Your chakras don’t need activating, connecting or amplifying.
They’re not tasks you need to add to your spiritual-mental-physical To-Do List. Quite the opposite:
Your chakras are glowing resources you can avail yourself of anytime you need recharging or rest.
All you have to do is plug in and feel what happens.
The only thing you really need to know about chakras
You’ve probably heard how the old yogis — after much experimenting with and observing of their own experience in this body-mind-spirit conglomeration that we call being human — decided that seven centers in the body are associated with specific kinds of energies:
I like this drawing by Ananda Bijoux because
- it’s gender neutral,
- the person is sitting (so we can see how the root’s on the ground and the crown’s in the sky), and
- she doesn’t editorialize or attach “meanings” to each chakra in the drawing.
Likely she elaborates in her text. I haven’t read Ananda’s blog because — pretty shocking confession coming up for a yogi/research-and-learning geek — I avoid reading about chakras.
Why I am chakra-reading averse
I got the chakra basics over twenty years ago from my first yoga books.
If you want, you can find a more thorough Chakra 101 anywhere from Wikipedia (though all their sketches are of men) to Ananda’s blog (just based on her drawing, I probably would like her site).
And I promptly used those descriptions to define how I “should” experience chakras.
I thought I perceived all kinds of “rules” in the texts (and it’s worth noting these were my perceptions — if I re-read those pieces, I’d likely see that they aren’t as dogmatic as I thought and that my interpretations were skewed). For example I thought: our chakras need to be activated, and, unless you get whacked by lightening or a 2×6, this activation requires all kinds of work like meditating, mastering yoga postures, eating a certain way, abstaining from lots of things, and/or connecting to a guru; we must start from the bottom chakra, work our way up connecting the chakras as we go, and finally end up with the kundalini (a sleeping potential of vast energy!) rising like a snake up through our center and triggering a mystical experience; specific concepts and words rather definitively characterize each chakra; etc…
I now think that all of this previous list can be true — but it doesn’t have to be, and other experiences can be true as well.
Most of all I don’t think the chakras have to be “work”
Like the overall yogic belief that your spirit shines inside you like a lantern — or like that candle Jesus referred to when he said you are the light of the world — I believe our chakras are always powered up inside of us.
True, sometimes the lantern may get dirty and need cleaning. Or the candle may get hidden under a bushel basket.
In that case, all we have to do is see and remove clutter that’s accumulated from our living — wipe smudges off the glass lantern or remove the bushel. We don’t have to create or spark the light.
A gentle way to uncover your chakras’ energies
You can simply visit any of your chakras. Hang out inside there — see what it feels like. Explore them all.
To me, the inside of a chakra usually feels like rest. Or like an energizing.
Each chakra makes me vividly feel some gift that we human beings are lucky enough to have as part of our humanity.
Currently I find myself identifying with words like clarity, discernment, gratitude, action, generativity, connection to solid earth, and, above all, connection to mystery. For some people — and sometimes for me — the words are different: insight, truth, love, power, creativity, rootedness, and divine inspiration.
There are infinite ways to express the experiences, but I think those gifts we are trying to describe are in fact gifts — freely available for us. Not something we have to create.
When you are exploring a chakra, you can ask yourself things like:
- What part(s) of the body is/are associated with this area?
- What are the functions of those body parts?
- What quality of presence, thoughts, and sensations come up? What emotions, imaginations, and desires?
- In what way do I feel cared for and supported by these areas?
I’d heard that the throat chakra was associated with speaking one’s own truth. Makes sense. But I had a hard time even feeling some kind of concentrated energy in that area, so I was being pretty hard on myself as far as not only my inability to activate my chakras but also to speak my truth. Those might have been real issues, but the way I was approaching it certainly wasn’t helping to change the situation.
One day, an image of that area came up during meditation. (Why was I having thoughts/images during meditation? That’s a whole other post, so for today I’ll just tell you what I got out of that image!) When I pondered the image, I saw the throat as the portal for everything we take in for nourishment — or, more accurately, for metabolism — namely food, water, and air. I saw also how we can control whether or not we accept what’s given to us — we don’t have to “swallow” everything presented to us — and indeed the throat area is where we can spit out or up, where partially digested stuff comes back out if it “makes us sick,” and where we put out our own ideas via speaking. To me — for now, anyway — the throat chakra is where I can really feel and appreciate my human self’s ability to decide what comes in and out of my mouth. It’s a mechanism of discernment. When I rest there, I feel relief that my human self has this gift. I just sort of steep myself in it – not for any specific purpose other than it feels good.
I am not saying this is what the throat should be to you. This example is only to invite you to allow your own personal experiences of your mind-body-spirit connection.
And — bonus! — you don’t even have to believe in chakras!
You can approach the entire concept as a symbolic imagination exercise. At the very least:
We know for sure that our minds know things we don’t know that we know.
In other words, we definitely have unconscious knowledge. Lots of it. In fact we have way more unconscious knowledge than conscious knowledge. The trick is figuring out how to access those gazillion bits of non-verbally-stored information.
Pretending that images speak to us is the most reliable way to let unconscious information bubble up and serve us.
Analyzing dreams and cooking up metaphors are ways to access our unconscious knowledge, and, if you like, you can think of chakras as an addition to your symbolism toolbox.
However you come at them, chakras are a delight. Not a chore.
Our hearts, bellies, brains, guts, pelvic floors, throats, and the crowns of our heads are there, doing their thing all the time. We can journey in there anytime and check it out.
We can enjoy and get somehow replenished.
We even can stay in there — in one or two or all of them — and consciously move in the outside world at the same time.
And, wow. That’s when the rapture of being alive is really washing over you.
I would love to hear about the way in which you experience your chakras — what qualities do you find? How do you go about it? Let me know.
A heartfelt Namaste’ from inside me to inside you,
I’ve been working with my chakras for a long time too, Betsy. I still spend about 5 minutes or so a day “cleaning my chakras.” I have experimented with not cleaning my chakras every day and it didn’t feel as good and my intuition seemed less accurate. That said, I love the freedom and acceptance in your post. There’s really nothing to fix just tuning in and sensing what is there inside is what keeps our clarity.