My personal #Chakra #SelfCare #CheckIn #Toolkit

I can’t help but love the magical thinking that happens when considering the chakras!

The 7 Chakras are the energy centers in our body in which energy flows through. Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it’s important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely. – source

So I have been developing a toolkit to enhance my imagination and awaken my inner creative!

This Chakra Self-Care, Check-In Package includes:

  1. Personalized Hand-drawn Chakra Chart
  2. Chakra Healing Sock Monkey
  3. Embroidered Centering Heart
  1. The Chakra Chart is hand-drawn, depicting a Frida Kahlo-esque goddess and illustrates the 7 main chakras and pertinent notes regarding each chakra.  This is a tangible, visual check-in chart to allow me to have a relaxed dialogue with my body as I consider where I am feeling blocked- physically and emotionally.

 

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18″ x 24″ on newsprint.  It’s meant for me to USE- write on it, fold it, hang it up, add to it, not be afraid to spill on it, copy it, research and add more notes etc.

I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.

– Frida Kahlo

2. The Chakra Healing Sock Monkey is something to hold and meditate on and cuddle.  The tactile experience allows me to feel childlike abandon and helps me to imagine that I release those blocks.  And I place a felt heart at the root chakra.  The grounding base.  (Some people are squeamish about the heart at the crotch… I say, don’t worry about it.)

Depicted here is the sock monkey I made my Dad in 2010.

3. The heart is THE CENTRE.  And this Embroidered Centering Heart almost acts as a labyrinth, as I run my finger along the knooks and crannies of the heart.

Embroidered heart on cardstock.

I use chakra check-ins in my own self-care and in my therapeutic art classes.  Considering the chakra chart is a powerful visualization technique.  It may not be proven science but simply creating space and time to reflect on the idea of the chakras helps us let go in the moment and take a breather.  A mini-vacation, if you will.

Your biography becomes your biology.

– Caroline Myss

Sacred Contracts Journaling Exercise Part 4b OF 8: SACRED BODY

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SACRED CONTRACTS JOURNALING EXERCISE SERIES

PART 4b OF 8

SACRED BODY

We are tapping into our calling, our purpose, our joy in this SACRED CONTRACTS journal series.  It is inspired by Caroline Myss.  The journal series is  an experiment on my part, and I welcome you to join along.

Recall Part 1: Future and Present where we took time to look at where we would like to be, and where we are in this moment.

In Part 2: Where are your energy leaks? we focused on our body signals and biography makes biology. 

In Part 3: What Masks Do We Wear? we examined the masks we wear to protect ourselves from being vulnerable.

In Part 4a: What is your true nature? we listened to our inner selves.

We are getting at what makes us tick.  What makes our heart race- with fear?  With passion?  What is our calling?  What path do we journey along that allows us to live in the flow, fully?  What stream to we rush against?  There is never a full answer.  Or the answer changes, daily, fluidly.  It’s worth taking time to take note.  In keeping with our body signals that we explored in Part 2: Where are your energy leaks?, today I am truly allowing my body signals to guide me.  That includes my dream state and my awake state.

I invite you to journal/draw in the moment, reflecting on the past week, past 24 hours, your latest sleep and examine the messages.

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My journal entry [unedited]: 

I’m feeling headachy, thick-headed. swollen eyes, blurry eyes, focus of energy leaks all around the temple, top of my head.  

Things that come to mind:

Trust, intuition, seeing, eye, the brow, not hiding away, allowing input, observing, visualizing, closing eyes, quiet, sleep, no talking, allowing alone time, reading, visual ingestion, imagination.  

[Where do these body signals sit on the chakra chart?  May as well pay attention!]

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Third eye.  Intuition, intellect, visualization, imagination, reasoning.  Brain, eyes, ears, nose, pineal gland.

A week of 6th chakra- of blurry bleary vision and the cyclical dance of guilt, shame and lack of trust (differing from distrust) culminating in achy heart and headaches and stuffy nose.  Message?

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A wave of melancholy washed over me last night.   It wasn’t the exterior, crushing cut of shame, or the interior acid of anxiety- it was an immersion in a pool of deep melancholy, of missing, of nostalgia.

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It was absolute grief and missing.  I was not anxious about the feeling.  Just… melancholy.  I fell into a sleep stupor.  I dreamt my parents pulled into my garage (their garage?) and I was on my stairs (their stairs?), and they both seemed so unhappy.  They were two broken people and profoundly sad and distant in their relationship.  

Dad came up the stairs first- walking (!) towards me.  Just walking from mom towards me.  

Mom got out of the car and began walking up the stairs too- with a sad look, but weary smile.  

I knew that in my home they could find a refuge.  The air of melancholy lingered.

I found Dad’s day-timer on my kitchen table.   In it he had written It is a good day in each date that had passed.  

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I woke with the exhaustion of having cried profoundly.  The pool of melancholy now in my head.  Inky pool.  No stuff in it.  Just an ink-wash.  Uniform.  

I can dilute it.  Cleanse it.  With clear water.  

What is my body telling me?  It was not my role to make my parents happy, but I made it my role.  And I am hyperly aware of that tendency to play that role.  I am profoundly in touch with savouring my solitary, creative life.  My role is not a role now.  I just am.

The pool flows downward towards my heart.  Cools down and neutralizes the chest and leaks outward through my pores as a bright light.

There are no answers here.  It just is.

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Sacred Contracts Journaling Exercise Part 2 of 8: where are your energy leaks?

 

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Biography becomes biology. – Caroline Myss


SACRED CONTRACTS JOURNALING EXERCISE SERIES

PART 2 OF 8

WHERE ARE YOU ENERGY LEAKS?

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We are tapping into our calling, our purpose, our joy in this SACRED CONTRACTS journal series.  It is inspired by Caroline Myss.  The journal series is  an experiment on my part, and I welcome you to join along.  Recall Part 1: Future and Present where we took time to look at where we would like to be, and where we are in this moment.

In this exercise, I would like you to focus on your body.  Where do you feel your energy leaking in those moments where you experience extreme fatigue, or anxiety, or joylessness, or just plain meh.  Is there a location on your body where you tend to feel more physical symptoms than other parts of your body?  Does the location change?

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Throughout my childhood, youth and marriage, I would be doubled over every evening with severe stomach cramps.  The kids called it mom stomach.  I called it stomach migraines as did many doctors over the years.

As my marriage dissolved and I started searching for ways to cope, I felt comfort in looking at chakra charts.  Myss’s book Anatomy of the Spirit was a life raft during that time.  My mother and I loved discussing Myss’s concept of biography becomes biology.  We explored sources of mom’s arthritis (trust issues she felt), Dad’s bladder cancer, etc.

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Certainly my pleaser-anxious-low self-esteem-caregiver personality searching for my own voice had a lot to do with those evening stomach aches.  What released them was being fully myself in my art and with my two children.

Looking at the drawing I made above (click on it for larger image), I see that teetered between the SACRAL and the SOLAR PLEXUS.

During my coming-of-age and adolescence and sexual awakening, I experienced a recurring and over time aggressive parotid gland tumor that threatened my facial nerve.  To speak, to express.  I longed to have my own voice.  That voice developed fully in my art and as a mother.  And small remnants of the tumor sit quietly.

It’s just plain helpful for self-focus to play with the chakra charts.  Many of you that know me know that I have done YEARS of self-exploration and work.  I am no longer doubled over with stomach aches.

The stress over the past few years (financial, parents dying, career development etc.)  have manifested in different forms and now my most typical focus for my energy leaks is my heart.  20140602-084524-31524209.jpg

That is likely why I developed my esteem heart exercise!  We do not need to fear energy leaks.  We need to listen.  To explore.

So take some time to journal/draw on where you tend to lose energy.  Where your physical ailments are in this moment.

Take some time to focus on your SELF.

Stay tuned for Part 3: WHAT MASK DO YOU WEAR?

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I often channel “Little Enid” by Daniel Clowes when I self-identify/draw myself in my mind maps.

Sacred Contracts Journaling Exercise: Series Part 1 of 8- Future and Present

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Sacred Contracts Journaling Exercise Series

Part 1 of 8

Future and Present

Inspired by Caroline Myss’s book, SACRED CONTRACTS- awakening your divine potential, I am exploring/developing journaling exercises around awakening creative expression and tapping into the magic that makes you flow– that passion that fuels you, that call to action to step up and truly live a fulfilling life.

Have you ever wondered what your mission in life is supposed to be?  … Your Sacred Contract allows you countless chances to grow and change, dependent only on your willingness to pick up the subtle clues and cues that appear along the way.  Dreams, intuitions, apparent coincidences, and “chance” encounters are just a few of the cues that will lead you on the path to genuine transformation.

– Caroline Myss

Some of you may call BULLSHIT.  But hey- does a little magical thinking hurt?  Bullshit can be fertilizer, right?  Fertilizer to encourage growth.

As my sister-friend, Patti, would say- sometimes you have to sit in your own shit to move forward.

STEP 1:

Inspired by Jennifer Lee’s The Right Brain Business Plan, let’s re-explore big-vision visualization and mindmapping.

For 10-15 minutes, write freely about your vision of your fully abundant future and success.  Don’t censor or hold back!  Follow  Jennifer Lee’s BIG-VISION VISUALIZATION SCRIPT (p. 34-36)

This used to be hard for me.  The anxious little girl in me would challenge any positive thoughts I had.  But with practice, I have found it easier and easier.  Now the words flow freely.  Hell, I’m not even embarrassed by it anymore.  TRY IT.

This time I wrote (unedited):

Where do I see myself the future?  Now?  Is it here?  I am fully successful having integrated my facets (my multi-faceted interests and talents) into one vision- awakening creative expression.  This awakening is both in myself and all those around me.  My curriculum development is a huge success locally and globally, bringing in revenue that allows me to live fully and freely and abundantly.  I no longer worry about money as all my ideas, projects and mission/vision have been implemented locally and globally in a sustainable business model that keeps me energized.  I illustrate books.  Molly is a huge success and her story engages the audience fully.  Her story expands into a full colour book at [dream publisher] and I am honoured with speaking engagements, exhibits and awards.  My next books flow easily.  2084 is fully illustrated and a huge success, reawakening the world to the illustrated book.  Anna works globally to engage cities in the BPS vision and we are sought after globally for our curriculum events and art.  We expand easily, keeping the model simple and manageable and sustainable.  I thrive in my airy light gorgeous apartment and work from home.  I wake worry free every morning and love life.  The hard work I have done all my life has led to my current success.  It just expands on itself.  All my bills are paid, my savings account builds rapidly each month, my entire family is thriving and I travel as I like and need and reconnect fully with my roots in Sweden.  I implement and oversee and enjoy watching people expand their lives with my program.

STEP 2:

Now create a mindmap– start with yourself in the centre and without hesitation write in bubbles as you contemplate where you are right now.  It could mean where you are at this very moment or where you are this year and this place in your life.  Write and draw freely, allowing the connections to happen easily.  See where your facets and aspects relate into ONE YOU.

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Stay tuned for Sacred Contracts Journaling Exercise Series, Part 2 of 8: where are your energy leaks?

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“Seeing your life in broad strokes and in bright pieces allows you to redraw…” @carolinemyss

In detecting the emotional charge in your biography, you can begin to see how the fragments of your history have worked together in ways that have affected your past, your present, and the state of your health. This perspective is what I call symbolic sight. Seeing your life in broad strokes and in bright pieces allows you to redraw your conception of your future and fill in the fine, interpretive lines more consciously. Symbolic sight enables you to get back your energy or spirit and heal emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even physically.

– Caroline Myss

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Biography becomes biology. Ugly mole diaries.

Your biography becomes your biology.

– Caroline Myss

Last year I had an ugly fucking mole growing above my left temple (aftereffects of radiation treatments in 1983).  The family kept commenting on it and raising concerns.  I have a lot of moles.  I am a moly person.  But this one was too visible.  I would comb my hair the other way to cover it.  I would reluctantly agree to see a doc and then never go.

I decided awhile back that I had the right to full ownership of my body and never again go to doctors if I didn’t want to after going through some rough stuff in the 80’s with surgery on a tumor and the long aftermath of issues after that (bad teeth, nerve signals turned haywire, claustrophobia from being strapped down for radiation treatments), watching my parents wind down and be poked and prodded during their last years, accepting fully and with so much love that I was taking care of them, not me.  But my main reason for seemingly “rejecting self-care” was having experienced some severe emotional trauma that attacked my sense of self and led to horrible body image.  I now fully accept the gift of my body and its crazy cricks and nuts and bolts and tissue memory from dance injuries.  It’s all good.  I have full ownership.  I love this old skin bag.

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If I need to go to the doc I will, but really nothing was making me go to address that fucking mole.  So I decided to address the issue of my anxiety around it, around what I needed to address in all aspects of my life.  I made up my anatomical heart journal exercise.  I did it a few times.  Two weeks later the mole crumbled and fell off.

I thought,

HELLO!  I am on to something here.

I kept doing the anatomical heart exercise over the next years but I seemed to be writing the same thing over and over again.   Same issues coming up.  Money, trust, low self-esteem etc.

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I was stuck in a perseverating  spiral.  Then slowly a new mole formed just below the original spot.  And I ignored it.  But as I was ignoring it, I was actually building a new life.  And addressing aspects of myself I had indeed been ignoring.

But oi– the mole grew uglier and bigger and again the family addressed their concerns.  I couldn’t cover it anymore.

Yet I noticed my anatomical heart exercise was changing.  I wasn’t writing money, trust, and low self-esteem.  I was writing allow, choose, and change.  And as the mole grew uglier and bigger and harder to ignore,  I made a big choice.  Not to go to the doc.  I knew the mole was just seborrheic keratosis.  I made the choice to change my situation.  To leave the life that was weighing heavy on my heart and to centre fully into my art.

I did not feel authentic in my daily job anymore.  And that is OK.  It had its time.  I gave my notice.  And the mole grew uglier.  But I mindmapped and took responsibility and put up the boundaries and owned the decision.  The new schedule really started November 8.

The week after- this latest MOLE CRUMBLED AND FELL OFF.

WTF?

HELLO!

Wonder what the next mole will teach me.

TRUST

We are never being punished, only being taught. Everything is a teaching.

– Caroline Myss

Books as life rafts.

For fun, I just did the Holmes and Rahe Stress Test and my result was: You have a high or very high risk of becoming ill in the near future.  Duh.  Doh.  Funsies.  How do I deal with stress?  Acknowledge it.  Use books.

I was just digging through my book pile and I realize there are certain books I need with me to quell the stress during those epic life stressors and the books become life rafts.  Afterwards, Imay never look at them again.  But in the moment, they mean EVERYTHING to me.

When I was going through the heart-attack of my ex-husband’s infidelity, I could only read Anatomy of the Spirit, recommended over the phone by my best friend in Sweden, as she coached me through endless panic attacks.

 

I underlined the entire book.  Now I don’t even own a copy.

When my mother went through her last year and I stayed by her side through appointments and treatments, the only book I could read while in waiting rooms was Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor as it was exactly what I needed in that moment.

 

I still clutch to it.

After my mom passed away, I was replaying the pain and the beauty of her last breath and her last heart beat, over and over– recalling the love that enveloped us as my brother held mom’s face and helped her let go.  After that, I need to read the last pages in The Death of Ivan Ilyich over and over again.

 

Now, as Dad faces a new chapter in his life and as we work on the book together, I find myself digesting A Journey Round My Skull.

 

Books.  I love you.

Fifth Chakra, I love you but you’re bringing me down.

I love the concept of your biology is your biography.  It’s not science but I find it a great way to address pain and blockage and to reassess your life.  It just makes you go hmmm.

Caroline Myss explains:

What I recognized is that your biography becomes your biology–you are one and the same with your life and your history. Events that you have not yet reconciled, haven’t forgiven, haven’t let go of, are carried as that debt in your cell tissue.

Q: Does that mean we create our own illnesses?

I’m glad you asked that. I’m going to say ‘No.’ Instead, it’s much better to say that we influence our health. That is certainly true. Do we create it? No, we haven’t got that kind of power. But we certainly do have an influential factor.

This past week, I have been experiencing the familiar arthritis/bursitis in my left shoulder.  The pain has been UNBEARABLE.  And I have a pretty high pain threshold, so for me to stop in my tracks meant it was time to take stock.

It’s interesting that the 5th Chakra addresses self-expression.   My initial blockage in that level came in the late 70’s with a parotid gland tumor (and was treated into the mid 80’s).  It was the first time I damaged my shoulder as I danced through post-op and radiation treatments (trying to protect my left side).  It was also a time when I completely lost my voice.  My art and my dance were  havens for self-expression.  But my body was signaling that there was blockage in my self-expression elsewhere in my life.

I have lingered between the 1st and 4th chakra since then, so it’s interesting to be back exploring the 5th.

The 5th chakra also expresses issues around trust.  Trusting your life’s journey.  Trusting others.

I know as I take in so many stories of others in my work, I need to take in my own story and to take ownership of my journey yet trusting the path.

How fully and authentically are we expressing our lives?  Where are we blocked?

Write about it.  Draw it out.  Whatever comes to mind.