Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time to Get Your Heart On

Let's talk about your heart chakra.  Wait, wait, wait, no, let's just talk about your heart first.  The physical thing that pumps blood for you.  How does it do that?  It's electric!  It's using an electrical timing system to know when to contract and release and which way to go.  The heart's electromagnetic field (EMF) is five thousand times stronger than that of the brain (also electric).  While we're comparing it to the brain, consider also that the 60 - 65% of the heart's cells are neural, just like the cells of the brain.  The heart and brain are in constant communication, in fact, studies have shown that incoming information is received first by the heart, parsed there, then sent up to the brain.  The heart is also an endocrine gland, producing at least 5 major hormones in the body.  In the developing fetus, the heart is active before the brain.  It's been shown that in meditations focused on the heart (so, not transcendental), the heart can be made to glow, yes, actually give off light.  I mean, we all give off light anyway, but this is visible light at a rate of one hundred thousand photons per second.  That's the heart.  What a glory hound. 

Your heart chakra does not reside within your heart, but rather is superimposed above the area of the heart in the body.  The staggering body of symbolism involving the heart is literally mind-numbing (perhaps because the brain is a wee bit jealous), and all of it is derived from hunches that have since turned out to be facts.  It's the center of love.  The cells of your heart are so tightly organized that an overall ethos, if you will, is far easier to achieve in this area than any other.  Feeling furious?  Yeah, the heart started it.  Falling in love?  Thanks, heart!  So, small wonder that the heart chakra is associated with healing.  This chakra is bright green (with a pink center - it's preppy!), and when it's open and spinning at a happy rate (above 500 on Dr. Hawkins' Map of Consciousness scale, but that's another post), your body is able to function as the powerful, astonishing healing machine it's built to be. 

What does love have to do with healing and immunity?  Only everything.  Time to site musicians again.  The Talking Heads speak the truth - we are creatures of love.  Love brings us here, love sustains us and love heals us.  The most important source of this love you require comes from your very own heart.  Our purest state is that of love, so things like stress and emotional dissonance are at odds with who we really are, and if we can't work that out, we become sick or die.  Hamlet contemplating the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, wondering if death might be better, is a man whose heart chakra is closed and hermetically sealed.  What would have healed him of his deep state of depression?  Love.  Forgiveness.  No small feat, forgiving an uncle guilty of patricide and a mother too blind to see the truth, but doable, though doubtless it would take more than 5 acts and be pretty tough to watch.  Still, the curtain would not fall on a stage littered with dead bodies, probably. 

Want to open your heart chakra?  Spend some time thinking of the beings that make you smile - people, pets, meerkats at the zoo, that sort of thing.  Spend some time listing anything at all that makes you feel just a wee bit lighter inside.  The light feeling is the dark cloud lifting, truly!  I'll start you off - a nice cup o' joe on a leisurely morning, a smile from a baby in the line in front of you, the intently interested head cock of the dog who thinks a trip to the park might be imminent, plenty of food to eat, new shoes, a cooling downpour on an exceptionally muggy day...OK you take over now.  Go.

Friday, June 22, 2012

In the Zone

We interrupt this regularly scheduled chakra informational programming to bring you musings of a different sort.  Now that I'm a new age hippie type I notice when things seem to take on a theme in my day to day life and this topic is one that keeps coming up.  I feel compelled to wax advice-y. 

It's about your so-called comfort zone.  You need to get out more.  By "you" I mean everyone.  From the truly agoraphobic to the world traveler who can catch a quick nap in nearly any environment, everybody.  It is within the realm of the familiar that we languish.  Inside our comfort zones we allow our growth to be stunted, we remain in unrewarding jobs and relationships, we pass on opportunities, we feed our gremlins (they are the critters that live in your brain and thrive on complacency, whining, 'yeah but's and fear of any type).  The comfort zone, like so much legislation, is facetiously named.   If you take a look around your own comfort zone and cannot come up with at least 3 things in it that are decidedly uncomfortable to you, you are most likely in a coma. 

The Cliffs of Insanity!
I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, along the river by the same name (holla, home!).  Summers were spent swimming in the river and all the various creeks and brooks and mud puddles it fed.  On Stony Creek (which was, indeed, stony) there was a rock cliff beside a swimming hole, maybe 12 or 15 feet high, if that, though to 5'3" me it seemed miles high.   It was common practice to climb to the top of the cliff and jump into the water below.  The first time I swam there, I stood at the top of the cliff for what felt like years, talking myself into jumping.  Other, less cautious, kids were doing it over and over and not one of them had incurred an injury.  Yet, it seemed batshit crazy to just jump off a cliff.  I stood, peering over the edge, my feet firmly rooted.  Finally, my friends shamed me into it (bless them).  I jumped.  I splashed into the cool water below, sank to the bottom, and shot back up like a buoy, exhilarated.  Then I did it twenty-seven more times (at least) because if was so much fun.  This friends, is my metaphor for life outside your comfort zone.  Too many of us are lingering at the edge, watching others play, seeing them enjoying themselves, but thinking certainly we could not enjoy that.  So, we aren't having any fun.  The longer we terry there, the more the gremlins convince us we belong there, that taking that leap would be the death of us.  That is because your gremlins cannot swim.  Now is your chance to drown them!

There is very little fun to be had in the comfort zone, even the things that truly do provide comfort - love of friends and family, home, security, familiar stuff - are at risk when we refuse to grow and change.  I am begging you to venture out, even just a little.  Once you get started, it's hard to stop, and, from well outside my own comfort zone I promise you, there's nothing better than that. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gut Feelings

I apologize for the absence, but I'm back now.  So, where were we?  Oh yes, moving on up to the solar plexus chakra.  I think we all have a spot we think of as home inside ourselves.  Our cliches have real meaning and it's not for nothing that we so often say things like "she lives in her head" or "I just know it in my heart!" or that something "catches in my throat".  Daily events send us each to the various chakras where our strongest response to an incoming stimulus stirs.  My solar plexus chakra, located, as one would certainly hope, directly over the solar plexus (base of the sternum, where the ribs meet, a few inches above the belly button), is where I live, so to speak.  Or, rather, it has been for the past couple years.  No says I can't or won't relocate; it's almost certain I will. 

This chakra, yellow in color, has sway over the adrenals and pancreas.  It's also related to the immune and nervous systems and is a big player in the digestive system.  Bear in mind that digestion not only refers to our ability to breakdown food and use its nutrients, but that we also use this word to describe how we handle thoughts and ideas.  It's no surprise, then, to learn that the solar plexus chakra is considered a person's power center.  Just as we digest our food - determining what should be discarded and what can be put to use and how - we digest the details of our very existence.  I resisted naming this post for a song but if I had named it for the tune it causes me to hum, you'd be hearing Oingo Boingo's Who Do You Want To Be? right now.  But you see, I was good, and didn't do it.  Still, this is a question we mull over in our solar plexus chakra.  Our level of confidence, our willingness or lack thereof to suffer fools, our desire to get up and go - all smolders in our gut.  Ever suffer a major letdown of some sort and feel like you've been punched in the gut?  Energetically, you have. 
This is you, with your 3rd chakra balanced.  Awesome like a hotdog.

Keeping the solar plexus chakra balanced and happily spinning away is the best way to be sure you assert yourself in the world; that you confidently occupy the space you want here.  On a physical level, issues of the adrenals and digestion are a pretty good indicator that this chakra is out of balance, and addressing the energy portion of these symptoms is the genesis to alleviating them.  It is not the only method for healing, of course, but if you do not work on the energy portion of what ails you, you will certainly experience other symptoms in and around the same area, until you do.