This week, let's explore our powerhouse, the city of jewels that rests just above the navel at our solar plexus.
Its right is action and authenticity.
Its element is fire.
Its color is yellow.
This chakra is the seat of our self-identity, our self-esteem, will, and our inner strength. When we are balanced in the solar plexus, we feel self-motivated, with purpose, and confidence. We are able to stand true in our authenticity, and all of that together gives us a magnetic power that allows us to take right action and manifest a life we want. We can stay focused and maintain the discipline that is needed to see things through. When we are in balance in this chakra, we have a strong inner fire that makes us shine like the sun!
The solar plexus is also the home of another inner fire, our digestive fire. This is known as Agni in Ayurveda, and it is the foundation of good health, physically and mentally. Gut health has a great influence on our mental health and they are now calling the gut the second brain. Some, even say it is truly our first brain. Our gut bacteria produce hundreds of neurochemicals that regulate basic physiological processes, as well as regulating our mental processes like memory and mood. That foggy brain we get from time to time, maybe it's coming from our gut, and not our head after all. Another fun fact that simply amazes me about the gut, is that it produces 95% of our Serotonin! Almost all of it! No wonder why food has the potential to make us so happy, the right foods of course. When our Agni is healthy, our inner fire is strong, we are able to digest our foods properly and contribute to a happy gut, a happier us.
The Ego, sense of Self.
The ego often gets a bad rap, something we feel like we have to overcome and rise above in order to achieve some sort of enlightenment or spiritual achievement. Although this is partially true, we do need to rise above the shadows of the ego - attachment, selfishness, defensiveness, and its ability to be driven by our more instinctual, basic needs, fears, and desires; it's not about eradicating the ego, as much as it is building a healthy and developed ego. A lot of our work in our practice is to break the unconscious shadow habits of the ego that are really only trying to protect and shield our valuable and vulnerable Self. The ego is like the CEO of the Self, it takes guidance from our core needs and inner and outer influences whilst developing strategies and behaviors that keep us orientated towards our goals, growth, and development all while avoiding disasters and anything that will harm us. It's a tough job, and just like anything else - sometimes bad decisions are made. Hence why even CEOs need higher guidance sometimes - this comes from the upper chakras - the heart and the spiritual leaders.
With a healthy ego, we know who we are in this world, what we stand for, what we want, need, where we are going, and what we must do. We are able to stand on our own two feet, not dependant on anyone or anything. We take guidance and inspiration from others, but we stay true to our authentic Self, always. When we bravely step into this authenticity, we are stepping into our power! When we truly know ourselves, see ourselves, honour and respect ourselves, we radiate a magnetism that attracts great things into our lives.
However, we have been taught and conditioned to hide our authenticity. Diplomacy, political correctness, false flattery, people-pleasing, avoidance, and silence are all ways in which we can mask who we really are, what we really feel, and what we really need in that moment. This might avoid conflict, win us popularity and make us more likable, but that will in itself only be shallow. Our true colours will eventually shine through, the mask will drop and the crowd of fans we have built around us will evaporate or even worse, turn against us. It also diminishes our self-esteem and self-worth. We know we are being untrue to ourselves, we feel like an imposter in our own skin, and nothing takes our power more than that. Staying authentic no matter how uncomfortable and vulnerable it feels at the time, will ultimately lead us to liberation and a genuine sense of power, achievement, and success.
Power, humility, and compassion.
Stepping into our power can be pretty amazing! We feel energized and capable of anything. When we step into our power, we also step into our ability for transformation and to make big changes and impacts, not only for ourselves but for those around us. But with such power, comes great responsibility. As mentioned before, the ego has shadows, and we have to be our own inner sacred firekeepers to make sure that fire doesn't burn out of control. It is unfortunate that power has a way of seducing even the most awakened beings into the shadow. Many 'gurus', spiritual teachers, CEOS, politicians, celebrities, or anyone with power for that matter are very often called out for getting too greedy, aggressive, manipulative, abusing their power, and/ or abusing those around them too. To be in our power isn't to be forceful, manipulative, aggressive, or righteous. To be in our power is to take ownership and responsibility for our life, decisions, and actions. To be in alignment with our truth and inner light so we are able to share that truth and light with the world. Inside of all of us is a treasure, hence this chakra is called the city of jewels. To be in our power, we are able to share our inner treasures with the world. This is why it is so important to keep focused on humility whenever we are focusing on stepping into our power. Stay aware of our vulnerabilities, of others' vulnerabilities, and keep our self-serving behaviours in check. Power, humility, and compassion need to go hand in hand. Hence why whenever I work with the 3rd chakra, I also work with the 4th chakra too.
The 4th chakra is our heart chakra - our seat of compassion and connection. To connect with others we first have to learn to connect with ourselves. In order to have compassion for and forgive others, we first have to learn to be compassionate and forgive ourselves. This was one of the very first spiritual lessons I ever learned. I'm not sure where I heard it, I was still a young girl in school, but the phrase stuck in my head ' no one will ever be able to love you until you learn to love yourself first'. At such a young age, I already knew I was struggling to love and accept myself. Many early life difficulties led me to that place, but I knew I had to start doing something about it. I wanted to be loved, to be accepted, to belong. So this became my mantra ' I love me'. I would scribble it down in my notes and in the corner of my books, it even became my password so every time I logged into something I would have to say it. ( Passwords have now changed, FYI ).
Many moons have passed since that time and, yes, I am still doing the work - but I have witnessed time and time again, when I am aligned with my inner power, when I honour, love and respect myself - beautiful things happen. Doors open I never even knew existed, people respect me, my relationships of all kinds flourish, I experience big transformations. Then there are phases where I am not in my power, where I choose people-pleasing over my own truth, where I care too much about what others are doing or thinking, where I feel like I am drowning in my own insecurities, and fear. In these times, my energy is drained, I feel like I lose my purpose, my worthiness and doors seem to slam in my face, or I become judgmental of others, try to control everything, stop being a team player and just turn the focus to 'me, me, me'. Hence why I love chakra work - it really allows me to see where I need to focus, where I am out of balance so that I can put in the work to retune myself again. Sometimes we can be depleted and need to do things that energize us, or sometimes we are too excessive and need to rebalance ourselves. How are you feeling lately?
The good news is, there are many ways to find balance again, and I know - when we put in the work, we really do see the results. This chakra is, after all, the chakra of action! So even taking a step of action is already bringing more peace and harmony to our solar plexus.
That's all for now. Tune in next week for the fourth chakra, the heart chakra.