joy lab
a happiness incubator

Week Three: The Solar Plexus Chakra

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The Solar Plexus Chakra, or in Sanskrit, Manipura (which translates to "Lustrous Gem"), is the third chakra. Located below the ribcage, and an inch or two above the navel, the Solar Plexus is the home of our will power, drive, gut instincts, and sense of humor. It is the birthplace of our laughter and anger. From it we assert ourselves, and claim our identity and place in this world. Our True Self resides there, and so...this "fire in the belly" is what allows us to act with integrity, and speak from our own truth. Another well-known bunks here: our ego. Dun dun dun!

A balanced Solar Plexus Chakra allows us to have a clear sense of who we are; our Truest Self at the core, and confidence in our life path (even if we don't know where it's going!). When this energy center is well-tended, we develop a strong sense of self-worth, and deep trust in our innate wisdom. We are at ease in our skin and allow ourselves to shine, without apology. We are rooted in our personal power...strong, confident, warm, and reliable. We have a deep respect and love for ourselves. Self-discipline (oh, that's a toughy for me!), ambition, taking positive action, determination, a deep respect for nature, and the ability to maintain healthy boundaries are other indicators that your Solar Plexus Chakra is alive and well.

Do you often feel meek? Tend to people-please, and over-worry about what other people think of you? Shame yourself often? Your Solar Plexus chakra may be unbalanced and deficient. In that state, we go fetal, even if just energetically. We may shun our responsibilities, avoid difficult conversations, and be afraid to stand in our power; choosing to think we are powerless or unable instead. Frequently questioning yourself, sensitivity to criticism, sluggishness, nervousness, being overly submissive, and tendency to blame are other manifestations of a deficient Solar Plexus. It also rears its head in the form of envy, jealousy, confusion, and not only fear of failing, but fear of being seen as a failure.

In excess, this chakra manifests in abrasive behaviors (similar to other chakras)....such as arrogance, addictions, workaholic issues, an inflated ego and controlling behaviors. People with very imbalanced Solar Plexus Chakras act tyrannically...inflexible and angry.

Understandably, due to location, imbalances in this chakra affect digestion. Other physical manifestations include: ulcers, gallstones, liver and pancreas disorders, allergies, arthritis, diabetes, and fatigue.

Most of the time, chakra imbalances are mild, and do not manifest in severe ways. All of us fluctuate due to the day (or month, or year!), our mood, circumstances, quality of sleep, hormones...between the deficient and excessive sides of each chakra. It would not be normal or human (and in my opinion, possible) to be in a state of complete balance at all times. So, if you identify with some of the above-mentioned manifestations and ailments, breathe easy! We all do. My intention for this workshop is to bring awareness to each chakra, what it desires, and how we can realign our own energy. A secondary wish, is that at the end you will know and understand yourself a little bit better, and feel new levels of freedom. But I'm getting ahead of myself!...

What does the Solar Plexus want in order to be happy? It wants for us to stand in our power, and challenge our fears. When we respectfully assert ourselves, honor our needs and our truth, or act with courage...it glows. It does not like our self-imposed judgements and limitations, not one bit. So any time we push against those boundaries (that we created ourselves), this chakra's vitality increases.  It wants us to release our anger by practicing compassion, let go of shame by telling ourselves positive affirmations instead. It wants us to practice speaking our truth, and be clear about our boundaries. A gratitude practice strengthens this vortex, too.

Yellow represents this chakra, and the element is fire. It governs our sense of sight. "I can", is the Solar Plexus affirmation, and RAM is the seed-sound. Physically, this energy center embodies our liver, pancreas, gallbladder, adrenal glands, middle back, digestive system, diaphragm, muscles, and sympathetic nervous system. You can support the Solar Plexus chakra by wearing or carrying gemstones such as citrine, amber, or yellow calcite. (gemstone guide forthcoming!)

I really do try to condense this information! So many things to tell you...Onto the Solar Plexus Chakra!