Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

True Balance - Second Chakra

It's time to post some thoughts about the 2nd Chakra experience, and what's struck me through reading the Balanced Vitality Chapter of True Balance. I don't have a plan for this post, but suspect (again) that it may be long. Forgive me, but I just want to see what's important in this for me - and I know there is much.

First, allow me to share my SoulCollage card which relates to my 2nd Chakra. When I make these cards, I operate very intuitively, selecting images that call me without knowing quite why, very often. My Leopard companion speaks to me of living completely at home within your skin, of being at home in the environment, and enjoying everything the senses have to offer. Look at the beauty! Imagine the texture of that coat! And picture the sensuous, lithe, swaying walk of such a beautiful creature! After I had created this card, I realised that, of course, there are colours associated with the chakras. Notice the presence of Orange tones? That's the colour of the 2nd Chakra. (HERE'S what I wrote about it on my SoulFragments Blog)

I'll admit straight off that reading this chapter could have caused an emotional rollercoaster in me, and, being aware of this, I simply chose at first to ignore the aspects of the material that were going to make me uncomfortable, and to concentrate on what I really was enjoying and could relate to without discomfort. BUT... But, but... I have come back to the other stuff, and have found it really useful, in fact to consider it and have learnt some very valuable things. (Need I say the bits I was tempted to leave out were those relating to sexuality and romance? -- I'll come back to it at the end of the post, as it was only this morning that a long session with my journal helped me to clarify some very fundamental aspects of this issue for me)

But, first, the idea that the Second or Sacral Chakra is where our vitality, our experience of the joy of being alive, resides - this I wanted to look at, and this I felt was entirely appropriate during this time, as my sister and I were away to France for 5 days last week(see the small slideshow of my photos here), and if the senses are fed anywhere, if we can experience the joy of being alive anywhere, I would defy you to find a place better than the South of France! We chose a time of perfect weather (purely luck!). - Not too hot, not windy, no rain, but the occasional fluffy cloud to provide shade. Just right for strolling, and swimming. Hot enough to feel we were on a holiday, but not so hot to make it impossible to enjoy ourselves. Perfect! And in the course of those few days, these are (some of the) ways in which my senses were fed:

Vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see
Sunset over the Mediterranean
Mountains of grey and blue shades
Market stalls of vegetables, flowers, fabrics
Little village streets, green-shuttered houses, red-tiled roofs,
Geraniums, bouganvillea, flower-baskets
Beautiful buildings in Montpelier - even McDonalds!
apple-orchards, little gardens, fig-trees, fruit, vegetables
......... everywhere the eye turned.... beauty

Voices of children as they headed to school
French accents everywhere.... Oooh la la!
The lapping of the sea... oh, the lapping of the sea
Listening to Richard Thompson, Joni Mitchell CD's as we drove
Swallows returning home, their high-pitched chipping

Oh... everything. Tomatoes. Yes, Simply tomatoes.
Onion, garlic, ham,
cheese, cheese, cheese
peach nectar
the perfect Chorizo pizza
A roast chicken with couscous and simple salad.
A fizzy drink made with blood-orange. Not over-sweet. mmm
Coffee. Ah. Cafe-au-lait. Aaaah.
Did I mention the tomatoes?

Bare feet on cool tile floors
warm sand
slipping into, swimming, in the cool silk water of the Med. Oooooh.
breaking open fresh crusty bread (covers all 5 senses, in fact)

wine - along the road, where the tractors passed carrying grapes - wine
figs that have fallen
rose perfume
salt from the sea

.................In short, five days of sensory overload, of pleasure, of relaxation, of the company of someone I love, of giggling, and laughter, and sheer wet-your-pants skitting. Five days of sleep when the mood strikes, and wake when your body says "enough", of no schedule and easily finding pleasant things to do. Music to suit the mood, time to read two books (long awaited - the Secret Life of Bees - YES, YES, YES!, and Eat, Pray, Love - Good, but somehow a disappointment. Too much hype?) Five days to restore the spirit, and to let the Second Chakra know that I am here on Planet Earth and experiencing it.

So, I didn't have to think a lot about this, I just felt I was doing it. Letting my sensual self have everything she wanted, appreciating it all. And it was good.


But let me comment a little on some of what's in the book. I scribbled on the margins as I read, and my first scribbled comment was that depression is the antithesis of experiencing a healthy second chakra. In depression, it is impossible, or at least very difficult to experience the joy of being alive. This just really came home to me very forcefully.

I also noticed that my recent urge to go back to a Tai-chi class (I haven't done it yet, but could in the coming weeks) would be very supportive of the 2nd chakra - and possibly all of them, being that it gets a flow going.

Creativity, inventiveness: I think I know when I'm writing, for instance, and feeling "hot" that the power is in the belly, fire in the belly. I know the emptiness too - the feeling there's nothing there. I recognise 2nd chakra as the souce of creativity. I was really glad when I listed the things I would love to create in my life to find that YES, I do have passion and enthusiasm for them.

There was so much in this chapter... I cannot relate all my margin comments. It rings true for me. I can recognise times in my life when I've been well-balanced, and unbalanced here, and the area I really felt was so scary to look at was the last thing I'm going to comment on:


When it came to the area of Romance and Sexuality, I wanted to just skip over all that, because, being celibate, well - It doesn't really apply. It will only make me sad to be looking at that, feeling the absence, feeling the gap, being aware of what's missing in my life. But the topic was there, and I came to it in my Morning Pages Journal today. I know I am a sexual being, whether or not I'm in a sexual relationship. I am aware of my sexuality. I am a woman. And here's the thing: ---- if I don't allow that I have a sexual nature, then it will become repressed, warped, not healthy. I don't have to be expressing it in reality (in a relationship) to be expressing my self as a sexual person. It's in how I am, and I don't have to be ashamed of being a person with a sexual side to me. Ah. It feels better simply to say that. And the sky didn't fall down. And I didn't get struck by lightning!

Romance..... Now, that's one I thought would make me really sad to consider. Romance. Oh, the nostalgia-fest I could have fallen into. But there were questions in the book that I chose to consider. What would constitute a romantic relationship for me? What would I want in a relationship? And I finally allowed myself to write out what I do want in a man. And it comes down, very simply to wanting a man who has a healthy second chakra himself - someone who is not looking to me, not looking to sexual experience alone, to give him a sense of being alive. I want only to be with someone who knows where to find pleasure in the world without me. And someone who wouldn't feel threatened by my needing to experience the world alone at times myself.

Considering this question, coming to these conclusions, was very important for me. I'm glad I took the challenge of the chapter, and (finally) considered all of this. Perhaps there is much more for me to realise, but for now, I feel I gained a great deal from the second chapter.

Finally ----- my SoulCollage card representing Mermaid Spirit ------- a perfect representation of 2nd Chakra balance to me. I especially love the freedom, the evident sensuality of this image, and the reminder it now gives me of swimming in the Mediterranean!

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At 26/9/06 3:51 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

Wow - what a wonderful, open post! I want to take more time to read and comment more thouroughly!

I haven't gotten into the second chapter as of yet, but your soul card and writing have inspired me to do so!!

At 27/9/06 9:37 am, Blogger Potato Print said...

Hi Greenish Lady,
I hope you alerted Melba of your post. I'm having trouble locating all of our True Balance posts. Time defies the task. I hope everyone in our TB circle reads your post.

This is just brilliant! So well written, so heartfelt. You know from my blog that this chapter hit me hard as well.

I lived in Montpellier and Aix-en-Provence for three years. Your vivid list had me weeping out of nostalgia and shared joy.

I also enjoyed your soul cards. I've done one workshop out here on Long Island. Your offerings push me to attend the workshop this month.

The sexuality and romance part were hard for me too -- and I'm married! Somehow those sections of the second chakra are more highly charged in our culture than the others, don't you think.

Please keep writing and sharing. Like Tammy, I want to return to this post later today and re-read it. Bravo, Greenish Lady.

At 28/9/06 9:51 am, Anonymous tinker said...

Oh, Imelda, I love this post and especially the Mermaid SoulCollage card!
So many sensations! and the trip to the South of France sounds like a dream come true to me.
Even though I'm not actually in the TrueBalance group, I'm sort of 'playing along at home' and wrote something last night about the pleasures of September, and it was interesting to see parallels in your description of the senses. I'm trying to put together a collage to go with the 'Pleasures' writing for Mixed Media Memoirs...sorry to digress - but I was thinking how this post is so appropriate for the Mixed Media Memoirs theme.
It sounds as though you really are finding balance in your life - I applaud you!

At 2/10/06 11:59 pm, Blogger Shannon said...

Powerful, brave post.
Thank you.


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