When I first read about chakras I stayed up half the night reading and crying tears of gratitude and relief. Although the concept of energy and chakras was outside my then perspective, it was clear that this new piece was going to help me make sense of my world. Fast forward over 20 years of study, personal exploration, and teaching about energy and the chakra system, awareness of the human energy field and its main centers is now a familiar, comfortable compass that I incorporate on an ongoing basis in my life and work.
These days, thanks to yoga and the world of self-help and spirituality, energy awareness is a concept that’s slowly moving into the mainstream, even if it’s just an off-handed quip about being so stressed that our chakras are out of whack! Like anything sacred that gets into the hands of the mainstream, chakras are being explored with left brained logic, in an attempt to understand them, and categorize their qualities and properties. While this may be a friendly entrance point into the world of chakras for the western mind, there is so much more that they can offer us when we are willing to let go of what the books and web-sites tell us about them, and enter into our own experience of them.
To step back a little, chakras are part of the anatomy of the human energy field. Since all we are is pure energy with no real ‘matter’ to speak of it makes sense that we are not just an amorphous blob of energy but that there is a certain structure, flow and intelligence to the human energy field. The chakras are hubs within the energy field that exchange energy information with the world around us, send prana (life force or chi) to our whole being, physical organs, flesh and bones included, and digest and purify all energies that we encounter from within and all around us. According to some sources there are over a hundred of them in the human energy field but the big seven run from the tailbone to the crown of the head along a central column (parallel to the spinal chord).
Chakras become blocked or sluggish for many reasons including undigested trauma, suppressed emotions, poor quality foods, and exposure to the many low vibration environments that are common in today’s world: artificial lights, poor air quality, malls, traffic, fast-food restaurants, bars, phones, computers, excessive media, and more.
What chakras thrive on, I can assure you, will be revealed to you once you begin to develop a relationship with them. However, as a starting point, know that Nature, fluid emotions, clean food, respectful movement, and connection to spirit are pretty much universal in their ability to keep your chakras happy.
But the intention of this blog isn’t to give you another list of do’s and don’ts that you can feel good or bad about doing or not doing! As I mentioned, the most powerful way to really get to know your chakras and to let them pave the way back home to the authentic you is to develop a relationship with them.
I suggest taking time regularly to bring the seven main chakras into your awareness and to simply be present to any impressions that comes forth: sensations, emotions, memories, insights. Many people are quite surprised at how much arises from the world of energy once attention is drawn away from the thought world.
The challenging issue is that most of us have lost our awareness of the chakras for so long that when we do begin to spend time with them there can be an overwhelming amount of backed-up energy that manifests as extremely daunting to navigate sensations and emotions. The only place in us that has the capacity to be really present to these energies is spirit, which is why a meditation practice lays the foundation for excavating deeper and deeper layers of energies that need to move. In other words meditation both illuminates the areas of our energy field that are ready to be set free, AND serves as a potent solvent for them.
Why do these energies need to be set free? Why can’t we just leave them alone? Aside from the fact that blocked energy is the primary cause of physical disease as explored in my book Deep Healing, at some point in our lives, more and more of us are touching into a deep desire to liberate ourselves from the distortions in the energy field caused by conditioning, trauma, familial and collective patterns. We sense that true happiness and peace is not dependent on anything external and we long to awaken to and truly live this. Also, the distorted and stagnant energies veil us from the clarity of our soul which guides us to authentic, intuitive choices. The clearer the energy field, the more we have access to right action, right speech and right livelihood, as the Buddha apparently put it.
One of the common misunderstandings about chakras is that they need to be fixed, or that they’re doing something wrong when they feel blocked and that we need to manipulate them in some way to unblock them. My experience with energy is that it is already programmed with the intelligence to unwind itself, and in many ways the less we do, the more this natural capacity expresses itself. Also we often try to fix chakras prior to taking time to really listen and what we’re doing is imposing on them, which is just another way of trying to be in control. It’s through deep listening that we create intimacy with our energy centerss and this creates an environment of safety and relaxation which is ideal for freeing energy.
Anyone with the interest has the capacity to connect to the chakras, and they can become a powerful ally on the journey home to ourselves. Because all energies are connected, most exciting to me is that our efforts touch every aspect of Life, our loved ones, all beings, and the earth.