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Earth, Water, Fire and Air, The Elements Within Us

PART THREE - MANIPURA - "full of rays"

The Fire Within, The Solar Plexus Chakra, Personal Power


  • Here, energy is created (passion, enthusiasm, action), or blocked (fear, tension, rigidity).

  • The action of our breathing muscle (diaphragm) is our life force regulator. Inhibited breathing affects energy throughout our body/mind. Deepening our breath flow creates more energy within us.

  • Digestion – the processing of our food and our life experiences into nourishment for our body and soul.

  • Balancing of our energy is required for activation and management of our personal power. At other times, we either over- or underdo things (masculine/feminine energy imbalances).

  • Manipura is the seat of authenticity.

  • Niyama #3: Tapas – the purifying flame, to act in ways that generate life energy within us, rather than deplete us.

  • Choice.

 

We may have to learn not to be afraid of the fire within us. We have all experienced times when our inner fire has arisen in an overwhelming, uncontrollable wave of energy that is powerful stuff! So powerful, it can be scary. When our fire is compacted and not freely expressed, it can simmer within. It can burn us and others badly. It can overwhelm and control us. It can connect us directly into the blame/shame game in our minds. This holding back, holding in, can create an explosive vessel of frustration and unhappiness. We can get stuck here.


When our fire is dampened and cold, we live in fear, or suffer chronic anxiety, we can experience a suppressed ability to make what we want, happen. We can feel powerless and weak and lose hope. We can be weepy and ineffective. We can also get stuck here.


Manipura Chakra carries the fire element. It is the chakra of action.


However, right action is guided by connection with ourselves on many levels. We need to be able to know what is right for nourishing and sustaining our bodies, for finding enthusiasm and satisfaction in our life path, and for giving and receiving in ways that do not deplete or overwhelm us.


The energy of the third chakra must move. Its very essence is movement, energy, action. To do this we must breathe freely. Our breath is primarily controlled by the action of our diaphragm muscle, a large muscle deep in our body which sits at our navel and lower ribs, at Manipura. To enable prana (vital energy) to move freely through Manipura, we must free our breath. To move our diaphragm fully, the organs and tissues contained in our belly and pelvic bowl must allow the deep descending movement through the diaphragm’s lowest fibers.


This means we must be willing to soften our belly and allow ourselves to deeply feel. We must accept and have a relationship with our bodies. This requires us to get real. We will not be able to fool ourselves for long when we practice breathwork consistently. We will access our essential nature, our sexuality, our gut feelings, and our natural impulses. We must come to value, support, and love these base aspects of ourselves. This allows the vital energy activated by our breath to move throughout our whole organism, grounding us in our body and life in a very real way. We receive/allow the flow of our own vital energy, even in the unconscious layers of ourselves.


As this energy deep in our lower body opens, becomes activated, and moves, we contact our innate desire for growth, just as exists in all living things. Indeed, our discomfort when we are not in touch with ourselves this way is this deep need for personal growth showing itself. Our cells are enlivened by the increased oxygen flow, and our brains are stimulated.


Our fire grows. It creates heat and energy within us. This energy digests our food, nourishes our body systems, and guides us to our purpose in life. What makes us feel excited? Enthusiastic? Satisfied and purposeful? What makes us feel right? Curious? Expansive? What are our gut feelings? What are we passionate about? These are our right actions, the things that will give us a life of fulfillment.


Sometimes, we have doubts! Some of our passions can seem impossible. Many push us to step out of our comfort zones. Sometimes in life, what is required of us is laid upon us as we kick and scream in protest!


Sometimes we can only do what we must to get through. At these times especially, we must keep our fire burning. Moment by moment, we can keep ourselves steady and on track. We can get through what is most difficult in our lives. We can do things we did not believe we could. Keep the fire alive. Feed it with your breath. And see how you have grown when you get to the other side of those difficult times!


An essential aspect of our fire element is its balance. If we do too much, it burns too hot and causes us strain and a host of health problems relating to stress. However, if we do not act on our inner fire, we become inert, depressed, overladen, and stuck in old patterns and places where we are not meant to stay.


The moderation of our fire (energy) means we must stay in touch with ourselves through all the different phases we go through in life. We do this through our consistent practices that help keep us present and consciously aware.


Sometimes what we must do is less, conserving and nourishing ourselves, pausing to give ourselves the energy we need at that time. Women especially go through an enormous amount of change in our lives that may include childhood, puberty, blooming into adulthood, motherhood, menopause, and elder years. We go through times of illness, loss, and deep transition. In all these different phases, our energy requirements will be different.


For our good health, each of our chakras not only needs to be activated and flowing, but also harmonize and connect with each other. Muladhara, the first chakra, is solid (the “hard body”, the masculine). Svadhistana, the second chakra, is water (the “soft body”, the feminine). When these are in balance and connecting with each other, this activates our personal energy flow, igniting Manipura (the “fire chakra”, personal energy and power).


Manipura is the seat of our mind. We choose. We can choose to tighten, withhold, contract, or dampen our energy (over activation of Muladhara or Svadhistana), or we can choose let it all flow, manage it mindfully, and use it consciously for our growth in Love.


We must let go of what we think the world expects of us and look inward to our own power. Living in attunement with Manipura Chakra, with the fire within, feels right, and leads to a deep opening of our heart. We come to love our life through our authenticity.


And the opening of our heart is the portal to our deepest and most authentic self. It is the portal to inspiration, wisdom, and peace beyond all understanding.


Namaste.

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