talk about how ashamed you are of the amount of money you make, how much you weigh or some of the situations you’ve survived in your life? Are you able to truly voice what you want, the deep-down, good stuff like wanting to be accepted as you are, unconditional love and forgiveness?

We talk about these ideas on the surface and they make us feel good for a few moments. (Who doesn’t love a few poignant quotes about unconditional love and forgiveness?) But that’s usually where it ends. Right there on the surface. How meaningful is that?

What the sacral chakra calls us to do is go deeper. To live on the wild side of vulnerability: feel things, have real conversations, look at our shadow parts and bring those mamajamas out into the light, experience relationships at an intimate and authentic level. To understand what our true wants and needs are before we can ever ask anyone else to fill them. To think about what’s beneath the money, power, addictions or need for acceptance. To find and experience our most sincere joys and pleasures.

As the holidays draw near here are a few things you can do to strengthen that sacral chakra, honor your needs and, ultimately, bring your best self to your friends and family this season:

Give the gift of you. Write a letter to or schedule an actual conversation with someone you care about. Tell them you’re trying this new thing called authenticity and express something meaningful that you normally wouldn’t have the courage or time to say.

Do something that brings you joy. Capital J.O.Y.—Joy! Do you like playing in the snow, eating yummy cheese dip and drinking wine with an old friend, dancing to music in your kitchen, drawing or singing? What makes you smile just thinking about it? Figure that out and do it.

For those of you that like to go inward grab a journal and ask yourself:

What do I really want this holiday season?
What do I truly want in my life? What’s missing?

Before you go to one more holiday gathering or buy another gift ask yourself, “When I do things for others is it from a genuine desire or am I really trying to win their approval, love or acceptance?”

Feel from your gut, not your head. If your gut says, “This is a sham.” Listen to it. Do something different. Buy a different gift or no gift. Skip the 27th holiday party.

If you make these choices from a sincere and honest place that action is originating from big “T” Truth. Truth has no malintent. Be forewarned, when you change the status quo it has the potential to upset a few people who are used to you obliging their needs. That’s where this thing called vulnerability comes into play.

Being you can feel risky. But, your true friends and family will understand and love you regardless. If you choose to live a little more deeply this holiday you might ruffle a few feathers. However, it just might be the holiday season where you wake up rested, joyful, and ready start the new year as you.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Author: Jess Ryan

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Flickr

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