I’m loving this year so far. I’ve been walking every day, sometimes twice daily. I have just discovered the marvellous world of podcasts, after some encouragement from my stepdad, cousin and brother. My stepdad helped me set up a TED Talk app on my phone, my brother set up the podcast app and my cousin has been raving for years about the joy of podcasts. My world has opened up just that little more! Today I discovered a few authors and books I have written down on my wish list, after listening to a few podcasts on my 6km walk.
The first healing class for the year started back today. I have half a dozen different classes (4 people to a class). Each one is a little different with the regular students learning from each other as well as me. I love the small class sixes- so much easier for us to bond, feel safe with each other and get quality one-on-one time. In class today, we talked about the importance of being your authentic self, rather than masking yourself in order to please people, or because you are afraid of judgement and rejection.
We also talked about the diaphragm muscle in the solar plexus area, and how tension in the solar plexus chakra can be tied in with diaphragmatic tension. The diaphragm is a big muscle that sits under your lungs, separating your thoracic cavity from your abdominal cavity and all the digestive organs that sit just below the lungs. When this muscle is tight, often due to anxiety, the lungs cannot expand and fill as easily as they might. Breath-holding is another typical pattern here. When we freeze up like this, it can be because we don’t feel safe in some way; we are trying to avoid drawing attention to ourselves, hoping time will stand still with our held breath, and perhaps also stopping ourselves from speaking up.
A lovely way to support the solar plexus chakra and the diaphragm is to practise belly breathing while focusing on the colour yellow. You might imagine you are laying on the ground in a field of daffodils, for example. Every time you breathe in, imagine the yellow colour from the daffodils in coming into your body. I’ve been working with yellow a lot over the past week, perhaps because so many of my clients are saying ‘I want to overcome my fears!’. Healthy light, bright yellow colours help to illuminate unconscious fears so we can see them clearly. Like sunlight dawning in the mind, these positive rays can melt away the knots in our solar plexus chakra created by excess thinking and worry, bringing us back to a place of positive calm.
Belly breathing is something I learned as a teenager while studying singing, but at the time, it also helped me manage my asthma (Happily now a thing of the past so long as I avoid gluten, dairy and strong airborne artificial chemicals in my life like perfumed cleaning products or cigarette smoke). Those teenage singing lessons made belly breathing an on-going habit for me, and the diaphragmatic awareness this gives me certainly helps me to be more in tune with my solar plexus chakra. Here’s a link to a video teaching belly breathing.
Beside using the colour yellow as a therapeutic, and helping people tackle their fears and anxieties, I’ve also noticed a few spirit helpers showing up over and over again in the healing room. There have been quite a few solar deities, like Horus and Apollo; lots of butterflies; an albatross; lots of flower spirits, and a strong emphasis on healing the romantic inner child or teenager, who resides in the heart chakra.
A lovely moment occurred recently when a butterfly spirit came into the healing room and landed on my clients nose. Not wanting to overly influence her, I simply asked her to imagine a butterfly fluttering around her and to notice what colour it was and where it landed on her body. “It’s blue”, said my client. “And it landed on my nose”. How lovely that we had the same imagery! I asked her to imagine that the butterfly was giving her a kiss, and via the kiss, a gift of magical blue energy from it’s wings.
In another healing, pink cherry blossom petals were raining down around the client. And where the petals touched her skin, I asked her to imagine their velvety softness. Each petal that touched her held a blessing from the people who loved her. Her task was to open her heart to receiving all the love her loved ones have for her. This was another theme that came up in class today: how challenging it can be to receive! It can often feel safer to be doing the giving, rather than the receiving. Receiving can make us feel vulnerable and exposed, more open to abandonment, rejection, manipulation and judgement. But the heart chakra, like all the chakras, is designed to inhale and exhale, give and receive, express and process. Our chakras connect us with their world around us in beautiful ways and the flow within them needs to go both ways.
Today, one of my clients taught me a Mary MacKillop novena. So beautiful! So often, we forget to ask for help. Spirit is always looking for opportunities to bless us, love us, support us and guide us, if only we will stay open to receiving. Regardless of whether the giver or petitioned is an angel, a saint, a butterfly or a flower… practising the fine art of receiving can enhance our everyday relationships with others in miraculous ways.
Blessings and love