One of the questions I am asked most often is this: What did you do to help yourself recover from environmental illness? Although I benefited from several therapies, the two I credit with putting me on the path to recovery are treatment at the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, founded by Dr. William J Rea, and energy balancing at A Healing Place, founded by Deborah Singleton. For me, this combination of traditional Western medicine and energy medicine was most effective. As I reiterate in author talks, healing paths are individual. What worked for me might not work for someone else. I share my story to let people with environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivity know that recovery is possible.
In my blogs I share some of the meditations and visualizations I learned to keep myself energetically balanced in order to support the natural healing processes of my bodymindspirit. Anyone can enhance health and vitality by taking a few minutes each day to strengthen his or her energy system by supporting the chakras, or main vortices of energy that are located along the spine. Consider the following.
Chakra Color System
Are you a green person or a blue person? Do you wear red, or does the color yellow predominate in your wardrobe? The last time you bought a tie, were you surprised the tie that caught your attention was purple and you owned nothing purple? Do you have days when the only color that appeals to you is sky blue and you absolutely must wear it?
The bodymindspirit has a subtle way of telling us what we need to bring ourselves into balance. Often, when we have a compulsion to wear a certain color, we are receiving a message that the chakra in which that color predominates needs a little support. If, for instance, one morning you are drawn to wear red, your root chakra might be asking for attention. If, however, you are drawn to wear yellow, your solar plexus might be speaking to you. Let’s review the colors of the chakras and issues typically associated with them.
We need to be aware, however, before beginning this review, that although we think of certain issues as being associated with individual chakras, issues, events, and emotional states have system-wide effects. Every component of the energy system is connected to every other component. If a practitioner tells you, for example, that you are holding sorrow in your heart, he or she might be sensing an energy block affecting the flow of energies into and out of the heart chakra or receiving information about the loss of someone dear to you that is manifesting in the heart. Nevertheless, the flow into and around your other chakras and through the major and minor flows in your body will also be affected, as will the quality of your energy bodies. Anything that leads to imbalance affects all of you. Armed with this information, we can now look at the individual chakras.
In the first, or root, chakra the color red predominates. Issues associated with this chakra include personal safety, personality stability, and groundedness. I’m sure you’ve heard someone you know referred to as “flighty” or “not grounded.” An energy practitioner might see or sense this ungroundedness in the flows into and out of the root chakra, or detect damage to the root chakra from past events. For instance, if your parents did not provide a safe environment for you when you were a child, there might be structural issues that need addressing. Again, these issues, arising from life events, have widespread effects on the bodymindspirit and will have played a part in shaping how you see the world and how you relate to everything on it and in it, including people, places, energies, and every manner of creature within your environment.
The second chakra, or sacrum, is thought of as the governing chakra of sexuality and creativity—from the creation of new life in the womb to the creation of characters on a page, a work of art, or a movement in a symphony. The predominant color of the sacrum is orange, but as with all the chakras, many colors, representing different energies and states, can appear in the sacrum. It is here that information comes forward quite often about your relationship with your mother or father, your partner, or your child. Structural anomalies or blockages in the sacrum typically affect your attitudes toward sexuality and govern how you relate to your sexual partners. They can also block creative flow. Often, so called writer’s block can be traced to changes in flow into the sacrum.
In the third, or solar plexus, chakra the color yellow predominates. Will and determination are governed by the third chakra. It is here that we often receive messages that alert us to danger or fraudulence. We say that we had a “gut feeling” about this or that, and that feeling guided our decisions. The following story illustrates the power of this chakra. Someone I love dearly was walking to a subway entrance on his way to work early one morning. He was listening to music on his IPod, so he couldn’t hear street sounds. He passed what he took to be a street person, wearing a hoodie and rummaging through a dumpster. He had no sooner passed the dumpster when a gut feeling stopped him suddenly and he whirled around to find the street person, who had run toward him with his hands raised as if to hit him, not two feet away. The street person stopped, realizing he would have to face and fight his alerted potential victim, and quickly ran away. When I asked what my loved one had felt, he described feeling as if he had been punched in the gut. “The feeling was so strong. My first instinct was to turn around, and I’m glad I did.”
The fourth, or heart, chakra is the center of the chakra system and the repository of love. Kelly green is the color of the heart chakra, but rose pink can predominate when we experience love. Feelings toward others, as well as feelings toward ourselves, move through this chakra and are modulated by this chakra. The heart chakra is the brain of the spiritual self. Thinking with one’s heart and not one’s head is often thought to originate in the authentic self or soul. The heart chakra serves as a transmitting station between the lower chakras (one, two, and three) and the upper chakras (five, six, and seven). Let’s pause for a minute at the terms “lower” and “upper.” Some people mistakenly believe that the upper chakras are somehow superior to the lower and that the goal of spiritual growth is to process through the lower chakras in order to focus and remain in the upper chakras. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each chakra serves an important function within the chakra system, and spiritual growth is facilitated through each chakra. If you attempt to live only through the upper chakras, you create an imbalance that can impede growth and health.
Through the fifth, or throat, chakra we speak our truth. Sky blue predominates. Issues related to shyness, ability to present ourselves and our needs, in fact, most presentation skills, are associated with the fifth chakra. If you have difficulties speaking before an audience or you’ve been told many times that you need to speak up for yourself, then you may be dealing with what Anodea Judith in Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self terms a deficit in the fifth chakra. If people find it hard to be in your company because you are a non-stop talker and carry on incessantly about things that irritate you or just tend to dominate the setting you occupy, then you might be dealing with what she deems an excess in this chakra. Of course, these issues relate to every chakra, in particular the solar plexus, and are tied to questions of will and dominance.
The sixth chakra, or third eye, has traditionally been thought of as the portal to inner vision and communication with other dimensions, the spirit realm, and the soul. This traditional view has been expanded to include the understanding that head and heart communicate, and as they become conjoined more closely, communication centers in the heart. The predominant color is indigo that is infused, as are all the chakras, with great light. The third eye is the conduit that taps into Source for the great ideas that have moved mankind forward in every field. It is through this chakra, therefore, that we can fall prey to hubris unless our head and heart are in balance.
The seventh, or crown, chakra is our connection to God and Spirit. The predominant color is white moving toward lavender, and the light of this chakra reaches up into the heavens. It is the conduit of the energy source that constitutes the primal flow through the body and into the earth, illustrating the dictum “as above, so below.” Balance in this chakra is essential for groundedness and, of course, for balance in all of the chakras. We are said to have our meetings with our guides through the crown chakra, and those who experience NDEs (near-death experiences) tell of hovering above their bodies and observing the efforts of rescue workers and physicians to bring them back to life.
Color meditations support the chakras in several ways. First, by focusing on a particular chakra we increase its power through the universal law that we give energy to the object of our focus. Second, when we work with the dominant color of a chakra we reinforce the vibration of that chakra since each color has a unique vibration that corresponds to the vibratory pattern of the chakra.
All meditation sessions begin with grounding. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. Remove your shoes and wiggle your toes. Picture a cone of white light above your head. Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you inhale, visualize the light moving through your head and body to your feet. See your feet become pools of light. Watch these pools expand around your feet. As you exhale slowly through your mouth as if blowing out a candle, send the light deep into Mother Earth. Breathe normally.
Choose a destination. You can see yourself in a garden, by the seashore, in the mountains or woods. If you choose woods, for instance, allow the woods to unfold in your imagination. Do you see a path of light? Follow that path to an opening. What do you see? A waterfall? A pool of water? What color predominates? Red? Green? Yellow? Whatever color you see, let the color speak to you. If it is green, for example, your heart chakra may need support. Walk into the gentle waterfall or pool of green light. Allow your bodymindspirit to soak in this color. Place your right hand over your heart chakra. Breathe the color into your heart chakra and out again. Can you feel tingling or pulsing from your heart chakra? If you don’t feel tingling or pulsing, let it go and move on. If you feel something, remember that feeling. You are sensing the flow through your authentic self. You can continue to explore the woods for other colors or choose to end your session and return.
When it is time to return, see yourself walk back down the path to where you started. Breathe in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth as if blowing out a candle. Wiggle your toes and fingers. Slowly return to yourself.
As you continue your meditation practice, awareness grows and opens you to your bodymindspirit, an essential part of expanding your consciousness. The benefits of color meditations, therefore, are several: increase in the power of the chakras through focus, reinforcement of the vibration of each chakra through connection with the vibration of its color, support of the natural healing processes in the body through deep relaxation and balance of flow within the energy system, as well as growing awareness of the authentic self.
Disclaimer: All healing paths, while they share certain things in common, are unique to the individual. Nothing I write in my blogs should be construed as medical advice. All decisions about physical and mental health should be made in consultation with your physician or other licensed or certified health care practitioner.
Amanda, who blogs under the title, Celiac and Allergy Adventures, provides a comprehensive list of cosmetics for those with celiac disease, asthma, eczema, and allergies. I reprint her November 9 post here. Don’t forget to check out her blog.