The Right To Be...
Our Inspiration of the month September is “The right to be” associated with the first chakra.
Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots. - Rumi
Have you ever thought about your Right To Be? Your Right To Exist? The right to Have?
Most of us probably haven’t, we just exist. And existing reveals our natural survival instinct: Since we are already here, living on this gorgeous planet earth, we certainly want to survive. We want to be surrounded by the sense of safety and security, and when our basic needs to survive are met, we can ensure feeling safe and secure.
A few facts about Muladhara chakra:
The root chakra is called in Sanskrit; Mūlādhāra. Mūlā=Root ādhāra= Support Muldhara is our base chakra and therefore, it is located at the base of our spine (tailbone) while our legs can be seen as roots connecting us with the earth and helping us to feel grounded. Bij (seed) Mantra: Lam
Our basic needs to be or to exist as well as stability and security are to be found within the first chakra. But what exactly do we need to survive? Sleep, food, water, shelter and safety are the most important ones.
While Jasmine Tarkeshi, my teacher, was here a couple of weeks ago, we went deeper into understanding the Rights associated with each of the chakras. The Root chakra is all about the right to BE and the right to HAVE.
What is your relationship with this right? Do you feel comfortable taking space in this world? In your family? In your relationships? Do you tend to take more than you need? If so, do you know why? Or do you tend to make yourself small? So that you are not a “burden”?
“Without the right to be here, few other rights can be reclaimed. Do we have the right to take up space? Do we have the right to establish individuality? Do we have the right to take care of ourselves? The right to be here is the foundation of our survival and security". (Eastern Body Western Mind / pp. 26-27)
And what is your relationship with the right to have? Do you allow yourself to have joy? To have free time? Pleasure? Money? Love?
“The right to have underlies the ability to contain, hold, keep and manifest – all aspects of a healthy first chakra.” (Eastern Body Western Mind / pp. 27)
Many of us adopt a role at some point in our life. Something happens and as a child we interpret it with the knowledge and understanding we have and from then on, adopt a pattern. It is useful to spend some time and consider what role you adopted and how does it keep playing up in your life as an adult?
The first chakra is all about our connection with the body so another important consideration to make is; what is your connection with your body?
We live in a culture and times that constantly promote a sense that our body is not good enough, young enough, tanned enough, light enough, lean enough or strong enough. What sense of “not enough” are you holding?
In her book “Eastern Body Western Mind”, Anodea Judith talks about the disconnection from the body as being a cultural epidemic.
“Of all the losses rupturing the human soul today, this alienation may be the most alarming because it separates us from the very roots of existence.” (Eastern Body Western Mind / pp. 54)
When in Balance;
When the first chakra is well balanced, there is a strong sense of safety and stability on all levels; physically, mentally and emotionally. We feel grounded, connected to the earth, to our body and to our home. We tend to accept things as they are and to trust life and those around us. This is taken from “Eastern Body Western Mind” by Anodea Judith:
The Foundation of The Temple:
All foundation rest upon the earth – the universal ground for all that we do. To connect with the body is to connect with the earth, to be grounded in the biological reality of existence. Our bodies are the home of our spirit. Situated at the base of the spine, the first chakra is the foundation for the entire chakra system. It is here we build the foundation for the temple of the body…. Without a strong, rooted foundation, little else can be accomplished. We must have soil firm enough to provide stability yet yielding enough to be penetrated by roots. (Eastern Body Western Mind / pp. 57)
When out of Balance;
When the first chakra is out of balance, we will experience fear, which is considered the demon of first chakra, and it will be leading our decisions through life. People tend to experience poor boundaries, material obsession, insecurity, disconnection from body, anxiety, depression and difficulty accepting change. Eating disorders, sluggish, tiredness, difficulty moving through life.
How can you balance our root chakra again and help the healing process?
As mentioned before, it is so very important we give time to reflect, journal, remember our childhood, and heal those early childhood wounds and traumas. This is the most important chakra before we work on any other chakra. So even if your main focus is having a bigger heart chakra, the starting point must be here with Muladhara.
Here are a few suggestions:
“To heal our relationship to our bodies is to heal our relationship with the earth. To regain our ground is to regain our aliveness, and the foundation of all that follows". (Eastern Body Western Mind / pp. 90)
Go outside to nature – wherever you fell safe; the ocean, the beach, a park, a forest, a mountain. Take of your shoes and connect with the soil. Feel the ground underneath you, feel the soles of your feet touching the ground. Focus on how the sand or grass feels between your toes. Remember that your legs are the extension of your root chakra, your connection to the earth, you can even visualize that. Being in nature and feeling the connection to the earth is one great way to balance your first chakra.
Nourishment – take some time to consider how your nourish yourself. Physically – what food do you eat? Do you wait for someone else to cook for you and take care of you? If so, it is time to start changing this habit and eating foods that meet your body needs today. Also consider how do you nourish your mind and soul? The conversations you have? The books your read and movies you watch? The company you keep.
Smelling is the one sense associated with the root chakra: you can use essential oils scents to help activate your healing process
Practice Grounding yoga asanas such as child’s pose, mountain pose, tree pose, warrior poses. Standing poses strengthen our legs and help us gain a sense of connection to the earth. They teach us to “stand our ground” when needed. Seated poses, prone and reclining poses, bring the body closer to the earth and again help us establish a connection to the Earth.
Draw your body; sit down and draw your body as you see it. Just draw what your body feels like. No need to try ad draw a realistic picture of your body. Just what it feels like to you when you visualize it. How do you see yourself in the world? Then look at it and see what you can learn about yourself? Maybe ask your partner or friend what do they see?
Mindfulness practices - we can bring mindfulness into our daily lives; while cooking, folding clothes or cleaning. An easy practice to start with us to bring your awareness to your senses. Focus on 5 things you see, 4 things you can touch or feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.
Introduce a meditation practice; start with 2 minutes a day. Meditate while sitting in the cross-legged position, feel your tailbone connecting to the earth underneath you and visualise yourself rooting to the ground.
Add Mantras: “I am safe and supported” “The earth supports me and meets my needs” “I love my body and trusts its wisdom” “I am exactly where I need to be in this very moment, I feel completely grounded and deeply connected to Mother Earth” “I feel safe” “I can provide for myself.”
Chanting “LAM” – as it is the seed mantra of the root chakra.
“Without the healthy functioning of the first chakra, we are hopelessly trapped on a mundane level of existence, forever avoiding and forever dealing with the same issue – a need to solidify the ground level from which all else grows” (Eastern Body Western Mind / pp. 102)
May we all come to find a strong and yielding foundation upon which we keep growing mentally and spiritually.
Thank you to Janine Friedrich for helping with the research for this month.