QUESTION: I had been in a therapy for a few months, some time ago, and the therapist called herself a “holistic” therapist. One day she offered to “scan” the energies of my chakras. All the energies were in the appropriate or “normal” state of flow. When it came to my third chakra, however, she said the energy was abnormal. This energy was going “backward”, so going in the opposite direction. She said it was allowing energy to escape. 

The reason I had started therapy is that I'm desperate about not being able to fulfill my dreams. Always, when it comes to things like endurance, patience, and discipline, or some kind of will, I fail or I don’t believe in myself. I know that this kind of “zest for action” is one of the characteristics of the third chakra energy.

In addition to that, comes a real hate towards myself, which comes in waves. At times, I feel clear and loving in myself and with myself. But when I get caught by the waves, all the self-esteem seems to drift away and I just want to escape and die. My problem is: this therapist told me of the wrong-flowing energy, whether this “scanning” is right or wrong. Fact is, I have no clue how to strengthen this energy, how make it flow properly, how to get rid of these waves of hate. I know it must have to do with an unconscious and repressed pain and pattern, like you describe in your answers. But how, besides therapy, can I strengthen myself and my energies on my own? And would you say it is generally possible to feel the chakra energies?

ANSWER: There are two parts to the answer to your question. The first is the mechanics of what you are asking about, the second is dealing with the emotions of it.

There is much written on the nature and function of the seven chakras within our bodies. Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means wheel. They are called that because these circular energy centers extend out and spin in the front and back of our bodies. These centers spin clockwise when working properly and counterclockwise when they are compromised. As you have correctly stated, different areas connect to specific emotions as well as health issues. It needs to be understood that different chakras can “be off” at different times, even in the span of one day. Just one reading, even if correct, does not mean there is something constantly off in that one area. The body is not a static thing; it changes moment to moment depending on many, many factors.

There are several ways to tonify the third chakra. One simple way to strengthen the area is by shaking the hips and mid section area. Circular movements with the hip are wonderful. Another is to use yoga asanas: the practicing of the boat posture (Navasana) is helpful here. A regular grounded meditation, while feeling the feet on the ground, also helps balance the chakra system. One thing you might want to start is a regular meditation practice. At the end of it, scan your body starting from your head down to your feet and put awareness on the different chakras. The intention here is not to manipulate them, but just to become aware of what you can feel. With some practice, you can start becoming aware of the energy flow. Some people are more sensitive than others, but we can all train ourselves to have some awareness of energy flow.

Now to the emotional piece. This is the hard part. We all want a magical way to get out of the pain. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Wanting to make your chakra system “perfect” is another way of bypassing the hard work involved. By all means, get energy work, it can be helpful. But also keep looking into it with therapy, as you are doing. It is that hard lifting, done consciously, that sets us free from the shackles of the past. It is when things are unexamined that they haunt us. There are many techniques out there that can assist us. But we have to be willing to put in the hard work. All of us always hit a spot where we feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Understand that this is a part of this human experience. Take a moment whenever things get heavy. At these times, rest and regain your energy. But again, put your shoulder back into the hard work when ready. I wish I could tell you there was a shortcut; I have not yet found one.

Lastly, we have to be aware of not putting life on hold while we heal. Sometimes even the awareness of the wounding is enough to start the healing process. It is not that we finish healing and then start living. We start living more fully the moment we recognize that there are unresolved issues at hand. It is wonderful that you have that awareness presently. All of it is useful for the healing. Sit with it all: the hate, the grief, the fear. The tendency is to want to push the uncomfortable stuff out of the way - but, in fact, it is about learning to tolerate them first. Once we do that, we can sit with the feelings. We can examine where they come from and how they can be healed and integrated. It is from that place that we start working towards fulfilling what our heart desires. And always smell the roses along the way. Seek beauty in the midst of the dark journey, it always softens the blows and lightens the load.