This time as we move upwards on our journey through the chakra system we will look at the solar plexus chakra. This chakra is all about fire in your belly! The power of fire, autonomy, will, energy, metabolism and self-esteem.
The solar plexus chakra is located just beneath your diaphragm – the soft area just beneath your rib cage. This is where we often feel butterflies in our tummy. When this chakra is underactive we can feel nervous, over-sensitive or highly strung. When it is grounded and working in balance it empowers us and vitalises us. When overactive it can lead us to carry out ungrounded and undirected activities which may be harmful to us or those around us – we act out of character. This chakra also resonates with the metabolism and digestive system disorders, diabetes and ulcers can all feature when this chakra is not properly balanced. Often we can tell if the chakra is out of balance by how we feel – this chakra is linked to the element of fire so if we are constantly feeling too hot our chakra may be overactive and conversely if we are always feeling the cold then it could be underactive. Quick or slow temperaments can also indicate the balance of this chakra as well – a quick temper being a sign that it is overactive.
The solar plexus is energised by the colour yellow – like the sun. Its Sanskrit name is manipura which literally translates to lustrous gem. Just like the sun shining brightly in the sky (yes I know it is January and we haven’t seen the sun for a while but we can have it shine within us!) The Sanskrit symbol is shown below. Crystals such as amber, citrine quartz, yellow topaz or sunstone are excellent for working with this chakra.
Fire is the spark that ignites our will to action. As our cosmic dance gathers pace we move onwards on our journey from earth to water to fire! We have now reclaimed our bodies and acknowledged our right to be here. We have learned how to allow ourselves emotion and pleasure. We can now focus on finding our sense of purpose through our desire – we need to find our will and then our sense of action.
Just like fire needs friction to get started we can envisage our chakra system in a similar way. The base chakra was all about stillness and matter, whereas the sacral was all about fluidity and movement. By combining the two like a stick with friction we can create a spark and that spark is our solar plexus chakra. All a fire needs is a spark to get going but it does need fuel to continue to burn. We need to overcome our inertia to make things happen and then continue to feed our will to allow the fire to burn brightly.
Everything in life has cause and effect. We give energy and the effect is action, without energy there is no power. However energy alone is not enough – we need to direct our energy wisely. Consciousness guides our purpose and therefore shapes our will thus directing activity. We need to embrace our inner power of conscious intelligence and combine this with our bodily energy using our awakened base and sacral chakras to cause transformation.
When we block our own power by remaining inactive we appear withdrawn or cold and controlled. This depletes our energy and we often find ourselves turning to coffee and other stimulants to try and get a fresh energy burst. This is like pouring an accelerant on the fire – it brightens temporarily and then quickly depletes leaving the fire burning even less brightly than before. By closing ourselves off we close off our system and like putting a damper on a fire we use up all the fuel and it burns out.
We need therefore to break the cycle of fear and withdrawal that we so often face in life. We need to reconnect with ourselves in a loving way. If we are not in touch with our base and sacral chakras then we have no fuel for our fire. Fire needs air and this will be looked at in more detail as we move towards our heart chakra which is governed by the element of air but by allowing ourselves connection with the base and sacral chakras we allow ourselves room to breathe and that allows our fire to burn.
We must remember that our power is within – it is not found somewhere outside of ourselves. We all have a unique spark of spirit within us and this is linked to our self-esteem. We have free will and we make choices. We need to learn to stop giving our power away by making poor choices or thinking that we have no choice. Let’s take the daily grind for example, we quite often moan and groan and say things like “oh I have no choice I have to go to work”. Well stop and think for a second, do you really have no choice? Of course you have a choice – you could choose not to go to work but this would then cause other effects on your life which may then be even worse than having to work. By saying “I have no choice” you give your power away. If you flick the switch in your mind you can reclaim your power and change things – for example, I do have a choice to go to work today because I know that in doing so I am making a contribution to the economy and I am also facilitating my way of life. All of a sudden, whilst you still may not necessarily enjoy your current work, you have empowered yourself and you no longer feel like a victim or slave to the grind. Sometimes by just choosing to reclaim your power you find that everything starts to fall into place and you start attracting positive vibrations into your life which in turn allow you to feel better and so the fire burns on easily – after all it is easier to keep a fire lit once it is established rather than letting it go out and having to start again each time.
In summary, balancing the solar plexus allows us to break inertia, direct our will to action in postive ways, it prompts us to pay attention to our feelings and emotions in a grounded way and helps us to release anger by bringing in more love, laughter and self-knowledge to our lives.
To balance and energise this chakra surround yourself with bright yellow, wear it, paint a room in your house sunny yellow or if possible get out into the sunshine. Jogging or tummy crunches are all fantastic ways of energising this chakra. Eating yellow foods or going for power walks also help. You can also stand up straight in the mornings and stretch your arms above your head and reach for the sky. Bring your arms down in a sweeping circular motion and pretend your arms are making the outline of the sun. This exercise helps to invigorate you and can also make you laugh a little at yourself which in turn puts you in good form for the day ahead.
Another brilliant exercise is to get a few friends together and all lie down in a circle on the floor so that each person’s head rests on another person’s belly. One person then starts by saying “ha ha ha” really forcefully so their belly moves as they say it. The person who has their head on that person’s belly then does the same and it moves around the circle getting faster and faster until you are all actually laughing – this is called a laughter circle and sounds like great fun to me!
Next time we will move on towards the centre of the system – the heart of the matter – the heart chakra.