365 Days of Prayer – Day 89 – Throat chakra again

Some more thoughts on the Throat Chakra: How do I express myself? Speech is the vehicle for my thoughts. Do I speak kindly? Do I speak harshly? Am I expressing love and gentleness, or anger, rage and fear? Am I speaking consciously and mindfully? Or am I muttering to myself because I am discontent and venting? My speech has the power to affect other people.

I drive a school bus. Most of the time I am patient, but the children can get under my skin if I am not mindful of my moods and emotions. It is really best to train myself to wear the “Bus Driver hat” and remember that these children are not my own, and that their values are not my own, and so all that I am responsible for is getting them to school safely. To this end, I have learned to be an actor, and divorce myself for this period of time from my more personal reactions to life.

The little boys who misbehave because they have learned to use the “cute” button with their mom -well they are cute, but really, really naughty when it comes to bus safety- I have developed the meanest bus driver face in the world. So when I snarl, “Sit by the window and stay in your seat NOW!”, they hop. Two seconds later, the little girl who accidentally got punched in the eye by the overactive kindergartner across the aisle is receiving the comfort of my mother instinct, and then it is time to leave the school, so we have got to get rolling. That is when I rely on the caring of the other children to get through the bus run. And they do care. They comfort other children in need. This morning I saw the little girl whose grandmother died walking in holding hands with two little boys who had responded from the instinct to be gentlemen.

The point I am making here is learning to be mindful of self expression. Extremely talkative people don’t seem to think too deeply, but babble whatever enters their head. These seems a vacuity on their capacity to be with themselves, and examine their thoughts and their motives for genuine content. When I notice those talkative moments in my self, I want to know what emotion it is I am trying to escape. This could be a good note for the loquacious: What is it that you really want to say? And by the way, if you notice my silence, it is usually because I am just trying to be polite before I find an excuse to sidle away from the boredom you are engendering in me. Yawn! Not to be mean! Then I would have to say it!

And that puts me in mind of all the nonsense about being “politically correct” which is a sure sign that the politician you are talking to is not being germane or authentic! How many lies pass in the way of politeness!

Well, it has been fun writing this blog today. The best prayer I can come up with in the face of all this frivolity is this:

Creator, guide me to be mindful of my speech today. Guide me to be true to my values -truth to myself and to those close to me, kind to those who would benefit from my kindness, and let me not waste others time or energy with my own talkativeness. Let my highest ideal be to speak a true yes or a true no when I am asked to commit my time or energy to something. Bless our way in the world with kindness today, and spare us from the false image of political correctness. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 86 – More Throat Chakra

Sometimes I feel really, really angry, and i need to speak my piece. Not my peace, but my piece. Not that anybody wants to really listen. Most of my life it seemed as if those persons who were louder and tended toward the chaotic were heard over and above me. Hey, my sibling took over the household with her temper, arguing with her boyfriend, and constant chaos of her “need.” Her “need” was usually to get driven here or there to be with whatever friend she wanted to hang out with as she struggled to raise her young son as a single parent.

Yes, I know she did not have it easy, but her own choices made her own hardships. I remember the time I walked into an argument she was having with Dad. She had pulled a knife and he was going for a lead pipe, and Mom was standing on the other side of the room uselessly wringing her hands. My sister fled out the door into the snowstorm and nobody got hurt that day. I remember the time my angel told me to walk through a closed door to her bedroom and her stupid boyfriend with the temper problem was posed in the threat of punching her pregnant belly and killing the baby. I told him to get out and he fled.

The point is our Throat chakra is a blessed way to express truth. We can express truth to help and to heal, or “truth” as a way to hurt another person, damage their reputation, kill their aspirations to our social circle, whatever.

Trouble for me was with my sister being so loud about what she wanted or needed, my wants and needs were not often heard. I learned that if I expressed what I wanted or needed it was often inconvenient for the family, so I ended up feeling like I got the short end of the stick. What my sister’s example did for me though, was to show me that actions have consequences. While it was a lesson she had to learn the hard way, I quickly decided that teenage pregnancy was not my cup of tea, so I avoided that trap. What I did not realize though, was that in not speaking up so as to get along, I was spending years short circuiting myself from my own happiness and freedom.

I learned the hard way that I make my own choices for love and for freedom. I learned to ask myself what I most truly need, because although others make take pleasure from what they give me, it might not be the thing to bring me the greatest pleasure. When I give voice to something now, I have generally thought about it a great deal before I speak, lest my words bring unintended harm or discomfort to another. Sometimes silence is my saving grace. Whether to speak up or not may often be a difficult choice for me, given my upbringing, but my words will always be as well considered as I can make them.

Creator, you are my saving grace. From you, humans have the gift of speech. The gift of speech can be used to illumine and to heal, or to drag others down to another level. Please bless our choice of words to be those in truth necessary to the moment, and help us to bless more than we curse. By thy holy truth, Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 78 The Chakras one by one Day 8 – the Sacral chakra and the Wells

I was going to move on to the Solar plexus today, but upon awakening, Frau Holle insisted I speak about the watery aspects of the Sacral chakra and the Wells of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. (Yggdrasil is pronounced something like Eegg-dray-sul).

A brief take on the Trees of Life found throughout most world cultures: The Tree is Awareness. Because a tree’s nature is to be grounded, rooted, and present to its rooting and grounding, the Tree of Life exists mythologically to communicate this great truth to human beings. And what have we been working on for the past few days? Rooting, grounding, and centering.

Emotions are the key here.

When our emotions are out of synchronicity with our life purpose, we are blown all over the place. Our attention fastens on to one thing or another, and off we go, adrift again, perhaps before we have even completed one task, we are on to another.

So Yggdrasil, like other World Trees, reminds us to root ourselves, ground and find our center.

Three wells on the Tree of Worlds can help us to do that. Urd’s Well up in the conscious realm of Asgard, is the well of the law of cause and effect. I have said more on Wyrd and Orlog (not karma) today here. I want to expand upon that topic on another day. Just for today I am introducing the Wells.

Mimir’s Well is a well of memory located in Jotunheim, or Giant’s home. Mimir was Odin’s uncle who had been sent as a hostage to the Vanir, and when they were displeased, they cut off his head and sent it back to Odin, who maintained it by his magical arts. Odin then set Mimir’s head in his well, where Odin goes to consult Mimir’s wisdom. Mimir’s wisdom is the wisdom of memory. We all have our life experience to consult at need.

And there is another well called Hversglemr (if I have the spelling right) that is found in Niflheim close on the border with Helheim. This well might be considered a liminal place of potential, a point at which souls enter life or a place to which souls return from life. There is a mystery here, and relates to work that Hela does with the Norns on healing the traumatized dead. For we the living, this well can be a place to bring our most troubling memories or life experiences for resolution. I will have more to say about this in a further blog.

Meditation: Sitting quietly, relaxing into my breathing, I find my Sacral center, my womb. Continuing to sit quietly, I move my aware attention into this area, holding presence. Am I able to identify something being held here? It can be a creative inspiration, it can be a feeling or emotion I now can deal with, it might feel good or bad or neutral. I sit quietly and allow the feeling and experience it fully. I accept this feeling or emotion or creative inspiration of this moment. I note what it has to teach me or to offer me. Gradually I come out of trance and write down what I have learned. 

Frau Holle, as you have your sacred well which has been honored and cherished by women in your region of the world for many centuries, let us now remember to honor and cherish our own sacred well, that established for humanity in our own body, our own being. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 77 The Chakras one by one Day 7 – Sacral again

Yesterday’s was a long blog extolling the Sacral chakra. In Western society, thanks to the puritanical ideas that came down to us from our Protestant, Christian ancestors, many women have felt divorced from their own sexuality and sensuality. Consequently, personal power is something that needs to be reclaimed. Women give their power away as caretakers of their families, of their social groups, and at work. Speaking from women I have talked this over with, we become people pleasers, we look to others to see if we are pretty enough, nice enough, helpful enough, empathic enough, enough of enough… Woman who fall for the belief that personal power lies in beauty, give that power away to dolling it up to be attractive to men. Women are the harshest critics of other women, because we can never live up to the extreme perfectionist ideas we ourselves hold.

I believe it is easier for men to hold personal power, because they have been raised to it. Even this statement opens up a can of worms. I’m not certain that in the competitive corporate world that men find themselves embroiled in, for example, that they find it easy to hold personal power. After all there are standards to be met and not everyone is going to wind up as CEO of the Board earning megabucks a year.

Eventually it is up to the individual person to decide what their personal power is all about. Maybe we decide that the standards we have been applying to ourselves are too high or don’t fit us at all. I am too driven to express myself creatively to like the caregiver role at all! And yet the woman who adopted Patty and I felt most fulfilled as a traditional wife and mother. There are men who have given up a good paying corporate life to find satisfaction living close to the earth. We need to find out what makes sense for us, and what feels good to us. I noticed that when I stopped making what I thought others wanted of me my priority and began giving me what I wanted and needed, I felt good, and consequently I am more able to take pleasure in asking and providing what my loved ones want and need.

Personal power is what makes me feel good about being me. In the act of nurturing my own needs, I accept and support myself. If others have genuine need of me, I can be of service without sacrificing my personal well being. I can feel good being useful. 

Exercise: Take a moment to send energy up and down your vertical core, relaxing into your breathing, and breathing energy up and down your roots. Once that is going well, breathe energy up, and store it in your Sacral chakra. Let that energy spin and coalesce. Think of it as storing personal power in your womb or scrotum. How does this make you feel? Can you feel your center? Does this energy have color or form? Do memories or ideas come up for you? If anything is upsetting, breathe into it. Stepping into strong emotions and facing my fear has lessened their hold over me, however, memories may arise that address the need to get psychological help. There is no shame in this.

Creator, as I work with my energy body, I learn more about my self and what motivates and pleases me. Through grounding and centering myself, I have learned to have self acceptance and more confidence. I can retreat here, when I need to embrace my own well being and balance my emotions. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 76 The Chakras one by one Day 6 – Sacral

There is so much that could be said about the Sacral chakra. From the watery womb we all enter into physical life. The act of giving birth made me a mother, but raising my son was the act of creating a life.

Ideas gestate here, like seeds in the fertile earth. It is not coincidence that some ancient peoples buried their dead under the earth, positioning them like fetuses.

The Sacral chakra’s element is water. I find it poetic, almost, to think of the seed rooting at the moment of conception in the womb, and the watery womb nurtures that life into the realm of air, element of the heart. The baby rests and grows under mother’s heart, listening, the heart beat like the drumbeat of the earth. So it is here that we engage all of the chakras and all of the elements. The fiery thrust of the sex drive creating the new life, and the rooting in the earth of the mother’s body, the growth in the sacred, watery womb, listening to the sound element of the throat chakra, to be birthed into the physical realm surrounded by air, again the throat chakra, giving expression to life.

So it means one thing to a woman to have a womb, and another thing to a man. Wanting to get at a better understanding of this, I just asked my husband for his opinion. Alan states that the Sacral chakra is the seat of personal power. Sexuality and sensuality are driving forces. Chi/Qi/Ki is the engine that empowers. The kundalini rises up the spine and eventually crowns in the head. If a woman’s womb is her place for storing personal power, then it follows that a man’s scrotum is his. His sexual expression is standing up, thrusting in, spurting out. Hers encloses, is receptive, watery, and contained.

Alan further states that a man can simply scatter his seed where he will. A woman has to bear her seed and the changes that holds for her body. The nature of the sexes is different; he has noticed that men feel more confidant when they can have sex whenever they want, whereas a woman feels more confidant knowing she has a protector for her and the child. This line of questioning does not take into account one’s culture, social status, married or single states, or even what one believes about such things.

But what I do notice, moving up from the simplicity and grounding power of the root chakra, that we are entering into broader concepts. The watery realm of the second chakra holds emotion, desire, what we feel and what we need. If we were adequately loved and nurtured, our wants respected and understood, we certainly have more confidence than if we were unwanted, abandoned, or largely left to fend for ourselves.

The area of our bodies, both men and women, assigned to the Sacral chakra is the area of the tan t’ein in Oriental martial arts and Chi Gong medicine. This is our center of balance. If we were trees, we would be rooted in earth, and this would be the base of our trunk, from which the weight of our mass would support future growth up toward the sun. As human beings too, this seems logical and true. The sacrum is the base of our spine supporting our upright carriage.

Tomorrow will expand upon the rooting and grounding exercise of yesterday. Just for today, let’s practice sitting or standing quietly and centering. Sitting or standing, practicing intentional sensation, I am aware of my powerful gluteal muscles supporting my pelvis, hips and lower back. I allow my awareness to enter into the sacred space contained by my pelvis, below my navel. I allow myself to be aware of what this space is containing.

What does this sacral space hold for you?

Creator, today I am aware that I am containing feelings of __________. Guide me in accepting and processing these feelings. Make me aware of what I need to be aware of. If this is a transformative moment for me, guide the transformation. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 74 The Chakras one by one Day 4 – Root

Let’s begin with the Root chakra, because I cannot say too much about the practice of grounding. We have this lovely Root chakra that serves to anchor us in the earth and to discharge excess and negative energy into the earth. The Peruvian Paqos call this energy hucha, and the earth feeds on it.

Whether I am sitting or standing comfortably, I can send energy up and down my vertical energy column comprised of feet and legs, spine, and head. There are minor chakras below our feet that connect us to earth as does the Root chakra discussed on day 1 of this teaching. Try it both ways – standing and sitting. With practice, this exercise of running energy up and down the vertical energy column can be done while walking. When you get really practiced at it, try it running, riding, or dancing. The exercise enhances your awareness of energy. Relax into your breathing and begin the practice of intentional sensation, running your energy from Root to Crown and then from Crown to Root. Somedays you will become aware of your energy running one way or the other without your conscious participation. I attribute this to the fact that we are transmitters of energy and we belong to the realms of Great Nature and the human collective, and our capacity to balance and blend the energy of our locale is needful. With practice, you can use this capability to diffuse your own excessive negative emotions or those of a group you are in.

Why is this important?

The human collective is in a time of struggle. We are meant to evolve toward higher conscious being. This seems to be a time where the shadows are being exposed, and each of us called to honor the code of integrity by confronting our own shadows and learning to live with more light. We cannot live with more light until we heal our own darkness.

One of the things that happens is that people get angry. We feel angry at the corrupt politicians whom we have been told will take care of us. We feel uncertain at the changing climate and whether we can do anything about it. We wonder if our votes count. Some people don’t vote at all in their apathy. One of the things that happens when we don’t deal with our own anger is that we project it outward as blame at one person or another. Some of us hate Donald Trump. Some of us hate the Democrats. We all realize that there is a problem, but instead of figuring out what kind of a stand we can proactively take toward solving the problem(s), it is easier to be angry and that anger then joins the human collective anger. We vent. We poison others with our venting. We are discharging negative emotions, but we don’t see it, because we feel better for a while afterwards.

But when we do learn to see it, we have the option of clearing ourselves of our poison so that it doesn’t contribute to the overall miasma of the human collective. So we take up that responsibility. Sometimes we get hit with the “stuff” of other people and accidentally take that in energetically. So this is a way to deal with that – I can send negative energy down into the earth, and the earth will feed on that hucha for its own dinner.

Mother Earth, Mother Gaia, please accept this energy that does not serve me. I send it down my vertical energy column and out my Root chakra and the chakras of my feet. Accept this energy offering and let me be clear. Thank you!

365 Days of Prayer – Day 73 The Chakras and clearing the emotional body Day 3

Today I want to finish describing the three upper body chakras.

The Throat chakra through which we manifest our expression in the world and its element is sound. Here such values apply as what I give my word to, promises I must keep, and other values of communication.

The Brow chakra, also called “the third eye,” is located about an inch straight up above the bridge of the nose and below the middle of the forehead. This center is related to the pineal and pituitary glands. Its element is chi/qi/ki energy. This very much relates to the sexuality of kundalini. Its gift is psychic.

The Crown chakra provides our personal and direct link to divine source. Every body has this, it is not the “special provenance” of a few select priests or prophets. (I am one who sees aspects of auras, and I see every one with a connecting link vanishing from this crowning point of their head into heaven – I do not see where the cord goes, but it is there in everyone of us!).

The Crown and the Root chakras are the ends of the vertical pillar of energy that runs along the spinal column. The other chakras, the Sacral, Solar, Heart, Throat, and Brow display horizontal funnels of energy to the fore and aft of the body that connect with the vertical energetic core. Through these funnels we take in and dispel energy. Intentional sensation is the development of a deep intuitive awareness of our body that makes us sensitive to the energies we take in. Although this requires practice, I feel it is very essential to my psychic harmony of mind and body.

Today I want to introduce the practice of Intentional Sensation. We began this a bit on day one, and this too can become as a prayer or as a meditation.

Sit as before, and for a moment focus on your breathing. Use your breathing to release any and all tension you are holding in your body – toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, lower back and abdomen, upper back and chest, shoulders – loose, loose, loose, and neck, arms all the way down to your fingers. Breath your relaxation into every area of your body holding your awareness of the sensation of your body as best as you can. Think about relaxing now the muscles of your face and head. Then, finding your center, hold this overall awareness and note what areas of your body are crying for attention. What is tense? What is painful? What feels good?

Take a moment to take stock of all this. Slowly, begin to breathe into those tight areas, concentrating as you do so on releasing what is stuck. Sometimes it helps to apply the stuck feeling a shape or a color. Let gravity take it, out, out, out of your body and into the earth. If your awareness allows you to perceive an emotion or associated thought, note that too. It is another facet of self knowing.

Creator, truly the workings of my mind and body are a miraculous thing. Thank you for the awareness that has occurred today.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 72 Clearing the emotional body series day 2 the upper chakras

The three uppermost chakras continuing to move upward from the Heart where we left off yesterday are the Throat, the Brow, and the Crown. These chakras combine to form the higher self.

Food for thought – the higher self and the lower self are neither good nor bad, and should not be thought of that way. They are simply two different aspects of the human complex that take care of the business of life in the physical world and life in the spiritual world. The Heart chakra is the connecting link for both; the vagus nerve connects the heart and the brain. Our process is about becoming whole and this is done through unifying the disconnected aspects of our human psycho-biophysical complex.

As mentioned yesterday, the yogic chakras are a model for the energy body of a human being. Seven chakras are located moving up the body from the Root chakra to the Crown chakra. Yesterday we discussed the Root, the Sacral, and the Solar Plexus, and included a meditation and a prayer.

The Heart chakra deals with the emotions. The positive emotions of love and compassion have the power to open the door wide to the inner and outer worlds of perception, whereas the negative emotions of anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness can make us determine to close it completely. I believe my heart empowers the energetic quality of my life, and rather than obstructing my heart with chronic negative emotions, I choose to clear them. More on that later. It is an important topic, but the rest of this information lays the ground work for that. I need a certain amount of self-understanding before I can begin that clearing work. The element of the Heart chakra is air.

Today a mindfulness exercise. This can be used as a prayer or meditation.

Sitting comfortably either cross legged or in a chair, start your practice with a deep breath. Another. One more. Good. Now think of something beautiful or happy or something that makes you feel loved, makes your soul sing. Feed yourself with this thought. Feel your heart center expanding outward as this thought fills you with good and happy feelings. 

Now, think of something bad that happened to you. The day my cat died. The day my best friend said and did something really hurtful and the friendship ended. That awful elementary teacher who always cut me to the quick, saying things to embarrass me in front of the class, because I could not learn the way she expected me to learn. Watch what happens to your energy field. Has it contracted? Do you feel diminished? Have your thoughts switched from feeling good about yourself to bad about yourself? 

Bring your ideas back to something happier. The purpose of this exercise was to show  how the heart is affected by the adverse thoughts and feelings we randomly carry within us. Emotions and the biochemicals of emotions rise and fall within us in response to our thoughts and our circumstances – these are a result of the endocrine glands responding to what we think and what we feel. Explore the power you have to change what you think and what you feel. 

Creator, thank you for the amazing powers within my own body to respond instead of react to external events. Thank you for the guidance to perceive how my internalized thoughts can motivate my reaction to what is no longer real.

 

365 Days of Prayer – Day 71 Clearing the emotional body series day 1 the lower chakras

I have been wanting to do a series on the chakras as a method of clearing the energy field. I consider my body to be the temple of my spirit, and of course I want the cleanest house possible. We clean the outer body through bathing and the inner body through careful consideration of the foods we eat, but do most of us ever think about the emotional associations we take in as impressions every day? Maybe we should do more of that.

Authors Judith Anodea, Rosalyn Bruyere, and Barbara Ann Brennan have explored the chakras in depth. The chakras are wheels of light within the human energy field, spinning in areas of nerve meridian density adjacent to the endocrine glands. The endocrine glands put out the chemicals that govern the involuntary working of the physical body, playing important function in maintaining health.

There are seven chakras in the Yoga tradition – from the ground up these are the Root, the Sacral, the Solar Plexus, the Heart, the Throat, the Brow, and the Crown.

The Root is described as being located between the area of the anus orifice and the tailbone. This is the area which at conception we are rooted to the earth plane. Its elemental association is earth.

The Sacral, located near the sacrum, about three fingers below the navel, has the root word for “sacred.” The womb in a woman is related to creativity and birth. It is the center from which we are born, our first “home” coming into the earth plane. Its elemental association is water. I have read that the sacral chakra is located in the same place, male or female.

The Solar Plexus is the nerve braid located a hand breadth above the navel in the area just below the inverted “V” of our rib cage. It correlates with the formatory mind, that part of our ego that relates to how we are seen and want to be seen in the world – our will and our self mastery. Its elemental association is fire.

These three chakras correlate to the Lower Self.

Today the prayer is also a meditation.

Creator, I am grateful for the body that houses my spirit and that this body lets me engage wonderfully with the world around me in the most sensual and intimate ways.

Sit for a minute holding presence awareness in the lower half of your body. Sense with your awareness the life force energy pervading your hips, your thighs, knees, lower legs, ankles and feet. Shift your position a little bit. Wiggle. Hold your presence awareness there.

I am grateful for the gift of movement, for these legs that transport me across the earth.

As you continue to sit, visualize the bottom of your tailbone beautifully supporting the erect carriage of your body. Imagine roots connecting you to the bounty of earth home. Feel your connection here to all the things within range of your perception.

I am grateful for this Root chakra which anchors me into the earth plane for this time and place. I am grateful for all that surrounds me now.

Moving your awareness upward, focus on the Sacral chakra. Allow your mind to expand into all the creative processes ongoing in your life now. That project at work. That child in the womb. That painting you are so excited to finish. The next business idea. Or simply the beauty of the place where you are seated. As your mind drifts on these topics, notice your thoughts turning to ideas or judgments about them, and notice the energetic engagement of your Solar chakra. Bring your mind back again to where you are sitting, Root yourself and come back.

I am grateful for how I feel and think about the world around me. These feelings and thoughts, positive or negative, inform me about how I am in the world.