The Chakras:
A Practical Guide to Personal Growth

This is a sample lesson from the email course on the chakras. Each of the other seven chakras is covered in much the same way. In addition, the course contains an introduction, information on how an imbalance in one chakra affects the others, suggestions for appropriate breathing while meditating, meditations for balancing all of the chakras at once, and more. At the conclusion of the class you will be given instructions and suggestions for writing an evaluation of your own chakra imbalances and for making a plan to re-balance them. I will evaluate what you send me, and make additional suggestions.

Sample Lesson:
The Third Chakra: Will Power
  1. I frequently suffer from digestive disorders: upset stomach, ulcers, etc.
  2. I've tried many ways to improve my life, but none of them have worked.
  3. I don't like other people telling me what to do.
  4. The things I feel I should do aren't really the things I want to do.
  5. I find it difficult to ask for a raise or promotion at my job; if my work is good enough I shouldn't have to ask.
  6. If someone gives me a compliment I a) act modest, b) say, "Oh, it was nothing, c) wish they hadn't mentioned it.
  7. I have no sense of my purpose in being alive.
  8. To be successful in this world you have to be dishonest and manipulative.
  9. Powerful people are usually disliked.
  10. Money and spirituality are incompatible.
The Wrong Use of Will

The first chakra represents personal oneness; its challenge is that of being in harmony with physical existence and our own physical bodies. The second chakra expresses, through the energy of personal desire, both the movement away from oneness towards individuality, and the desire to regain oneness through the experience of others.

The third chakra adds the energy of thought to those of body and emotion to shape our desires into personal power and will.

If we are uneasy about expressing our desires and our sexuality we are even more reluctant to excercise power.

There's ample evidence in the external world that power can be abused. The names of Hitler and Mussolini come to mind; more recently, we have the examples of Watergate, the behavior of the CEOs of certain huge corporations, and we may have heard about the ways in which some religious and spiritual leaders have abused their power.

These and countless examples closer to home: our parents, bosses, lovers and mates, coercive "friends" may convince us that power is a drug like any other: once tasted, it becomes an addiction.

What the Statements Say

Statement 1 refers to the correspondence between the third chakra and the digestive system. As this system assimilates and digests physical energy, so the third chakra assimilates and digests psychic/spiritual energy. A third chakra blockage is often expressed physically.

Statements 2-4 demonstrate what happens when we reject our personal power. We feel that we can't change our lives; we resist the power plays of others; we find that it's easier to operate from a sense of obligation (the power of other people's ideas) than to do what we want to do.

Statements 5 and 6 point toward a confusion between egomania and healthy self-esteem.

Statment 7 demonstrates that when we're uncomfortable with the idea that we have individual selves worth nurturing it's difficult to imagine a purpose for that self.

Statements 8-10 provide more sophisticated arguments against the use of power. If success means dishonesty and manipulation, if powerful people are disliked, and money and spirituality are incompatible we're better off being powerless.

Where Nice People Get Stuck

I feel safe in saying that you who are reading this are trying to live your life according to spiritual principles which you've chosen. I'm that kind of person, too, and because of that third chakra energies continue to challenge me.

It becomes clear why we get stuck if we substitute the word "ego" for "power."

Some popular synonyms for ego are selfishness, self-centeredness, believing that one is more important than others. We feel that people who operate on the level of ego aren't attuned to spirituality. We believe that they are interested only in what they can get, not in the common good. We suspect that they don't see themselves as part of the One.

We don't like them, and we wouldn't want to be like them. We may believe that we have to be as unlike them as possible: that it's important to think of other people first, to not be too proud of our accomplishments, or in extreme cases, not to think too much about ourselves at all.

It is true that people who think only of themselves, who abuse power, who are coercive with others, and who have little care for the common good do have unbalanced third chakra energy - but so do people who resist the use of personal power.

Power Failure

In order to regain conscious direction of third-chakra energy we need to establish a new understanding of what power means. In itself power, like desire, is neither good or bad. It's simply a neutral energy, available to be used.

The sun is a literal image of power in our world. Without it, we would be cold, hungry, and depressed. We know that the sun doesn't abuse its powers. It shines on rich and poor alike, and gives its energy to both flowers and weeds.

Our power is capable of the same radiance. Yet, just as we need to respect the energy of the sun and be responsible in our enjoyment of it, so, if we want to avoid the traps which the use of power seems to set, we need to understand more about some of its expressions.

Money

Louise Hay once wrote that in her experience most people would rather talk about sex than about money.

Her remark indicates what an emotional subject money is for us. It so often gets tangled up with our beliefs about our self-worth, our deservability, our guilt.

We may think that we aren't good enough at what we do to earn a living wage. We may feel that money is somehow dirty, something with which a spiritual person should have no traffic. We may feel that money, like power, is addictive.

We no longer live in a society in which goods are bartered. We use money which, like power, is only a form of energy, and the exchange of money for goods or services, is an energy exchange.

In researching and discovering your beliefs about money it is especially valuable to trace their history. How did your parents feel about money? Were there arguments? An atmosphere of anxiety when bill payments were due? Did you get a weekly allowance? Did you work for it? Did you get your allowance taken away if you didn't do a good job?

Is money a form of nurturance for you? Is it form of love? How do you feel when you don't have it?

These questions should get you started.

I mentioned above that money issues get entangled with those of self-esteem, and self-esteem is another major issue in third-chakra imbalance.

Tightrope Walking

Ego and power don't necessarily have the same meaning; neither do ego and self-esteem. This is another area of confusion. Working with third chakra energies is truly a balancing act.

(Please note: the issue of self-esteem is intertwined with that of self-love, an area related to fourth-chakra energies, and will be discussed further in the next lesson.)

Take the statement: "If someone gives me a compliment I a) act modest, b) say, 'Oh, it was nothing,' c) wish they hadn't mentioned it." In the past, when people praised something I'd written my tendency was usually a). I had modesty down. I didn't say "It was nothing" because that would demean the intelligence of the praiser, and I didn't wish they hadn't mentioned it; I was thrilled.

Nonetheless, my modesty was excessive, and I wanted to shed it. Here's where the balancing act comes in.

I could have gone to the other extreme and said, "Oh, did you like it? Yes, this is one of the best pieces I've ever written, and I'm so proud of myself; I really think I'm a fabulous writer. Would you like to read a dozen more I've written?" That's ego run amok.

Instead, I will say (or write, since a lot of this correspondence goes on by email) some variant of the following: "Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write to me. Your remarks inspire me to keep on writing." This both acknowledges the compliment and returns it.

Many of the people who write to me aren't only communicating to tell me I'm a skillful writer; they thank me for making a difference in their lives. They might say, "The most recent newsletter addressed exactly the issue I've been working on," or "I was feeling depressed today, but now I feel much more hopeful."

Blessed Are Those Who Use Their Gifts Wisely

Imagine for a moment that we (and all of life) are the children of a loving energy which desires only that we realize our full potential.

Other life forms know this. A crystal shines joyfully; a beautiful flower has no ego concerns. When we humans realize that our gifts originate not within our personal beings, but from an inexhaustible source, when we know that our purpose in expressing them isn't ego gratification, but the manifestation of our soul's purpose, we can be as free in our expression as any other creature.

We are truly blessed when we allow full expression of our gifts in the spirit of sharing, as each point on a crystal cluster increases the cluster's radiance.

Power Stones

Our ability to prosper is one measure of our personal power. For many people power and money are identical. Prosperity is as much our natural birthright as personal power.

Altholugh yellow (or gold) is most commonly associated with the third chakra, golden energy is also connected to the crown chakra, which relates to higher wisdom. The golden stones thus not only help give us the self-esteem and self-confidence to draw it towards us, but shed the light of higher wisdom on the situations which may challenge our exercise of will.

Citrine, the stone most directly associated with prosperity, helps us to channel creative energy into manifestation. It also assists us in processing our beliefs and habits in order to assimilate those which serve us and to release those which do not. This in turn helps us to clear up mental blockages we may have which prevent us from being prosperous.

Tiger's eye, a stone which relates to both the first and third chakras, helps us to view physical reality in new ways which can free us from the limiting beliefs which can prevent us from realizing or even recognizing our goals. It also helps us to be patient during the materialization process.

Pyrite, calcite, and fluorite are frequently referred to as the mental trinity because of their complementary energies. Pyrite helps to stimulate the creativity of the higher mind; calcite clears the mental/emotional blockages which may prevent our recognition of this creativity, and fluorite assists in manifesting the idea. Amber calcite has the additional quality of helping us to remember that which is important to remember. Yellow fluorite strengths the link between universal mind and one's individuality.

When we're feeling depressed self-esteem is usually at a low point. Amber helps to dissolve depression and restore an optimistic viewpoint. Being not a stone but fossilized resin, it's actually a link between the mineral kingdom and the plant kingdom.

Flowers of Power

Larch (Bach) helps us to dissolve limiting self-images and to remove the phrase, "I can't," from our vocabularies. Its energies help us to realize our talents and capabilities, thus fostering self-esteem.

Those who automatically stray off their own path to go to the assistance of others (described by Dr. Bach as slaves rather than willing helpers) benefit from Centaury (Bach). This remedy enables one to be giving within the strength of one's inner identity.

Negative Vine (Bach) behavior exhibits the kind of abuse which gives power a bad name. This remedy teaches one to lead by example, not by coercion.

Star Thistle (FES) allows us to feel secure that we are the source of abundance, rather than needing to rely on external evidence of security.

Essential Oils

When we've, knowingly or unknowingly, created blockages to receiving abundance (in any form) inhaling Melissa (Lemon Balm) can help to release these blockages.

Patchouly helps to release anxiety, another form of energetic blockage, and thus also assists in releasing barriers to abundance.

Ginger is a physical and psychic energizer which encourages self-confidence and success.

Additional Suggestions
  1. How well do you treat your money? Is it crumpled in pockets, scattered around your house? Develop tidy money habits.
  2. Notice when and how you give up your power. For example, do you let incorrect bank statements go by because it's too much trouble to get them corrected? If you have seniority at your job, and someone else asks for the vacation time you want, do you let them have it?
  3. If there's a creative activity you've never quite gotten around to because you think you'd be no good at it sign up for a course.
  4. Be gracious about accepting compliments. Compliment someone else (sincerely) at least once a day.
  5. Exercise your power with regard to issues you care about: write a letter to your congressman, do volunteer work for a cause you believe in. Make a difference in the world.
Assignment

(Special Note: The assignment referred to below is contained in the introduction and consists of writing the beliefs you have about issues relating to each of the chakras.)

1.Take out the list of beliefs you compiled for the assignment in the Introduction. See which of them apply to the third chakra.
a. Re-read the statements at the beginning of this lesson if you get stuck.
b. Bear in mind that any negative remarks or feelings about your gifts and talents, money, feelings about what egomaniacs other people are, feelings that people push you around, hesitancy to assert yourself, and digestive difficulties relate to this chakra.

2. Pay attention to thoughts you have which are third chakra-related: if you worry a lot about money, feel financially insecure, feel that you don't earn the money you deserve, feel ungifted, feel gifted but frustrated in the expression of your gift, notice that opportunities seem to pass you by, remind yourself that these issues relate to the third chakra, and that you're working on them.

In Summary: Keywords for the Third Chakra

Location: From the navel area to the solar plexus.

Element: Fire

Colors: Yellow

The Purpose of this Chakra:

A Meditation for the Third Chakra

(Special Note: The crystals chosen for the first chakra meditation are grounding stones: hematite, tiger's eye, obsidian, black tourmaline, smoky quartz)

This meditation will involve using the crystals you chose for your first-chakra meditation and a crystal you choose related to the third chakra. The instructions for placement of first-chakra stones is repeated below.

  1. Take four grounding stones (preferably the same kind) Put one each where your legs join the torso, and one each just below your feet. Place a quartz crystal against your head and a rhodochrosite midway between the navel and breastbone.
  2. Hold a quartz crystal point in the hand of your choice. Place your hand directly above the groin, holding the crystal point down, and slowly guide the crystal over your body until you reach the top of your head. As you do so slowly inhale.
  3. Reverse the procedure, this time exhaling.
  4. Do this a few times; then, as you inhale feel earth energy rising from the soles of your feet, up through your body to your head. As you exhale, feel your own energy returning to the earth.
  5. After you've done this for a few minutes imagine a warm, golden energy flowing through you. Visualize yourself as the sun, sharing your energy and warmth with all of life.
  6. After the first time you do this meditation you may also want to visualize one of the problems you've written down which relate to the third chakra and visualize that situation changing into something you'd prefer.

This is also a good meditation to do when you're anticipating or planning a situation in which you will need to assert yourself, before embarking on a new creative project, or whenever you feel the need to boost your self-esteem.


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