The Solar Plexus: Feeling Good

Although the area from the navel through the diaphragm can all be considered the third chakra, different parts of this area have distinct, although related, functions.

The navel area relates to personal power, self-esteem, and the ability to realize your desires. Golden and yellow crystals such as citrine, golden calcite, tiger's eye, aragonite, pyrite, and amber, are traditionally placed on this area.

The solar plexus relates to the release of emotional traumas and blockages. Its traditional colors are yellow-green and pinkish-orange. Rhodochrosite, unakite, peridot, chrysoprase and--a color exception--malachite are appropriate to place on this area.

The Trauma Bank

A newborn or very young baby breathes naturally. If you watch one, you'll see that its abdomen and diaphragm expand deeply when it inhales and contracts when it exhales. The expansion allows air to come in, and the contraction allows it to be pushed out.

While this may seem obvious, most people breathe the opposite way, contracting on the inhale and expanding on the exhale. This deprives us of needed oxygen, and, equally important, of the ability to feel.

So Why Do We Do That?

If you've ever raised or spent significant time around young children, you may have witnessed the kind of temper tantrums in which they hold their breath, greatly alarming their parents.

The tantrum is a dramatic version of how children suppress their natural ability to breathe deeply and freely. They've learned the connection between breathing and feeling and discovered they can reduce sensation by not breathing as deeply as they naturally would.

Shallow, incorrect breathing becomes an unrecognized habit by the time we reach adulthood. The underuse of the diaphragm causes a blockage in the solar plexus, and a reduced intake of oxygen can produce a variety of physical ailments (asthma, a breathing disorder is one).

Not wanting to feel pain also becomes a habit, but one that is never completely satisfied, for the pain always lurks beneath the surface, often creating anxiety. The habit also leads to emotional restriction. "I'm not going to fall in love again, because it just hurts." "I'm not going to stand up for myself, because he'll yell at me." "I'm not going to ask for a raise because I don't want to feel rejected."

There are other emotional costs. Since our physical/emotional apparatus doesn't distinguish between positive and negative feelings, the message it receives is, "I don't want to feel." The price we pay for not directly experiencing unhappiness is a reduced ability to feel happy.

In addition, our emotions become distorted. When, for example, we want to love someone but can't, we may feel resentment or anger towards them. We may feel jealous of those who are more outspoken than we are. In order to not feel wrong, we may work very hard at being right.

The Solar Plexus and Self-Esteem

Although the navel area more directly relates to self-esteem, stones traditionally placed on the solar plexus area can also be helpful in this important area of human fulfillment. Often, the hurts of the past prevent us from full self-appreciation. Our childhood association of pain as punishment can cause us to believe that the pain we experienced was our fault. A feeling of being wrong can follow us into adulthood and diminish self-esteem.

In addition, when we've reduced our ability to feel, we decrease, as I described above, the ability to feel good. This includes the ability to feel good about ourselves. When the emotional and physical sensations that accompany a feeling of accomplishment are diminished, we are less able to appreciate what we've achieved. We cannot honor our uniqueness.

As the center of the human body, the solar plexus is important in balancing the energy flow between the upper and lower parts of the body. The issues that rise when it's unbalanced are central to our emotional well-being. The stones I describe below can help to restore balance to this vital area.

Rhodochrosite: First You Breathe

The color of this stone is usually coral to pink, threaded with wisps of white, often creating a beautiful pattern. When placed on the solar plexus, it helps to release the emotional stresses that inhibit breathing.

In meditating with rhodochrosite on the solar plexus, be aware of the stone rising and falling as you breathe. This is both an excellent way to monitor your breath and to keep you from the distracting thoughts which are always waiting to enter our minds when we meditate. Imagine its rich, color filling you and relaxing all the muscles of the diaphragm, allowing deep breathing.



It's also helpful to think of the white streaks as oxygen coming into and going out of the lungs. Pay attention to your breathing.

A Basic Breathing Technique

This is a method which I practice regularly. It is very relaxing.

  1. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds. As you do so visualize whatever positive energies you desire (love, kindness, peacefulness, etc.) coming to you. It may be easiest to focus on one attribute at a time. Fill your lungs completely.
  2. Hold your breath for 4 seconds, and as you do so feel these energies filling you completely, entering every cell of your body.
  3. Exhale for 8 seconds. Feel yourself expelling all negative energies (hatred, anger, resentment, etc.)

As you become practiced in this you can increase the amount of time for each step, but keep the proportions the same, i.e., 8 seconds to inhale, 8 to hold, and 16 to exhale.

(Note: this exercise comes from the article Meditating Made Easier

Unakite

While rhodochrosite is the primary stone for assisting one in consciously learning to breathe deeply again, unakite can be very helpful in the steady release of feelings long held in. An opaque coral and olive-green stone (two colors associated with the solar plexus), its unique value stems from the three minerals that make it up: feldspar, epidote, and quartz.

unakite


Feldspar takes a number of forms, two of which are moonstone and labradorite. The general properties of this mineral are to help one to detach from old ways of doing things, thus permitting creativity to flower. It also assists in self-awareness and self-love.

Epidote enhances one's perceptions, encourages participation with others, and is also an aid to self-esteem.

Quartz is the primary stone used for dissolving energy blockages.

The support of deepened self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-awareness make it easier for us to deal with negative feelings from the past and to release them.

People who work with unakite have also noticed they are able to go beyond the physical symptoms of an illness to discover the mental and emotional sources for it. It is also believed to help release conditions which have been inhibiting personal growth.



Peridot: For Wounded Self-Esteem

This crystal combines the energies of green, associated with healing, and yellow, connected to both self-esteem and personal power. Peridot, relates to healing the wounds that damage our appreciation of ourselves.

peridot

When we find ourselves the targets of someone's anger, jealousy, resentment, or other negative emotions, we may feel as victimized as a child emotionally hurt by parents or playmates. Our hurt feelings are intensified by the pain we buried in childhood because we didn't want to feel it.

Peridot can play a valuable role in this healing. I recommend placing it with rhodochrosite on the solar plexus. Rhodochrosite will bring the buried pain of the past to the surface, and peridot can help to dissolve it. With an aventurine on the heart center and a citrine on the navel, peridot can act as an instrument for blending love and self-esteem.

Chrysoprase: Receptivity

Correct breathing is a natural process we learn to suppress. In the emotional numbing that results from this suppression, we can also lessen the innate ability to be open to positive energies.

Chrysoprase, like peridot, combines green and yellow, but its hue is much softer. This is appropriate to its quality of helping us to restore receptivity.

chrysprase pendant


To be receptive is on one level to be appreciative. When, for example, we are holding in the solar plexus feelings of being unloved, filters of fear and mistrust can prevent us from recognizing when we are loved in the present. Chrysoprase, by opening our ability to experience positive energies, helps us to be able to face feelings from the past and bring them to the surface for healing.

We also find when we're open that opportunities are more likely to present themselves to us. Chrysoprase can help us attract situations and people which may be of assistance in creating abundance and/or success in new projects. It also helps one to accept healing energies.

Overall, this crystal relates directly to emotional upliftment. It's an excellent stone to use when you're feeling emotionally congested. When placed on the solar plexus during meditation and/or chakra balancing it helps to release emotional tension and stress which has lodged in the physical being.

Malachite: Creativity

This crystal, a vivid green with black swirls, is, as I noted above, an exception to the general color scheme for the solar plexus area. It belongs to this area because of its ability to absorb energy. It's very helpful in drawing out emotional negativity when placed on the solar plexus.

When used this way, it's important to clear it after each healing session. This soft stone is best cleared by passing it through a smudge stick.

malachite heart


Because it absorbs but doesn't dissolve negative energy, I recommend using a form of quartz, such as clear quartz, rose quartz, or aventurine when working with malachite. These crystals will dissolve the negative energy malachite brings to the surface. You can also enhance your experience of working with malachite by visualizing with each inhalation that a deep green energy is filling you with healing and balance.

Essences

The flower essences listed below have generally helpful qualities in terms of releasing emotions stored in the solar plexus. By studying our descriptions of Bach Flower Remedies, FES, and Wild Earth Animal Essences, you will find others specifically related to your particular blockages.

For example, FES's Pink Monkeyflower is associated with emotional repression due to feelings of shame. Bach's Holly helps to release feelings of being unloved.

People who need Agrimony (Bach) tend to bury their negative feelings. Though this is in part to avoid burdening others, they also don't want to face their pain. The Agrimony remedy helps them to face and release painful feelings.

Star of Bethlehem (Bach) relates specifically to unresolved shock and trauma, whether of recent or distant origin. By helping to dissolve the emotional blockage caused by trauma, Star of Bethlehem helps one become more in touch with his/her emotional needs.

Yerba Santa (FES), while not directly connected to emotional congestion in the solar plexus area, does relate to a nearby area, the heart. It helps to release accumulated feelings of sadness and pain.

Robin (Wild Earth Animal Essences) The robin symbolizes spring, the season of renewal, and is also connected to nurturing oneself to adulthood by releasing the pain of childhood.

While the heart is not geographically in the center of the human body, it is roughly in the center of the torso. Located between the three lower and three upper chakras, the heart chakra is an emotional and energetic center, blending the energies of physical, emotional, and personal power connections with the interpersonal, mental, and spiritual energies of the upper chakras.


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