By guest blogger Stefanie Lipsey
Okay, so you don’t really have a single lane of cars crawling through construction zones inside your body, but have you ever felt like you did? You’re moving along, looking into the windows of other cars, stopping for snacks at McDonalds (just for salads, of course) and five hours later, you accomplish what should have only taken twenty minutes to complete. That’s internal traffic.
In life, we can’t get past traffic, but you do have some control over the traffic that is created by your thoughts, environment, experiences, and by how you move your body. Yoga, music, and even the act of writing itself can help you feel so healthy and clear that perfectly crafted words spill on the page as if by magic.
Don’t worry if you have never taken a yoga class. What I am about to share is from my own experience in getting through the muck. I’m talking about balancing your chakras and this is a crash course.
WHAT ARE CHAKRAS?
“Chakras” are energy centers in your body that correlate to the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental aspects of the self. This system comes from India, but the concept of energy centers is ancient and universal. When air, breath, and energy get stuck in our bodies, it is easy to see how our projects and productivity might get bottlenecked too. By balancing out the energy in your body, and learning about the places where you “get stuck,” you can clear the way for a smooth ride.
CRASH COURSE IN BALANCING
Imagine at the base of your spine there is a red spinning disc. At the same time, a beautiful glowing white disc hovers, like a halo, at the crown of your head. Now imagine your spine is a taut string, and spinning on that string are full, gorgeous, colorful beads.
Before we can talk about your “halo” (yes, you’re sooo angelic), picture that red color surrounding your lower body. Your chair is a gorgeous red. Your shoes are red and so are your pants. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Sit with that red.
Did you feel as if your butt were glued to the chair? If you did, that’s the “root” or “muladhara” chakra taking hold. Congratulations, you’re activated. We need this chakra in balance to help us take care of all the earthly details we writers tend to hate. Things like bills, answering emails, and avoiding procrastination. It is also responsible for helping us to feel safe and secure. When you feel worried about your job or a family situation, take root, sit, breathe in the color red as you imagine it filling your seat and legs.
My friend Karen goes running barefoot through the woods, even in NY winters. It really helps her find grounding and balance. You don’t have to run in the woods, but try going barefoot. Being outdoors is one of the best ways you can get “grounded.”
At the bottom of this article, you will see an annotated list of fantastic chakra balancing resources. I’m a librarian by day, so my gift to you is a list of great chakra reading that won’t waste your time and will give you a comprehensive look at this miraculous system. What is wonderful about this kind of work is that your writer’s innate aptitude for visualization will come in handy.
I am sitting on a red chair right now as I write and I swear it works! Traffic is stalled, but I’m in the HOV speeding along.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER CHAKRAS?
There are seven main chakras as well as many more minor chakras in your body. The root chakra I spoke about is first. Our next beautiful bead spins just below your navel and its color is orange. At the center of your body is your solar plexus, a fire-filled yellow chakra that radiates confidence. Moving up to the heart is the Anahata chakra, your empathetic heart-felt glowing green bead that helps you create sympathetic characters.
Let’s talk about the throat chakra, Vishuddha. It’s all about communication. The writer’s chakra. Do you talk too much? Do you talk about your stories to exhaustion and then find it hard to write them down? If so, you might want to imagine a beautiful turquoise bead sending blue light to your voice. Wear a turquoise necklace and ask it to bring your words from your throat to the page. Chant the sound of OM, the original sound of the universe and see what awakens. Be patient and chant for as long and as loud as the neighbors can take.
It’s an occupational hazard, but many writers tend to live in their heads. That’s where our vision and imagination resides. It’s beautiful to be filled with ideas and inspiration, but if you can’t get them out into the world, then your writerly dreams will have a hard time manifesting. That is why it is really helpful to sing, run, sit with a straight spin, and balance out those lower chakras – especially the root.
Moving on up that lovely strand of beads is the brow chakra on your third eye. Intuition and imagination spin from a beautiful purple-blue bead. This is a place of dreams. When balanced, you can write them down with clarity.
Now for the halo, your connection with the divine. Gurus ask that you take care with this one, but imagining it as an open freeway, filled with love and possibility is a great way to connect yourself with the world.
Let’s put it all together. Red at the base of your spine, gets your butt to the chair. Orange, below your belly button, gets your creative juices flowing. Yellow is the color of your fiery center and green shines from your compassionate heart. Imagine your voice flowing freely on the page from your throat chakra in blue and intuitive guidance from your third eye. Finally you can enjoy that white halo above your head.
The chakras work even more powerfully, perhaps, in reverse: halo, brow, throat, heart, center, bead two inches below the navel and red at the base of your spine. You’ve traveled from earth to space and back. Now, go write your story.
Stefanie Lipsey, MFA, MLS, BA Music, is a writer, workshop facilitator, poet, yoga teacher and librarian. She enjoys working with people of all ages as a librarian and teacher. Stefanie has helped many to discover their own source of inspiration through yoga and words. She offers FREE writing prompts by email on the Sound Cliff Writing Spa every week. Stefanie’s work has been published in numerous journals. She has been a featured reader and workshop leader in libraries and bookstores in the NYC area for over ten years and is currently revising her book, Sound Cliff: Twelve Words to a More Creative Life. Stefanie lives with her husband and two kids on Long Island. She is grateful for the opportunity to appear on Fear of Writing. Connect on FACEBOOK
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SOME WONDERFUL RESOURCES FOR GOING DEEPER:
- Anodea Judith.Chakra Balancing. I love this kit! It comes with two CDs and little chakra circle cards. Put the cards on your desk and let them remind you to focus.
Karen Chrappa. A Structure for Spirit. Everyday exercises for manifesting and mind-body health. This is the woman who goes running through the woods barefoot. Wow.
Jeffrey Davis. The Journey from Center to the Page. Awesome book that should be on every writer and yogis bookshelf. A fantastic resource with excellent yoga postures for balance and insight. Jeff’s website: http://trackingwonder.com/yoga-as-muse.html
Shakti Gawain. Creative Visualization. I suggest you listen to it on tape if you are new to mediation. It was one of the first books I ever read on the transformative power of visualization and feel lucky to have started with Gawain.
Jonathan Goldman. The 7 Secrets of Sound Healing. The book includes a CD. This man knows what he’s talking about. There is a chapter on chakras and music that’s excellent. Enjoy!
Kalashatra Govinda. A Handbook of Chakra Healing. This is a comprehensive chakra handbook, with great pictures and diagrams for the visual learners out there. Many excellent exercises and tools for chakra balancing.
Elizabeth Harper. I took a great class with Elizabeth in NYC a few years ago and she had the class using crayons and the subconscious to see what our chakras were up to. She has some nice articles up on her website and you may want to have some fun with the crayon exercises!
Deborah King. Be Your Own Shaman. I have given her books as gifts and have taken her courses online. Get a FREE chakra chart here.
Lavina Plonka. Walking Your Talk: Changing Your Life Through the Magic of Body Language. While not about the chakras specifically, this is an excellent way to help you feel fit and strong in your own body so you can move through life with greater ease and productivity. It’s a joy to read and includes exercises and anecdotes.
Swami Saradananda. Chakra Meditation: Discover Energy, Creativity, Focus, Love, Communication, Wisdom, and Spirit. Detailed resource!
Barbara Kaplan Herring. Article from Yoga Journal: Asanas for the Chakra System. A nice overview of chakras and yoga on the Internet that you can go to now!