Module 6: VISHUDDA Chakra
You have the right to your voice.
To speak the truth of you and your life without apology.
You have the right to this expression through words, your body, art, your work and more.
Our fifth energy center resides in the throat/neck, mouth, and ears serving the purpose of self-expression, communication and creativity. Visuddha means purification. Here, wisdom from the body and heart is distilled so that it can be brought from within and conveyed clearly outside of the Self. Body informed, heart-centered communication is key to healing ourselves and manifesting the lives we desire. The element here is sound which is etheric. It’s even less dense than air and has a farther reach. Here’s where we tap into infinite possibility through vibration, that from which everything originates.
Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we follow the path of liberation up through the energy centers our human experience becomes less dense and we function at a higher resonance. We feel freer, lighter, limitless. Ether is “the air beyond the clouds.” Through a healthy throat chakra our Divine Dharma is profoundly empowered for when we can effectively share what we feel, think and desire we can consciously create our reality. Clear, honest and loving communication with ourselves and others creates peaceful body image and a peaceful world. Issues in this chakra show up in these areas:
(emotions, thoughts, ideas, desires)
ability to speak your truth
accepting others’ truth
communication with self & others
honesty with self & others
The throat chakra is about truth, a concept we’ve been working with from the get go in the course. This program, the path of yoga is all about returning us to our True Nature of awesomeness. It’s about remembering who we truly are and what we’re truly here to do, which is NOT to obsess over our bodies and food. From day one I encourage the fundamental practice of the BKH Body Image Clearing in which we practice the Atman Affirmation reminding us of our wholeness. We also chant the Kundalini mantra for this sacred energy center to further empower the truth of your worth and wonder. As discussed throughout this course, this is tough stuff. Stick with me and keep working with these techniques and soon you’ll be singing your praises again, which brings us to our first activity in this module.
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.
Grab your Creation Journal and read this incredible story. Jot down emotions and thoughts that arise as you read.
There’s a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. When a woman decides to have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
When the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. As the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
There’s one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or becomes depressed, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. The tribe recognizes that the correction for “bad” behavior is not punishment; it is love and the reminding of their true identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt yourself or another.
Can you imagine a society that does this! What if we were all brought into this world so consciously? What if our song was sung to us every time we felt fat, or depressed or ashamed? We may not have been born in this tribe but we each have tribes we can turn to to helps us learn our Soul Song. Let’s do it! Here’s how:
Step 1. Send an e-mail to your closest friends and family that you have positive relationships with. Cut and paste this story in the body of the e-mail and explain that you are writing your own soul song and need their help (asking for help alone is healing!) and would like them to share what lyrics about you they would put in the song.
Step 2. Hand write the responses in your Creation Journal of a fresh page titled “My Soul Song.”
Step 3. Go into nature and find a tree that speaks to you. Sit with her and read the response again out loud several times. Take time to meditate on the words and connect to the world about you. Listen to the sounds of nature for melodies that might match the words. Play with the lyrics and see if you can’t create your own song!
For inspiration take a listen to this sampling Soul Song by the Troubadours of Divine Bliss. Be sure to purchase it for yourself if it speaks to you.
Self-expression is the orientation of this chakra. It’s natural and healthy to let what’s within rise to the surface and be heard. The entire Universe is constantly expressing and creating new life and you are part of that system. To hold back, contain our emotions, dreams, desires, ideas, etc. results in “The FAT Experience.” Most of us who struggle to feel at home in and care for our bodies lovingly learned to fear our truth early on in life.
Just by speaking I can break out of my self-made prison.
Do you remember being told, directly or indirectly, to “shut up, keep a lid on it, be quiet, or keep it down?” I’ve found in my own life and in my work the same theme Dr. Anita Johnston talks about in her seminal book Eating In the Light Of The Moon. This being that women who develop challenges with food and body image are the most intuitive and creative people in their families which threatens the ego identity of the family unit. To emotionally (and often physically) survive in the family system these capabilities have to be controlled. We abandon ourselves, our own experience and inner wisdom, to feel safe and loved which is where body disconnect and disordered eating comes in. Fighting with ourselves keeps the wisdom that lives within at bay. Our culture is also it’s own broader dysfunctional family that fears the truth of the deep feminine as evidenced by the way it promotes body disconnect and emotional oppression.
This dynamic often follows us into our adult lives and relationships beyond family. Superficiality is still, largely, the American way. Authenticity, diversity, honesty can isolate us. We literally gag ourselves and follow the crowd to make it through life. Living our truth inevitably causes things to change in our lives which often requires the releasing of what no longer serves us. While we may want change, staying the same feels safe and secure. Embodying truth is much easier said than done!
The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
Indeed. This quote says it all! Anger is a form of fear that’s safer to feel than the real thing. Remember, this exists on the collective level too, not just within you. This is why it’s so scary to acknowledge reality. The imbalance of charka five is lies/illusion/distortion. If we live in illusion then we don’t have to take responsibility for our pain (so it can heal) and our power (so we can create). Truth is, both of these actions change the world.
In setting Empowered Intentions; stating what you truly want, and using The PHAT Practice; naming and expressing your emotions, you speak up not just for yourself but for every woman, man and child. You also give a voice to those that have none. Honest communication is love in action. I find that not only do women hold back to protect themselves from hurt, they also do it to protect others from pain as we’ve been taught to “not hurt other people’s feelings.” This is a slippery slope and one that I encourage you to take a new view on.
Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.
We tell lies when we’re afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.
As women, we are the leaders in healing so this is particularly tricky. Love, however, is not the act of protecting ourselves and others from pain. It’s the practice of holding space for it, naming it, allowing it, having compassion and living it through completely. This is what transforms darkness to light. This is the practice of yoga. When we don’t express and embody our pain, we can’t possibly experience joy. This leaves us fighting the flow of life not only affecting body image but the relationship with food and all other relationships. It takes us and others away from learning which is what life is all about. It “steals” life. Let’s look at this more closely in the video blog for this module.
So let it go, let it flow. Laugh, cry, sing, dance, draw, write, move. Chakra five is the last stop for Shakti energy flowing up out of our roots in the body. We can feel it as lumps in our throat, clenching our jaw and tight neck muscles. We fight it by stuffing, starving and purging. When we contain ourselves here, the vritti mind kicks in blocking the next energy center, the third eye, creating confusion, distortion and a loss of our intuition.
Exploring & Healing Visuddha
Let’s feel into this chakra center and work to empower PEACE through reclaiming your voice. Enhancing your awareness of the fifth chakra enables you to clean up communication with yourself and others so you can create consciously. Write your responses without censoring. Practice expressing more freely here. Let what arises from within move through you to the paper. Throughout this process take breaks to work with the video for this module and explore the accompanying Practice Guide. Remember, you are returning more and more to the True You each step of the way. Keep doing the work to rise up! You deserve, you are infinite bliss and beauty.
What negative stories do you carry about yourself, your body, your life? Where did they come from? In your Creation Journal let your body tell the story of your life up to this point in a mini autobiography.
How do these stories make you feel? What emotions do they illicit? How do they affect you body image, the way you feel in and about your body?
What if you let them go? Who would you be without them? How would you feel and what would you be empowered to do differently in your life?
When was the first time you were told to “shut up?” Why? Did this continue? Explore other times you were forced or encouraged to keep quiet. What truths have you had to hold in in order to survive or be safe in some way or to not lose the acceptance/approval (love) of others?
Do you carry any secrets about yourself or others? If so consider sharing them with someone you trust to help free your body and soul of that weight.
You may also, or start with expressing it, through art writing or movement.
If your body could speak to you directly, ask for what it most needs and what is hurting it, what would it say? Practice taking some time to talk to your body everyday and write about what is discovered.
Did, or do you purge in any way to try to get rid of “The FAT Experience.” If so, acknowledge that here. What’s that process like for you? What thoughts, beliefs or emotions are associated with those activities. Examples are: self-induced vomiting, laxative use, excessive water drinking, restricting food when hungry, detox dieting, compulsive exercise.
Describe your current and past relationship with your neck/throat and face. What do you think about these areas of your body? How does it feel, what thoughts come up when you become more aware of them? What were you told about them? How do you want them to be different and why?
What, if any BIG lies are you telling yourself about your life right now? Are you denying emotions or desires because you don’t think you’re worthy of better or don’t want to hurt or inconvenience anyone else?
Break out your body map again. Creatively Express the power of your voice, your Truth, your unique life story. Work with the media and images that call to you and symbolize your courage in standing strong in the Truth of your awesomeness.