Chakras: A Framework for Personal Evolution

Chakras: A Framework for Personal Evolution

So much of my understanding of the chakras came from the work of Caroline Myss. I would highly recommend reading The Anatomy of the Spirit if you have an interest in this topic. To dive even further, I would also recommend her audiobook, Energy Anatomy. Both are excellent resources, and much of this information is sourced from those materials.

Working with the chakras can be a valuable tool for your personal evolution. Chakras are an integral part of our energy body anatomy. These vortexes of light support our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They are also associated with psychosocial characteristics. Allowing us to explore the way we perceive the world. When we understand which chakras are out of alignment, we gain insight into the stories and relationships that keep us stuck.

What are Chakras?

Chakras are spinning wheels of light. They receive universal life force energy from our environment, move it along our Nadis and energize the endocrine organs, nervous system, and blood. These energy centers both generate and inform the overall energy matrix that makes up our energy body. We measure the health or state of the chakras by the size, shape, and direction of its spin and the openness of the center. The spin of the chakras working together creates an electromagnetic field that produces the aura around the body.

Chakras & Our Evolution

Chakras are like blueprints of consciousness that record and document all of our life events. The first three chakras represent our relationship with the outer world. The upper three chakras represent our relationship to our inner world.  The lower chakras match our developmental stages, but as we move into the upper chakras, they are more tied to our experiences.

By understanding which chakras are out of harmony and looking at the associated psychosocial characteristics, we gain insight into our challenges—learning about the patterns and constructs that do not serve our highest potential.

The Root Chakra – Tribal Power
Sacred Truth – All is One

The root chakra is all about our sense of belonging. It includes our sense of safety, security, and survival instincts. The root is also the foundation for our physical health and well-being. This chakra is associated with our early childhood. Much of our sense of identity, worldview, and values were formed from our familial relationships and early group identities.  It takes many years for a child to understand that they are separate from their families. That is why the sacred truth of this chakra is All is One.

This chakra corresponds with the etheric field. This field extends just slightly beyond the body and with a relaxed focus can sometimes be seen as gray or blue.

(Try Expansion – All is One Guided Meditation)

The Sacral Chakra – Power of Relationship
Sacred Truth – Honor One Another

The sacral chakra is all about our relationships with other people outside of our family. This area is our center of emotion, sex, pleasure, sensuality, and intimacy. Our relationship to money and creativity is also connected here. It is in this chakra that we start to introduce duality. We learn about ourselves through relationships. If we associate this with human growth and development, this would be when a child begins school and starts to understand themselves relative to someone else.

This chakra corresponds with the emotional field. It shows up as different colors depending on what a person is feeling.

The Solar Plexus Chakra – Personal Power
Sacred Truth – Honor One’s Self

This chakra is about our sense of self-worth and self-esteem. It is about getting to know who we are outside of group dynamics and relationships. Because of this, we deal with fear, anxiety, and our sense of self confidence. It is also associated with the further development of the self, ego, and identity. This time would be represented by puberty when adolescents try to find their way in the world and push back against constraints, norms and expectations.

This chakra corresponds with the mental field. It is also where our gut instinct originates. As we learn to value and trust who we are, this intuition source becomes very powerful.

The Heart Chakra – Emotional Power
Sacred Truth – Love is Divine Power

This chakra is the connector of the lower and upper chakras, the physical and spiritual realms. The bottom three chakras relate to our external world. What we see looking outward. As we shift into the heart and move into the upper three chakras, it is what we experience looking inwards – our inner sight. The heart is our seat of love, acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness. This chakra is about our internal feelings and our emotional response to our thoughts.

Also, the amount of attention we give to our emotional needs determines our emotional maturity. Many of the challenges that arrive in this center are a result of sacral chakra interactions. If we were not shown love as children or in our early relationships, our emotional development and maturity might be stunted as adults.

This chakra corresponds with the astral body. Usually rainbow-colored, this part of the field acts as a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds.

The Throat Chakra – Power of Will
Sacred Truth – Surrender Personal Will to Divine Will

This chakra is the seat of self-expression, communication, and will. Because it is located between the heart and the mind, it connects our mental/emotional bodies around our power of choice. While often thought of as the seat of self-expression, it is about more than just being able to communicate. It is about the movement of personal will into divine will. So, not just speaking up on behalf of oneself, but speaking from a place that is informed by the heart and the mind. A place that is a blend of the Spirit and the self. It is also the movement from linear time into energetic time. As we begin to see the world through an energetic lens, aka multidimensionally, all things become possible.

This chakra corresponds with the etheric template. A bluish gridwork that supports the physical body. It is the divine blueprint of the physical body.

The Brow Chakra – Power of the Mind
Sacred Truth – Seek Only the Truth

This chakra is about the development of the mind, understanding truth from illusion. Our seat of inner guidance, wisdom, and imagination. It helps us to differentiate between thoughts motivated by fear and those that come from our inner knowing. We also learn to detach from outcomes and expectations i.e.developing our impersonal mind. Meditation and mindfulness practice can be beneficial for working with this chakra. It links our mental and emotional bodies because it contains our thoughts, memories, personal experiences, and our feelings about them.

This chakra corresponds with the celestial body. This can sometimes be seen as shards of rainbow light radiating from the center core of a person.

The Crown Chakra – Divine Power
Sacred Truth – Live in the Present Moment

This chakra is the center of bliss and transcendental consciousness. Here we move into higher consciousness through beingness. It is where inspired thought and mystical experiences originate. Our spiritual self seeks to integrate spirituality into all aspects of our lives. It is in this chakra that we develop and maintain our relationship with the Divine.

This chakra corresponds with the etheric body, a golden shell around the auric field’s outer edges. It is the boundary between the universal energy field and the individual field.

There are many models and frameworks to explore our lives. Many that help us to understand who we are and why we make the choices we make. Working with the chakras is one of the best ways to bring balance and harmony to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects, but they also give us insight into the places we are stuck. By understanding the chakras and applying their unique qualities and lessons to our lives, we receive essential and actionable wisdom. They also ask us to see from a higher perspective, blending the Spirit and the self.

Which chakra has insight for you today? Take our Chakra quiz.

Want to know more? Consider working one on one with an Energy Practitioner.

Want to bring balance and harmony to your chakras? Try our Chakra Balancing Guided Meditation. 

 

 

What World Do You Want to Live In?

What World Do You Want to Live In?

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~Carlos Castaneda

In a recent podcast by Sam Harris, he interviewed Jonathan Haidt on his new book, The Coddling of the American Mind. They talked about our current culture of boycotts, call-outs, de-platforming, and outrage. A culture where the social prestige from doing so is a form of currency. Sam Harris often talks about the, ‘what kind of world do you want to live in test’ and do these actions take us to that world. I pondered this question over the past couple of weeks and here are my thoughts.

I want to live in a world where we can still be whole people and loved even in the face of our fallibility. Where a person can mess up and still be forgiven. Where a person can be vulnerable and intimate and risk not choosing the right words in doing so. Where a carefully crafted response is not a substitute for authenticity. I think of the times that I have been out of line, or irreverent and am thankful I have people in my life who can see all of me. Even see past the unsavory and still love me and call me their friend. I’m scared we are losing the ability to hold space for the whole human, unpolished and raw.  Especially in our online world, we shove people in boxes of pro-life or pro-choice, red or blue and reduce them down to a single cause, group or ideology to determine if they are with us or against us. We now gather and identify in groups not only based in commonality but the common enemy.

I want to live in a world that allows for complex conversations and nuance. A  place where dualities exist and it is okay for people to hold two ideas at the same time even if they don’t fit nicely into a narrative. Where someone can sit with another’s apparent contradiction and not use it as an opportunity to call them out or gain social prestige. A world where nobody is forced to live in a black or white polarity, they can be Christian, pro-gun, pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage and that speaks to their thoughtfulness and self-reflection rather than their hypocrisy.

I want to live in a world where people can acknowledge their wounds but not have to lose their agency. A world where we’ve unplugged from the story of our powerlessness and into one of collaboration and cooperation as we build a better one. We lose so much when we choose to rally around victimhood as our path to equality. In viewing things through the lens of our wounds, we create more of want we don’t want – abuses of power and control. Birthing something new requires a new story of empowerment for all, not just a group.

I want to live in a world that is just and not necessarily fair.  In a just world, we own our own will, meaning that we have the right and the equal opportunity to make our own choices. Fairness, on the other hand, is about equality of outcome based on a subjective opinion on how we think things should be. There is nothing to be gained from forcing people to act in a certain way, not allowing them to speak or shaming them into compliance. Free speech and expression of our own will are hard to retrieve once they have been lost. I’m not prepared to concede to a world that is subject to a certain individual or group’s beliefs about how things should look. We are not entitled to have our feelings protected, however, we are entitled to freedom of speech. We shouldn’t so easily put our wellbeing in the hands of others, letting their words or actions affect us unless it is truly warranted.  I’d rather live in a world where we risk offending someone but can have an open, and honest debate, then jeopardize our ability to do so.

I want to live in a world where compassion, kindness, and forgiveness are of the highest value. A place where we extend good faith to others rather than assume malicious intent. I remember reading somewhere that forgiveness is when you are able to pull your energy out of the situation. So when that situation no longer consumes your attention and resources then you’ve shifted into a state of forgiveness. How can we ever do that if we have to confirm and re-affirm our stances on things and stay focused on our past wounding, rather than healing and moving on to construct something better?

In this time of great revealing which I know is a necessary step, I hope we can think about where we want all of this to go. It has to be about more than just revealing and tearing down what we don’t like – forgiveness, and paths to redemption need to be part of the conversation. We have to think about the world we want to create and I don’t know where you hope we end up, but is our current trajectory taking us there?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the world you’d like to live in.

Inner Child Work

Inner Child Work

What is Your Inner Child?

In her exploration of archetypes, Caroline Myss would say that everyone has some version of the child as one of their four primary archetypes. Whether this child manifests as a wounded child, magical child, orphaned child, etc., depends on our life experiences, the trauma we experience, and the worldview and values we inherit from our family. Regardless of the version of the child that we connect with, working with our child can profoundly affect how we operate as adults. 

Many of the beliefs, values, worldviews, and ideas about who we are and how the world works were imprinted before we developed discernment and reasoning. Imagine for a moment that you are six years old twirling around the living room. With each rotation, you get dizzier and dizzier. You think this is so much fun. After twirling until you can no longer stay on your feet, you crash into your mother’s favorite vase, and it shatters. When your mom comes home from work sometime later to see the remnants of her family heirloom on the floor, she unleashes on you. “What did you do?” “I can’t trust you with anything?” “I can’t believe how careless you are!” and on and on.

 Now, if you were a bit older, you might be able to see that your mother is upset about the vase, but she doesn’t mean the words she is saying to you. You might even realize that her job right now is stressful, and she is concerned about an upcoming deadline. However, your six-year-old brain is not equipped for such cognitive reasoning. And the only thing you are left with is the imprint on your psyche that tells you that you can’t do anything right. That belief will be with you until it is uncovered and challenged.

You see, the inner child represents all that is beautiful, wondrous, light, and playful. She also represents the imprints of values, worldview, beliefs, traumas that were consciously or unconsciously imparted to us from our family. Everything you were taught becomes your way of understanding until we challenge and explore what is ours to own.

What Are Your Beliefs?

Let’s think for a moment about our thoughts around love, particularly self-love. Through years of positive and negative reinforcement, we were shown who we needed to be and how we needed to act to receive love and attention. Of course, most parents would say we love our children unconditionally, and for the most part, that would be true. However, every time we were praised for our good grades or scolded for our lousy test scores, we learned what was acceptable and what wasn’t. While the love was unconditional, the expression was not.

Ask yourself, how do you define success? Achievement? How do you deal with failure? Growing up, I was often told I could do better. “92% is good, but what about the other 8%?” This type of thinking didn’t propel me to achieve greater and greater results as a child. It made me retreat from many things because I felt the pressure was just too great. So if I didn’t try, I couldn’t fail. This thinking is something I have had to unlearn as I got older. 

It is important to mention though, I don’t want to look at my wounds through the lens of blame or guilt. I heard a quote the other day, “To love is to wound.” Any time we are intimate or authentic with someone, we run the risk of wounding. That’s just the nature of this gig as humans. Most parents do the best they can with what they have. So it doesn’t serve us to blame our parents for our shortcomings, but it does help us to understand the impact that those formative relationships have on who we are today. 

So our inner child is a culmination of all of our unmet needs, desires, experiences, and emotions that, until we look at them, until we challenge them, will continue to linger in our subconscious and impact our behavior as adults. 

Try out this inner child guided meditation You can find the script here.

The Divine Child

According to Carl Jung, the divine child archetype represented the self with the power to transcend the darkest moments on our path to individuation. The divine child represents the original self before the world left its imprint on us. A time when our capacity to experience lightness, play, wonder, and innocence were untouched by life’s lessons and unburdened by other’s limitations. 

He described this state as the union of the opposites. We are holding the conscious and the unconscious in unity. Wholeness is only achievable by the creative tension of opposing natures. This unity within duality, co-substantiates one another and, in doing this, gives the child the capacity for significant spiritual change and integration. Remember, this is a state before shadow plays a role. There is no shame, no expectations, no socialization so there is only unity and wholeness. 

When the child is wounded and enculturated, she fragments, and unity is not achieved. This is why inner child work is so powerful. It restores our capacity for human potential. Our greatness lies in our imagination, creativity, our ability to love without condition. When we find peace for our inner child, we activate our true human potential by bringing into creative tension the masculine/feminine, intuitive/rational, dark, and light. We find unity within the dualities. We reconcile and find peace within our imperfections.

You open the gates of the soul to let the dark flood of chaos flow into your order and meaning. If you marry the ordered to the chaos you produce the divine child, the supreme meaning beyond meaning and meaninglessness. ~ C.G Jung

Inner Child Work

There are many ways to work with our inner child besides meditation and therapy. However, if any of this feels like more than you can handle, please seek the help of a counselor or therapist.

1. Dialogue writing can be a powerful means to hearing your child’s unmet needs. Dialogue writing is asking your child a question and then letting your child give a response. In this style, there is always a questioner and a responder.

2. Writing an unsent letter is another tool. You can write a letter to your child or have your child write one to you. Or your inner child could write a letter to a parent or guardian without the intention of sending it. This allows for a free flow of ideas and very often can help you take care of unfinished business with people or situations that may no longer be part of your life. It can be a great tool to gain awareness and for the purpose of surrendering and releasing things that no longer serve you.

3. Re-writing your story. We continually re-tell stories about who we are; they are both true and untrue. The story we tell ourselves about our childhood can be said in a variety of different ways. Everytime we retell the story, we give it unnecessary energy and keep ourselves stuck.

So first, write down the story you tell people about your childhood. Write down the main themes. Think about who the main characters are in the story. For example, is there a hero, villain, victim, knight, or princess waiting to be rescued? What are the phrases you use over and over to describe your upbringing? Once you have completed this process, look at how those experiences or themes actually had your gifts and strengths embedded within them. Then, re-write that story from a different perspective. 

For example, in my story, I was the family’s black sheep who never really fit in – this is both true and not true. I can continue to hold on to that version, but as I grow and understand parenthood more, I realize that my upbringing left me with many strengths. I now draw upon them in my teaching and client work. I know that not feeling like I fit in helped me to understand what motivates people. It helps me to understand things from many different points of view. Those things I once viewed as challenges, I now see as gifts.

Inner child work is an essential part of our personal evolution. Many of the challenges we face due to false core beliefs, unresolved trauma, and pain were developed in childhood. Taking time to reconnect with our inner child can uncover when and how those challenges were formed and what is required for their healing. It can be dark heavy work, but also truly rewarding because once we hold all of ourselves in unity, we have the opportunity to tap into our true human potential. 

 

Nick Jaworski on the Evolution of Shame

Nick Jaworski on the Evolution of Shame

In This Episode:

Is shame really about power? Can it ever be productive? How has it evolved as we’ve evolved? Shame shows up in our culture in a variety of ways. It can be an internal experience brought on by living outside of our own values. Or it can be imposed on us by people or organizations trying to control or modify our behavior. In this episode, Nick Jaworski and Angela Levesque explore the many facets of this complex emotion. And look at some of the ways it is being used in the age of social media.

Links:

Shame Rules!

Bill Maher on Shame

About the Guest:

Nick Jaworski is a digital audio producer, podcast host, and founder of Podcast Monster, a digital audio production company. Over the past six years, Nick has been producing and editing podcasts with New York Times Best-Selling authors, thought leaders, Silicon Valley tech companies, and other entrepreneurs. His company, Podcast Monster, has produced episodes that have been downloaded over 20 million times and one of his own podcasts, Where There’s Smoke, has been recognized by publications like the A.V. Club’s Podmass.

Currently, Nick is passionate about his new show, Shame Rules!, which explores the hidden ways that shame shapes our world. Each episode explores the way that shame has helped determine the outcome of so many stories. Nick has spent 15 months carefully crafting all six episodes of Shame Rules! In hopes that by understanding how shame shapes our lives, it will help us to navigate the future in a better, more healthy way.

Beauty, Surrender and Our Sensual Experiences

Beauty, Surrender and Our Sensual Experiences

In this special edition of the Chaos & Light Podcast, Andrew Martin co-hosts with Angela Levesque. Andrew and Angela both speak and write on subjects in spirituality, consciousness, and personal growth. They decided to come together once a month to dive deep into these subjects in a light and playful way. 

In this episode they discuss:

  • Cleaning out our literal and metaphoric junk drawers
  • The value in surrender and release
  • Why beauty and aesthetics are essential for our well-being
  • Humans as sensual beings
  • The return to making things and why creativity to so important to our nature

Subscribe to the Podcast Directly on iTunesSpotify, Google Podcasts or Spreaker

Links

Andrew Martin

Isha Lerner Pick a Card Tarot

 

Healing Your Inner Child Guided Meditation

Healing Your Inner Child Guided Meditation

This inner child guided meditation is part of a weekly Living Light Meditation gathering in the Chaos & Light Community. This meditation takes you through a brief guided relaxation to remove any resistance. It then invites you to connect with your inner child to ask them what they need for their healing. You may find their message for you is inviting you to bring more lightness and play to your life. Or they may be asking you for some deeper recognition of unhealed trauma and emotions. Honor your child’s message and return to this practice as many times as is needed. If you uncover something that seems too big for you to handle, don’t hesitate to seek out the assistance of our counselor or therapist. 

Inner Child Meditation Script

(Copyright Angela Levesque)

We are going to begin by taking three deep cleansing breaths.
Taking a little bit longer on the out-breath, letting the body completely release and relax on the exhalation.

Now I want you to follow the flow of the breath as it moves through your body. Not trying to alter the flow, just letting it move easily and freely through the body.

Take a moment to call yourself back from where ever you have been during the day. Draw your energies back home to your center. Bringing mind, body, and energy into the here and now.

Allow your mind to empty what it no longer needs to hold on to, let it go, flow out and away. And allow your body to release what it no longer needs to hold on to, letting it flow out and away.

We will do a short guided relaxation to remove any resistance and move the body into a place of deep calm.

I want you to bring your attention to the top of your head. I want you to imagine a wave of relaxation beginning at the scalp and moving slowly downwards.

Feel the wave of peace and relaxation move down the face. Allowing the muscles around the eyes to release and relaxand the muscles of the jaw release and relax as the wave of relaxation continues to move slowly downward.

The wave of relaxation moving down now through the neck and the shoulders. Feel the shoulders drop as they release the tension you’ve been carrying. Using the exhalation as a way to move deeper into the release.

Now the wave of relaxation moves down through the muscles of the chest and abdomen. Bringing release and relaxation to the whole front of your torso.

Feeling the wave of relaxation moving through the back – moving down from the upper back, mid-back, lower back. Feeling the muscles release and relax all the way down the spine.

Feel the deep sense of peace and relaxation in your whole upper body

Now imagine this wave of relaxation moving through the hips. Breathe into that area as you bring your awareness in your root. Letting the breath open the hips and remove any tension.

Now the wave of relaxation moving down into the thighs – the upper thigh, mid thigh, lower thigh. Moving down to the knee. Bringing with it awareness and deep release.

Now the wave of relaxation moves over the knee and into the lower leg. Feeling the flow of the breath and relaxation move down the calves.

And finally, the wave moving all the way down into the soles of the feet, allowing any last bits of tension to flow right out the soles of your feet and into the earth.

And now that you are in a calm, relaxed and safe space…I want you to imagine yourself in a beautiful setting…this could be a meadow, your backyard, a mountain top. Just someplace that you feel safe, comfortable, and at peace.

For the next few moments, take in this setting with all of your senses. The sounds, the smells, the sights. Breathing it all in………..Letting all of the colors, sounds and smells bring a vibrancy to your being as you breathe them in.

(pause)

You begin to notice a faint outline of a child coming toward you. As this child moves closer, you notice that this is you as a little child. Take a moment to notice their hair, body, eyes.

The age that you are. Notice your child’s attitude, expressions. Are they looking at the ground, are they curious, are they sad?

Invite your child to sit next to you at whatever distance is comfortable for them. As they sit next to you, you notice that you can see and feel….. as they see and feel.

What does the world look like from their eyes? How does the world feel from their perspective?

Turning to your child, ask them – What do you need most from me? Allow the child to answer in whatever way is most comfortable for them..a drawing, a gift, through words. However, they express it is exactly how it needs to be done.

(pause)

If you are able to give your child what they need from you at this moment, please go ahead and do so. If they ask for something that you cannot give right at this moment, tell your child what you can give and if it is something that is possible in the future, tell your child when this will be possible and give your child a symbolic promise for the future.

(pause)

Now ask your child is there anything they wish for you to hear?

(pause)

Take a moment now, if you are not already, to sit facing them. And if it is alright, hold their hands in yours. Look at your child in the eyes and then tell you love them………you honor them………. you hear them………… and they have always been enough.

(pause)

If that feels complete. Ask your child if they are ready to come home with you today. If your child is not ready to come home with you today, tell them you will return…….thank them for their time……… and let them know that you will continue to honor them and work toward being together one day.

And if your child has chosen to come with you today. Give them a moment to say goodbye to their surrounding….allow them to collect anything they need for their journey….. and invite them home.

This can look however you want, holding hands, a heart to heart connection, a full integration of self. Whatever is most comfortable for both of you at this moment.

Allow this integration to occur, bringing you both into wholeness, balance, and harmony.

(pause)

And when this integration process feels complete. Spend a moment in your heart center in gratitude.

In deep appreciation for your inner child, for the experiences that made you who you are today. 

Let this appreciation move through your entire body. Letting gratitude fill every part of your being.

(pause)

And when you are ready, take a few deep breaths connecting you to your body. Feeling your body make contact with the chair, floor or bed beneath you.

Bringing your full awareness to the room around you.

Wiggling your fingers and your toes…….gently shrugging your shoulders. Bringing your full attention and awareness back into your body……back into your room…… and when you are ready, allowing this sense of calm, peace, and centeredness to remain in the body as you open your eyes – aware and alert.

 

Music credit by meditative https://audiojungle.net/item/meditati…
Photo credit Canva.com