Connect to Your Personal Power

T H I R D  C H A K R A

manipura.jpg

MANIPURA
Element: Fire
Mantra: I Can
This chakra is your core.  It deals with your who you are, your sense of purpose, personal power, will, and confidence.
Too much feels like: aggressive, controlling, rigid, overly competitive
Too little feels like: low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, digestive issues


Who are you? What do you want?

Yup, that's heavy for a Sunday morning.  

But let's talk about why that is.  If you're like most people, navigating the space of purpose is confusing and complicated.  One moment it can feel like you called to join Doctors Without Borders and the next to create the new croughnut.  On top of that, there are these scripts that we have adopted about who we should be and what we should want. That pressure can come from culture, community, parents, the government, basically any organization that is outside of our selves.  The thing about these organizations or people is that they have been telling us these stories since birth.  They have defined who we are.  They have curated the way we see the world.  There are undoubtedly, many voices inside of your head that are not yours.  The work of the third chakra is to discern which voices are authentically you and which are programmed into you from your environment.  

WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT?

If you are familiar with the work of Brene Brown, the idea of shame (I am bad as opposed to guilt "I did bad") is the demon of this chakra.  Shame tells us that we are not worthy.  Shame tells us that we are not enough.  Shame tells us that we need to live up to someone else's idea of who we are instead exploring who we actually are.  Sometimes we live in the "shoulds" for so long that we forget who we were before be accumulated all of the masks and layers that transform us into someone else's ideal. There's a lot of pressure in being perfect, especially if you are a human being because they are inherently imperfect (and that's what makes them beautiful).

Third Chakra is the space of incredible energy and transformation.  Doing the work to figure out what makes us feel safe (chakra one) and what allows us the space to be creative (chakra two), we discover what our purpose is and how to take action in that direction (chakra three). 

I have been incredibly lucky in my adult life to be surrounded by people who are willing to encounter the uncomfortable and liminal space of transformation.  Transformation, by it's very nature, means being like Victor Krum in the second task of the Triwazard tournament (for those of you who are MISSING OUT on the gift that is Harry Potter, he transfigured himself into a shark-head man-body creature to go into the Great Lake and save Hermione). Not fully one thing, but also not fully the next. It's weird.  It's awkward.  It's uncomfortable.  Shedding old definitions of self always is.    

WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT?

I will tell you that it is INCREDIBLY uncomfortable to recognize all of the ways in which I harmed myself.  For years, I was engaging in activities and habits that I made me feel like the shell of a person. When I started to journal daily and create gratitude lists, this magical thing happened: I realized that I was happiest when I was directly impacting the lives of other people.  When I was of service to others, it made me feel like I was truly myself.  I have done many things in the my life, and I will probably do many many more jobs, but the vocation of a yoga teacher brings me joy and fulfillment ON THE DAILY. There was, and on some level still is, pushback from the "should" voices.  They will try to make you feel ashamed of choosing to live a different way. The voices of shame existed for so long and have spoken so loudly, that it takes a conscious effort to encourage the more authentic version of you to appear. 

WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Great.  You've committed to the journey of purpose.  You've decided that you are interested in being more than what everyone else says you should be.  You're ready to navigate the winding pathways of your internal world.  But how exactly do you do that?

Meditate.  Journal.  Be with yourself.

Most importantly, discern.  Start to notice all of the things you do throughout your day, all of the things you do by rote, all of the things where you have to make a choice.  Notice: do these activities or action bring you joy? Why are you doing what you are doing?  Do you actions, your choices, make you feel fully alive?  Do you actions leave you feeling fulfilled?
Make a physical list and notice what you are doing that makes you feel like your best self.  

Start to notice the patterns.  Are you engaging in lifestyle choices that, on the daily, are dimming your shine? How can you choose differently?  What makes you glow?  Most of the time, you won't know until you try.  Trying means being open to failing. It means that we might make a choice and it doesn't work for us.  That can happen when we're so used to listening the the voices that aren't ours.  We can cling to the first one that sounds different from the noise we've heard our whole lives.  That first voice might not be ours either.  Like everything else, with practice, our truth speaks louder than the noise.


J O U R N A L I N G 

I'm all about the journaling.  Some of these questions will make the self-editor appear.  That's normal.  Choose to dream as big as you can.  Choose to feel ridiculous.  Choose to defy the limiting voices in your own head.  See what comes up when you truly let yourself go there.

  1. Write out clearly the "I am not _______ enough" scripts in one column.  In a second column, list all of the counterexamples to these scripts.  You are enough.
  2. Finish this sentence: I feel happiest when ____________________.
  3. 10 years from now I see myself _________________.
  4. 5 years from now I see myself _________________.
  5. 1 year from now I see myself ___________________.
  6. Tomorrow I see myself ________________________.
  7. Looking at where you want to be 10 years from now, what are actions you can take on the daily that will allow you to move in that directions?
  8. What is important to you?  
  9. If I could do anything, I would __________________.
  10. When I was young, I remember my favorite activity was _________ and it made me feel ___________ because _______________.
  11. I feel most myself when _______________.
  12. When do you feel confident? 

Start to sift through your thought patterns. Instead of pulling back when you find something uncomfortable, get interested in it.  Investigate it.  That is where the truth usually lives.  It's buried under layers of acquired persona.  It takes tons courage to start the journey for your truth, your authentic being. Keep exploring.  I'll see you back here later in the week for a flow that will help stimulate some manipura energy so that you can FEEL what you want and who you are.