The Third Chakra: True Power

This month at Soulstice we’ve been exploring, strengthening and balancing The Third Chakra, also known as our Solar Plexus Chakra. In Sanskrit it is known as “Manipura” — meaning “shining gem”— and is asssociated with our adrenals, gall bladder and liver function. The Third Chakra is our personal power center, influencing our strength of will, vitality, the ability to overcome challenges, make purposeful choices and inspire conscious actions in our lives. The Solar Plexus center governs our sense of self, and is the hearth of our spirit.

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When our Third Chakra is weak or out of balance we can feel confused, frozen or apathetic. We may feel shame or unworthiness and lack trust and confidence in ourselves and our choices. Our energy might be low, our immune system challenged and emotionally we may feel depressed or hopeless. An under-active Solar Plexus Chakra may leave us feeling like passive observers in our lives, helpless and reactive to life’s everchanging circumstances.

Modern society celebrates a certain type of power, related to the acquisition of resources and property, consumption, influence and ownership over others and consolidation of resources. Instead, we would focus on personal power — Empowerment — which gives one a sense of deep knowing, grounding and stability exclusive of worldly notions of power

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How will you feel when your Third Chakra is vital, healed and balanced??

Ability to Be Open, Trusting and Vulnerable

Empowered people are at ease, comfortable in their skin and thoroughly know who they are… They are steady, easy to read and able to be themselves regardless of the setting, circumstances or company. With a strong solar plexus center you’ll be transparent, clear, warm, open and able to express your thoughts, feelings and emotions openly in a healthy, balanced manner.

Ability to Weather Adversity and Loss

A balanced Solar Plexus Chakra is your port in life’s storms, an inner resiliency that can be bolstered and strengthened with spiritual practice. A strong soul can see the longview, move through loss with grace, and remain compassionate and positive during life’s challenges and curveballs.

Ability to Express Needs and Handle Criticism

When you deeply know yourself you’ll come to receive criticism and disappointment as an opportunity for personal growth, learning and expansion. Being able to communicate openly about our needs, standards and preferences creates close, authentic and lasting interpersonal bonds and relationships. The opposite of this is hiding, getting defensive, taking things personally or rejecting/avoiding. Strong souls can both share and receive open, meaningful communication.

Ability to Manifest Goals into Reality

The Solar Plexus Center is the fire and catalyst that brings our dreams to life — it begets action, animation and forward momentum. Thoughts, ideas and visions are manifested into reality by the power of our soul’s deepest intention.

Ability to Apologize and be Accountable

Individuals with a strong sense of self and center are willing to step up and take responsibility when they have made a mistake or caused hurt. They know expressing contrition doesn’t detract from their own sense of self or strength.

Ability to Forgive

Perhaps the greatest test of our inner strength is our ability to forgive the people who have hurt us. To fully live means to open ourselves to the ull spectrum, beauty and heartbreak of what it means to be human… and this means we will open ourselves to experience rejection, abandonment, betrayal and disappointment. Forgiving, appreciating and loving the people who have caused us heartache is healing for you, as well as everyone around you. Forgiveness creates a ripple effect out into the world as well as deeply into our own hearts — by forgiving yourself and forgiving others you create space for healing, self-love and a vibrant life.

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How do we heal and balance our Third Chakra?

Meditation and spiritual practice, breathwork and mindful movement like Feldenkrais and Qigong are all restorative for the Solar Plexus Chakra. Closely linked with the Fire element, bright sunshine is nourishing as well. Travel to new places and break out of your regular routines; challenging your comfort zone and habitual activities will expand and strengthen your Third Chakra. Surround yourself with upbeat, positive and supportive people. Add warming spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon to whole grains, teas and milks.

Release excess energy, anger and resentments through vigorous exercise, cleansing or sweating. Practice yoga asanas, especially upward dog, bow pose, plank, warrior III and child’s pose. Express and release emotions though crying, singing, dancing or artistic pursuits. Meditate and sleep beside healing gemstones like Tiger’s Eye, Citrine or Yellow Calcite. Lastly, laugh! Nothing is more empowering than seeing the humor and levity in life — strong people are able to laugh at themselves and find light in any darkness.

Join our caring team seven days a week and nurture your chakra system through massage, meditation and movement practices — find true strength and empowerment by cultivating your own internal fire!

Being of Service: A Healer’s Game Plan

I’ve been blessed to study, search and seek in the healing arts for over twenty years now. With each passing year, I feel evermore lucky to have discovered my path and purpose at a relatively young age and spend the majority of life within and alongside a community of healers…. I owe so much to Esalen, my early teachers and the guides around me who loved and supported my — at the time — pretty weird interests. Like many in the healing arts, my practice has healed me from my own childhood traumas and over time has deepened an inner resiliency and resolve that has seen me through life’s disappointments, heartaches and betrayals. A daily practice — with all its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits — is what I rely upon most to weather life’s ups & downs, the strength to hold the tough conversations, and the ability to stay true to my heart in a very noisy world.

To my friends and colleagues in the Healing Arts… the Yoga Teachers, Massage Therapists, Meditation Guides, Studio Owners, Counselors, Therapists, Caregivers and more: We’re in the dawning of a time when our work, our art and our contribution are vital to our collective future. Every day we are waking up to the fires and floods of our earthly and inner worlds, and can no longer hide, dismiss or delay the deep healing that is called for right now. It’s all-encompassing and undeniable — and it’s going to take all of us, together, to shift the paradigm and evolve.

Creating a Safe Space + Sanctuary: Ask anyone in the healing arts, and they will agree…. healing can only happen once your soul feels safe for that healing to occur. Healing cannot be commanded, rushed or controlled. Rarely is it convenient, well-timed or predictable. In fact, deep healing typically happens when your spirit is finally in a comfortable place to feel, express and be; it’s rarely easy, never pretty and oftentimes when you’re in the thick of it you’ll wonder what on earth is happening to you. Only in hindsight will you see the wisdom of experience, learn the body’s way of knowing and reach the deep well of compassion that exists within us all. As healers, the very first thing we must do is create a true, authentic and safe foundation for people to simply rest their hearts, minds and spirits.

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Valuing Our Work: The work of a healer is to assist the transformation, blossoming, positive growth and flourishing of an individual, community and society. It’s kind of important, no? Vital. As healers we must begin to appreciate our work and service in how we present, value and honor ourselves and each other. For generations past we have aspired to and held up the lawyers, the bankers and those professions that move and leverage other people’s ideas and creations. Focused on achieving and amassing, wealth and self, these professions do little to cultivate empathy, instill meaning or create beauty in the world. So why do those professions command respect and deserve greater value?? Simply because they have demanded it.

It’s vital that moving forward we as healers begin to reshape how we value our work, price, prioritize and present what we offer. How much would you pay for a happier, more joyful and meaningful life? Let’s stop nickel and diming ourselves with sliding scales, outdated “by donation” payment models and treating our healing sanctuaries like a 24-Hour Fitness. Treat your time and contribution with the honor and respect it deserves, and by doing so we help shift what society values and attaches meaning to in life.

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Don’t Teach, Model: At our Soulstice studios, we have never seen our community more in need of care and healing. Anxiety, depression, hopelessness and despair is epidemic. Approaching our professions with the intention of saving people from their pain will only lead to burn-out. Healers need to Show, not Save. We do this by being brave enough to live differently. Being happy with what we have. Enjoying the freedom that comes with having less stuff. Spending our resources on experiences over acquisitions. Valuing rest, spaciousness and stillness. Being willing to call out unethical behavior and stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves. Modeling kindness, sharing and curiosity to learn one another’s stories.

We’re on this planet to achieve and contribute, but we’re also here to enjoy, laugh and experience the ease, humor and beauty of being human. As Healers we need to show — not teach — balance, priorities and a new way of being in our world.

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Lose the Guru: As people grow more desperate for a path out of their pain, it is our job to help remind people that every individual already has everything they need within themselves to heal. Our role is to be a catalyst, a spark, a means, a sanctuary, an inspiration to empower people to heal themselves. To pretend or imagine “our way” is the only route or method to healing is doing society a disservice and more of the same limited, ego-centered thinking that got us here in the first place. There is not just one type of Yoga that’s ‘better than’ or Massage Therapist that is ‘most effective.’ We’re all in this together!

We believe everyone’s path is unique, and therefore everyone will have their own very personal experience of healing. Each has their own method, place and timing and none of us truly know what’s best for another person. This is why we will always champion diversity, difference and exploration at our studios, trusting that people can and will grow through making their healing a priority, accessible and available to their daily life. Whether through bodywork, yoga practice, breathwork, meditation, dance, music, mantra, art, qigong or more, we give ourselves the best opportunity for growth when we’re open to a diversity of experience. Healers, we have so much more to gain when we support, respect and learn from each other and come from a place of interdependence and sharing.

As with all healing, once the smoke clears and land beneath us settles, we’ll understand why it was so necessary to live through this incredibly challenging moment in our collective story…. Grateful for our amazing healing community who wake up every day and work toward a more beautiful, giving and kind world. We see you ~ and we thank you.