Before we can be light, we must see what is hiding in the dark.
It has taken me about nine years to completely envelope this idea and live my life with the beauty of awareness. The work we do on ourselves is a never ending process but by being aware of our patterns, our past and our desires and dreams for the future, the work in progress can be far less confusing.
Psychology, spirituality and the body are woven together to create the braid that is our life. They are one in the same and by addressing the chakras and being open to metaphor, we can heal the ailments of our lives from the time you were in utero.
I write this, not as a psychologist, but as a yoga instructor and body work therapist with a passion for both psychological development and somatic therapy, spending countless hours in classes, workshops, personal study and self reflection for both. It has really changed my life and through what I’ve learned and experienced, I’d like to help others as well.
At age 18, I fell deeply and swiftly into the black hole of depression. I had moved away from home, across the country from my boyfriend and friends, stopped dancing and got kicked out of college before it even started.
For years until then, I had always identified myself from who I was loved by and what I was praised for, but since all of those had gone, I felt anonymous, groundless and as though I had no identity. I was scared and alone.
As I have learned, depression is actually a positive sign of mental health. It means we can feel and it is a pit of despair for a reason. It is a sign that something in our psychological and spiritual development is off and needs to be addressed.
Being depressed was the best thing that could have happened to me as it allowed me to unravel my life, see the blind spots in my mind and come back to the beginning: the root.
I grew up in an anxious and chaotic environment and as I learned more about psychology and psychoanalysis, I found that though my parents loved me very much and raised me with the best intentions, they were still emotionally unavailable and I grew to suffer from codependency. I needed and sought love from others to feel complete. I filled every moment of my life with dance or theatre or watching movies or something just so I didn’t have to be alone with myself.
My root chakra, as well as the others, were damaged and I was completely imbalanced. Though, psychology helped me bring to light the blind spots of my past and match my anxieties and depression with memories of my childhood, I had no way of closure.With yoga and chakra healing, I was able to begin healing from my past in a somatic and spiritual way that I’d never realized before.
In Eastern philosophy, our first chakra—located at the base of the torso between the genitals and anus—is the root of our being and holds the energy for survival. This is our raw primal, instinctual energy center.
We develop this first because in infancy, we must create a safe and secure foundation for the rest of our lives, psyche and chakras to develop. As an infant, it is up to our mothers and caretakers to meet our every need because we do not know that we are an individual person.
We grew from our mother; we shared her feelings, her food, her oxygen and intentions. If she was calm and loving to us in utero, we are more likely to have a balanced root chakra.
However, if she was stressed, nervous, scared or didn’t want us, the womb would contract tightly around of fetal body, as if to expel us, which would lead to a very weak root chakra. The right of our first chakra is our right to be here and if we were a cause of stress to our mother figure then we automatically feel we have no place in the world.
In psychology, our foundation is the study of early childhood development and though the chakra system is well aware of the energy and intention transfer from mother to child in fetal development, Sigmund Freud was the first to touch on fetal development just over 100 years ago in the Western world of psychology; which is why it is so important to be open to both.
Psychology helped me to bring to light the deepest, darkest and scariest parts of myself, yoga helped me to release the constraints I had kept so tightly bound around myself and chakra release therapy helped me to let go, to forgive and to release the blocked energy in my body so I could finally feel free from my old self.
We all have the capacity to love ourselves fully and feel the beauty of living a free and unbound life. It takes tremendous courage to begin, but know, that on the other side of the battlefield is an open space where you can breathe deeply and let your spirit soar.
Author: Lauren Frias
Editor: Sara Kärpänen