How a 7 Day Journey with the Chakras Changed My Life
This is a guest post from the multi-talented, beautiful and super-inspiring Toronto based artist Stephanie Billinger.
Life is funny. You get to an age where you think you’ve got it all figured out and then you’re hit with a single or series of unexpected events that either takes your breath away or knocks you off your feet.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer to have your feet firmly rooted at all times. I’m quite attached to the concept of keeping the balance – in all areas of my life – and anything that attempts to tip the scales leaves me scrambling for ways to find equilibrium (I’m a Libra).
Recently finding myself fighting through a minor internal struggle, I was determined to find the source of the “block(s)” that were preventing me from fully living my truth. I was curious to see if things would become clearer if I wore only white clothing for a whole week. Well, that was my original thought. What became of it was totally unexpected.
On my third day of wearing white, in addition to attending regular yoga classes and meditating at night to candlelight, I was inspired to perform an experiment that would require a full 7 day commitment (which in itself is a challenge for a non-planning, go-with-the-flow type like me) and totally immerse myself in a journey of self-discovery.
I was going to learn more about myself through each and every one of my Chakras.
Thankfully my friend Ian, had just written an article, The Beginners Guide to the 7 Chakras, so I had an easy reference point.
My intention for this voyage was to fully engross myself in everything related to each Chakra. This meant that I would do each of the following things EVERY DAY for 7 days:
· Meditate on the Chakra for 5 minutes in the morning (meaning, I put my entire focus on that particular spot of my body for 5 minutes)
· I wore nothing but the colours of the Chakra each day (including undergarments!) and white to bed to neutralize the transition into the next day
· I performed exercises that assisted in opening the Chakra (ie: squats on root day, pushups on heart, etc)
· Executed yoga poses which focused on each particular Chakra
· I would smell scents associated with the Chakra (ie: lemon on solar plexus day, vanilla on third eye)
· I carried around the corresponding gemstone all day
· Reading and declaring aloud the affirmations listed in the Buddhaful Living Chakra article
· I connected with the elements of each Chakra (this was the most magical part of my experience)
· I painted each Chakra’s symbol on 12 x 12” canvases
· Listened to 1 hour meditation music linked with the Chakras
My goal was to connect with the Chakras in every possible way – the scent, the taste, the sound, the feeling, the colour, etc. and then closely observe what happened on each day, without trying to force any outcome or impose any expectations on myself.
And then the magic happened:
Yoga Poses: Forward Bend
(For more information on the Root Chakra click here)
Monday morning, wearing red, I started my day with the meditation and as I sat on my bedroom floor, I imagined connecting myself to the earth. Allowing the roots to grow out from underneath me and ground me down, allowing me to feel stable and secure.
The most thrilling part of my day was when I sat down to paint my first Chakra and it started getting dark outside. The sky was clouding over and a faint rumble was heard in the distance. I couldn’t believe my luck and how the universe was supporting my mission by organically connecting me to the sound of the root Chakra by lighting up the sky with thunder and lightning!
At the end of day one, I used Ian’s questions to bring my focus to the key issues of this Chakra, and what I discovered on this day was that I really needed to change my diet. I’m a recovering sugar-addict, but this Chakra spoke to me and said, “FOR REAL, GIRL, you need to give up the white stuff!” Noted, Root Chakra. Noted.
Yoga Poses: Triangle, Pigeon
Scent: Orange (Peeling and eating a clementine)
(For more information on the Sacral Chakra click here)
Wow, do I hate orange. Even before I began this experiment, my apprehension for the Sacral Chakra day was apparent when I paid for my orange wrap dress from Old Navy the weekend prior. It was only $4.99 from the clearance rack, but I knew it was going to be a tough day for me.
It was almost the second I put on my orange dress that my heart began to race. I felt anxious and over-stimulated, which also included feelings of arousal and an overwhelming desire to be creative. The universe assisted with this day’s element as well, providing the lovely sound of rain tapping against the window as I sat in my office and painted my Sacral Chakra. What I found to be quite extraordinary was my eagerness to keep going after my painting was finished – I began sketching out the rest of the week’s Chakra symbols to make the process quicker in the event that I lost my gumption along the way.
The plus was obvious: my creativity was stimulated in ways that the Sacral Chakra promised. The negative was, I could not shake those anxious feelings and I was so eager to get myself out of my orange outfit and into my white pj’s that I undressed early – just before 9pm. Funny how the relief was almost immediate.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Gemstone: Yellow Citrine
Exercise(s): Belly Dancing
Yoga Poses: Mountain Pose, Upward Bow, Boat Pose, Lord of the Fishes
Scent: Lemon (put lemon in my water)
Element: Fire (lit candles)
(For more information on the Solar Plexus Chakra click here)
I will admit to being a little nervous about wearing the colour yellow too. I can’t remember the last time I wore that colour – it had to have been in public school when my mom used to dress me. Thank God fashion has changed a lot since then!
What I did not expect was how happy and POWERFUL I felt wearing this golden colour. I felt sexier wearing yellow than I did wearing red! I also noted how people treated me when wearing yellow – I received many compliments, strangers smiled at me, and men followed me with their eyes. I think there must have been a bit more oomph in my step while sporting this shade.
On that note, another side effect of wearing yellow all day occurred when I got to the diamond to join my softball team. My usual position is somewhere in the outfield where I get so little action that even though I’m always ready to make that catch, I sometimes feel like I’m only there for moral support! That night, we needed a female to play second base, and the teammate who has played it reluctantly for the last few games felt like chilling in the field. So I stepped out of my comfort zone and played infield where I assisted with 3 outs, including making a wicked catch-out!
I don’t feel so much that I suffer from lack of confidence in general, but perhaps a lack of personal power – and wearing yellow and engaging in Solar Plexus Chakra activities on this day, I got in touch with the hidden power I hold within. And it was awesome.
Gemstone: Green Aventurine
Exercise(s): Pushups, Hugging
Yoga Poses: Camel, Eagle, Cobra
Scent: Peppermint (drank peppermint tea)
(For more information on the Heart Chakra click here)
Ah, the Heart Chakra – the one I feel I’m most in tune with. I am love. Love is me.
My Heart Chakra day was filled with awareness. I felt so joined and at peace with everyone and everything around me. I was sitting outside in a park, and as the gentle wind blew through my hair, I found myself inspired and connecting to an old dream as it simultaneously brought a fear to the surface. One of my biggest heart’s desires made itself known on this day, a subtle reminder of the one big thing I’d truly like to accomplish in this life.
Later that day, I found myself staring deeply at a painting that was hanging on the wall in my dentist’s office. I loved how the strokes were so fluid, so free. I imagined how the artist must have felt so comfortable with the brush, with their skill, and so clear with their vision. I wanted to feel that free when I painted. I wanted my art to show that love.
Heart Chakra day surprisingly became less about expressing love outwards and more about connecting with my inner love and passion. My deepest desires. The song of my heart. I don’t think I have ever felt more awake and more present in my life than I did on that day.
Colour: Light Blue
Exercise(s): Singing, Gargling
Yoga Poses: Supported Shoulder Stand, Plow, Lion
(For more information on the Throat Chakra click here)
Like the solar plexus day, this is another Chakra where I felt like I could use a little work. Like I said earlier, I really enjoy keeping the balance in my life – and that sometimes comes at a cost – the cost of not expressing myself properly, especially when I’m feeling hurt by someone else’s actions.
This day, fortunately went off without a hitch, but I was sure to exercise the power of my Throat Chakra by singing to the radio in my car (pretty loudly too!). I was also inspired to create a painting outside of the Chakra set that I was working on this week and was pleased with the result.
It wasn’t until I was working on the review questions at the end of the night that I realized that part of expressing myself effectively is accepting my need to communicate as an artist. That painting was a true manifestation of all the inner work I had done with my Chakras up until that point. I was finding it a little exciting to see that working with my Chakras each day was helping the artist inside me slowly step out into the world.
Third Eye Chakra
Exercise(s): Visualization, Brain Teaser Puzzles
Yoga Poses: Low Lunge, Child’s Pose, Cobra
(For more information on the Brow “Third Eye” Chakra click here)
I wasn’t pumped up with a lot of energy on my Third Eye Chakra day. I felt pretty calm and moved a little bit slower than usual.
There was though, an overwhelming desire to totally declutter my workspace. I felt a strong need to empty out all the boxes on the top shelf of my office and throw out junk I knew I wasn’t going to use. I hung a shelf on the wall and added a new storage container to my desk to hold my post-it notes and memo pads. I used a magic eraser and scrubbed old paint off my desk.
My work area was transformed into a place where I’d WANT to sit every day. Where I’d go to get into my groove, draw, paint, write and do client projects without the clutter to fog up or prevent inspiration.
What I found so interesting was that this was not a planned activity for the day – it happened out of necessity, by clearing and activating my lower Chakras. Everything inside me was working up to this point.
Later that night, as I sat in meditation, listening to the sound of “Om” in my candlelit bedroom, I felt an inner happiness radiate upwards from my Root Chakra. It reached as far as my Third Eye, but settled back down into my Heart Centre and I sat with that feeling for a while. Proud of the results of this experiment so far and really excited to experience my final day in violet.
Exercise(s): Meditation in Silence, Pray
Yoga Poses: Tree Pose, Lotus Pose (after I did those, I also did every pose from this week leading up to the crown)
Scent: Jasmine or Rose
Element: Silence – Meditate outdoors
(For more information on the Crown Chakra click here)
The very first profound experience I had from my Crown Chakra was first thing in the morning. My best friend had spent the night and before I could even think to censor myself, a very deep, personal desire that I held secretly within myself was revealed to her. I thought I’d regret spilling my guts to my best friend, but the exact opposite had occurred. I felt relieved. I felt like this was something about me that she needed to know. Being true with her was going to allow me to be true to myself and accept that part of myself – a part that I had rejected and tried to stifle for many years. Wow, what a huge revelation!
Later that night, I had to drop my children off to their dad’s for the week. As a single mom, peace and quiet doesn’t come very often or very easily. The sound I was supposed to connect with on my Crown Chakra day was silence – and along with all the other synchronicities I had experienced over the course of the last 7 days, it was the day I had to part with my kids. After we said our goodbyes, I returned to my car and did something I NEVER do, which is turn the car stereo OFF. I rolled up the windows and drove in silence, breathing deeply.
When I got home, since I had already felt like I had begun a meditation of sorts, I went into my bedroom, lit my candles and sat down on the floor. Hands in guyan mudra, I imagined a white light flowing up through all of my Chakras and pouring outwards from my crown. I was connected to everything, and everything was connected to me. I felt at peace. I felt like every inch of my being had opened up and I was finally ready to share myself authentically with the world.
I don’t know where you are on your journey – but I know I’ve been through a lot. I’ve done many things to heal myself of wounds from my past so that I can be present and happy in my daily life.
But of all of the things I have done so far, I think this was one of the best, most profound experiences of my life.
I learned so much about myself, and I feel more connected to my inner being. Connecting with sounds, colours, nature, my body, my mind, my spirit in 7 days was exactly what I needed to do to be able to fully embrace my existence. All things linked to my life’s purpose became clear.
I am grounded. I am creative. I am powerful. I am love. I can express myself. I have a clear vision. And I am connected to everyone and to everything.
Stephanie is part of the maker movement and is a mom on a mission to make the world a better place by creating beautiful things. Life is her canvas and she uses every chance she gets to share her love, passion and joy with the world.
To learn more about her check out Luvliness.net.