Have you heard of the chakras? Many Eastern traditions teach about energy centers in the body that contribute to our mental, emotional, and physical health. When I first learned about the chakras, I found them interesting, but was skeptical. Energy medicine, meridians, the connection between our emotional wounds and chronic illness were both foreign and strange. For some time, I kept these ideas at bay despite working with an energy healer. It all felt a bit too much hocus pocus for me. Then something shifted, I started seeing significant changes in my emotional and physical health through the framework of the chakras. They helped me understand how my self-doubt was fueling digestion issues. How menstrual problems were linked with blocking my creativity. Today, the chakras serve as a key framework for understanding the different facets of my being, how my emotions impact my body, and seven areas to check-in with to develop a sense of wholeness and balance in my life.
Over the next several weeks we’ll take a journey through the chakras. I encourage you to keep your mind and heart open even if you feel skeptical because I don’t believe in coincidences. If you showed up on my blog to start reading this series, something greater inside of you is calling you to learn more. Follow it and see where the journey takes you. This is the best way to learn and how I came to know the chakras through my own experience.
The Crown Chakra
Most people start with the first chakra at the base of the spine, but I want to start at the top. My 1:1 work with clients and my own path has taught me that connecting to something Greater than ourselves can carry us through the hard work of emotional healing and personal growth that resides in the lower chakras. It’s the life boat that keeps us going.
Located above and in some traditions at the top of our head, the crown chakra is our connection to the heavens, to the Universe, to something Greater than ourselves, to all of life. This center reminds us that life is greater than the tight constricting individual stories of our minds constructed from fear. Having this wider view can help us more graciously hold our emotional stories with grace. The crown chakra is also the birthplace of hope, an element in the human experience that social scientists believe is essential to our own mental health and wellbeing. (Read more about hope HERE)
The most common challenge I see with clients and the crown chakra is that people are afraid of this energy center and it’s teachings. People are afraid, or skeptical, or doubtful to connect to something greater than themselves. For some, this could be a childhood or early adulthood experience with religion or spirituality that left them feeling judged or controlled. As a result, anything related to Spirit, the Universe, or something greater than themselves, re-triggers these old wounds and closes them off from connection. Others may feel a sense that things have always been a certain way, a sense of determinism, and the idea of opening up to something greater feels both silly and like a one way ticket to disappointment. Or maybe there is a part of someone’s identity, a sense of victimhood, and the crown chakra asks them to let go of this identity in order to connect to something bigger than themselves like they truly desire.
In essence, the crown chakra asks us to:
Let go of pieces of our identity that are limiting and make us feel small to transcend our individual egos.
Drop tight victim stories and hold our stories in a wider picture
Remember we are never alone as beings in a larger fabric of interconnected life.
Trust the mystery of our individual lives and the winding paths we are called to walk.
Have faith that the Universe holds us in goodness and love at all times. Even when it feels differently.
Stay open to possibilities beyond our imagination rather than believing life will always be one way.
Embrace what is first before creating change.
Learn how to be in the present moment and find joy in the simple beauty of life.
This energy center rules the central nervous system and immune systems in our body. When my body starts to feel very worn down, I can often notice that my faith in the process of my life may be weak. This drop in faith some drops my immune defense mechanisms and I find myself more prone to fatigue, weakness, and exhaustion. I like to think of illness and its link with our energy body in the following way. Sometimes the emotions located in our energy body (in this example, lack of faith) hold the key to healing our illness in and off itself. If I reconnect to my faith, my immune system could come back online and feel strengthened reinvigorating my energy. Other times emotions located in our energy body may be a contributing, but not the sole factor to illness. In this case, if I reconnect to my faith my symptoms may lessen, but not fully resolve due to a pure physical condition under the surface like an actual virus.
When I look over the decades of my life to date, the moments I embraced the invitations of my crown chakra listed above whether I knew about the actual chakra or not, I felt more peaceful even if I’m facing challenges. You can read about one of these moments HERE where I shared how trust in something Greater got me through a moment of temporary amnesia in Nordstrom Rack from my Lymes Disease.
I know it’s not always easy to take the hand of the Universe when life feels challenging. Since dedicating my life to my work I’ve had plenty of moments when I wondered whether I chose the right path and if I’d be taken care of. Times where I have gaps between client work and I wonder whether the bills will get paid. The period of time during my divorce where I felt the most emotional pain I’d ever felt and questioned whether I had the strength to make it to the other side.
When life seems to not be going the way you want it go, it can be easy to question what’s the point, or how can I have faith? The crown chakra asks us to be brave despite our questioning, fears, and doubts to let go into faith anyways.
If we fall back into faith, a spaciousness for our experience of doubt and fear can come in. In this spaciousness, the tightness we feel in our being can soften, emotions can settle, and maybe eventually a more peaceful state washes over our experience.
For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday, I’m inviting us to start to practice getting in touch with our crown chakras and the lessons they hold. Here’s how:
Choose a ritual that reminds you of your connection to something greater. For many this is a connection to nature, so taking regular walks outside, or bringing nature inside like plants into your home can keep this connection strong and serve as a physical reminder. For others, starting a meditation practice or connecting with prayer plugs their system into the Great Picture. Infuse the ritual of your choice into your daily routine to start igniting a known feeling in your cells through your experience that you are located in a vast Greatness of life.
Spend a moment to see the magic in your past. Choose 1-3 moments from your past where you questioned the greater picture and meaning of your life. Find the moments that are long past where you sat on the kitchen floor and cried wondering how your life would come back together. Those times where everything seemed to be going wrong and you wondered whether you’d get to the other side. These should be moments that you feel resolved with and no longer hold linger emotions for you. Write them down. Now, notice how Life resolved itself. Perhaps you can clearly see the ironic perfection now how one door closed and another door opened. Write a 1-3 sentence summary of the unexpected goodness you see in these moments now.
Practice connecting to the simple beauty of life. Savor your walk to work noticing the feeling of the breeze or sun on your face. Slowly drink your cup of tea, taking time to taste the flavor of your tea leaves. Sometimes simply moving out of the limited experience of our thoughts and down into our lived experience of the body can help us feel more connected to the greater Whole of our being.
Think of exploring your chakras as a jaunt through the park where you have open time and there is no specific place to go and no deadline to meet. Enjoy your journey and let the winding process take you where it may. This is a very different invitation than thinking that there is a clear starting and a clear end. These intelligent energy centers in the body can bring you wisdom throughout your life if you open yourself to their teachings. Let me know in the comments below what your crown chakra is teaching you.