I love to go for walks, run on trails with my dog, flow along my yoga mat, and dance around my living room. All of these activities take muscle energy; which I learned about years ago in my college kinesiology classes. But when I talk about chakras and energy work today, I am not referring to kinetics. I’m talking about the natural light within each of us that pulsates just so we can shine brighter. Do you feel today that throughout your body and mind you are set to high or to a low dimmer switch? When it feels like our light bulb is set on low, chances are one of your chakras may be suffering from blockage. For example, if on any given day I find myself second guessing what I know to be true about myself, the manipura or solar plexus chakra may need some of my attention since it is connected with self-awareness & self-confidence.
No one does a better job of explaining this interconnectedness and helping find ways to put your energy in balance than Anodea Judith. Anodea Judith, Ph.D. is the founder and director of Sacred Centers, and a groundbreaking thinker, writer, therapist, and spiritual teacher. She holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology and Human Health, is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher (E-RYT). She is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on the combination of chakras and therapeutic issues and on the interpretation of the Chakra System for the Western lifestyle.
I have followed Anodea’s teachings for years and am honored that she has agreed to share some of her thoughts with us today on the subject of mind-body integration and the importance of what she identifies as “charge” to our thoughts and behavior. I hope you enjoy this inspirational and informative article as much as I did. If you want to learn more about Anodea and her writings, including her most recent book: “Creating on Purpose” and workshops, you can click on the link to her website at the end of her muse. Enjoy!
In light and love,
Creating Your Life on Purpose!
It’s not the meaning of life we seek but our aliveness.
Once we have that the meaning of life is obvious.
Everybody’s talking about Energy Psychology these days. We seem to have finally figured out that the mind alone does not heal, and that the body is an essential component of mental health. We also know that merely treating the symptoms of the body, while capable of many wonders, fails to address the psychological role in the perpetuation of disease. We desperately need models that address this integration in order to become whole.
Energy is the interface between mind and body, in the same way that electricity connects the software and hardware in your computer. Your life force is how you make connections, which in turn increases your energy. Especially when they happen within, connecting mind to body, spirit to matter, and reclaiming parts of the self that have been shut down or forgotten.
Do you ever wonder what happened to your energy? Would you like to have more aliveness, healing those parts that feel dead or blocked? Would you like to understand how to get through that body armor that makes muscles stiff and inflexible or leads to those excess pounds?
Your life force is known by many names: Yogis call it prana; Oriental medicine calls it chi or ki; Star Wars movies called it “the Force.” In Bioenergetic therapy, we call this energy “charge.”
By whatever name you call it, the internal software of the mind – your thoughts and beliefs– tells this energy where to go in your body– and where not to go. It tells you to action or hold back, to speak up or be quiet, to hold your belly in or let your shoulders slump forward. How we distribute this energy through the body can make you feel depressed or vibrantly alive, anxious or calm. When you block your charge you shut down your chakras, your feelings, and your aliveness.
I like to think of the word “charge” as standing for:
Consciousness Having A Really Genuine Experience.
When you’re full of charge you feel intensely alive, regardless of whether that charge feels pleasant or painful. That’s because your Consciousness is Having A Really Genuine Experience!
We seek charge because we seek aliveness. An experience with a strong charge– positive or negative– has a lot of meaning. If we minimize our charge, we minimize our aliveness and life begins to feel meaningless.
The human body/mind/spirit complex keeps a balance or “economy” of charge throughout life by charging and discharging. We charge up by engaging in challenges, having fun, or receiving love and affection, as well as through more biological activities like eating and sleeping. We discharge through releasing emotion, such as crying or yelling, as well as through work and physical activity.
However, our “economy” of charge may get stuck at a high charge level, which we call anxiety, or a low charge level which we experience as depression. This is because of faulty regulation in the charge/discharge cycle, where charge is instead bound into body armor, such as excess weight or chronic muscular tension. This body armor forms patterns that can only be broken up by contacting the vital life energy that is bound. No matter how much insight we have, no matter how many cobra poses we do, it is the charge that is the glue of all our complexes, patterns, and behaviors.
Mind-Body Integration teaches you to connect with the basic “charge” or life force, learning to follow it deep into the core, and allowing it to move through the body. Energy then awakens the chakras, clears blockages, brings insight, and dissolves body armor. This process of deep healing is an art, but it can be learned. It will transform your understanding of yourself, your relationships, and your clients.