Finding Personal Power in an Era of Comparing
Our lives are filled with moments of vitality and energy that come in many different forms; we feel it at a festival as the music runs through our bodies, when we laugh loudly, feel overwhelming sadness or when we experience stress and our body rings with nervous energy.
The body is made up of many chakras, however, only 7 are largely acknowledged: base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Each of the 7 major chakras is important, but in today’s culture of comparing and in search of self-love, it could be argued that the solar plexus chakra has perhaps become one of the most important and potentially the most neglected.
The solar plexus chakra is connected to the sun and associated with heat, light, and the colour yellow. When balancing your solar plexus, it is common to use yellow crystals like tiger’s eye and citrine; to cook with foods like pineapple, banana, lemon, and turmeric; and to practice strong core exercises. Most importantly, the solar plexus is responsible for personal power, purpose, identity, and self-esteem.
In a psychological study conducted by a handful of universities in the U.S, researchers write, “self-esteem is literally defined by how much value people place on themselves. It is the evaluative component of self-knowledge.”
This study into self-esteem doesn’t recommend going on an Eat, Pray, Love trip to Bali to find self-esteem, but it does highlight the importance of feeling your own self-worth. Their findings conclude that a link between self-esteem and happiness is strong, and that people with high self-esteem tend to function better in groups, speak up for themselves more and contribute in activities (36).
However, with the rise of media it is more common than ever to compare ourselves to what we are seeing on our screens and we can begin to question how we look, what we do, and what we say. This can often leave us with feelings of low self-esteem instead of feeling inspired by the photos and blog posts.
In the self-esteem study, Roy Baumeister and a team of researchers write that it is “difficult, if not impossible, for people to remain indifferent to information that bears on their own self-esteem.” The conclusion was that self-esteem was largely associated with self-perception, stating “self-esteem is thus about perception rather than reality. It refers to a person’s belief [of themselves] …”
With an unbalanced solar plexus chakra you may notice feelings of low self-esteem, you may feel like you have no sense of control over your identity, or you have no clear direction in life. But you can begin to balancing your solar plexus with simple acts of self-reflection.
Solar Plexus Balancing
- Write affirmations like I am worthy, I accept and value myself exactly as I am, or even more simply I’m doing a good job!
- Create a self-care ritual: make yourself an aromatherapy bath, light some candles, diffuse Chakra Balancing Blend or Allure blend, and enjoy a cup of Chakra Balancing Herbal Tea.
Solar Plexus Perception: A Balancing Activity
Time: 10 – 30 minutes
Use this activity to see through ‘solar plexus’ tinted glasses and paint yourself with your best qualities. Set up your work space with pens, watercolours, or paints, diffusing the Harmony blend as you do so. You don’t have to be an artist; simply draw a face that represents you and surround it with images and symbols of what makes you ‘you!’
Base Chakra Balancing Activities
The base chakra, or root chakra, is concerned with physical needs and basic human survival. Try these activities to balance your base chakra, or Muladhara…
- Try an exercise you’ve never tried before; look up a local boxing or karate class, go rock climbing, or try bikram yoga and get your body moving in new ways.
- Stimulating music will help you to balance your base chakra, so get online and find some live music happening in your area. Look for music that will get your body moving like Latin American music.
Sacral Chakra Balancing Activities
The sacral chakra is concerned with everything that makes life sweet. It represents our creative energy and is associated with the expression of sensual emotion and sexuality. Try this activity to balance your sacral chakra.
Get a large piece of paper and some watercolours. Put on your favourite album and get creative. Try not to think too much about what you are painting, simply let the creative energy flow through you.
The heart chakra, located in the centre of the chest, is concerned with unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion.
Borrow a camera from a friend or simply use your phone. Walk around your suburb finding things that you find beautiful and take photos of them; plants, trees, the way the sunlight shines on old buildings. Bring a friend along with you or simply spend some time on your own.
Throat Chakra Balancing Activities
The throat chakra is all about self-expression, communication, creative expression, and following one’s dreams. Often we can feel stuck, consuming everyone else’s self-expression and forgetting how to express ourselves. Balance your throat chakra by siting down with your laptop or a pen and paper and begin writing.Try stream of consciousness writing; don’t think about what you are writing or what you want the end result to be, simply write!
If you get stuck, try writing a poem using these prompts:
- Put yourself in someone or something else’s shoes. Write from their perspective. What do they see? How do they feel?
- Look for a pattern near you. What does this pattern express? How does it fit in with everything else around it?
The third eye chakra is concerned with insight, wisdom, and intuition. This is why it is associated with the forehead. Gaining insight and balancing your third eye means learning to trust your intuition.
To balance this chakra activities like meditation, yoga, and other forms of mindfulness are vitally important.
Try downloading mindfulness and meditation apps that you can use regularly or find a yoga class near you.
Crown Chakra Balancing Activities
The crown chakra is located on the top of the head and is concerned with spiritual awareness, enlightenment, and open-mindedness.
Find an arthouse cinema near you and see some films you wouldn’t usually watch. New experiences and embracing things outside of our routine helps to open our minds and become more aware of what is happening around us.
Baumeister, Roy F., et al. “Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?.” Psychological science in the public interest 4.1 (2003): 1-44.
Battaglia, Salvatore. “Chakras and Aromatherapy Workshop Notes.” (2017).