Module 3: SWADHISTHANA Chakra
You have the right to feel.
To fully feel all of your emotions anytime, anywhere: from fear and pain to love and joy.
You have the right to use the information embedded in your emotions to guide your life.
Our second energy center lives in the pelvic region influencing the reproductive organs, kidneys and lymphatic system. Swadhisthana translates to “one’s own place or home.” From chakra one where we come to terms with being materialized into a body, the dwelling place of the soul, we rise up into the abode of Shakti, the Divine Feminine energy. Here we must learn to feel at home on earth as a unique expression of The Divine. This is accomplished by allowing spirit to move through our physical selves to manifest our dreams thereby healing our world. Allowing ourselves to feel fully human is also part of the deal. This calls us to also feel through the dark emotions or our light cannot shine.
This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.
Shakti energy is emotion, desire, intuition and creativity. Because of this, I see chakra two as our first emotional center rather than the heart. Likewise it’s the primary creative and intuitive center rather than the throat and third eye chakras, respectively. Shakti means empowerment. It is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought (in Hinduism) to move through the entire universe. Shakti is the concept of the Divine Feminine creative life force often referred to as “The Great Mother.” On this earthly plane, shakti manifests most clearly through female embodiment, creativity and procreation. The element of the second chakra is water representing how we interface with the fluid, feeling realms of the human experience. Chakra two relates to these flowing aspects of life:
feeling & emotions
desire & pleasure
sensuality & sexuality
procreation & creativity
Consider that in this area of a woman’s body another human being can be made! Men also possess Shakti. Their seed comes from the womb space of chakra two as well. This all goes far beyond the primal function of reproduction, however. To accept and love our bodies unbridles Shakti bringing forth waves of intense energy that inspires us to forge ahead on our journey beyond simply surviving to fully thriving. Desire emerges from swadhisthana chakra. The desire to taste the fullness of life and to create positive change in ourselves, our lives, the world. Bliss is born here and it is of sacred service (karma) to follow it.
Don’t ever let fear turn you against your own playful heart.
You are allowed to play, create, be spontaneous, dive into adventure. We are here, on this beautiful earth to have fun! To let our joy flow frees us and others.
This chakra represents our emotional identity. The ability to accept that as an embodied soul we will feel and feel deeply. The work here is to learn to identify and meet our emotional needs. The orientation of swadhisthana is self-gratification, the indulgence or satisfaction of one’s own desires. It’s primary purpose is movement and flow. Change is inherent to the progressive life journey. We often fear change, even positive stuff, because it triggers the ego, the False Self which tells us it’s dangerous to live BIG and/or that we’re not worthy of a truly gratifying life. This fear is just the tip of the iceberg though. What’s below it are other emotions, especially the one’s related to painful body image and diet drama: guilt, shame, grief. Women often struggle with guilt, the imbalance of the second chakra, when they open to being present with the wonderful things in their life or taking action to make their life what they want it to be. As already mentioned, I believe The FAT Experience is what happens when Shakti is starved, suppressed, suffocated. Remember, we are healing not just our own lives, but for all. There is a primal fear of allowing Shakti, of fearing The Divine Mother to move through and support us. Sadly, most of us learned to abandon and abuse our bodies from our very own mothers who were also caught up in The FAT Experience. This dynamic is best explained by the work of Bethany Webster which we explore next.
Pause here, grab your Creation Journal and settle into your sacred space. Take your time to read over the blog below slowly stopping to journal what triggers and/or inspires you. When you feel either of those experiences, come to child’s pose (shown here) after journaling and practice the grounding breath for a few minutes. Then sit or lay down to do The PHAT Practice. You may feel drawn to more movement as you work with this piece, listen to that with a mindfulness that you are moving into your experience rather than trying to “get rid” of it. There’s an exercise in our Practice Guide below about evoking our own inner mother which helps with what is discussed here.
It takes great courage to break with one’s past history and stand alone.
While our bodies are made up of earth element, seemingly very solid and dense, a larger portion of our physicality is water. Water must move freely to be life giving as stagnation breeds disease. The same applies to emotions and creative potential. Holding emotions back, containing ideas, passion, desires causes the dis-ease (and diseases!) in our bodies and creates the experience of “feeling fat.” To keep this energy from rising up out of the womb of potential in the pelvic bowl, we stuff, starve, drink, shop, gamble, diet, run ourselves ragged and more. In short, we disconnect from body and soul through any form of distraction we can find. This is the essence of addiction. We emotionally consume to move away from our power, our responsibility as creators, away from the fullness of life. We must Creatively Express to feel at home in our bodies, to be empowered in our lives and to enjoy it all.
Emotion always has roots in the unconscious and manifests in the body.
-Irene Claremont de Castillejo
Make no mistake, the extent to which we’re uncomfortable in our skin is the extent to which we’re resisting the energy of Shakti within.
Most of us, however are terrified to do this and for very good reason. For thousands of years the Divine Feminine has been repressed due to the silly notion that it’s virtues are dangerous. “The FAT Experience” is also about this ancestry. We’ve inherited a primal fear of our rich inner landscape but that’s exactly where we need to travel if we’re to know PEACE. This core collective samskara shows itself in many ways in our culture. Take for instance the terms used to describe embodied emotion. God forbid someone fully express grief or anger. They may cry out loud, scream and yell, fall into a ball weeping or stomp around. Common phrases for such behavior are; lost it, crazy, hot mess, breakdown, out of control, and my personal favorite, hysterical. These terms are negative implying judgment (which is fear) of emotion. Because of this, many of us have internalized the belief that emotions themselves are bad causing us to expend our life force (prana) on controlling them. Embodied examples of this are anorexia and obesity. These are merely different ends of extreme Shakti suppression.
You think of yourself — light, fast, free — free of earth, free of bondage to your body. In your ‘perfect’ body, you are in control, addicted to the light that keeps you out of body. You’re a swan maiden, addicted to wings, addicted to spirit. You refused to eat in order to fly.
The longing for sweets is really a yearning for love or sweetness.
We are now into what many are calling a new world awakening. It’s prime time to heal these karmic wounds and get on with living our bliss and being of sacred service. The yama and niyama I discuss in the vlog are guiding principles to use in your life to heal and thrive. View and journal your reactions and impressions about my discussion of satya and santosha; truthfulness and contentment respectively. Trigger warning! I cry during this talk. Watch my sweet puppy come in to comfort me.
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that because what the world needs is people who come alive.
-Harold Thurman Whitman
This is BIG work. It’s scary, it’s unfamiliar. Know you are not alone. The path of yoga offers us simple yet powerful practices to help us move through the fear and reclaim our right to feel and create. We must mother ourselves showing deep love and acceptance. We must trust our innate wisdom, the GPS of the heart. Let’s swim into the wellspring of wonder that is swadhisthana and bravely birth your best, most beautiful life.
Exploring & Healing Swadhisthana
Take some time and space to write your responses to the following prompts. Share thoughts, feelings and body sensations related to the experiences and any beliefs about you, your body or your life that you took on as a result of these. Then work with the Practice Guide and videos linked below.
When was the first time you felt guilty and why? What was the situation?
What did your mother teach you about your body? Journal about both the direct talk and attention she gave your body and the indirect impressions through her own body and food relationships?
What is your relationship to emotions? What were you taught about them? Do you feel safe feeling and expressing your emotions now? If not, why?
What is your relationship to the feminine archetype (see attachment in the Practice Guide), to being a woman in your family, in our culture?
Do you feel (not think) you received adequate and appropriate mothering? Reflect on how you treat yourself and see if there are any similarities with how mom treats herself and how she treated/treats you.
What is your relationship to pleasure? Do you feel guilty and/or “dirty” for experiencing pleasure. Do you self-sabotage joyful events or experiences? Does it feel wrong to relax and receive?
Describe your current and past relationship with your hips, low belly and back. What do you think about them? How do they 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 do you believe would change in the were?
Do you feel guilty and/or fat for enjoying food that tastes good? If so, why? Explore the roots of these beliefs or reactions?
Are you a perfectionist? If so how does this affect your life?
Here your video tutorial and practice guide for chakra two. Take your time to work with these guided activities to heal deeper into the sacred feminine force that you are.
Lastly for this module, continue mapping your sacred energy body by Creatively Expressing your interpretation of this energy center. Try working with water color paints, spiral shapes, waves and ripples. Maybe create something here that symbolizes your healed inner child and/or healthy inner mother. Perhaps illustrate what you are creating anew in your life through this work or in other arenas.
Continued blessing on your journey! May the fullness of life flow through you with ease. Follow the flow of your appreciation for this offering in alignment with you financial circumstances through an energy exchange if you so desire. Proceeds support this work, The Big Love Network and environmental protection.Share