Weekly Theme: The Root Chakra

Weekly Theme: The Root Chakra

oot chakra healing - red root chakra symbol

Weekly Theme: The Root Chakra – How to Heal & Align The Muladhara

Welcome to the chakras series! For the next 7 weeks, the weekly themes will be all about the chakras with the root chakra coming first. In this article, we’ll explore the root chakra and uncover some methods for how to heal yours.

The Background on Chakras

I personally never really understood the chakras until I got attuned to Reiki and even then, I needed the cliff notes version of what it meant to “open” or “align” said chakras. I’m honestly still not even sure if I pronounce the word correctly. Some say chakra while others say shakra. Nonetheless, that’s a tomato/potato argument, right?

Chakras started to make sense when I started to put the work in (who would’ve thought). Putting in the work means you get to know your chakras versus the chakras. Your chakras are cool and all, but I have to focus on my own. It’s not you, it’s me. Feeling uneasy about understanding chakras? Just know, you’re not alone.

Chakras as Energy Centers

We should spend some time with our 7 chakras, or energy centers when we’re working to befriend and love ourselves. In order to feel inner peace, we must allow each chakra to give us insight into our true desires for ourselves. Frankly, finding inner peace is what life is all about, right? When we find love within ourselves no matter what, we are always at peace and filled with love despite the who, where, or why surrounding us.

Well, at least that’s my truth. Everyone is different. We’re all on different paths but how cool is it that all our paths are so close to one another during this time in our journeys?

Chakras & The Energy Body

Do you want to know what else is cool? Not only do we have a physical body but we also have an energy body! Do you know what they say? Actually, I don’t. What? Two bodies are better than one? Double the body, double the fun? Those are lame. Nevermind.

In school, we are taught about our physical body and the components, such as the circulatory system and the human skeleton (speaking of which, have I shown you the spine I got at a yard sale yet? If not, come to my office to meet him!). However, schools should really teach the parts of the energy body, like the energy channels and energy centers (not to mention how to do your taxes). They go hand in hand. Physical hand in energy hand, if you will.

Chakras & Energy Flow

Energy connects and flows through the physical body through the chakras. When all of our chakras are open, energy can run through them freely and harmony exists between our physical and energetic bodies.

What Are Chakras?

Fun fact: There are actually hundreds of chakras in the energy anatomy – 114 to be exact. They all affect our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. We’ll focus on the 7 most common chakras:

  • Crown Chakra
  • Third Eye Chakra
  • Throat Chakra
  • Heart Chakra
  • Solar Plexus Chakra
  • Sacral Chakra
  • Root Chakra

Happiness can be so easily obtained by slowing down and getting to know every single part of yourself. Who you are, what makes you feel complete, believing in yourself, loving yourself, sharing it with the world, knowing your worth, and plugging into the divine. Guess what? Those are literally the chakras explained in a sentence.

Balancing The Chakras: A Mario Cart Analogy

When I think of the chakras, I think of Mario Kart. I said what? Mario Kart. I was always Toad, who were you? At the beginning of the race, there is a character guy on a cloud (his name is Lakitu and he is a Koopa, I looked it up) holding something resembling a traffic light. If you close your eyes, I’m sure you can remember the sound of the distinct “beep beep beeeeeeep” as the countdown happens for the players.

That “beep beep beep – GO” is what it feels like when your chakras are aligned. Starting at the root (beep) all the way up to the crown (beeeeeeeep). Rev up your engine and start cruising through life while trying to avoid anything that would throw us off track and unbalance our chakras.

Like any good Mario Kart race, there are always going to be banana peel wipeouts and/or bombs in our way. But knowing what keeps you centered and balanced allows you to get back in the race and in alignment with your true self.

If that’s not too weird for you, I also like to think of my chakras as little doors leading to magical
places in my body I can visit to learn more about myself and what my energy needs to feel
amazing. For instance, you may have heard the term “heart space”. This is your heart chakra! But that’s not for another few weeks, stay tuned for that adventure.

Now, imagine me as Ms. Frizzle, from The Magic School Bus (honestly, we’re kind of similar…) let’s get in the VW bus I borrowed from next door and go explore the chakras!

The Root Chakra aka The Muladhara

What Is The Root Chakra?

The root chakra is just that, the root. It’s the foundation. When the root chakra is open, we feel confident in our ability to withstand challenges and we’re able to stand on our own two feet. When our base chakra is aligned, we know who we are and we stand firmly in our beliefs and morals. While our other chakras open us up to creativity, confidence, love, communication, intuition, and spirituality. If we want them to stay open and balanced, our root chakra energy must be grounded.

Where Is The Root Chakra Located?

This chakra is located at the base of our spine. The root chakra is responsible for our sense of security and stability. This is the foundation of who our true self is.

The Root Chakra Mantra: I AM

Each chakra is affiliated with a color, an element, a crystal, a planet, as well as yoga poses, glands, and mantras. The root chakra mantra is “I AM.” Let’s play around with this:

  • I AM safe
  • I AM centered
  • I AM grounded

But also (and this is where the cliff notes come in) I AM Kristin. At my root, at my base, I know who I am and stand firmly in my beliefs and morals. Each chakra is a “level up” to coming into your highest self. Your true self.

The Root Chakra’s Element & Life Force Energy

The root chakra’s element is the earth element encouraging our ability to dig in and feel firmly
rooted in our life. When exploring the root chakra, think about your relationship with yourself and the world around you. Where do you feel grounded? When do you feel calm and stable? These are the desires I was talking about.

If we are feeling distracted, anxious, lost or unsafe, tap into those desires. I AM Kristin and I feel secure and grounded outside. If I am super busy bebopping around the Barn, you may see me barefoot. This helps ground me and brings some calmness to my very fast brain.

How to Balance The Root Chakra

I breathe into my root, imagining the red glow around my chakra get brighter and brighter. This helps center me and slow me down from beaming so fast that I may take off into outer space. When our root chakra is opened, a calm and steady energy will run throughout our body. We’ll feel grounded and at home in both our bodies and in the world around us. How peaceful does that sound?

I encourage you to spend some time opening your root chakra this week. Reconnect with the earth. Eat some red foods (hot Cheetos don’t count!). Speak affirmations such as “I am safe” “I am at home in my body” “I am at peace with the here and now”. Carry around a red jasper. Ask yourself, “What are my basic needs to survive? Do I have easy access to all of these needs, or is there anything I struggle to attain?”

Grounding Meditation For The Root Chakra

  1. Bring your attention to your root chakra at the base of the pelvis.
  2. Visualize the trunk of your favorite tree growing down from the base of your spine.
  3. Breathe deeply in and out as you feel held and grounded into the support of the Earth.
  4. With each exhale release what no longer serves you. Send it down the tree trunk and into the Earth.
  5. With each inhale, imagine drinking in the exact nourishment your body needs today.
  6. Sit with this visualization for 5 to 10 slow deep breaths, feeling embraced and supported by the Earth.

Journal Prompts For Root Chakra Healing & Alignment

To help incorporate the theme into the groups this week, I have found some great root chakra journaling prompts from Zanna Keithley to assist in group discussion topics.

  • Has there ever been a time in my life when my basic needs of food, water, warmth, rest, security, and safety weren’t met? How did I feel during this time?
  • What can I do to ensure my mind, body, and spirit feel safe despite external circumstances?
  • What can I do to ensure my basic physiological and safety needs are always met?
  • What basic needs are met in my life, and what makes me grateful for each one? (Write one to three sentences for each need, describing why you’re grateful for it.)
  • In my external world, what helps me to feel safe? What helps me feel safe in my internal world?
  • What does it mean to me to be grounded? How can I cultivate the feeling of being grounded in my life?
  • In the middle of a busy and hectic day, what can I do to help myself to feel centered?
  • When the world feels chaotic, how can I remain rooted firmly to the ground?
  • Describe yourself as though you are a tree, with roots that keep you secure to the ground no matter how the wind blows.
  • What does strength mean to me? What makes me feel strong? When do I feel strongest?
  • What does it mean to me to be rooted in the present moment?
  • What practices can I incorporate into my daily routine that will increase mindfulness and help me to remain in the present moment?
  • Are there any situations, places, or common experiences in my life that don’t help me to feel rooted, secure, safe, and/or grounded? What can I do to help myself in these moments (or change the situation)?
  • Visualize your highest self walking through a beautiful, open field with your bare feet touching the ground. Describe this experience, including how it makes you feel.
  • Write a compassionate love letter to your body. Use affirmations to affirm that you feel safe, supported, and at ease in your body.
  • In what ways does my body always take care of me?
  • Finish this statement: “I build my life upon the foundation of _____.” Describe all the positive feelings and beliefs that create the foundation upon which you build your life.
  • What does it mean to me to be firm in my place of life?
  • Do I feel like my loved ones support me? Do I feel like the Universe supports me? What do I need to feel more supported?
  • Why is important to me to feel supported by loved ones and the Universe?
  • Reflect on this statement and what it means to you: “Every cell of my body supports my total wellbeing.”
  • When my energy feels depleted, what can I do to nourish and rejuvenate my body, mind, and spirit?
  • What can I do every morning to increase my energy and greet the day with enthusiasm and vitality?
  • Who is my truest, most authentic self?
  • How can I become one with my true self in each and every moment?
  • What fears or limiting beliefs hold me back from living as my truest, most authentic self?
  • Why is having an open and balanced root chakra important to me?
  • What does an ordinary day as my most grounded and secure self look like? How do I carry myself through the day? How do I treat others and myself? Write about this day in detail.

Let’s have a great week learning how to align and heal our root chakra, folks! If you want to become part of our groups or learn more about the mental health treatment program at Barn Life Recovery, never hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you love your life again!

The Albedo, or the Whitening of the Black

The Albedo, or the Whitening of the Black

The Albedo

We begin our 3rd week on inner transformation- a look into alchemy- with a short poem describing this stage known as the Albedo.

The ash is washed away
To reveal our original purity
To every black, there must be a white.
A heaven to every hell.
And so
Behind the mask of our temporary identities, there is an eternal soul.

When we remove the mask
–Teal Swan

The Prema Materia and the Nigredo

To this point, our writing, group discussion, and meditations have been revolving around the importance of inner work. Alchemy deals in large part with building an inner chem lab in which we participate in the arriving experiences both familiar and new. Alchemy helps us, as we have discussed in prior weeks, to identify where we are and where we are going in the transformation of our psychological worlds. From the starting material (prema materia) discussed 2 weeks ago, we moved then to nigredo, or blackening of our psychological eye. This refers to a dissolving of hope wherein we surrender to the abyss – the darkening of our perspectives. Remember that we come to new life only through the death experience. If you are suffering, embrace that process with your support. Let the energy pull you down and stay engaged, something powerful is happening!

Finding the Positive

Here is the second phase of the work. On the one hand, the coming whitening is filled with potential, hopefulness, refreshment and nourishment. On the other, it generates a large degree of stretching – insight, effort, and refinement. Albedo refers to the whitening of the experience, where, through our darkness, we begin to see light. Can you recall these kinds of moments in your life? How many clichés do we have for this shift? “It’s always darkest before the dawn” or “we need darkness to see the light?” We have all had mysterious happenings come out of difficult circumstances. Finding the positive proves quite difficult until something new comes out of it. This is one way of understanding a gift in our suffering. Think of those that work in treatment. Chances are good they too have suffered and to a large degree find meaning and wisdom. They now point the way.

The Light From Darkness

In the simplest terms, albedo refers to the light that comes from darkness. It refers to the light that may itself be darkness. New hope, the whitening, a bright light that we could not see until we waited in the abyss. It is not the light that we might expect, however. Suffering the nigredo does not automatically give us a new life. Rather than a solar light where warmth and growth come to us with clear and practical direction, we instead experience the white light of the moon.

The King and the Alchemical Work

Alchemical texts across the world use sun (solar) and moon (lunar) to describe the two poles of the psychological experience. On the one hand, sunlight refers to what we know. We associate it with kingship, the ruling conscious self that sits on the throne in your mind. The one that chooses and rules over actions. It is ultimately this king that goes through the alchemical work as consciousness must be broken down. Here the lunar (moon) must be experienced. Firstly we go from daylight to darkness (nigredo), then we begin to see that very same world we have known in the solar world with new hues and perspectives. Those same trees that once looked green and vibrant, now, in the pale moonlight, look muted, ominous, and full of the critters of the night.

The Odd New Perspectives

Lunar consciousness – the whiteness of the moon – is a metaphorical way of referring to the odd new perspectives that come with the alchemical process. We transform old selves through the blackness then begin to see with eyes that are quite different. From lunar we get the word lunacy. This is to say that new beginnings must come from an inner perspective that at first is quite backwards. Does it surprise you to learn that going “crazy” is in fact necessary in order to change? Of course to what degree and how we do this can very tremendously. Have you ever felt like you have “lost it” and that actually became the medicine for your life?

The Lunar and the Feminine

We have seen that whitening refers to the lunar instead of the solar. However, this can also mean the feminine instead of the masculine or silver instead of the gold. Here, having broken down and lost our way, we revisit the world we have known but with new eyes. Everything then takes time to observe and experience from a new perspective. This is a tricky thing to describe here and I hope you are getting some tastes of what this might feel like. But let’s take it a bit further and see what may grab you. Let’s talk about silver for a minute.

A Silver Mining Experience

Silver is a difficult substance to mine. In order to dig up silver, it takes a tremendous amount of hard work for little yield. So to get perspective you have to do a lot of digging. Your eyes must be facing down and into the dark earth of your psyche and through this comes the harvested silver of the albedo. Once you have descended to the earth you have to then extract the silver. Silver needs polish and work on but then provides a strong mirror. There in the face of our silver-selves can we see clearly what we are. Albedo is a silver mining experience. Albedo is a silver revealing, emotion clarifying and vision providing experience.

A Willingness to Go Loopy

Through moonlit insight, we trip on what was otherwise overlooked in our “rightness” of daylight. The reflective lunar mind is the mind of the patient. It is a willingness to go loopy, to feel the lunacy of your stories and to share, share, share. There in the moonlight do you find your monsters and your allies. Recognize that this work of alchemy is a series of separations of parts and merging of parts. We leave the world we have known, look at the parts we have called ourselves, and returned to them with new eyes. Some parts shrink, others dissolve, some become ideas instead of realities, others realities instead of ideas. Taking the time to cook, dissolve, and free flow through these stages is essential to the soul’s liberation.

Albedo and the Purification

Losing your mind becomes about the aesthetic value, the sensory experience, the here and now in the dark unknown. What firstly can be known? Your senses. the feeling, the feminine, the pale light of being in the body first and the mind second. As the whiteness clarifies what we want, we feel ever closer to what we are and where we are. We not simply our minds nor our bodies, but attending to these parts makes us something entirely more. The soul is the one in the experience and in albedo we must notice the purification taking place. It too can be suffering, although the images that come through tell us more about why.

The Lunacy of the Imagining Mind

We suffer for this clarity, we suffer for reflection, we suffer for the beautiful pure image that we want to achieve that comes out of the black. Have you entered the lunacy of the imagining mind? If so you are no doubt beginning to dream, thinking in wondering and curious possibilities and, most importantly willing to enter your self-exploration with an unknowing attitude.