The Root Chakra is the building blocks to our stability. When we lack a sense of safety or grounded-ness we cannot truly focus on other parts of our life, like relationships or self-awareness, giving and receiving love.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant as an alternative to therapy. I am not a medical practitioner and this is not considered medical advice. Rather this is a helpful tool and a way to gain and share knowledge. Some of the information discussed in this blog posts are from the book “The Sevenfold Journey” by Anodea Judith and Selene Vega
The Root Chakra: When you can’t find your ground
I can’t tell you how many blog posts I have started over the last few months. Everything from “the power of words” to “meal prep” to “how I schedule my week when my ADD feels out of control”. The last one is the most ironic (I mean, obviously it never got posted for a reason).
And even though I already have so many blog posts started, I don’t feel I’m in that place anymore. With everything that has happened in recent months it kind of feels like posting any of those (at this point) would be disingenuous. And considering the fact that my life has turned upside down and right side up and then topsy-turny with one crisis after another (like a snow globe being shaken by a toddler) I figured the best place to start with getting back into blogging would be with the root chakra. When it feels like the earth has been ripped from underneath me, the only thing I can do is to learn to ground myself. And hopefully this can help those of you out there who feel the same.
What is a Chakra?
There are 7 main Chakras. Think of the these chakras as a map that helps nagivate you through the unpredictable roads of life. As a counselor, who has always been a little bit skeptical, I can say that this ancient tradition actually aligns quite well with my clinical beliefs.
You don’t slay a dragon without first training and building up your skill set. This ancient tradition supports that, which is something the counseling field has only just realized in recent years.
Anyway, the Chakra system helps by giving you a formula, so to speak, for a whole and balanced life. It creates a bridge between mind, body, and spirit. As a society, we have been taught that our mind can conquer our body. We are so disconnected from our body that we read books on how to lose weight and force that knowledge upon it. There is an inherit power in learning to listen to what our body tells us.
As we grow up we learn how to think about who we are, who we can trust, how the world works. Sometimes we learn messages that leave us feeling defeated, unimportant, or many other negative core beliefs. The Chakras can be a tool to help us reverse some of this damaging beliefs.
I will be writing a whole post on Chakra’s in general, but I do want to jump into the Root Chakra.
The Root Chakra
I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete, the earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and brokenWalt Whitman
The color of the first chakra is red. Some theories start from the head and move down, however many (including me) believe that only by being grounded can we work through the other Chakras. This correlates well with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Without safety, we cannot be actualized.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
The downward point of the triangle in the first Chakras symbol represents the sleeping serpent goddess. When she wakes she goes up to each Chakra and on her return, she can rest.
In order to work our way up the Chakras we must first ground ourselves down into the earth. The ground supports us in many ways; physically it keeps us upright and prevents us from falling. It is what allows us to lay down a foundation for our homes, which in turn shelters us from the elements. It provides nourishment and our basic survival needs. The goal here is self-preservation, safety, and grounding.
If we are “solid” in our ground, we can face any storm without flinching, drowning, or blowing away with the current.
Let’s talk about the juicy stuff.
There are different areas to look at when it comes to the root chakra. The it seems pretty straight forward, learning to ground (I think) is one of the hardest things to do. It requires a great deal of time, unblocking beliefs and thoughts, working through some trauma, and more.
Being specific is a big part of this Chakra. Writing down specifically which areas you want to work on and how you will manifest this is huge. Below are several questions to ask yourself and things to consider.
Take Care of Illness/Doctors appointments
Afraid of the dentist? Been avoiding getting that cough checked out? Being grounded is about honoring the one body you will ever have. Fear may have stopped you from taking care of it before, but challenging that fear will provide you with the stability needed for life’s challenges.
Notice your diet and experiment
is a good way
to learn your
how you feel
Become aware about cravings that you have. Try to come up with a routine if you tend to forget to eat meals. Try something new and see how your body responds to it. Consult a doctor/dietician/nutritionist if you have any medical conditions that prevent you from eating certain things. Look into herbal benefits.
Determine how you feel with your current wardrobe
It may sound materialistic or vain, but feeling good about you how you look is part of feeling good about your body. If you feel self-conscious in old or tight clothes then are you really focused on honoring your form?
Do something kind for your body
Get a massage, go dancing, take a yoga class. Go on a hiking trip.
Do you take time to move your body? I feel like I don’t need to go into the benefits of exercise. But I will add that listening to what KIND of exercise feels good for your body is important.
I HAVE BEEN STUCK INSIDE OF MY HOME FOR 7 MONTHS!
I am STILL working from home. And I kind of love it, but I also kind of really miss going to the movies, doing work INSDIE a starbucks, doing… things that I never took advantage of very regularly like going to a museum.
Even if you don’t spend quite as much time at home as I do, it is so very important to have a space that nurtures you. If your space is a mess, chances are your brain is too. It’s the physical manifestation of our consciousness.
This doesn’t mean if your space is clean that it necessarily supports you in the way you need. Is it nourishing you emotionally? Does it feel sterile? Would you feel more motivated with different decor? Organizing your room in a different manner? Can you create a special place for yourself where you meditate, journal, or recoup? This could be a corner of a room if space does not allow for anything bigger than this. Is it clean, organized, or attractive? Consider creating an alter/mediation/journaling space for yourself.
Are you happy with your job? Do you get support from your bosses and co-workers? Are you doing work that is meaningful to you? Are you making enough money to support your lifestyle? You may not necessarily be able to go out and get a new job right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some work in this area. You can ask for a raise, read books to help further your knowledge and expertise, get different streams of income.
How do you manage cashflow, debts and keeping track of everything? Do you tend to avoid dealing with finances? Do you tend to sabotage when things are going well? That might sound silly, but I find myself doing that. When I have a bit extra money, instead of putting it towards debt I find myself at Michales buying stickers for my planner.
Do you have an understanding of the environmental issues, both in our world and locally. Do you spend enough time in nature or take trips to visit amazing places in our country and world to see natural beauty (maybe not now, because covid, but typically).
Another area often neglected is the trauma we’ve gained from childhood (or perhaps adulthood). Sometimes the word “trauma” seems so strong that it is very easy to avoid some of your personal injuries. “I mean I wasn’t abused, so like there’s nothing to work on, right?”.
That is not necessarily true. Trauma isn’t just some huge major event that happened to us. Sometimes is a build up of being told throughout your life that you need to perform well to matter or be loved, being the brunt of every joke because your flighty, being taught that emotions are equivalent to weakness, losing a loved one young, living through divorce, watching someone else you love being hurt by someone else you love. There are so many things that equal trauma.
In our society we don’t talk about some of those negative messages we receive growing up as a form of trauma. But working through all of it, the abuse, abandonment, grief and loss, negative messages about how we relate to ourselves and others. It’s all important to help us ground. It builds the foundation for normal health relationships. And relationships are a basic survival function. It’s part of how we are wired (perhaps I’ll do a whole blog post about this).
Not only do our own experiences affect us, but so do generational ones. We learn to fear certain things because of the bad things that happened to our parents. We learn messages from the family we came from. There are studies that show that survivors from WWII passed down trauma symptoms for 3-4 generations.
Working through some of our families trauma helps us to break the cycle.
Does it sound like I’m writing a college paper if I label this heading as “in conclusion…”?
Some of these things may need more work than others. Is there a particular one that seems the most appealing or most dreaded? Does any stand out as being something you’ve neglected for quite some time.
I was surprised to find just how much has been neglected for me in these areas across the board.
One thing to note is that you can’t do all of these things at once. Working on the Root Chakra is a process. In my opinion, it’s probably a longer process than most of the other Chakras (although I am new to chakra work, I am not new to the world of therapy. And setting a foundation for safety so you can build on other things IS one of the longest stages).
It’s not something to rush through so you can say “I completed step one, on to step two”.
Something I found super helpful was making a list of all the things I wanted to work on from each category. After that I made a list on the things I wanted to prioritize. And when I was done with THAT, I made specific steps to take in order to manifest my goal. After all, part of the Root Chakra is learning how to manifest things so they become a reality.
There is something really empowering about recognizing how much a role we can play in providing our survival needs for ourselves. How much control we actually have, despite how out of control we felt during our particular traumas.
… That was a lot of info, wasn’t it? Well, just in case you aren’t feeling overwhelmed or exhausted by this point, here are some links if you are interested in learning more:
The book I received a lot of my information from is from the book “The Sevenfold Journey by Anodea Judith
yoga with adriene is my favorite youtuber. She mostly has yoga workout videos that are very easy to follow. One of the things I LOVE about her is how she really preaches about listening to your body and doing what feels right for you.
Ashley Turner is another great resource. She posts a lot of free videos, specifically yoga for trauma survivor videos that are great. Definitely check her out.
Anyway, I’m exhausted. Time to wrap this up. I would really love to learn about what your biggest take aways were from this. I’m curious what some of your goals are when working on the Root Chakra. I’m working on several things (Specifically manifesting my office, amonst others). But I’m so curious what you guys would like to focus on!
Let me know in the comments below!