Have you ever had the experience of turning onto your street or pulling into your driveway and not remembering the drive home? Or walking into another room only to forget why you went in there? It’s as if there’s an autopilot switch in your brain that mysteriously goes on and then just as mysteriously shuts off, “ding you’re here.” Don’t worry, being on autopilot isn’t a sign of a chemical imbalance you’re probably just not grounded.
A terrific way to become more grounded is to balance what’s called your root chakra. Chakra means “wheel” in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit, and just as the name indicates chakras are wheels of energy found within the energy field of your body.
Imagine a gently flowing mountain river. Along the flow of the river imagine that there are small plateaus where the water pools before continuing down the mountain. This is what your energy body is like; a gently flowing river with seven beautiful pools of energy. These pools of energy start at the base of the spine and continue up along the spine to the crown of the head. Your thoughts, feelings, genetic make-up and life situation will affect the flow of energy in any given pool of energy or chakra, either in the positive or the negative.
Each chakra has a specific local governing a specific area of the body, a specific color vibration and a specific sound vibration. The root chakra is located at the perineum, (the space between your rectum and your sexual organs). The root chakra governs the skeletal system, blood and cell building, rectum, legs and feet. Persistent issues in these areas of the body usually indicate an imbalance in the root chakra. Its color is red and the seed sound that helps it to balance is lum (as in lumberjack).
The root chakra deals specifically with issues of security (food, water, shelter) and cultural identity (male, Irish-American). When the root chakra is balanced you are grounded in our body, you feel safe, you are able to care for our basic physiological needs, and you have a healthy cultural identity.
When the chakra is out of balance you feel uneasy, flighty (as opposed to “foggy-brained” which is a thyroid or throat chakra issue) and sometimes fearful. You feel that things are always happing to you, and that situations are always beyond your control and understanding. In the extreme, you will have feelings that you don’t “belong,” and that people are against you. Without grounding you are unable to care for your basic physiological needs, you feel like victim helpless to the whims of other people and institutions.
You can balance your root chakra in several ways: through diet, visualization, toning/sounding and using affirmation. I find that stress is also a major culprit for not feeling and being grounded, so here are a few simple suggestions and a short meditation that will help you to feel grounded, balanced and relaxed.
- Cut down or cut out caffeine. While there are some studies that suggest that caffeine can help you to feel alert, for most people caffeine can make them feel jittery, anxious and even paranoid.
- Wear red.
- Walk barefooted in the grass.
- Try this simple meditation: Set your kitchen timer for 5 minutes or longer. Sit in a chair with your feet firmly on the floor. Turn your palms down and rest them lightly on your thighs. Just breathe naturally for a few moments. When you’re ready take your attention down to your feet. Stay here for a few moments and then allow your attention to move up the legs to the perineum, this is the place of the root chakra and just breathe. If you’re able and if you have time, try visualizing a beautiful red spinning wheel where the perineum is otherwise just continue to keep your attention on the perineum or on your feet. When the timer sounds, say to yourself silently, “I am grounded, I am balanced, I am whole.”
Small changes in our awareness and our lives can have huge impacts. There is so much we can become and accomplish when we take the time to care for ourselves; mind, body and spirit.
If you’d like to learn more about how to use the chakra system to bring harmony and balance to your mind, body, spirit and your world then the “Meditation for Relaxation and Self-Healing” class is for you. I hope to see you there.
Photo Credit: Nick Fisher