The Right To Act and The Right To Be An Individual
Inspiration of the Month - November 2019
The Right To Act and The Right To Be An Individual
Third Chakra – Manipura
English translation – Lustrous Gem
Element – Fire
Colour – Yellow / Gold
Purpose – Transformation
Location – Solar Plexus
Bij Mantra – Ram
Demon - Shame
What is Power? Where do we get Power from? How do we use it?
Really; What is Power? Take a few moments before you keep reading to close your eyes and reflect. How would you define this concept? This word we use and hear so often and yet most of us would struggle to put into words as we try and explain it and its essence.
What makes you feel powerful or powerless? How do you get your power? What is required in this process?
Anodea Judith starts the chapter about the third chakra exploring just this concept of Power;
“What is power? Where do we get it? How do we use it? Why do we need it? How do we avoid its unbalanced quality of victimization and abuse, aggression and passivity, dominance and submission? Where do we find our own empowerment without dismissing that of others? How do we reclaim, with full responsibility, enthusiasm, and pride, our innate right to act, free from inhibition and shame?”
Many of us were taught the model of “Power – Over” – meaning we must have power over someone or something else to have power at all.
If we don’t have power over someone else, that must mean, someone else has power over us, and by that we have become the victims.
We see this in so many aspects of society. And we see this in our internal struggles.
“To restructure the way we think of power and to channel and contain that power within our own being is the challenge of the third chakra. It transforms us, ignites our life with purpose. To have true power emanating from within renews the joy of being alive.”
In order to be able to do this, we must re-define and clarify to ourselves what is power for us int his moment in life? With the knowledge and wisdom, we gained?
Why do we allow others to take it away from us? Not so that we beat ourselves up, but rather that we stop acting again and again as a victim. So that we take ownership and responsibility on the choices we make. And if we need the help of others, then to go and reach for such assistance with professionals. With those who can help us break through unhealthy habits and create new and empowered habit. So that we stop living in the past and make conscious choices to lead us into a healthier transformative future.
“Power is not created from staying safe; power comes from the willingness to leave the world of safety and move forward into the unknown.”
As we move up into the 3rd chakra we are asked to challenge our belief systems. To be willing to step into the unknown, into the grey area of uncertainty, where we are willing to move away from safety, to find out what it is we believe and who we truly are.
This of course comes after we established a strong sense of safety and connection in the first chakra, and a sense of curiosity and creativity in the second chakra. So, we can all see how important it is to take these steps, one by one, and only when we are truly ready for them.
Then In the third chakra we move further and transform the inertia of matter and movement into a conscious direction of willed activity.
First and second chakra move downward and are considered instinctual. The third chakra, with its element of fire, is dynamic and light, rising upward, and away from gravity.
“We must be willing to leave the way it has always been, to transform our habits, set a new course and enter chakra three. We must be willing to individuate – to step out of the familiar and expected and confront the challenge of uncertainty.”
For many of us it is easier to stay in unhealthy relationships and habits, than to step into a new way of life. The unknown scares many of us and the fear (first chakra demon) paralyses us and our progress along the chakra system.
We always start from the foundation and so, if you are still working with fear and first chakra issues then be patient and allow this progress to happen one step at a time.
But for those of us that have been doing the work, but have hit a wall, it is important to consider how do we progress from here? What action is needed of us to start a process of transformation? How can we include this in our Asana practice, meditation practice, and in our daily life?
“The third chakra aspect of individuation involves overcoming unconscious habits that allow us to be defined by others.”
This is a big one. So many of us are locked in a system of “should” and “should not” that lead our life. We are prisoners of these and are unable to open our wings and fly in the direction that our spirit asks of us. Even as Yogis and Yoginis. The expectation we put upong ourselves. That as a yogini I should not get angry, I should not be attached, I should not be offended or hurt, I should know better and be above all this…
These faulty ideas and agendas have cause me much suffering. It is only after I was able to recognise them and surrender to them, that I started the true journey of yoga; of meeting myself as I am , where I am, and not where I would have wanted to be.
So please do use this month to consider this aspect, and to heal whatever fragmented identification of yourself you have.
Do you have an awareness as to how many of these lead your daily life?
Take the time to sit and consider what would your life look like if you were not locked in these agendas? If you had all the money in the world? And then try to find the courage to look at how much of this is not yours to carry?
When in balance:
A sense of responsibility, reliability, good self-esteem, confidence, playfulness, sense of humour, self-discipline, ability to meet challenges.
Deficient 3rd chakra:
Low levels of energy, poor self-discipline, low self-esteem, poor digestion, victim mentality, blaming of others.
Excessive 3rd chakra:
Overly aggressive, dominating, controlling, need to always be right and have the last word, manipulative, power hungry, temperament, competitive, arrogant.
1. Asana practice: Include a pose you don’t like or fear. Start practicing it as often as you can and develop a relationship with it, until the fear and discomfort don’t have a strong hold over you.
2. Asana practices that strengthen Manipura chakra are practices that build healthy fire; Standing twists, inversions, sit ups, plank.
3. Sit in reflection – and acknowledge what thoughts and emotions are present with you? (what story plays through your mind/ what discomfort are you running away from? Who do you blame? Others? Yourself? Etc…) – just sit and see it all through non judgemental eyes and with compassion. (you can listen to a beautiful podcast with Oprah Whinfrey and Pema Chodron just about this; “Welcoming the Unwelcome”. )
4. Deep relaxation practices – this allows us to act from a place of power and from reactions. Learning to unwire the nervous system and to rest is an extremely important practice for most people these days.
5. Anger release
6. Resolve shame issues – with a therapist or healer of some sort if needed.
7. Will strengthening practices – start small. This is the best advice I can offer. Start small. Just like babies start small. One step at a time. If there is something you’ve wanted to do start with a commitment you can hold. Go to a class once a week. Or enrol to a course. Or start with one minute a day of meditation. Whatever it is make sure you set a goal that is challenging and yet possible to you and your schedule and life as it is now. Not as you would have wanted it to be in an ideal world.
8. Mantras and affirmations: I honour the power within me. I am strong and powerful and have the means to overcome all obstacles that come my way. I am open to new habit and transformation.
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters / Portia Nelson
I. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
II. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I still don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. It isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
III. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there, I still fall in. It's habit. It's my fault. I know where I am. I get out immediately.
IV. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
V. I walk down a different street.