TOOLS FOR HEALING
A COLLECTION OF HEALING RITUALS & WORDS TO GIVE KNOWLEDGE & CONTEXT TO HEALING TRANSFORMATION
CHAKRAS AS A TOOLS TO SELF HEALING JOURNEY
Chakra is a Sanskrit word for a series of circular wheels of energy, in and around the body. It is believed that that we have energy centers in the soles of our feet and the center of our palms. The 7 chakras line up in the center of your body. The higher chakras, eight through twelve, are connected to the soul, the divine and the cosmos. Each chakra is associated with a color, musical note, shape, belief system and element. The 7 chakras offer valuable information to help heal the mind, body and spirit. I have studied the 7 chakras for many years, and I still have so much more to learn about them. I recently came across some new information that I have found to be very powerful.
The root chakra is all about survival, and not just financial but emotional stability and balance. If you have a tendency to feel excessively fearful, it’s a sign that your root chakra energy is too low. Alternatively, if you have too much root chakra energy, it can manifest as unhealthy habits, like clinging onto old belief systems and possessions that no longer serve you. Same goes for people and past experiences.
The Root Chakra (1st chakra) is located at the base of the spine and the coccyx. The root chakra is Red and associated with security, survival, and everything solid in our life (our home, our body and the ground we walk on, etc.). The root chakra is about your family, ancestors and cultural beliefs. It is related to our connection with prosperity and how we attract it into our life. When the root chakra is balanced, you feel grounded and have an inner sense of security. You feel supported and are able to manifest opportunities and abundance. When it is unbalanced, feelings of fear, insecurity and not feeling like you belong prevail. On a physical level, elimination problems and foot issues are also associated with the root chakra.
SWADHISTHANA/ SACRAL CHAKRA
The 2nd sacral chakra, also known as the svadisthana chakra, is located in the lower abdomen to navel area. It’s connected with the color orange and is associated with sexuality, passion, creation, vulnerability and our relationships with other people and the world–which is why it is commonly referred to as the partnership chakra. The emotions, fears and strengths associated with this chakra drive your behaviour.
When your sacral chakra is balanced, you have energy to create a business, artwork or even children. You take risks, engage in balanced give-and-take relationships and express sensitivity or vulnerability. If your sacral chakra is imbalanced, you may feel like you have no personal power. Often times, you won’t be able to express emotions, create meaningful work or find the simple joys in life. Physically, the second chakra governs the lower back, reproductive organs & fertility, hips and lower intestine, and it is believed that trouble with these areas is a result of second chakra issues.
One of the most common ways I notice the sacral chakra going out of balance is when we forget the “take” aspect of our relationships. Women often take on the role of caregiver, and are constantly giving to their spouses, children, friends, and even colleagues. However, when it comes to giving to the self, we are at the bottom of our list. We tell ourselves, “I’ll do something for me when I get the time.” Of course, the time never comes, because life happens, and we continue to move forward in this cycle. To balance our second chakra, we must acknowledge the fact that it is okay to receive. It is okay to take time for ourselves. This energy of receiving feels healing and is deserved by us all. When balance is achieved between the energy of giving and receiving, the feeling of resentment and the “UGH! I never get time for myself” is released. The sacral chakra asks us, “What is it that you need? Are you able to ask for it? Do you handle everything like you always do because you don’t need anything?” All these patterns, learned behaviours and vows can be changed once we become consciously aware of them. This chakra asks us to look within and say, I am worth it. I honour, cherish and receive myself. As we treat ourselves with respect, our relationships and vulnerability with others strengthen. Sacral chakra healing is one of the most powerful ways we can give back to ourselves, explore our own body and emotions, and reunite with our selves.
MANIPURA, SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
The third chakra, also known as the solar plexus chakra or manipura chakra, is located just above the navel and below the center breastbone. It’s connected with the color yellow and is associated with personal power, self-confidence, responsibility and will power. It asks us to be more aware of who we truly are and then show up in our life being that person. This chakra’s energy asks the questions “How do you digest your life? Are you fluid and flowing or are you stuck?” This chakra demands the truth of authenticity. Everyone has unique gifts, personal truths and a soul’s journey to fulfil.
When the third chakra is balanced, it allows us to lead the way to our authentic self-versus following someone else and being who they want us to be. Yellow is a color of inspiration, the sun and bright light. It holds the energy of power and authority. When we are balanced and in our personal power, we are connected to our inner and outer selves. The solar plexus chakra meaning is beat to our own drum and stay connected to our hopes and dreams. It’s the chakra of empowerment. As we become more empowered by living our personal truth we inspire others to do the same.
When the solar plexus chakra becomes imbalanced it’s easy to become domineering, obsessive and overly compulsive. A feeling of being invisible and not allowing your personal light to shine or saying that you want to do something but always making excuses on why you can’t often is a symptom of an out of balance third chakra. A big message here is, “When are you going to put yourself first versus everyone else?” Anger and resentment, feeling stuck or being a people pleaser are also signs you have a solar plexus chakra blockage. Physical illnesses in the stomach region such as indigestion, diabetes, ulcers and eating disorders are believed to be linked to this chakra.
OVERCOMING EMOTIONAL CHAOS
Oh, boy. This is one of those subjects that will see no end to it. I can feel it. Yet, I am still inspired to share with you an insight or two on emotions, what they are, how they occur and Gosh, yes - how to best deal with sometimes impossible surge of emotions. Last year I attended a really cool weekend seminar in Bern, Switzerland on " Healing Disturbing Emotions" as thought by Venerable Namgyel, an Australian Buddhist monk that I met and studied with in India back in 2014. Well, here he was in the country I presently lived in - what an absolute treasure that was! Buddhists describe emotions as delusions; something, that takes advantage of our clear mind. Something, that might not be as real as we make it to be. Now, this is not to say NOT to allow yourself to feel any emotions, rather it's about developing a way of life, lifestyle practice so to speak, that includes awareness of emotions as they occur. It's all about cultivating of positive emotions and learning to counteract negative emotions.
KNOWING THE QUALITY OF YOUR MIND
Knowing the quality of your own mind is super important people. It comes hand in hand with complete honesty with yourself. Where IS your mind when experiencing specific negative emotions? Hmmm? Well, I can guess. Seeded in your self-centered mind, that's where. Or ego. Buddhist call it self-cherishing mind or the believe of the "I".
YOU ARE NOT YOUR EMOTION
I know, I know. Our verbal linguistics include " I " when describing pretty much everything ... making it so much more challenging to detach from the emotions. "I am angry" replace with what are you feeling right now: " I am experiencing the emotion of anger, frustration, annoyance ...etc. " You are experiencing it by recognizing that the emotion is happening and allowing yourself to fully go through it.
FEELING THE FEELING
Sometimes feeling certain emotions that surface at certain times is not appropriate or easy to feel. Like let's say at the work meeting, or public place or even face to face with the friend or family member. Again, our natural instinct is most likely to suppress the emotion or let negative emotion completely overtake us. There is another way to deal with it by creating daily space for yourself to go through mental inventory for that day. I find it best at the end of the day.
WHAT DOES EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE LOOK LIKE?
This is a lifestyle or lifelong practice my dear ones.
Acknowledge emotion arising (anger, frustration, annoyance ... etc.)
Recognize I am NOT that emotion (you are simply having an experience of that specific emotion )
Remind yourself that its nature is impermanent (always changing, or nothing last forever)
Apply antidotes (find an opposite emotion (positive ) to the negative emotion you are experiencing it ( example: for the anger emotion the antidote is tolerance, love, compassion)
Make a decision to STOP repeating same cycles of negative emotions (there is a danger of creating karmic imprints and energetical blockages)
Allow yourself to feel – where is that emotion felt in your body? What are you feeling in the body right now? How do I really feel?
Breathe into your heart (heart electromagnetic field has amazing ability to connect with your brain and send healing signals to where needed)
Invite the feeling of gratitude & appreciation into your heart (think of positive feeling, person or situation in your life that makes you feel happy)
Keep gratitude journal – write 5 new things every day.
Understanding “purpose “of “negative” emotions – to strengthen and build the opposite, positive emotion. It’s a constant opportunity to develop further by showing up!
A REAL TRUTH ABOUT LETTING GO
“A dancing carpet of light and shadow display of playful tropical leaves temporary imprints on its golden sand intricate fabric of life and death”
El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines December 27, 2018
What real letting go looks like in real life, for real people, in a real-time situation?
When I was asked to write about letting go, I wanted to write the usual letting go of things that I have encountered throughout this year, you know the things we normally think are meaningful just because they are present in our lives.
Little did I know that the real, the most profound letting go opportunity will present itself in this idyllic spot, unexpectedly and without warning - typhoon of emotions, insights and revelations.
CONDITIONING & EXPECTATIONS
Letting go of conditioning of how relationship to oneself, to a partner, to a parent, to a sibling or a friend should be. How it should look and feel like…how exactly it should unfold according to our expectations and conditionings. Because, let’s face it: regardless how the particular conditioning program came to be in our lives as part of our reality, the best time to change it or simply let go of what no longer serves us, is, anytime.And how do you know it’s time to let go of that something? When it doesn’t simply feel good anymore. When you just cannot help to have that feeling of being stuck, unable to pin point “where it hurts”.
FEARS ON LETTING GO
Letting go in some ways resembles the dying process. In fact, I do believe we have to allow the old parts of what no longer serves us to simply die. This is probably the most difficult task to be comfortable with. Is dying necessary you ask? It’s part of the natural cycle of life. By experiencing small dying processes whenever we are faced with an opportunity, we develop important practice of letting go whenever we feel stuck in life. We train that resilience muscle that is so often forgotten.
By pretending that this process simply does not exists we are prolonging our suffering, remaining in denial and suppressing our full potential.
“Sinking into the uncomfortable awakening of the present moment of “what is”
Tears rolling down followed by the flowing tropical warm rain
(or was it rain drops spiraling down the coconut tree leafs)?
The rough uncontrolled ocean waves ironing the ocean floor meeting the shore in breath-like intervals matching my own turmoil”.
4 STEPS TO LETTING GO
1. Yield into the knowing that in order for something new to be born in you, something old must die. Recognize that you are always divinely guided and protected by the universal law of the cycle of life & death.
RELAX INTO NATURAL CYCLE OF LIFE allowing the old self conditioning to die. Grief if you must with all that it is involved. Tears, sadness, anger, sorrow and fear of the unknown is all part of the healing process. *Finding a physical and emotional space for this process is necessary (Cultivating Inner Gardens 2019 series, see below in Gabriela’s bio for monthly healing circles).
2. Arrive into new space with nothing, but THE OPEN AND CURIOUS HEART. Let yourself be molded by life without resistance. Practice surrendering yet empowering practices of seeing, hearing, speaking from the heart space always involving your senses by FEELING. (Yin yoga is an excellent way to arrive to that space).
3. Honor everything & everyone. THE REAL JOURNEY STARTS NOW. Recognize life messages through everyone and everything you encounter without any judgement. Remember that everyone and everything is part of your journey serving as a divine messenger of guiding you to LIVE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.
4. CREATE YOUR OWN VISION OF HOW YOU WANT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. Again, this has to be independent of any expectations on partners, siblings, family … etc. It’s all about how you are going to take yourself where you want to be. This empowering practice is best done during the new moon time using journaling, vision boarding or creative visualization techniques. And remember, change it often. Don’t get stuck on any particular idea – unless it fully resonates in your heart contributing to that larger vision of yourself
“And suddenly, a moment of clarity arrived this moment was perfect exactly as it was happening
I found myself in profound experience in being merged into one unit with the forces of nature the tides crashing matching my own heart beats warm rain running down my teary cheeks and tropical wind emerging each of us experiencing its private turmoil
knowing that too, shall pass and knowing that too is part of the bigger picture of life
Washing away tears of sorrow of what once was of what it could have been and full acceptance of what it is”.
… LIFE KNOWS …
TREES AS A SACRED BEINGS
Today is a first day of Spring, Equinox and last night I was bathed in Full Moon light embrace.
Today, I am reminded to honor the birth of a new and release of the old.
Today, I feel the sacredness of the trees.
And just like that, standing tall and proud, silently poised she stands.
Stability of her trunk and flexibility in each branch.
Softness of her newly sprouted leaves.
She often whispers her own song.
An intimate friend of the wind and bird beings.
She welcomes your touch, caress, even your leaning into her ...
The depth of her wisdom connected to Mother Gaia, limitless, bottomless ...
Talk to her.
If you never tried to consciously connect with the tree - it is extraordinarily moving and intimate experience.
Walking slowly in the forest or a park, start slowing down your pace. Surrender to your thoughts letting them to wonder ... inhale deeply. Smile, feeling sudden surge of oxygen tickling your lungs, massaging each pathway as you breathe deeply.
Turn your attention to notice and appreciate the shape of the trees around you, its height, width, colors ... their essence and stories. Their silent integrity.
Let yourself gravitate to one particular tree for so
me specific reason ... maybe you would be comfortable to seat under, maybe you are attracted to its wide trunk stability, maybe its small and vulnerable ... you decide which tree will be your trusted companion.
Approach "your tree" slowly and mindfully. Stand close. Does it ask you to feel its texture? Breathe its vitality? Follow your inner intuition.
Leaning onto its trunk standing up, sitting or lying down by your tree - start perceiving and sensing its energy. Become silent, receptive and connected. Imagine it's pulse being your pulse, it's heartbeat synchronizing with your own.
Imagine growing roots from the base of your spine and reaching up to the sky with your crown.
Become ONE with your tree.
Feel free to simply rest in this experience while breathing deeply or start letting go of what no longer serves you first. Simply acknowledge what that is in your life and release with each exhale. When you are done releasing, invite new intentions to be born into your life. Visualize, breathe into the experience, live it and feel it. And it shall be!
See it being sprouted and supported by the essence of your tree - its stability, flexibility, softness, poise, trust, connection to Earth and the Sky, patience and silence.