Written by Lydia Merl
Have you ever wondered why we humans are such a bundle of contradictions? We watch the news and see the “family values” politician dragged through the mud because of a sex scandal or read about the radio host that condemns drug addicts who must go to rehab because of his own dependence on pain killers. We can sit back and call them hypocrites, but our ability to justify our own incongruities is working all the time. Without even trying too hard: I’d love to lose a little weight, yet don’t want to give up bread, cheese, ice cream or wine; I’d like to consider myself a feminist yet I will not (yet) relinquish hair dye or Botox. I spend hours each week breaking down boxes, collecting and sorting recyclables yet I buy bottled water and coffee pods and frequently forget my green grocery bags when going to the store. I drive an electric car, yet I fly all over the world. I’m an animal lover who eats (and wears) animal products and a fiercely independent woman who loves the notion of a chivalrous man.
I can hear my mind rationalizing all these disparities even as I type them. I do believe that oftentimes these very contradictions are what make us productive. When we agree, there is little action. It is when we disagree that we get fired up. Perhaps disagreement is woven within ourselves to create action?
The chakra system provides a framework to help explain and understand our dichotomous nature. Each chakra corresponds to a different location in the physical body. The chakras are energy centers and, while they themselves are not physical, they reside within the body where major nerve ganglia assemble. When the chakras are aligned and balanced we operate optimally: our basic needs for food and shelter are met and we are engaged in work that aligns with our values while our relationships are happy and healthy. We are confident and secure as we move through our lives with grace, love and compassion for all beings. We speak our truth without inflicting undue harm on others and we’re able to dream and create and see our connection to the greater good while surrendering to the mystery that there is more to life than the eye can see.
But, alas, we are human, so we get blocked or off-balance in a chakra or two. Also, as humans, we are constantly changing and adjusting to new circumstances. So, our blockages and imbalances are quite subject to change depending on what is happening in our lives at any given time.
We have 7 major chakras and each represents a part of our essence. Within the chakra system each center has its own set of rules on how we give, get and process information that pertains to that chakra. It’s a good idea to study each chakra individually but they should be understood as a system where each has influence on the rest. The chakra system gives us tools to identify our weaknesses or imbalances and then use that information to create harmony as opposed to continually making those juicy rationalizations. At each chakra, there is the possibility of being balanced, excessive or deficient. When you identify your strengths and weaknesses you create self-awareness… never a bad thing, as it is through awareness that we can take on the work of self-responsibility. When my kids were little they’d plead to watch R rated movies and ask, “why?” when I’d say no. My answer was always “honey, you can never un-see it”. The same is true with the chakra system. It is both blessing and curse. You can never “un-know” it but, unlike many of those R rated movies, you’ll never be sorry because the information is illuminating and empowering, pragmatic and mystical, and always applicable.
Terri Cooper Space, the chakra queen and master workshop/experience facilitator is presenting this weekend at Yoga Journey. If you have any interest in delving deep into the chakra system she is the WO-man! You will learn and shift; change and grow; practice and glow; cry and laugh, and evolve and love every moment.