Last week, a friend called me, completely freaking out, because she had wandered into a window psychic beckoning to her from under a cheap neon sign.
The psychic told her, basically, she would never find love because, in a past life, she died an unwanted orphan child, and now, her chakras were closed. The window psychic laid all this fake wisdom on my pal for the low, low price of 75 unearned dollars.
I knew I wanted to write about chakras, but when my friend asked me, "Does it hurt to open your heart chakra?" I knew I first had to address some misconceptions.
Chakras are energy centers in the body. They aren't organs, so you don't need an operation to open them, and it doesn't hurt.
Most of the time, they can be opened by simply focusing on the area and opening them up with breathing and meditation, but to really open up a closed chakra might take a little more leg work, like finding a therapist who specializes in holistic health.
Each chakra/energy center governs a different area of your body and mind. To know which of your chakras are out of balance, you might get some clues just by referencing the list below.
Each of the following issues is associated with one of the seven chakra centers and is a warning sign that your chakra may need some balancing or opening up.
Root Chakra – Financial Insecurity
The root chakra sits at your tailbone, and the lesson it teaches is we have a right to be here.
Therefore, people who grew up as foster children, moving from home to home, people who have survivor's guilt or minority groups who have suffered for years from institutionalized racism may suffer from imbalances in their root chakras based on the false belief they somehow don't have the right to be here.
This manifests as financial insecurities that affect our basic survival needs, such as money, shelter or food. People who suffer from eating disorders should focus on opening up their root chakras, affirming they have the right to be here.
When this chakra is in balance, a person has no problems with self-preservation. He or she feels grounded and connected to other human beings and feels an overall sense of safety in the physical world.
Sacral Chakra – Addiction
The sacral chakra is located 2 inches below your bellybutton and about 2 inches into the center of your body, and the lesson it teaches is to honor others.
People who depend on drugs, alcohol or co-dependent relationships, or people who are addicted to drama, may actually have trouble fully giving into and feeling their emotions.
They reach out to these outside stimulators to cure their emotional or sexual impotence, but when those stimulators are gone, they withdraw from relationships with others.
When this chakra is open and in balance, the person discovers an ability to take risks that are empowering, not destructive. He or she no longer denies his or herself the opportunity to play, and that person is creative and committed, as well as more outgoing and sexual.
Solar Plexus Chakra – Lack of Self-Esteem
Located 3 inches above the navel, the solar plexus chakras lesson is self-acceptance.
People with unbalanced solar plexus chakras suffer from lack of self-esteem. They worry about what others think of them, to the point of interference in everyday life. They may have over-active inner critics and constant worries about the future.
All this may lead to a bit of an anger problem (think Julia Louise Dreyfuss in "Veep").
The lack of control over their tempers might look like someone who reacts off gut instinct when, in fact, it's their deep lack of trust in their own gut instincts that makes them act out this way.
When the sacral chakra is in balance, a person gains a sense of self-confidence that cannot be shaken by the opinions of others or the uncertainty of the future.
Heart Chakra – Loving to the Point of Suffocation
The heart chakra is located at -- surprise! -- the heart, and its lesson is love. People with closed heart chakras may have deep fears of loneliness and tendencies to love to the point of suffocation.
They also have deep fears of abandonment, not directly attached to losing actual people, but related to the fear of being left alone with themselves. They may have curved shoulders and suffer from upper back pains from carrying themselves as though they have tits the size of grand pianos.
When the heart chakra is open and balanced, a person will feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion for themselves. They will no longer feel bitterness, and forgiveness will come more easily to them.
They will no longer swing between complete indifference and overwhelming jealousy but will be able to detach with love because of an unconditional love of themselves.
Throat Chakra – Being Unfaithful
Located at the throat, this chakra's lesson is to speak up and let yourself be heard.
Often a throat chakra imbalance is caused by lying, and the lying is caused by the belief your opinions cannot be voiced. People with closed throat chakra suffer deep fears of speaking up for themselves, which leads them to act in ways that are unfaithful to themselves and to others.
Many people with closed throat chakras may have grown up in families where addiction or abuse was present. They learned as children to keep their feelings and their honest opinions to themselves in order to feel safe. Their lack of willingness to communicate is directly related to a deep fear of having no choices in their lives.
When a person's throat chakra is open, they are able to speak up without fear of the results. They are able to be compassionate and honest yet firm. A balanced and open throat chakra assists an individual in establishing clear boundaries and feeling safe speaking his or her mind.
Third Eye Chakra – Lack of Direction
The third eye chakra is located in the center of the forehead and teaches how to see the big picture.
A person experiencing blockages in the third eye chakra may experience a weakened ability to listen to his or herself. He or she may not be able to see the forest from the trees and experiences chronic feelings of confusion about how to proceed in life.
People with third eye chakras may not be able to understand their own fears fully, too bombarded by their own racing thoughts.
Much of the time, they may feel lost navigating their ways through their own mental fogs in order to make a basic decision. In extreme cases, an over-active third eye chakra is associated with an exaggerated imagination and possible hallucinations.
When this chakra is open and balanced (not overly active or under-active) the person can distinguish between truth and illusion, fear and reality. He or she is open to receiving wisdom and light and acting on the wisdom received, without deliberation.
Crown Chakra – Rigid Belief Systems
The crown chakra is located at the top of the head, and the lesson it teaches us is how to live mindfully.
People who grow up with rigid religious/spiritual beliefs or people raised in prejudiced communities often have closed crown chakras, which lead to difficulty taking action because of a tendency to overanalyze the results. There's also a deep fear of alienation.
An imbalance in the crown chakra may be brought on by by issues involving a lack of reality (a strong desire for an outcome that isn't happening), issues surrounding a loss of purpose or meaning in one's life, feeling like you are having an identity crisis, feeling superior, having little or no concern for others, having a real lack of acceptance or being judgmental.
When this chakra is balanced and open the person is able to live in the present moment with an unshakeable trust in his or her inner guidance and a basic understanding of life as a journey, not a destination.
We all have some imbalance in our chakras. The more we understand them, the closer we get to a solution. The first step is just to be aware of them and the false beliefs that cause these imbalances.
Now. get to work and meditate!