Feeling Exhausted or Damaged by the World Around You?
The modern world in which we all live can be a baffling, stressful and exhausting place. Many of us spend most of our time working in jobs which are either physically or mentally demanding, or simply monotonous and unrewarding. We are instructed to ease our discomforts and worries with material possessions, to use ‘retail therapy’ to stop us looking at our lives and the way we live them, and noticing that we are missing something. It comes as little surprise that more and more people nowadays are starting to recognize that life was never meant to be this way. For centuries and millennia before our generation, people lived with a closer connection to the earth around them, and relied on their friends and families for support.
The community was a real concept back then, not merely an abstract idea used in advertising and political broadcasts – people really understood each others lives and helped each other, possibly because they had a greater understanding of their own lives and needs, and selfishness was out of the question. Not only this, but generations ago, we had a greater understanding of our bodies. Whilst the modern age has introduced hundreds of effective and powerful medicines, and modern medical science continues to grow and develop in remarkable leaps and bounds, it has changed the way we see our bodies. If we recognize that we are unwell, we now focus on curing the symptoms of the illness, or the virus or bacteria or problem which has arisen.
If we recognize that we are suffering mentally or spiritually, modern doctors are likely to prescribe a range of medicines which change the way we think, and encourage us to ignore our sadness, or frustration, or desperation. These methods may be effective in one sense, but they fail to see the body as more than simply the sum of its parts. They fail to recognize the importance and the existence of the spirit, or the way in which the body produces, uses and transmits energies in order to keep us healthy and motivated. Most importantly of all, modern living and modern healing ignores the source of problems and illnesses, leaving them more than likely to return in some form or another.
Looking East for Answers
This wasn’t always the case, and more and more people are awaking to this truth. In the eastern world, the body, the mind and spirit have always been seen as fundamentally entwined realities, and problems and illnesses, or difficulties such as depression and frustration, were and continue to be seen as the result of blocked or leaking energies. The wisdom of ancient cultures from countries such as India and China has survived the millennia through writings and practices, and is now more available to the general public all over the world, thanks to the advent of the internet. In India particularly, thousands of years of careful examination of the human body and spirit resulted in a deep knowledge of the passage of energies through the physical form, something which has not only formed the basis for much of subcontinental Asian culture, but is also being embraced with open arms by the western world today.
This can’t come as much of a surprise to anyone – we are tired of living the way that we do. So many people are turning to the wisdoms of India, whether through yoga classes, healing sessions, chanting, and other eastern countries to fill the void that western society and culture has left in their hearts. This void has begun to damage us, also. We see an ever increasing list of physical and mental complaints in the western world which have come about as a result of our detached and spiritless lifestyles, and we are longing for a more holistic cure.
What is this cure? For many of us, it comes about from a greater understanding of how our bodies work, and how we are able to effectively and enjoyably heal ourselves by seeing our physical forms in their entirety. Not only this, but we must look to our minds and spirits as not being something separate or detached from our physical bodies, but as being important components which are part and parcel of ourselves. Should our mind or spirit become sick or slow, we should no longer express surprise at how this causes our bodies to also become unwell. In an interesting way, we have always known this to be the case. We often associate stress or heartbreak with physical symptoms (be they ulcers, high blood pressure or any of the others), but many of us are hesitant to take this logic further. With knowledge of how our energy really works, and how it flows and cycles through our bodies, we can begin to unlock the secrets of how to cure our ills and live stronger, healthier and more confident, happy, empowered lives.
The Energy of the Body
Our bodies have hundreds of energy centers within them, tempering, controlling, pushing, transmitting and receiving energy from the inside to the outside, and vice versa. However, we have seven key energy centers within us – large ones, governing particular parts of our physical form and various emotional and spiritual attributes alongside them – known as the chakras. These chakras (translating as ‘wheels’ or ‘vortexes’ in Sanskrit) are powerful, pulsing centers of energy which run in a straight line through the center of our body. Beginning at our tail bone, and ending at the top of our head, these chakras are both connected to the earth below us, and the heavens above, and ground us and inspire us in equal measures.
Each chakra is responsible for not only providing our bodies with the energy it requires in order to function happily and healthily, but also to ensure that our emotional lives are running in a positive direction, that our connection with the divine is felt and understood, that our true voices and inspiration can be found and utilized, and that our path in life can be followed freely and creatively. The root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras, when open and spinning as they should, allow us to live happy, confident and liberated lives. They allow us to work, nurture, express ourselves and love one another, as well as feeling loved, special and unique.
As such, it is vitally important not just for our physical health, but for our all-round, holistic health, to ensure that our chakras are well looked after and kept open and unblocked. Should an individual chakra become blocked, or depleted of energy, you will begin to notice various symptoms of this blockage manifest themselves in your life. Depending on which chakra is effected, this could be anything from physical health problems, to a lack in confidence or faith in your choices, decisions and path, a loss of passion or sensuality, or a sensation of loneliness or a loss in faith.
Chakra Balancing Meditation
So how do we ensure that our chakras remain open and working properly? There are many methods, and these can range from crystal therapy, light therapy and performing affirmations, to massages, yoga and many things in between. Many of the methods for opening chakras simply involve changing your daily routine a little, spending more time outside or in the company of friends and family, or simply making efforts to alter your perception of certain situations. It doesn’t need to be a big struggle to open your chakras, and many methods will ensure that you’ll begin to notice positive effects very quickly indeed.
One practice which is guaranteed to have a positive effect, and has thousands of years of history behind it, is meditation. Meditation has been performed in much of the eastern world for millennia, by all manner of people and for all kinds of reasons. It is an effective way to relax, it is good for the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health and well-being, or it could be used as part of religious practices and faith. Whatever state of health or well-being you may be in, we can all benefit from regular meditation – even as little as twenty minutes per day – as a way of retreating from the busy, hectic world we live in, and stilling our minds and hearts for a while to allow our true selves to come forward.
Meditation can be undertaken in several different ways. If you are new to meditation, it would be well worth your time to investigate a few different methods, and to experiment with each one until you find one which suits you and your body and mind. However, there are some basic beginner’s techniques which everyone can benefit from. Try finding a comfortable quiet spot in your home, somewhere that you will not be distracted, and somewhere which can be used primarily for meditation and little else. Begin by sitting cross-legged, and breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Hold your breath for a second or two longer than you normally would as you inhale, and keep your lungs empty for a couple of seconds longer than usual as you exhale.
As you do this, close your eyes and concentrate on emptying your mind of any thoughts or stresses or worries – it can often help to visualize yourself floating on an expansive ocean, where you are alone and at peace. As you become more and more comfortable, and more and more relaxed, begin to concentrate on your breath. Focus on feeling your inhalation moving outwards from your lungs, follow the healing, pure oxygen as it travels around your body. By focusing on each breath, and on each part of your physical body, you can begin to open and focus on individual chakras.
Visualizations for Healing
When we are sitting cross-legged, our chakras are in perfect alignment, lined up between the earth below and the skies above. Whilst you are meditating, you can focus on whichever chakra you feel needs the most work and nurturing attention, and thus bring all of your body’s energies into harmony with one another. It can help to do a chakra test (which you can find on this site), where you enter your symptoms and get a breakdown of which chakra is possibly blocked or depleted of energy. Follow your breath to this particular part of the body, and visualize the chakra itself, turning slowly and glowing with colorful energy. It may help to visualize the chakra as blocked, or damaged, as then we can adapt our visualizations and concentration towards healing and opening it. Use the energy you take from the air as part of your deep breathing, and push the sense of relaxation and rejuvenation towards the blocked chakra.
Find out if your chakras are blocked
Imagine you can see it begin to glow a little brighter, turn a little faster. If you have been sensing that your chakras are depleted of energy, or you in yourself feel exhausted by the world and frustrated by your lack of willpower, focus on pushing energy from all around you, or from other parts of your body towards that chakra. You can achieve this by visualizing a stream of energy leaving your body, and by reversing the flow of the stream so you begin to pull or force positive energy from your surroundings and your thoughts back into the body, and rising up through your torso from your root to your crown.
The more you visualize, the stronger the effect will be, so when you bring your meditation to a close, you can hopefully begin to notice small but significant differences in how your body feels. Indeed, visualizations are a powerful tool when it comes to chakra healing and chakra meditation – they are what unites the physical body with the mind and spirit, and remind us that we are more than simply the sum of our parts.
Whatever you attempt when it comes to chakra healing, remember to persevere and not submit to frustration or feelings of powerlessness. Our chakras and our bodies in general are in a delicate balance, and simply by thinking positive thoughts whilst we meditate, or repeating empowering and positive affirmations to ourselves as a part of regular chakra meditation, we can bring about profound changes in the health of our chakras. Our will is our greatest tool in this life, and if we can will ourselves to believe we are strong, healthy, confident and special, our bodies will respond in ways we perhaps never imagined possible.