Many years ago I was asked why I was choosing to turn from traditional healing and psychotherapy and work with mind-body-energy theory and techniques in my practice. My training both as a nurse and as a psychotherapist had been grounded in the traditional approaches and had served me well…as far as they went. However, since my early days as a Lamaze instructor I had developed a passion for Mind-Body Medicine and Energy Healing/Psychology. A personal interest in Yoga led me to study the chakra system and how it related to our views in life, health and the life challenges we face. This was long before any of this was fashionable or well researched in the western world the way it is now. What became apparent to me through my own personal experience, as well as that with clients, was that change, ease, fulfillment, true prosperity, love, peace and spiritual growth needed to be brought out of the conceptual closet! By that I mean that we can have all sorts of theories and ideas about life, our issues, and the goals we want to achieve, but unless we have a method to learn, grow, heal, and change from our deepest inner level we will only be struggling, forcing and managing ourselves rather than truly living freely from our own best selves.
What I found in Mind-Body Medicine and Energy Healing (from many sources) was the means to heal from the inside out with relative ease. I also found a way to understand ourselves and engage in spiritual growth and higher human potential that cut through the incessant dialogue that tends to describe, catalogue, organize, and package our life experience and their subsequent issues so that we can intellectually force ourselves into new boxes and unfortunately often just run in circles. That is not to say that I do not continue to do some of those things at times! The difference is that I am aware that there is a better more efficient way and when I am ready to stop turning in circles I can use them–or better yet, I can even use them to stop myself from turning in circles.
What I found in working with clients was that the methods I am referring to helped them move through their blocks more quickly and easily while building strength and developing a tool kit they could take with them to use on their remaining journey through life. Self empowerment!
The reason I am now writing this is that it has recently cropped up again—this issue of how we heal, learn and grow. I was reading some excellent material by Brene Brown on shame, vulnerability and courage…BTW, her new book is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Anyway, it occurred to me once more that the chakra system is so central to providing the infrastructure for us to heal and grow through.
To illustrate my point–everything Dr. Brown writes about is wonderful and so helpful. However if we simply try to integrate new ideas and concepts into our mind without going to where we live from deep within, it is easy to become frustrated and feel we have failed. In order to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and live authentically as she so rightly suggests we do–we need a strong inner foundation to stand on so we can be courageous. To say this in energetic terms…if our root chakras is leaking energy, unbalanced, holding old consciousness, fueling a deep sense of powerlessness and lack of ability to nurture self, then we are going to have one enormous uphill battle trying to have the courage to be vulnerable and live authentically–we will also lack the appropriate strength to protect ourselves, have the vitality to maintain a new approach or be able to energize a sense of deserving/healthy entitlement and positive self regard needed to effect these kinds of changes in our lives.
Weak or unbalanced root chakra energy gives rise to fear, insecurity and anxiety. In my experience, intellectual understanding and willpower are no match for the inner shaking of our foundation upon which all else depends. And so it is with other chakras as well. E.G. understanding that you deserve to be treated well typically does not by itself bring about the healthy creation of relationships without a lot of struggle and angst. Likewise, wanting prosperity and creating it can be a force of will that does not result in the kind of life you really are seeking without the inner work to support a healthy and fulfilling outcome. Coupling inner work with awareness, understanding and intellect is a much more efficient, effective and enjoyable way to heal, grow and change!