I don’t know about you, but winter is a season when my energy is low and while lying dormant may be what I need to do, my frontal lobe just wants to keep clicking over: producing, checking things off the list, producing, scheduling tasks, producing, creating, producing. My body and spirit know they need renewal; my ego remains its normal driven self, afraid that if I let down for a second, I may lose some essential part of my identity.
Reality check time.
I learned during my 21-Day Art Discovery-Journey-Exploration that accountability is a wonderful and empowering blessing. Knowing that there were people awaiting my day’s adventure during those days kept me honest. I couldn’t just think, “Wow! Here’s a neat project to add to my life…” and then get distracted by a different neat project half-way through. So, I am thinking that some accountability with the reality check event might be worthwhile, too.
Here is what I am proposing to do: I plan to devote the next seven weeks to being attentive to my energy nodes, to paying attention to what they are really telling me instead of what I think would allow me to continue with a familiar old pattern of over work. Seven weeks will carry me from the end of Samhain into the middle of Imbolc – from rest and renewal into the soft, moist beginning of seed-breaking. I’m inviting you to come along with me and share that inward attentiveness, or just to be a silent witness if you prefer.
I will be using the seven chakras as the visual image for my meditation, but I want to open that up into expansive permission for myself and for you. Chakras may be alien territory for you and, depending on the parameters of your own adventurous spirit, alien territory may be more than you want to handle right now when your energy may also be low. In which case, feel free to translate my images into something that works better for you or that evokes a sense of “Here I am. Focused. Present. Breathing deeply.”
During this time, I will also be creating a set of fiber chakra focus pieces. They will go up in the Etsy shop as they take shape. And, if you get part way through this and want to commission one, you can do that, too. For me, sewing is part of the meditation and if my meditation manifests in a way that empowers your meditation, I would feel blessed.
So, to begin. The chakra ‘column’ is normally depicted as a rainbow stretching up the spine from the coccyx to the crown of the head, with red at the lowest point (the Root Chakra) and purple at the highest point (the Crown Chakra). Rainbows work for me because they are such a multi-layered symbol. They may or may not work for you. If the color of a particular chakra resonates, go with it. If it doesn’t, just keep breathing. You have not failed. No one is judging you except you. So, cut it out.
I am beginning with the Root Chakra. If you want to imagine it in your body, it is located at the base of the spine. It is the energy node that links us to the earth. It literally and figuratively ‘roots’ us. It is the (unlocked) doorway through which energy rises through us. Because it roots us, it is essential to our stability and security; indeed, to our survival. A plants does not live long if it is uprooted. Root energy is a downward energy. It grounds us in time and space, in the temporal, material world. The Root Chakra also grounds our spirit in our body – our incarnate being is whole and one (not dual as western culture tends to believe.)
If it helps you, perhaps you would like to find something red on which to focus. The red isn’t magic, it merely serves as a reminder. If science is your thing, remember that red is the slowest color in the spectrum, with the longest wavelength of the hues we can see, appropriate for slowing us down enough to pay attention to what supports us whether that is the rock on which we stand, the earth on which we sit, the roots that carry nurture to us, the traditions that empower us.
Here is the guided meditation I will be using this week.
Close your eyes if you feel comfortable, or perhaps you would prefer to focus on red and allow your eyes to relax and go soft. Begin to breathe deeply, allowing your breath to slow as you sink into a quiet awareness of your body at rest in time and space.
When you feel centered, still, peaceful, let your awareness drift into your lower spine.
Feel the energy pooled there. Is the pool deep and full, an abundant well? or is it low at the moment?
When you can feel that energy, allow your awareness to drift lower, along channels (roots) which dig and spread into the earth.
Notice your roots (channels) as you let your attention travel them; explore them; send your consciousness out along the branches. Where are they strong and healthy? Where are they damaged or shriveled? How deeply do they reach? How broadly do they spread?
Notice the sustenance, the fuel and energy, that are moving through them. Do you perceive a steady stream of nutrients? a flood? a bare trickle?
Do you sense any blockages, places where the energy is unable to move toward that pool at the base of your spine? Can you gently remove some of the debris that is in the way?
Notice your feelings. Are you feeling totally nurtured? filled with a steady sustenance? stable? confident? Are you aware of anxiety or fear? Are you feeling disempowered? frustrated? blocked?
Without judging your feelings, consider your connection to your source – is it strong and secure? or does it need some care and attention?
When you are ready, let your awareness drift back along your roots to the pool at the base of your spine. Express your gratitude for that well of energy.
Take three or four deep breaths and open your eyes slowly and gently, refocus and be present here and now.
If you are like me, there is going to be debris and damage somewhere in that root system. The soil in which I am growing is sometimes barren or unhealthy or toxic. Roots will not be strong in bad soil. They will not be able to support growth if the available nutrition is low or if the roots themselves are squeezed or blocked – or are too shallow.
Root Chakra calls us to be intentional about allowing the ‘invisible’ part of our growth to happen. Dormancy slows or stops the visible growth (above ground where the leaves and blossoms and fruit appear in many plants) so that the nurturing system can expand. Your nurturing system may be in wonderful condition; I notice that mine needs me to stop pushing the blossoms already and cherish the roots for awhile.
A blessing-hope for this week:
Sink me down, down, deep and deeper.
Dive me slowly, sinuously
toward cool moisture
kept fluid by the molten heat
Pool me atom by atom
into latent possibility,
from which power
will well upward, outward
into future growth.
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2014, 2013, 2015 Immram Chara, LLC
The first photo is a bonsai from the Denver Botanical Gardens, the second is one of the squares from the Chakra Panel in my Etsy Shop (The Chakra Panel is a complete chakra column; I am working on seven individual pieces), the third is my most recent piece (also available in the Etsy shop). Clearly my subconscious mind has been trying to get me to pay attention to my energy.