image from milk
Engaging in a healing, self-love practice is an exciting and emotionally demanding venture. Basking in the ignorance of my wishful thinking, I often envision the process as a beautiful, linear journey – something like the caterpillar’s triumphant metamorphosis – where I emerge empowered by my renewal and internal revolution.
It’s never like that.
When I begin my periods of intense healing, things begin to bubble up to the surface and show themselves as aspects that need attention. Without a doubt, I have moments or days in a row where the magic of the practice settles in and I can experience deep peace and contentedness. But, most often I am pulling my awareness to present and trying to be as gentle as I can as I navigate through the waves of energy and emotion each new situation summons. Sometimes it’s a loving nudge, but other times it’s done with frustration and exasperation. I have had to remind myself frequently that I am not failing – I am growing – for what seems like the millionth time.
When I find myself in the muck, I take the time to send energy to my sacral chakra and my heart chakra through visualizing a pure, white light showering both of the energy centers. I imagine the light cleansing any darkness, dark feelings and leaving each chakra vibrant and pulsating with colorful energy. If possible, I seek to further activate my chakras with activities.
The sacral chakra is associated with joy and pleasure. I like to read, I love to stretch and do yoga, eat delicious meals, watch funny movies and laugh with my kids. If I can do anything of those things, I try to seek them out and make them happen. I try to immerse myself in the experience, using all of my senses and really storing the pleasant feelings in my body. I take note of the electricity of my deep smile, breathe deep into a stretch while I focus on the double-edged pleasure of tension and release and savor flavors and colors of a beautiful dish I lovingly prepared.
The heart chakra is all about love for self and others, being open to both give and receive the energy of compassion and shared consciousness. When I am feeling low, I go back to the basics with an affirmation that can heal the deepest of wounds and end even the most treacherous of internal wars: I love you.
I repeat it to myself over and over again, making it a mantra. I do things that make me feel nurtured and nourished. If I can I will take a long, decadent bath and then rub myself with coconut and avocado oil in slow, deliberate strokes while I thank each part I touch. Sometimes I will meditate with my hands over my heart, sending healing energy to that specific area of my body.
Working on these two chakras allows for a better flow of energy between them, creating a better flow of energy for the solar plexus chakra as well. When energy can freely move through the solar plexus, the tension between power and control is released. We stop trying to control our healing process and instead realize the power we have to change our perspective about what is taking place. The power of joy and the power of love can heal nations, but before that, it can be used to heal yourself.
When I get frustrated with the process, I return to these rituals to get back in the right direction with the right spirit. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, other times I must redirect entirely and focus on recentering before I can continue forward.
I just remind myself that I have to let my healing unfold however it will and be present for the process with joy and love. That’s where the real power lies.