Today is my mom's birthday. So happy birthday, Bren. I love you so much and so do so many people. You are truly one of a kind and total inspiration.
Thank you for all the love, laughs, tears and years.
For this Monday, I wanted to move through the most recent writing prompt that was posted. I've included one of the Kundalini retreat facilitators, Sabrina's (@hello.spirit) Hatha practice that focuses on working with Manipura.
When activating Kundalini, it is important that we connect with and support each chakra centre. Knowledge, practice and self study allow us to open the channels necessary for Kundalini Shakti to rise and come together with our highest possible expression.
There are so many practices available. We here at ASCEND offer one on one Kriya sessions that are by donation. You can book online through this link.
The journal prompts are for your own self-discovery. There is no right way to answer them. There is no wrong way. There is simply studying your own self and allowing your "self" to be seen without judgement by you.
ASCEND Writing Prompt: Manipura (Solar Plexus)
"What is the very first thing you think of when you read the word: Anger"
Screaming into the pavement while clutching my stomach.
This was the first time that I remember feeling Manipura -- not that I had not experienced an emotional and energetic blow to my Solar Plexus before this moment.
But it was humiliation and rage that exploded out of me at five a.m in a dark parking lot.
I was at the New Gokula ashram, with the Krishna devotees in Australia. I didn't realize how much of my time in Australia would become relatable to this blog -- but it is almost fitting that it should, because it is my only time travelling that I did not know where to put the stories down.
Anger had been perplexing to me for about a year at that point.
After leaving Memorial University in Newfoundland, I returned to British Columbia for another season of tree planting in the mountains. Due to personal circumstances, I developed an intense case of anxiety that resulted in crippling and public attacks. I would choke up and get lost in the words and memories that fluttered through my mind.
Fast forward to New Zealand and a farm where I sat and would write alone in a cabin. My writing showed me that it was my own words that haunted me.
This is not inherently the case for everyone who deals with anxiety. But when I got painfully honest with myself, I began to recognize the ways in which my anxiety was only possible when I was wrapped up in and focused on stories of my "self". It was the harsh words I had spoken, rude gestures I had made, manipulative discretions I had acted out -- these were the things that were driving me insane in the end. The incident in Newfoundland that had triggered the anxiety was simply that, a trigger. The true issue was the underlying behaviour that took me out of alignment with who I knew myself to be.
There was a time when the only emotion that felt safe to me was anger.
As in anger was not a frightening emotion to show to others. I was strong and I was fire when I was angry. I didn't realize that I felt safe in that anger -- but by taking a step back it began to become obvious.
My anger was like my protective shield.
The emotion that would step in front of my sadness or vulnerabilities and tell someone "fuck you" instead of "that hurt my feelings".
So...when I made it to New Gokula farm I found myself incredibly busy with learning to release my anger. Learning what it meant to balance the centre that is relate to confidence and our will to think -- or discern.
Because you see, a blockage or closure of this centre, was presenting in a way that my personal fire raged too intensely at times when what I really need was the calm confidence to allow for gentle release of sadness. I needed to grieve, but instead, I wanted to blame.
The most frightening thing is to blame ourselves.
The most difficult thing is to own our own blame and recognize that it is okay.
My anger was protecting my own ego, but it was hindering my ability to allow the full weight of the experience to be moved through. My anger was holding the trauma of my experience within my body.
Manipura chakra is concerned with acceptance and rejection.
Confidence and anger are the same flame in the same way that confidence and joy are the same flame. Or confidence and sadness.
We all walk our own path and no matter where we find ourselves along our journey we can always reach a hand out to another who needs support or up to one who can offer us guidance. There is no timeline for self discovery, actualization and realization.
When I found myself clutching Manipura at five a.m at the ashram, my confidence and self worth had been so deeply impacted. It all was on account of giving my "worth" to the acceptance of another. When I lost that acceptance, I was deeply impacted. All of the work I had done at the farm had been in an effort to balance my anger. To have my anger draw back and give space for sadness to express manifest when it need to.
I almost began to feel that anger was a villain.
I don't know who needs to hear this -- but anger has never been a villain.
There is nothing wrong with being able to tell someone "fuck you" -- anger is our protector. Anger is the defender of the weak.
So when I had balanced out and made space for sadness to speak, for joy to surface, for grief to be processed -- it was interesting that I would suffer a major blow to my ego in the form of infidelity.
I walked out to the parking lot in the middle of the night, aware of my humiliation and feeling of embarrassment.
I could not help it, I dropped to my knees.
I screamed the most visceral and authentic noise of rage.
Because even though there was sadness, there was also anger. And not one of our emotions need ever be feared, stifled or belittled.
There is space for everything that we feel and to allow it to move through and express itself is to allow the actual chemical make-up of an emotion to be processed and released.