Welcome back, everyone!
As I considered how to organize this series called “Reiki, Singing, and World Views,” the idea of organizing through the chakras appeared in my consciousness. For the purposes of these articles, I will use the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras.
What do I mean by the term “chakra?” Chakras are etheric energy centers that vibrate in the body. They are not physical, but they do have physical manifestations. They are one method of understanding the human combination of energetic, mental, emotional, and physical experiences.
I will begin with the heart chakra. In my experience, the heart chakra vortex encompasses the torso from the bottom of the neck to the bottom of the breastbone. This is down to, but not including, the diaphragm and stomach. It’s important to note the heart chakra includes the front, center, and back bodies.
Each chakra is necessary to the full human energetic experience. I begin with the heart chakra because this whole process is about love. We may reject love, or react to it, even run away from it, or be hurt by too much (co-dependency) or too little of it—love encompasses the whole experience.
As I tell some of my story thus far, I want to be clear that I’m only telling part of the story. I’m sharing some of my experiences, but I’m not sharing the intentions or experiences of the others involved, because those aren’t mine to share. Also, having negative experiences doesn’t mean that the people involved were bad people. It means they were doing the best they could, and that for some reason, I chose to have these experiences in order to become what I am today. Some of my story has to do with leaving the Christian evangelical world, while still retaining good relationships with my family. Leaving evangelical Christianity has been grueling, especially coming from a missionary family. My heart breaks for the pain I’ve caused my family, and I would do anything to remove that pain. Anything except ignore my conscience, that is—I knew leaving was the only way for me. I do want to be clear, however, that in the case of my family, their evangelical Christianity IS the path for them. And after years of estrangement (at least on my side), my mother’s death returned us all to love again. As painful as it was, our family relationships changed forever after that—back to love.
Her death was a huge turning point for me. Up until that point, except in the case of a few special experiences, I had not felt loved by my family. This was not their experience or intention, and due to their love for me, I doubt they comprehend why I feel this way. But these articles are about my experiences.
I was born into a family of left-brained people. I was born into a religion of the Word. I spent most of my childhood wondering what was wrong with me. The only way I knew to function—structured, dignified, carefully expressive, rising early in the morning, etc.–felt wrong to me. But since I had been only taught one way, I assumed I was wrong. I felt off-kilter and perpetually misunderstood. My parents taught me that their way was the only way. But I knew deep within myself that I could never live their way.
In order to survive my familial and religious culture, I disassociated from my body. I had all these emotions and need to express and no safety in which to do so. I acted out and was known as a brat, when really, I was an artistic child who simply longed to be heard. The requirement of my soul was to create, and without the space, life rhythm, and words of affirmation that gave me permission to create, I was cut off from my heart.
My mother and I never had a positive relationship. In fact it was an emotionally hostile relationship for me. She was the last person I would go to for comfort. As an example, in 2006, I had emergency surgery. I wanted comfort from my mom so badly and even picked up the phone to call her. She knew little about my life and had no idea I was going into surgery. But my friend, who knew the situation, took the phone away from me and refused to let me call my mother. My friend knew that the consequence of confiding would include a bucketful of shame.
My mother was a wonderful woman, an amazing wife, and a great mom to my brother. But she and I did not work. As I came into adulthood, I began to understand that she and I stood for contradictory ways of being, particularly ways of being a woman. It’s simple to see now, but as the mother, she had the external power in that relationship, and she almost crushed my soul.
But she didn’t—because inside me I have a spine of steel. I am a warrior, a dragon, a queen, and within me, I knew—I KNEW—there was a WAY for me, a way in which I could live in deep safety and openheartedness. I KNEW I could be at peace within myself. I KNEW those qualities couldn’t be found in evangelical Christianity, at least not for me. I KNEW that leaving the only safety I had ever known—and it’s hard to leave a religion when you’ve been taught from childhood that hell awaits if you don’t believe that particular way—was the only way. It has been a Heroine’s Journey from the beginning. For most of the journey I wasn’t even aware that I was taking a journey, but I have been impelled from the depths of my soul to find a life that has meaning, resonance, and peace.
In part two, I will delve into the technology of breath, as well completing my personal heart chakra story with my mother. Finally, I will unite the concepts of breath, heart, and reiki.