I recently read David Pond's Chakras for Beginners (thanks M!), and loved it. Specifically, I loved the new metaphor (new to me) for thinking about my intentionality, energy, and manifestations of thoughts into behaviors.
I have, since last summer, focused on rebuilding my power- speaking up for what I need, articulating what I believe, and working on putting those thoughts and ideas into action. I often use a visualization exercise where I imagine my center and core turning gold and growing larger and larger. Little did I know (consciously; I am sure chakra-like messages and images have seeped into my sub-conscious throughout my life) that the third chakra is located in your abdomen, associated with the color yellow, and is the one associated with power.
Reading about the ideas behind the other chakras was enlightening. Here is my (super) basic recap:
Root chakra: associated with security, base of tailbone, red
Second chakra: associated with pursuit of pleasure, groin, orange
Third chakra: associated with power, core, yellow
Fourth chakra: associated with love, heart, green and pink
Fifth chakra: associated with creativity and speaking up, throat, sky blue
Sixth chakra: associated with intuition, third eye, indigo
Seventh chakra: associated with spirituality, crown of head, violet and white
My favorite part of this book were the meditations and visualization exercises included at the end. They basically guide you to imagine white, cosmic energy running through your body, activating each chakra. You breathe in the pure, white energy, and let out any toxic, muddy energy from each chakra. You focus on what each chakra means and concentrate on gaining balance in each chakra. All of the meditations have allowed me to feel more centered, grounded, energized, and ready to work on whatever is in front of me in the moment.
The main thread throughout the book (balancing your energy), was helpful for me in reflecting on where in my life I could put more of my self-growth work. It was also helpful to consider how if any of the lower chakras are unbalanced, all of those above it will be out of whack, too (and the unbalanced lower chakra will manifest in issues in the chakras above it. For example, [according to Pond] if you feel insecure in your root chakra, like you can't secure your physical environment, it is likely you will feel jealous [a manifestation of imbalance] when engaging in your pursuits of pleasure. Interesting for me to consider. I have been trying to really focus the past week on simply feeling secure in myself physically, financially, emotionally. Like an entirely whole person who has her shit together and isn't going anywhere. Like no matter what else is happening around me, I will remain whole, healthy, and happy. Like no matter who I am partnered to or where I am living or what I am working on, I will remain whole, healthy, and happy. I like the feeling this focus gives me.). And, I really liked the idea that the first three chakras are about the ego, while the top three are about the interdependent and cosmic nature of life. Both of these energies converge in the heart. It has been surprisingly helpful to focus my energy on my heart chakra when I think I might be experiencing jealousy- I recognize the negative emotion, how it is associated with my ego feeling insecure/threatened/etc, and move my attention to a higher point in my body (my heart; when I feel negative emotions I tend to focus all of my energy on how it physically feels, and those emotions tend to manifest in my stomach and abdomen. Moving my attention to my chest and heart is really refreshing) and focus on feeling compassionate and universal love. I have been truly surprised with how much more open-hearted I feel from this exercise. Since finishing the book, I have been using a visualization exercise for areas that need special attention right now- my root chakra and my heart chakra. I think the focus and meditation I gave to each helped me get through a rough few days (maybe why I didn't feel a sense of impending doom when J and I were in conflict?). This week also gave me great opportunity to focus on mobilizing my throat chakra (speaking my mind, coming up with creative solutions to challenges).
Great read, loved it, plan on reading more on chakras! :)