Throat Chakra: my challenge

I have heard that the throat chakra is the one most people are challenged by these years.  This is true of me too.  As I read the questions asked in The book of Chakras, the ones that stand out for me are:

Do you say what you feel?  Do you honour your personal truth?  Do you tune into your350 body, your feelings, and your spirit to know what your truth is? Where do you channel your creative energy?

These are questions I continue to ask myself as I work through the challenges life offers me on a daily basis.  Knowing what I truly feel and being who I truly am can be overridden by other challenges I face in life such as knowing I am worthy simply because I exist.  Sometimes different relationships beckon me share while others are less likely to encourage me to share what is important o me.

May I invite you to join me in simply noticing what feelings you hold and where you hold them in your body.   Perhaps you will strengthen your throat chakra by writing poetic verses about your feelings, or allowing your hand to express what is within you on paper as an abstract drawing.  Noticing is always the first step.  Whatever is your personal truth today, honour it and respect it.  You might wish to use words from EFT:  “Even though I feel …….  I totally love and respect myself.  Try it and see how it feels.

Enjoy the beauty of this day.

Till next time,

Marie

Knowing your truth

How interesting that the throat chakra is about speaking our truth.  In order to express who we are, we need to take the time to really know who we are.  All the chakras are actually involved.

It occurs to me that there is an integration process as me move up the chakras.  Who we DSCF4297are begins deep in the root chakra.  The world we were born into, our culture and heritage, our grandparents and all they represented as they made decisions about living and life are the foundation of who we are.

We grow and develop as we begin to relate to others in our midst.  We learn from what is around us, the people, our belongings. Our attitudes form.  Who we are is also what we learn about people, possessions, the environment, other cultures.  Our experiences broaden.  We learn to value ourselves in different ways.  As our sense of self worth develops we see ourselves as we want to be.  The development of the solar plexus chakra helps us define ourselves according to the life we feel we are born to live.  It may or may not come easily.  There are conflicts and differences.  We are unsureat first.  We learn to become more confident.

As we learn to love who we are and treasure all we have become our solar plexus becomes stronger and with that strength we learn to love others … not just for what we may receive  in return, but simply because love is what we are meant to be.  The life force that runs through us and around us is love.  It is not based on any sense of achievement or reason.  It is simply there because we exist.  It is unconditional.

The throat chakra now has the sense of who we are to be able to speak it outwardly without need for approval or judgement.  Judgement of any kind is unnecessary …  it truly doesn’t matter.  As we develop our chakras and grow, we just know what is right for us and we are comfortable expressing that.  Because we have developed the other chakras in preparation, we speak with love and honesty and integrity.  We speak with kindness.  We speak for ourselves.  We are not controlling.  We simply are who we are.

While I write this as though it all falls into place easily,  it is not so easy.  The self awareness work to get there is our life’s work. While it may sound simple, it is one of our most difficult tasks.  We have to accept our mistakes and our struggles with love for ourselves and with courage.  Perhaps it is even the mistakes that move us forward.

I would love to hear your response to this.  I wish you joy as you move through life’s journey.

Marie

Heart connections

When we consider the heart chakra and its placement, we notice that it is just above the solar plexus and just below the throat chakra.  The significance of this is astounding. I invite you to reflect with me as I ponder their connection.

The solar plexus focuses on our development as a person, our self worth and our sense of who we are.  It is from this place that we learn that we are worthy simply because we exist. It is here that we develop confidence and empowerment.  It is from here that we choose health and healing.  Caroline Myss tells us that the solar plexus is actually more important than the heart chakra as we need to first love ourselves.  We touched on this when we discussed the solar plexus or third chakra.

The heart is our centre of love and joy.  Here we experience peace and love of life and being aware of the sacredness of all things. Through the heart chakra we experience truth.  It is here that we learn acceptance, partly because we have learned forgiveness of self and others.  It is through the heart chakra that we experience unity and connection with all of life.

When I walk in the trees, I feel that sense of oneness with them and with nature itself.  When I am with children and marvel at their innocence and enjoyment of life, I connect through the heart.  When I am with people who are accepting of themselves in a loIMG_2513ving way, I feel connected at the heart level.  I love when the garden is filled with lupines in bloom.  It is only about 6 weeks away.  I connect with lupines in a variety of ways.  They speak to my heart.

We experience our truth in the heart and we express our truth through the throat chakra.  I personally sense the intertwining of these three chakras and sense it in others I work with.  I find a back and forth movement between self awareness, self acceptance (even of the things we don’t particularly like about ourselves) and the openness of the heart.  Then the expressions of the truth in some form outside of myself.  Sometimes it is through words, or it could be through dance or music or healing or art or sculpting or gardening or… .  It does not need to be understood by others.  It just is.

I invite you to ponder these musings and share your own experience with me either on the web site or in a personal email.  I believe most of the work we do is at the level of these three chakras in our culture and at this time.

Some of my personal truth is reflected in the work I do with Reiki both in offering it to others and in teaching it to others.  Integrating Reiki with movement and music as Wendy and I are doing through the Reiki Dance retreat May 10th. , brings out the strength of the heart and throat chakras.

I am offering  Reiki 1 class immediately after Easter if you are interested.  I still have two spots open.  Easter Monday evening and the full day following.  Email me at marieknapp@rogers.com if this interests you.

Till next time,

Marie

Connecting to and from your Heart

It is most often that our awareness is in our head.  When we are experiencing feelings, often the switch to our head is almost immediate as we review images of past regrets or anger, present discomforts or future worries or anxieties. We have given way to thoughts that affect what we do and how we live our lives.  We feel our feelings in our body but associating them with images is not an effective way of letting them go. In fact it may serve to hold them there longer.  It seems that noticing, where we feel the heaviness in our body, without thinking about what may have caused it, without thinking period, helps us better be with the feeling, acknowledging it, accepting it in us and then moving on.

Deliberate connecting to our heart can come from our thoughts or memories of loving or touching experiences.  Some people easily move to heart awareness when they think of a baby, their own or a grandchild or niece or nephew.  Others are particularly connected at the heart level to pets and feel the connection at the heart level as soon as they image the animal.  Our feelings are connected to our heart and that is why disconnecting our less than comfortable feelings from images that anchor them within you is less than effective in getting past them.

There are other less common images that can connect us to our heart too.  I think of these in particular when I want to expand my sense of love to the world, asking for peace and love to spread afar.   This picture touches my heart very deeply.

My husband and I were travelling in Jordan, because we had been forced out of Egypt at the time when the uprising there first began.  We begrudgingly had to leave the warm sunny climate of Egypt to go to a safe country and find our way around there.  Arriving in Amman we found the weather to be cold, raining and gray.  What a disappointment.  After investigating places to explore in Jordan we decided to go down to Aqaba on the Red Sea,IMG_3301 the furthest south citye.  Along the shore of the Red Sea we could actually see the shores of Israel and Egypt on the right and Saudi Arabia on the left.

We picked a restaurant to have a bite to eat.  We liked that we could sit and eat outside.  The family beside us were having a good time together.  Bob began a conversation with them.  Much to my surprise, the woman in the full burka was very animated in her conversation and spoke with Bob with no problem.  She was a widow, and was a professor at the university.  Her mother sat across from her and there were a group of young people who were children and cousins who came and went as we continued our conversation.

The professor woman spoke English very well and so often translated for her mother.  Her mother was so delighted to be speaking with us.  She was deeply touched by the fact that we were having fun together.  I was also touched but more so because of her.  Her daughter told us that her mother would have invited us to her home for a meal but they were also just visiting Aqaba from Amman so they did not live there.  Bob found a Canada pin which he often carries on him when we are travelling so that he can share them with necklaceothers.  People from other countries treasure that.  They always speak very highly of Canada.  The grandmother hunted for something in her purse that she could give us.  She had purchased a beaded necklace from one of the street vendors.  It was charcoal grey and shiny and a heart hung from it.  That necklace holds a special place in my jewelry box as well as in my heart.   I feel a strange sense of world connection and world peace whenever I bring it to my awareness.  I share this with you in the hopes that perhaps this story will also connect you to far away places and ways of life.  We are all human and connecting at the heart level is a spiritual experience.

When we put together our Reiki Dance experience we have included an ending that extends our love and healing to the world and peace.  Both Wendy and I feel moved to do that and already feel the experience of sharing outwardly in that way.  Perhaps you will consider joining us.

Namaste,

Till next time

Marie

 

 

 

Personal Power Resides in the Solar Plexus

Hello again,

I hope you are all enjoying the ups and downs of winter.  It is easy to feel the low ebb of winter months with fewer sunlight hours, cold weather and more limitations on our time outdoors.  However, there are still ample opportunities to find joy in what surrounds us. Looking out the window at the beauty of nature in winter is one thing I delight in.  Some people have bird feeders close to a window and enjoy watching the dynamics of the different types of birds as they arrive for their food.

Nature is a wonderful way of lifting up our spirits.  Respecting and honouring nature is really honouring and respecting ourselves.  We have such a close connection.

We have been reflecting on the third chakra, the solar plexus. This chakra is vital to our being able to move forward in the world, to being leaders and to being able to love unconditionally.  When our third chakra is functioning well, we know our personal power comes from within.

Truly knowing it is evident when we are not always asking for validation from those around us.  When we do not give away our power to others by blaming them for our misfortunes or our successes.  We all do this at some point and in some situations.  It is in our best interest to pay attention to that. In Cognitive Behavioural Work,  we can change those core beliefs to not assume it is another person who is in charge of our lives.  At the same time, it is an opportunity to reflect on times when we can choose to give another person responsibility for an aspect of our life we need help with.  In this sense, the issues of the third chakra are connected with the strength of the second chakra and our ability to trust others.

The third chakra is where we can connect with our true self.  “Our true self is that part of us that is always whole and intact.  It is where truth, beauty, and freedom abide.  It is not affected by pain, loss or trauma.  Though life appears difficult at times, we are made whole when we connect to the self.  It is an awareness of invaluable worth, esteem, and true power.  The self is more radiant than the sun.”

How beautiful we are when we ponder and acknowledge the above quote from Wauters’ book The Book of Chakras.  Many people diminish the value of the ego as if we could manage even greater things without it, yet it is only those who have developed the ego that have the inner strength to be resilient under life’s challenges.  It is the developed ego and solar plexus that enables us to make wise choices with respect and integrity.

Sometimes we describe a person as egotistical.  Perhaps that is why the term ego has been given a bad rap. When the self of the solar plexus extends into the heart, our confidence and inner strength is neither manipulative, nor exploitive.  Being strong is not being egotistical.  While many object to the word power, it is when we develop our inner strength and feel empowered and connect to our heart centre that we have the ability to heal ourselves and to heal others. This gives us the incentive to allow ourselves to be all we can be.

It is a pleasure to be with people who know who they are.  These beautiful people generate peace and harmony.  They know their boundaries and do not tolerate being used or abused.  Knowing this we can focus our personal healing and growth on knowing our worth, on making positive choices for our lives and on developing a resilient ego.

May you take some time to be connected with who you are, to respect and love what you find, accepting the strengths and the less strong parts of yourself.   May you feel your inner strength while at the same time being aware of and respecting the inner strength of others.  May your heart be open and acknowledging of your own self-worth.

Namaste,

Till next time,

Marie

Self Worth and the Third (Solar Plexus) Chakra

Happy New Year,

You likely wonder if I have given up my blog. “Where are those Chakra blogs she promised?”, you may be saying to yourself.  or not…

Well life does sometimes get in the way of my doing the things I get enthusiastic about.  Only proof that I am not by any means perfect and really want to be able to share what I learn with others but… sometimes other things take over. 

This is a good day to get back on track.  We are truly “snowed-in” in Owen Sound.  It seems all the roads out of town are closed, which is rather disconcerting for those heading to the airport.  And the airport is also temporarily shut down, I hear. 

But even here in our home, the radio tells us “all roads in Georgian Bluffs are closed”.  So that means they aren’t plowing them.  And here we sit and here I write for the blog.

Well it took Bob and I an hour for us together to shovel out the drive way.  We shoveled out a foot of snow yesterday and another foot today.  That is around 30cm each day.  Beautiful out there.  But glad I like our warm cozy home.

I have more plans for the new year related to workshops.  I will send out more information about that next week.  I have just read a book by Dr Janet Lapp that is a possible workshop or retreat theme.  More on that later.

I still find Reiki a really positive influence on my life and would be happy to share it with you.  I do offer Reiki sessions to clients but also love teaching it.  Please let me know if you are interested in taking classes in Usui Reiki in Levels 1, 2 or the advanced and masters levels.

Back to the Chakras

We have given attention to the first and second chakras, the root and sacral chakras.  The third chakra is the solar plexus.  It is located right over the stomach just below your sternum.  It is where you feel unpleasant sensations when someone hurts your ego badly,  when you feel like you were “kicked in the stomach” or “punched in the gut”.  You know the location when you know it has been negatively punched so to speak.  You actually feel it when you are feeling good about yourself too but it is more of a pleasant feeling.

The solar plexus chakra is said to be the place related to who we are.   In adolescence we develop a sense of personal identity.  It is connected with our sense of self-worth and is where we feel our sense of personal empowerment.

Caroline Myss, renowned author, speaker and workshop leader, says in one of her CDs that the thing we need to help people with most, the most important area to help the world be a better place, is not the heart chakra but rather the solar plexus and the sense of self-worth.

I often have given my own personal interpretation of the biblical reference to “Love your neighbour as yourself”.  Really we can only love others to the degree that we love ourselves.  

You may wish to give some thought to this.  In my mind, when we truly love others, we do so unconditionally.  And what that means is without expectations in return.  Loving others in an attempt to receive love in return is a message that the third chakra needs work.  In other words that aspect of ourselves feels unloved.  Which means that we do not love that aspect of ourselves.  When we don’t love an aspect of ourselves, we look for others to love it as if that is how we will learn to love ourselves.  however, it has to come from within.   It is only in learning to love that aspect of ourselves, in spite of perhaps not liking it, we are free to be more loving and accepting of others.

I have to check this one in myself regularly.  I know it is true in my head but living it is not easy.   We can pretend we get it by being able to talk about it knowledgeably but that doesn’t cut it unfortunately. 

This is an excellent area to work on as we begin the new year.   One of my intentions for 2014.

Hope to be back more regularly.  More about the Solar Plexus then.

Till next time,

Marie

Balance, Moderation and the Sacral Chakra

This is a topic that comes up regularly in my life as I work at finding and maintaining balance and moderation in the things that are important for me.

The Sacral Chakra, when functioning well, pays attention to just that. I refer again to The Chakra Book by Ambika Wauters. The quotes I am using in this piece or writing all come from this book.

“Finding the balance between control and letting go is essential for this chakra to function.” pg 50.

I often think of this chakra as one that is about our relationships with people, things, and even concepts. It is related to the things we feel attached to as well as the things we feel undeserving of.  I see it strongly related to the terms moderation and balance.  But it is also about the boundaries we set in our relationships.  In fact it is about all those aspects of how we see who we are and what we have and do and love.

When the sacral chakra is unbalanced in a negative way, the martyr in us kicks in. The “victim” mentality of the low functioning root chakra has a person staying alive by drawing on the energy of others.  The “martyr” feelings of a low functioning sacral chakra leaves a person depriving themselves because they don’t feel good enough.  Good enough for what? for the things she wishes she had. It can get complicated. Therapy or counseling may be needed.  But let’s examine some affirmations that strengthen the functioning of this chakra. (pg 54)

“I honor my body and treat myself respectfully”
 “I love who I am exactly as I am”
 “I treat myself to the joys of life”
 “I know that I deserve what I say I want”
 “I am able to balance what I have and what I want”
 “I accept that good health is my natural state”

What comes to mind for me as I read these affirmations is the statement one makes when using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in challenging situation. While initiating the procedure with tapping in a specific location, the person says “Even though I (could be something like feel irritated by what she said, or have a bad headache) I totally and completely love myself”. We are told to say that with courage and commitment from our hearts and with passion. Feel it.  The entire procedure is carried out with this in mind and it brings results.  Let me know if you want links to the EFT website.

“This chakra embodies the totality of our physical health and emotional well-being. It can bring us the highest degree of health or be the most dysfunctional of all energy centers in the human energy system…. The Sacral Chakra works from a deep unconscious realm where our attitudes about ourselves create our physical well-being.” pg 52

This Chakra is very important to our health. Pay attention to it and honour its work.

More on the Sacral Chakra next time.  Meanwhile I would be most grateful if you would like my new Facebook page   http://facebook.com/MarieKnappDallacor.

With thanks,

Marie

Living from Your Integrity

Yes it seems that is what the root chakra is about. living with integrity.  It is about being connected to life and loving it. It is about knowing who you are and knowing you are truly good.

Some of the affirmations listed in The Book of Chakras will help you recognize how you can connect to the root chakra. I am only listing a few but you can find these on page 44:
• I know who I am and make choices based on what I know to be right for me.
• I affirm my right to the life I choose.
• I know I am truly good.
• I am open to the spirit of life, which carries me beyond my oroginal limits to a higher, more creative space.
• I am thankful for all the opportunities for growth and development that have come my way.

The root chakra is the most physical of all the chakras. This is why activity of any kind helps us connect to it, likely because it makes us most aware of our body.
Each of the seven chakras feeds life energy into the endocrine glands. The root chakra is connected with the adrenal glands in that way, thus it is the chakra connected to survival.

When energy is flowing through our root chakra freely, we feel at home, secure and confident. We know we can look after ourselves. We feel empowered. When there is a block, we can feel anxious and worried.

Listening to what our root chakra is telling us guides us in life choices. Uncomfortable sensations can alert and caution us to relook at what we are about to do. Pleasant feelings tell us that what lies ahead is likely safe and nourishing. Carolyn Myss has a web site that will give you more information about this chakra. Go to. http://www.myss.com/chakra/chakrasflash.asp

The negative side of the root chakra leaves us feeling insecure and unstable. We can take measures to guide us through that by cultivating patience, perseverance, flexibility and adaptability. Not that it is easy to do that. We may need help.

Meditation, planning, gratitude, humour, are all gifts worth developing to help you with these moments/days/weeks.

I would be happy to explore the root chakra further through your questions but I will be moving on to the sacral Chakra next week.

Meanwhile, you may wish to attend the workshop I am leading on Wednesday afternoon Oct 9th called The Power of Your Thoughts

Till next time,

Marie

The Root Chakra cont’d

The root chakra responds to what we think and feel. If we think we are threatened, we feel angry and defensive … maybe even afraid. Similarly when our way of life is threatened, or our culture or our religion, the root chakra triggers a cool response, even hatred, sometimes sparking violence. I am sure this is ringing a bell related to the global news.

On the other hand, when we clearly know that our way of being is secure, we can more easily be more understanding and accepting of others. This is why fighting another does not bring peace. Remember the words to the song “this is not the way to put an end to war”. Don’t you wish we could all understand this concept and live it. Yet even within our own life, we are sometimes very susceptible to feeling the same threat and acting out rather than being understanding.

It seems that developing attitudes of trust that life is good even though difficult and even challenging, we can respond with the more positive responses of the root chakra.
Let’s link our root chakra to our thoughts. By changing our perspective, wearing different glasses to view the world, we can choose something that gives us more inner stability. We become more grounded and then more able to cope with change.

The negative or shadow side of the root chakra is hopelessness and feeling as a victim. If we can switch our thoughts to believing in the goodness of life perhaps through spiritual beliefs, or perhaps through nature such as walks through trees or along a shoreline, we can become more trusting. Meditation can bring us to that place too. Accepting who we are we become more grateful for some of life’s experiences and that is uplifting.

I wish you time and space to build trust in life and in yourself.

Till next time,

Marie

The Root Chakra (Part 1)

I mentioned The Book of Chakras last time. I will be continuing to use it as a major resource for these blogs. I highly recommend it to you not only because I like it but also I find clients have liked it also. I checked the price online at Chapters and it is $16.92. There are many other books about the Chakras also.

Location and Function:  The root chakra lies in the perineum at the base of the spine. While all the chakras are important, this one is foundational. It develops earliest within the first seven years of life. It is responsible for guiding us in meeting our basic needs. Being connected to the adrenal glands means that input through this chakra is strongly connected to our survival.
It is also our connection to the earth, aiding our sense of stability and inner strength.

Personally I see the importance of connecting with the root chakra regularly to keep me attentive to my life in this moment, and more present with those around me. When I am feeling a little pressured with meeting deadlines or in a head space trying to work through some challenge, I find that bringing my awareness down to the root chakra helps me feel more balanced. Try it. Your attention may very well be around your head somewhere now but take a deep breath and bring your awareness down, down, down. You can go to the bony structures of your pelvis and lower spine. There you are. Can you feel the stability and sense of calm?

What Else Does it Do?   But it is also more than that. As I understand it, the root chakra holds all those biases and beliefs that we learned in the early growing-up years. Wauters writes: “When people live exclusively within the Root Chakra, they are overly attached to land, tradition, home and family, and clan or tribal roots. …When people exist entirely from their Root Chakras, they are aware only of the petty differences that divide people and nations.”(p 43)

So when the root chakra is constricted and tight, we see challenges, conflict, and prejudice. If we were having a discussion about this right now, I know that every one of you could easily identify ways the root chakra is not functioning well in the countries of the earth, including ours; in religion, yes even your religion; in families, yes all our families. Paying attention to the root chakra, opening our thoughts could help us bring peace around us.

CBT:  So how do we work with this? Work is the correct word. It does take work. We have to get rid of our closed or narrow beliefs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is currently a type of therapy that is working well in a variety of situations. A big part of CBT is identifying what beliefs we are holding onto that we don’t need to hold anymore. Some beliefs are far too narrow, black and white, very biased. But we don’t even know we hold them.  But you can work on this on your own too.

And More ... There are other ways that the root chakra can hold us back. I will share those next week. In the meantime just notice those beliefs you are hanging on to that you can let go. We are all humans, each with a right to joy and happiness and health. Just notice. Free yourself of unnecessary attachments and let joy back in. Ah!!!

Till next time,

Marie