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July 6, 2016

Home is where the Hara is: How Connecting to our Guts can Bring us Peace.

martinak15/ Flickr
Until recently, whenever I heard things like “the more that we give the more we receive,” I always wondered how this was actually possible.

My roles as a mother, friend, partner, writer, and more have sometimes made me feel like an octopus—my eight arms reaching out, offering, multi-tasking—with never enough of me to go around and meet everyone’s needs.

The concept of Hara changed my perspective.

Hara is a Japanese word used to describe the spot approximately two centimetres below our navel, near our abdominal chakra. 

We all have a Hara, but we just call it different things—our centre, our core, a gut feeling or intuition. It’s the spot inside of us that asks us to call a certain friend, and when we do we find that our friend was having a hard time and really needed to talk. Hara, or the area around the abdominal chakra, is also where our sexuality and sensuality lies, energetically speaking. It is the birth place of endless possibilities.

When I am in my Hara in the yoga room, I move with a freedom and effortlessness that comes from a deep trust that my body knows exactly what it is doing. I am guided through the poses by my teacher, but more and more I am learning to feel my own way through them and know that I will know when it is right because it will feel right for me. My mind is learning to rest and surrender to my body’s need to move, bend and stretch in ways that open me up and allow me to let go. My movement is light, effortless, balanced, and free.

I can liken this process of moving from my Hara in the yoga room to moving from that same spot when I write. When I am in my Hara, I feel that I am writing from the space inside of me that has so many things to say, rather than my head, which has already critiqued and filtered and questioned and edited everything I say.

When I write from my Hara I feel a deep trust and acceptance that whatever I need to hear will be whispered softly to me to form words on a page. When I am in my Hara I am less concerned with whether the external world is going to agree or validate my experiences.

When I am in my Hara in my daily life, those same feelings of allowing, trusting, freedom and balance guide me. There is no right or wrong way. I can make mistakes because I trust that whatever decision I made was the best one for me at the time.

When I am in my Hara I am less concerned with what other people think and more connected to what I feel. I am more compassionate with myself and others.

When I am in my Hara I am in the moment, in the present. I feel peaceful.

When I am in my Hara I experience the deepest connection to myself and everything and everyone around me. I can listen to the wisdom inside of my body. I know that I am enough. I trust that everything is as it should be.

The more that I live from that spot, on and off the mat, the more I learn about that spot and identify with it as my source.

Previously when I heard words like “the source” I imagined a mighty power outside of me, one that I could access sometimes, when I was good enough or when I was living my most wholesome life. But I often felt that I fell short of this, because I saw it as something I had to work, strive and push for.

Now I am coming to know that we all have a source inside of us. Our source is endless, abundant, full, joyful and peaceful.

Our source is our own unique dance.

Our own unique song.

Our own unique magic.

Our source is our own true home.

And because our source is inside of us we can access it any time and no one can take it away from us. We might be more connected to it at different times in our lives, but for each of us the potential is always there.

I am amazed how making this connection to my Hara has changed my life. I return to, and move from that spot as much as I can now, every day.

I give with a less attachment to the outcome because I trust that giving to you does not mean less for me—there is always plenty to go around. I practise my most intent listening, to myself first and others next.

I have a new sense of fullness. I am no longer pulled in eight different directions. I am rooted in my Hara, and this place inside me is so full that even when situations arise that would usually deplete me or take away my energy, I am able to collect and gather my energy in such a way that allows it to be preserved.

So today I invite you to take a few moments to connect to that spot inside of you.

The quickest and easiest way to do this is by sitting quietly in a comfortable position, whether that is on your yoga mat, in bed, or outside on the earth. Take some long, slow, deep breaths in and out through your nose (with your mouth closed if possible). Picture that space just below your navel. It’s light and bright and spacious, naturally, no effort required—connect with that.

Once you can feel that I invite you to slowly open your eyes and conciously choose to listen from your Hara, to speak from your Hara, and to act from your Hara for the entire day.

It’s natural to slip in and out of that sport when we first start practising, but I can assure you that the more we practice, the more instinctual and natural it becomes.

It’s not about learning a new skill—it’s simply about remembering one we were all born with.

~

Author: Angela Boyle

Image: martinak15/ Flickr

Editors: Khara-Jade Warren; Katarina Tavčar

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