EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND BY ANODEA JUDITH AND CHAKRA FRUIT SALAD Spiritual Journey Book Review

Some of you will be happy to know I’ve completed the first draft of my St. Ignatius post! It was when I began working on the second draft that my good friend, Inigo, tapped me on the shoulder and said, not yet. You have another assignment first.

Rats! Oh, I mean, okay then. See, I started studying St. Ignatius before Lent, and we’ve been hanging around each other so much, I’m comfortable enough with him to call him by his given name. This hanging around and guiding me to work on other projects has never happened between me and the Saint I’m studying before. I guess the lesson I’m learning here is that as one walks forward on the spiritual journey, habits of the past fall behind and everything becomes new. So, for those who tune in for news of the Saints, please stand by. The feast day of St. Ignatius is July 31, that’s when I’ll post my blog on him. And, yes. He’s letting me make that promise. So nice of him.

I’ve received messages from a variety of sources that have led me to take steps toward accepting my connection to the divine as Reality. As in I’m not crazy, nor am I imagining it. Although, as St. Ignatius teaches us, imagination is a valuable tool that aids the tuning-in-to-Spirit process.

May is Mary’s month and has been a time of powerful transition and understanding for me for years. Perhaps it always was, but I never noticed before these recent years. On May 10 of last year, Jesus showed up for me. He showed up like right here, like right now. At which point, He entwined my soul with His forever.

This event boggled my mind. I never expected it to happen. I truly believed that the value in the spiritual journey took place in our experiences along the path, we would never actually meet Him, and that it was our very faith in His existence without proof that made us Christians.

But, incredibly, after a succession of miracles leading up to it, He showed up for me big time in a joke He planted for me in a Grateful Dead concert video. A miracle involving time “travel” and the number 42. A miracle spoken to me in my own language, and, in fact, a miracle that I had predicted a few days earlier.

And that’s something else that I have needed to come to terms with. I’m a bit psychic. (I KNOW! I totally hear your eyeroll.)  I have some telepathic ability. I also have some ability to perceive the future, but I don’t know I’m doing it until later when the events happen. These are the ones that I’ve recently allowed myself to recognize and accept.

I’ve already known that I’m an intuitive empath with an ability to read people’s emotions and between the lines of their writings. I also have a strong imagination that aids me in connecting the dots to cover missing information. This is what helps me “hear” the Saints so easily. However, filling in the blanks of missing or faulty information isn’t precise. Sometimes I’m wrong. But, I’m always open to being set straight and will make appropriate edits.

The other thing I’ve recently allowed myself to comprehend is that I’m connected to Holy Spirit. This is what I previously wouldn’t allow myself to grasp, due to dysfunctional feelings of unworthiness. It’s the Holy Spirit that guides me along my path, connects me to whomever He needs me to connect with (mostly saints and angels), is the Life Force Healing Energy I send to people when I pray for them, Loves me, and envelopes me with Goodness.

Jesus Christ is my Beloved and through Him all this is possible. This is my spiritual story. I believe it with every fiber of my being.

Now, I’m going to tell you a different version of the same story: On May 10, 2017, I had a spiritual awakening. And I’ve spent the last year coming to terms with my newly awakened state of being. So, for the rest of this post, I’ll be using different vocabulary that comes from a different religious point of view. Remember, same story, different version. For me, each enhances the other, especially in my level of understanding and acceptance.

I first learned about the chakra system when I was studying Reiki, the Japanese form of laying on of hands healing prayer, about 25 years ago. Although I seemed to have a natural ability with Reiki, I didn’t pursue it professionally because it was too “out there” for me at the time.

But then, in February 2013, a friend invited me to go to a professional aura reader with her. I learned more about chakras and that I was receiving messages from St. Uriel, the Archangel of Wisdom. I had previously believed the messages were coming from Blessed Mother Mary. This led me to dive into a study of the angels which produced this blog post in which I just now see that I wrote the following: St. Uriel is associated with spiritual awakenings such as those experienced by the apostles on Pentecost.

Believe it or not. Or in other words, Ack! I had forgotten that last bit!

Staying calm and moving on, I gotta add that ever since my study of angels and archangels five years ago, my connection to them has only increased in intensity and awareness. Archangels Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel, plus my guardian angel, Minerva, surround, guide, and protect me and my loved ones. However, it’s St. Michael with whom I have the deepest connection and whose voice is the one that speaks to me via the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Rebecca, for inviting me to go with you that day. We never know when something like that is a seed planted in others that will bloom beyond all imagination.

And now, on to chakras. Not sure what sparked it, but I knew that as I began to accepted my connection to Spirit, tuning in to my chakras was a way for my mind to understand it better, which is something that I really need. Faith is great, but understanding is better. For me, at least.

And with deeper understanding and acceptance of my spiritual connection through my chakra work, BOOM came the need to work further on my recovery process. Again. It was right there in the middle of all of it. Of course.

Okay, Okay. Here’s the book review:

EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND: PSYCHOLOGY AND THE CHAKRA SYSTEM AS A PATH TO THE SELF (REVISED) by Anodea Judith is simply wonderful. I highly recommend it! Be advised, however, that it’s a reference book. Even for this review, I read only up through the introduction and First Chakra section. This means I stopped reading on page 102 of a 458-page book. For now. Take what you need from this book and seek guidance from professionals. For example, I have a psychologist (recovery counselor), a yoga instructor who welcomes requests from the class, and an energy healer who recommended this book to me.

We’ll start with a primer of the chakras, and then zoom in to look at the first chakra.

The idea of charka as an energetic system in the body began in the ancient Tantric yoga tradition in India and has rippled out to the United States almost to the point of saturation and is consider by some as New Age weirdness. But, you know, a little effort at understanding goes a long way. Especially with this book where Anodea merges the Eastern Chakra Energy System with classic western psychology:

While some of the modern techniques of chakra energy work can bring tangible shifts in the way we feel, it is my opinion that these changes are often short-lived if we don’t roll up our sleeves and do deeper work on the soul’s journey of healing and awakening. — Preface, page viii

The chakra system is a map for that journey. With this map in hand, your journey can be more direct, more profound, and more deliberate. This system maps onto the body through the human nervous system, maps onto the psyche through developmental stages of childhood, maps onto the spiritual quest through states of consciousness, and transforms the culture through planes of external reality. The chakras are truly a set of portals between the inner and outer worlds. And as the inner and outer worlds connect, we become aligned – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. — Page ix

EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND focuses on vital issues in therapy today: addiction, codependency, physical and sexual abuse, family dynamics, character structures, personal empowerment, feminism, male emancipation, sexuality, politics, and spirituality. It integrates techniques from bioenergetics to visualization, depth psychology to spiritual practice. — Page x

In this analogy the body is the hardware, our programming is the software and the self is the user. However, we did not write all of these programs, and some of their language is so archaic it is unintelligible. It is a heroic challenge indeed, to identify our programs and rewrite them all while continuing to live our lives, yet this is the task of healing. It becomes even more difficult when we realize that each of our personal programs is part of a larger cultural system over which we have had little or no control.

In order to understand a human being, we have to examine the flow of energy through the system. We can think of this energy as excitement, charge, attention, awareness, or simply the life force. (Some spiritual systems describe it as chi, ki or prana.) Our understanding of the chakras comes from a pattern analysis of energy flowing through a person’s body, behavior, and environment. — Page 9

Soul and spirit are expressions of these polarities. In my use of these terms, I see soul as tending to coalesce toward the body, leaning toward form, attachment, and feeling, whereas spirit tends to move toward freedom and expanded consciousness. Soul is the individual expression of spirit, and spirit is the universal expression of soul. They each connect and are enhanced by the other. — Page 13

Here are the seven chakras starting from the crown of the head down to the tailbone – name, location, color, and element:

Seventh – Thousandfold, cerebral cortex, violet, thought
Sixth – Perceive/command, center of forehead, indigo, light
Fifth – Purification, throat, bright blue, sound
Fourth – Unstruck, chest, green, air
Third  – Lustrous gem, solar plexus, yellow, fire
Second  – Sweetness, lower abdomen, orange, water
First  – Root, base of spine, red, earth

The names of the chakras above are a literal translation from Hindi. Another way to think of the chakras are in the following affirmation, going from the bottom to top: (This was something I didn’t understand before — how important the base is. How we need that base to be solidly formed so that it can be a strong vessel containing all the other energies above.)

I am safe, creative, strong, loved, expressive, connected, and divine.” – One of my tee-shirts

Chakra development during childhood is relatively unconscious. Adult development, by contrast, is largely conscious – we have to want to develop, or it may not happen at all. For many people, adult chakra development never occurs as they remain in dependency and powerlessness and never break free from their programmed instinctual patterns. They may never have spiritual cravings and may never discover the potential of their higher selves. As the process of awakening is often fraught with challenge and difficulty, who is to say whether they are better or worse off? — Page 45

Okay, that was your last warning. This is perhaps gonna get uncomfortable, and it definitely involves TMI on my part. If you’re a regular dearworthy reader, you know I do this. It’s my mission from God, it’s a major part of my process, and I know some of you will recognize yourselves among my words, and this fact will help you on your own journey.

These are the paragraphs that jumped out to me as they have my name all over them, sort to speak:

The fifth chakra is the center of our creative identity. Here we identify with our self-expression – what we say and produce. In this identity, we take responsibility for what we say by embodying it in our actions. Through our creativity, we identify ourselves as artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, politicians, mothers or fathers. (We may also identify with our mistakes and failures.) The creative identity expands outward, through its ability to contribute and give back to the larger system.

As this level matures, we begin to identify with larger possibilities and reach for inspiration from great works of civilization, from inspiring acts of heroes and saints, poets and painters. As we expand into the creative flux of the world around us, we identify with our path. Our path is the realization of our personal contribution to the larger system. Ideally, the path leads to an ever-expanding growth of consciousness and an eventual transcendence of the personal self into the transpersonal self. Its foundation is a healthy ego, social confidence, and a sense of compassion for others. — Page 32

And that, my friends, is my spiritual journey in a nutshell. Blogging about the saints wasn’t something I was procrastinating on as I tended to my recovery and spiritual journey. Instead, each saintly post I wrote was a specific step on my path toward enlightenment.

I’m trying to come up with a synonym for mindboggling. Because, holy I don’t even know what, man. Words are failing me all over the place.

Moving on:

The “demon” of chakra one is fear. Fear arises when something threatens our survival. It prevents us from feeling secure, focused, and calm. It creates hypervigilance, which forces energy into the upper chakras. — Page 35

Right, so this forcing of energy into the upper chakras things due to fear from lack of secure grounding is me. It’s me.

Difficulties occurring during any of the crucial childhood developmental stages can affect the chakra that is developing at that time, as well as the chakras that follow. For example, one’s sense of power is positively affected by the security of getting survival needs properly met, ease of the heart is supported by the nurturance of touch in the first and second chakra stages, and our ability to communicate is supported by a balanced ego and a sense of love and acceptance. — Page 45

Chakra three: In adults the individuation process liberates us from having to conform to the expectations of parents, friends, or culture, and allows us to become a true individual operating under our own power and will. Here we move from dependency, powerlessness, and obedience to the creation of our path and future. This may or may not awake in one’s life. It is often triggered by meaningless jobs, or the enslavement of relationships in which we are defined by the needs and expectations of the other person. — Page 47

My spiritual journey was triggered by rejection from my former church in autumn, 2014. Now, I gotta say something here that I’ve known for a long while, but I haven’t yet written. Sometimes, the absolute worst experiences in your life turn out to be the ones for which you become the most grateful.

Here begins the task of making our own way in the world – developing a personal career, building skills to meet challenges, and controlling our destiny. This may be a time of political involvement, of seeking affinity with others who are fighting their own powerlessness, whether through political affinity groups, recovery groups, or spiritual groups. — Page 47

Again, it must be stressed that these developmental stages, especially the second (adult) cycle, are not the same for everyone, nor are they experienced in the same order. Adult development is often arrested by unresolved childhood conflicts. If you find that you have not gotten very far on some of these levels, then this book is for you. It will help you find where you might have gotten stuck and explain how to proceed on the path of liberation toward wholeness. — Page 49

Here is a partial description of the First Chakra:

Element: Earth

Name: Muladhara (root)

Issues:

Roots
Grounding
Nourishment
Trust
Health
Home
Family
Prosperity
Appropriate boundaries

Color:

Red

Location:

Base of spine
Coccygeal plexus

Identity:

Physical

Orientation:

Self-preservation

“Demon”:

Fear

Developmental Stage:

2nd trimester to 12 months

Developmental Tasks:

Physical growth
Motor skills
Object permanence

Basic Rights:

To be here and have

Balanced Characteristics:

Good health
Vitality
Well ground
Comfortable in body
Sense of trust in the world
Feeling of safety and security
Ability to relax and be still
Stability
Prosperity
Right livelihood

Traumas and Abuses:

Birth trauma
Abandonment, physical neglect
Poor physical bonding with mother
Physical abuse or violent environment

Healing Practices:

Reconnect with the body
Physical activity
Lots of touch, massage
Bioenergetic grounding
Hatha yoga
Look at earliest childhood relationship to mother
Reclaim right to be here

Affirmations:

It is safe for me to be here.
The earth supports me and meets my needs.
I love my body and trust its wisdom.
I am immersed in abundance.
I’m here and I’m real.
Page 52-53

The state of both mother and environment become, literally, the first experience of self. If the mother is warm and attentive, the environment comfortable and supportive, then this is how we experience ourselves. The charge flowing through us is warm, exciting, and positive. If the mother is cold and cruel and the environment is painful, then our first experiences of life and of self have a negative charge. This programming provides a basic building block of all further development and is why first chakra issues show up in all the charkas that follow. — Page 69

Interesting factoid:  My mother was prescribed diet pills when she was pregnant with me. Not only that, but she was sedated during childbirth. These were routine procedures in the sixties in America. *sigh* Furthermore, I was conceived when my brother was only five months old. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was unwanted, but I will go as far as to say that I wasn’t wanted yet. Although I was a blessed miracle of God and a beautiful baby girl, I arrived too soon for my mother’s coping abilities.

My mother was not cold and cruel, and my environment was not painful. Most of the time. However, feelings don’t always match words and actions. I’m a born intuitive empath, unaware for most of my life that this was an individual attribute not granted to everyone.

Therefore, I spent a lot of my infanthood confused and quiet. See what I’m saying here is that while a mother’s natural response is to wake up to her baby’s middle of the night cry of hunger, and she will feed, care for, cuddle, and rock the baby, she ain’t too happy ‘bout it, especially when she spent all day chasing a toddler ‘round, and really she’d rather be sleeping.

And that’s how my completely normal-looking late sixties/early seventies childhood wasn’t.

My childhood was confusing and ambiguous. People’s feelings did not match their words and actions. Also, just because “everybody beat their kids in those days, Maria,” doesn’t make it right. Just saying.

So, maybe my brothers were on to something. Maybe it was/is me bringing out the worst in her, “She only acts like that to you.”

*sigh* And, then you plunk into the equation the unpredictability of addiction. And, *sigh* some more.

And wishing it ain’t so, ain’t gonna make my ongoing requirement to focus on recovery go away. These are unpleasant but certainly navigable steps on my spiritual journey. And I don’t walk alone, that I know for sure.

Because here’s the thing. The thing that came up for me when I was reading this book. The terrible thing about my childhood: At the deepest almost unconscious level, I was unwanted. I felt it in the womb, and by the time I was born, I knew exactly how I needed to behave in order to be loved. I needed to be small. I needed to occupy myself for long periods of time in the crib or playpen (to stay in the box). I needed to not require attention. I needed to not want or need anything special and just be thankful for whatever was given me. And, above all, I needed to be quiet. Guess how I’m so sure about this? Because this message has been (literally, up until age 16 when I finally refused to “Come here so I can hit you,”) beaten into me for my first fifty years of life. But, no longer. No. Longer.

Right. So. Deep cleansing breath. This next bit is extremely difficult to write:

My father did not know “Mean Mommy” very well. She tended to only show up when he wasn’t home. So while I could rely on my dad for most things, he did not protect me from her. He was also, according to my psychologist, a product of his generation and had a hands-off approach to parenting. As in, he stopped hugging me when I grew into adolescence. Talk about damage to my self esteem and body image. *sigh* And when I finally started to speak up for myself in late HS, his mantra became, “You’re right. But, just do what Mom says.”

Okay, muse? Are you happy now that I ratted out my father for the whole world to see? Cause I’m certainly not.

*sigh*

And moving back to the text:

If reflexive body gestures and sounds (such as crying) produce relief in the form of food, warmth, and comfort, then the continuity between the inside and outside remains unbroken and the fused state continues until there is enough awareness and motor development to begin separating. If the child is unable to get her needs met, then she develops growing distrust of the outer world, a dissociation from the inner world, and a feeling of helplessness and inadequacy at her core being. The need for the inner and outer worlds to remain consistent is extreme in the young child for many years to come, but especially during a period when there is no distinction. If our instinctual impulses do not get us the things we need to survive, we learn to distrust or ignore them, and simultaneously perceive the world as hostile. To distrust our basic instincts is to put ourselves at odds with the deep core of our physical being. It puts us at odds with our ground and the natural world. — Page 69

Again, my mother took care of my physical needs, but her feelings didn’t match her actions. She was distracted – grieving the early death of her mother, navigating her new extended family and religion, coping with an infant and a toddler with ADHD, dealing with issues related to her alcoholic abusive father, and succumbing to her own addictions and mood swings.

Anyway, I do understand and forgive what happened in the past.

Just, you know, world, don’t act nice to me if you don’t mean it. I hate that shit with a passion. Oh, wait. I have a Facebook post that I need to share here, just to catch y’all up. Because yeah, sometimes I process stuff out on FB instead of waiting to blog about it. It’s part of my (recovery counselor approved, in case you were wondering) process. Feel free to friend request me so you can get in on it. Woot.

Maria Virginia Ross

May 14 at 8:50am ·

Oh, man. I’ve been instructed to write and share this. Sometimes, I really hate this mission from God. But, I know I’m helping folks who identify with me because they tell me so. And, doing this is a big part of my recovery process. Okay, *sigh*, I can do this:

I’m an intuitive empath who is an adult child of an alcoholic. Because of this, before recovery, all my important relationships have been with addictive people. I’m right now going to tell you the worst part FOR ME about being in relationship with addictive people – the lash out in shame over-reactive defensiveness.

This makes me literally afraid to express my anger at people. Literally, afraid.

And even when I’m not angry, but only hurt, here’s the template for how these conversations go:

Me: You really hurt my feelings when you . . . . .

Them: No, I didn’t. You’re overreacting. You’re crazy to see it that way. That never happened. And, it was all your fault anyway. You should have said or done ________ to have prevented it. And now I’m really mad at you. And now I’m initiating the silent treatment until you apologize and grovel. Then I might take you back, but I also might not. Especially since I know how afraid of abandonment you are.

So, here’s the thing with intuitive empathy. Even if the person is acting professionally and saying all the right words on the surface, their underlying feelings of what I perceive as rage overwhelm me. And so, that’s why I usually avoid calling people out on their shit. But, I’m working on it.

And so, let’s keep going:

Abandonment, whether physical or emotional, directly impacts our survival. It makes us feel unwanted, and we doubt our right to be here. It elicits fear, which may inhibit appropriate responses to common situations. For instance, if we fear abandonment as adults, we may be afraid to speak up in our relationships about the things we dislike for fear of being abandoned again. Or we may accept abandonment too readily and interpret the slightest criticism or mood change from our partner as a signal that we are unwanted. The emptiness of abandonment may be reexperienced every time it happens in adulthood, where the loss of a loved one leaves us feeling like we’re falling apart.

Abandonment undermines the trust needed to develop a sense of security, hope, and confidence. It undermines our very foundation of self. — Page 73

Neglect is a subtle form of abandonment. Neglect is often intermittent, counteracting the first chakra’s basic job of stabilizing the entire system. If the neglect is mild enough that we will survive, we grow up with a buried memory of helplessness that lacks a connection to anything concrete. This instability leads to a mistrust of others, causing further alienation from those who might give support. Neglect also results in shame, which heavily impacts the third chakra senses of self-esteem, and personal power, as well as the forth chakra right to be loved. Like abandonment, neglect is often echoed in the way we treat ourselves.” –Page 74

I don’t trust others to accept me as I am without threat of abandonment at the first sign of disagreement. (However, thanks to my recovery process this past year, I now have a lovely handful of solid friends whom I trust implicitly.)

“Physical abuse causes pain and teaches children to dissociate from their bodily sensations. Coping strategies for dealing with physical abuse can impact any and all chakras, with difficulties in surrendering to feelings (chakra two) power dynamics and self-esteem (chakra three), relationships (chakra four), communication (chakra five), clear seeing (chakra six), and clear thinking (chakra seven).

As physical abuse literally harms the body, it will always show up in first chakra issues in some way. It marks a profound betrayal of trust, as the child is always ill-matched for protecting herself.

Physical abuse has a fragmenting effect on the nervous system and a similar effect on the natural flow of experience. In some cases, the body is physical damaged by wounds. Does it not follow that the more subtle energy fields become broken and fragmented as well? This makes it hard to mend the shattered sense of stability, trust, safety, and well-being.

As physical abuse usually comes from someone within the home, daily life becomes dangerous. Fear is then a constant companion – a way of relating to the world. — Page 76

Uh huh.

Boundaries can be a mystery to those who have been deprived of nurturing, continuity, and safety. When our boundaries are not functioning, the world will provide them for us. We will pair up with people who have overly rigid boundaries and who will continually throw us back onto ourselves. However, if lower chakra needs have been properly met, then we are not afraid to set appropriate boundaries. We have the ability to say, “enough food,” “enough drink,” “enough of this nonproductive relationship.” We can withdraw, secure in the knowledge that our own roots will support us. We are not dependent on others. If our needs were not satisfied in the first chakra, then we are afraid to set limits – still seeking at any cost the merging and contact that we were denied, never experiencing the satisfaction of “enough.” — Page 79

And there’s more:

Experiences that threaten survival intensify the upward movement of energy in the body. The downward, grounding current is inhibited as much as possible, directing most of the energy to the head.

A person with an accelerated upward current is hypervigilant to messages outside herself, as if constantly searching for ways to connect with her caregiver or constantly watching for danger. This is the hallmark of a deficient first chakra, the body is deadened, and the consciousness is elevated, creating a profound mind-body split. — Page 79

An adult with damaged ground is usually plagued by a terrible sense that something is wrong but cannot identify what it is. Ground is so basic and structured so young, that it literally becomes background. Like a fish who does not know it is in water, our ground is often invisible to us. Learning to develop the downward current of the body and literally building a ground just as one would build a foundation – brick by brick –is what is needed for the top down structure in which the upper chakras dominate.

The body can be an alien entity to the person whose first chakra is damaged, seen as a static thing rather than a living statement of the soul. As we objectify ourselves and each other, we come to see the body as a thing to be controlled and maintained, rather than as a living dynamic statement of who we are. — Page 80

When the first chakra is damaged, it reflects in each of the other chakras. Sexuality is affect, as it is an experience of the body, of the sense, and of contact and connection; one’s sense of personal power is affected because we cannot fight or defend ourselves without ground to stand on. Without roots bringing energy and nourishment up from the earth, we are weak. Relationships are adversely affected by the lack of boundaries and a persistent insecurity that needs constant reassurance. Communication may be blocked by fear or become excessive and disconnected from feeling. — Page 81

Okay, get ready for this one. This one is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Just kidding. But, it explains a heck of a lot about me and what exactly it is that I’m doing here:

The upper chakras are more likely to be intensified with an elaborate and creative imagination and a dedication to the intellect as a defense against feeling. In extremes, such intensification can cause confusion, vagueness, or a feeling of going crazy. The answer lies not in curtailing consciousness, but in grounding and embodying that consciousness. Page 81

Right? Do you remember my writing about how I was thinking I might be crazy? Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s a running theme in my last few posts. I remember one day last summer asking my priest if he thought I was being rational at that particular moment. I mean, who does that? (He said, “Yes.” And then, didn’t say, “Hey, that was a really crazy thing to ask.” Thank God.) Also, my psychologist and I spend time on this subject as well. He reminds me of my insurance diagnosis “Dealing with Changes.” Ahhhhhh. Isn’t that the most beautiful sounding diagnosis in the whole wide world?

So what do I do with all this knowledge about my past and how it’s affecting me now? Anodea doesn’t leave me hanging:

Charge is a bioenergetic word for the body’s basic excitement. We feel charge when we are angry, excited, sexually aroused, scared, in love, or any number of intense emotional states. We feel charge whenever our survival is threatened, when we get a profound spiritual connection, when we watch an exciting movie, or when we are creating a work of art. Charge can be felt as intensity, enthusiasm, or heightened awareness. Issues from our childhood hold a lot of charge, some positive, some negative. We become hypersensitive to issues that have a lot of charge, and we may overreact or compulsively avoid such situations. Positive experiences hold charge, too. We may get a charge of energy from seeing an old friend, getting promotion, or remembering a good vacation.

Charge can be invoked through grounding exercises, increased breathing, fantasy, visualization, or talking about charged material. Truth also has a charge, especially when it has previously been hidden, as if a gate opens in the body. — Page 86

A balanced first chakra is solidly grounded yet dynamically alive. There is both flexibility and consistency, an ease with both expansion and contraction. There is a sense of form without rigidity, a feeling of bodily comfort, and a healthy distribution of energy throughout. This gives a sense of inner security, good self-care, an affirmed right to be here, and a strong sense of presence. — Page 89

The first chakra represents our physical reality. When it is damaged, our relationship to the physical world is damaged. Therefore, in cases of both excess and deficiency, healing occurs through creating a new relationship with the physical – with our bodies, the earth, and our surroundings. This can be an act of reunion or an exploration of a marvelous mystery. — Page 93

For the creative structure with a deficient first chakra, touch and nurturing are crucial for developing a relationship with the body that is affirming and pleasurable. Regular massage and physical exercise are indispensable.

Massage helps break down contracted body armor while simultaneously providing a nurturing and pleasurable experience. Exercise actually pumps energy through the body and develops strength, promoting a sense of connection and pride. — Page 96

There’s my homework. Literally stand up for myself and my needs. Walk barefoot along the shoreline. Do grounding exercises at home and at yoga class. Wear red clothing, eat red foods, drink red tea, carry a garnet stone, massage grounding essential oils into my feet at bedtime. Get massages and follow the advice of my energy healer. Spend my next entire 50-minute-session with my psychologist teaching him all about chakras before getting to the, “So what do I do now?” “Whatever you want.” part.

But, there’s something missing from that list. It’s missing because I already did it when I wrote the first draft of this post by hand with a red pen. I let the past go. I don’t even need to set the pages on fire in some sort of ceremony at the apartment complex grill surrounded by a bunch of neighbors with packages of hot dogs going, “Are ya done yet?”

And then, as soon as I hit “publish,” a blazing sunbeam, or the Holy Fire of Pentecost, or the Holy White, Healing Light of Jesus Christ, will take any remaining negativity that anchors me in the past and transform it into a dissipating energy wave of knowledge for others who need it and a cloud of dust drifting away for those who don’t.

What’s next for me now? I dunno. But, I do know I’m hungry and I haven’t really felt hungry for a couple of weeks now. So, this is a really good thing. Let’s celebrate with some:

CHAKRA FRUIT SALAD

Ingredients:

From bottom to top:

Strawberries
Cantaloupe
Pineapple
Honeydew
Blueberries
Blackberries
Red grapes

Optional: Swap out other fruits of the same color.

Directions:

Cut up the fruit, mix it all up, and eat it.

Bonus Material:

Fruit Salad by the Wiggles

Grace by Sam Garrett

 

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  1. JoAnna says:

    “Sometimes, the absolute worst experiences in your life turn out to be the ones for which you become the most grateful.” I might quote you on that having experienced what you have clarified so well. Thank you for the reminders for grounding. How easily I forget. I sure do love the melding of Christianity and eastern philosophy/healing going on here.

  2. Maria Virginia Ross says:

    Thanks, JoAnna!

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