The third chakra, which corresponds to our solar plexus, is situated above the navel in the softest part of our torso. This is where our personal power and sense of individuality resides. This chakra is associated with the element of fire because it is here that we define our self-esteem and house that little thing we call “ego.”
When our third is balanced, we have a positive thirst for life; we’re unafraid to venture into the unknown and tackle life’s challenges. Bring it on, is what we roar. We trust our gut instincts, exercise will power and practice autonomy.
If this energy wheel malfunctions however, we distrust our own abilities and fear the consequences of our own energy, states Anodea Judith in her magnificent book Eastern Body Western Mind. What’s more, our spontaneity fizzles out like day old Seven-Up and the personality can become divided against the self.
“It takes energy to maintain this division, a loss, which robs us of our basic vitality and wholeness.” On a physical level, an imbalance can cause us to develop a host of things: stomach ulcers, intestinal tumors (ouch), diabetes, pancreatitis, indigestion and adrenal imbalances.
So what causes the Solar Plexus chakra to act up? According to Judith, shame is public enemy number one! When we experience shame and criticism our sense of power shrivels up like a prune and we fall into fear. An imbalance can manifest in two ways. You can either have too much energy in this chakra (excess) or have a lack of (deficiency).
Excessive Third Chakra
At first glance it may seem like you have a plethora of power and energy. But in reality, you’re compensating “for feelings of diminished or unrecognized power,” writes Judith. As a result, you can be fixated with bolstering your self-esteem at any cost. You likely are in constant motion – what we call a ‘busy body.’ And your need to be in control might label you a control freak with ongoing muscle tension.
Deficient Third Chakra
A lack of energy in this chakra causes your entire being to feel sluggish. You lack oomph and you likely have little self-discipline. Meaning you aren’t good at sticking to plans, diets or any commitments for that matter. There is a good chance that you are passive and experience feelings of victimization. You avoid confrontation and quietly go along with things when in reality you harbor secret resentment, explains Judith.
Here are some ways to balance this energy wheel:
Name the Shame
An imbalance usually means that shame is somewhere lurking in the shadows ready to strike. You need to pluck out the shame at the root like the weed that it is. Meaning, you have to identify the shame. Does it have to do with your self-image, your upbringing, your neediness? “Shame inevitably results from abuse. Seeing the child you were in the context of that abuse and showing compassion for that child helps dissipate the shame,” writes Judith, whose website www.sacredcenters.com, is a one-stop for everything having to do with chakras.
When that critical voice inside your head rears its ugly head and says, ‘God, you’re so stupid,” answer back. Say, “no I am not. I am trying the best I can.” Stand tall in your worth and truth.
Vigorous exercise like spinning or running is great for both deficient and excessive chakras. Exercise boosts energy for those who need it and expends it for those who have too much. It also helps distribute energy evenly through out the body so you flow better, and the increased muscle tone strengthens your sense of power. You feel stronger at your core. Vigorous exercise has other bonuses too like tight buns and a strong bod.
Food for thought
The third chakra is associated with fire. Fire is energy and it certainly comes in the form of food. Nutrition can help increase your metabolic energy and help nourish your third chakra. Therefore diet is vital. If you want to run on high-octane fuel, then you need to eat healthily–
avoid sugar and additives. Protein and vegetables and complex carbohydrates are golden. Spices that are good for third chakra include ginger, mints (peppermint, spearmint, etc.), chamomile, turmeric, and fennel. That’s because they are all excellent for your intestines and digestive system.
Give up Safety
One way to strengthen your third chakra is to give up your attachment to being safe, says Judith. “This involves giving up wanting everything assured ahead of time and accepting that there might be criticism, challenge, misunderstanding, rejection or a possibility of failure.”
Let’s face it, the world is not safe and if risk is not involved than how can we really develop our power? Our strength increases as we meet challenges face on. We must step out of our comfort zone in order to grow.
As you strike a healthy balance you’ll feel like a spiritual warrior – you’ll stand strong, stay in tune with your feelings, confront only when appropriate and quietly maintain a sense of power.
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