Consider your way of being when you are alone. Get a feel for your energy configurations, the state of balance of your bodies, and the energies in your second and fourth chakras.
Each chakra will have a primary benefit and deficit potential. How those impact you, your environment, and your relationships is the next level in understanding your potential, communications, fears, relationships, and resistances. This week, your Manipura Chakra.
Common Name: Solar Plexus Chakra
Vedic Name: Manipura
Location: Below the sternum and just in front of the spine
Vortex – Forward and back, perpendicular to the spine
Primary Responsibility – Arbiter of relationships and self-expression
Component: Focus, Endurance
Healthy Configurations: Expansive, Fluid, Accumulating
Unhealthy Configurations: Compressive, Isometric, Isotonic, Bleeding, Accumulating
The third chakra, Manipura, is generally located below your sternum and just in front of your spine. Its vortices (vortexes) point forward and back, perpendicular to your spine. It manages your relationship with relationships. I think of it as the referee between the energies of the second and fourth chakras.
You have a relationship with yourself. That is second chakra energy. You have relationships with others. That is fourth chakra energy. The third chakra tries to find a middle ground between who you are and who you are in relationship. When your second and fourth chakra are aligned and balanced, you are enlivened and authentic. When they aren’t aligned, you act, react, and respond differently internally and externally. You diverge from who you are into something less.
The third chakra also deals with current threat assessment. The sixth, the third eye chakra, Ajna, deals with threat assessment too, but it looks forward toward future threats. More on that in L20W4.
Why it matters: Getting to know your third chakra will help you feel when you are not being authentic. It will alert you to imbalances in your bodies, chakras, components, and intentions.
Everyday Usability: A healthy Manipura Chakra will allow you to digest internal and external energies more easily. It will be an early-warning system for when you are limiting your expressive potential. When you feel an overly active third chakra, you will know that you are hypersensitive to current threats.
Progression: As you develop your relationship with your solar plexus chakra, you will find ways to be more authentic and expressive. As you are, so others will be. Your relationships will get deeper, more playful, transparent, and increasingly intimate. As you can identify your third chakra being reactive sooner, it will take less energy to bring it back into balance.
* Note: The Focuses this week are critical to understanding and feeling this chakra and its relationship with the second and fourth chakras. Make the time and invest the energy necessary to feel each Focus.
Consider your way of being when you are alone with your significant other or the person you feel the most comfortable with. Get a feel for your energy configurations, the state of balance of your bodies, and the energies in your second and fourth chakras.
Consider how you act, feel, and react when you are alone. Now, consider how that changes when there is anyone around. If it is the same, your second, third, and fourth chakras are probably healthy and balanced. If you act differently when others are around, your third chakra will be trying to arbitrate between your second and fourth chakras.
I dance and sing out loud when I cook. If I am alone, no problem. The music gets loud and G Love, Lynard Skynard, and Bob Marley bellow from my belly like guava jelly. If Kelly is around, things change. I will sing differently. The music won’t be as loud, a little less funkadelic dance moves, or maybe I won’t sing or dance at all. If my grandson is helping me cook, I will be louder and more demonstrative. If we have a house full of people, there will probably be no singing or dance moves while I cook.
With guests, my internal energy configuration doesn’t match my external expression. My second chakra wants me to dance and sing. My fourth chakra doesn’t. My third chakra tries to find the middle ground or some compromise that allows the other two chakras to coexist.
When it comes to singing and dancing in front of people, my internal fears don’t match my external fears. I don’t have a fear of singing and dancing; I have a fear of doing it in front of others. If I feared doing it alone too, there wouldn’t be a conflict between the second and fourth chakras.
Your third chakra tries to digest the conflicting energies and reach a compromise. If a compromise can’t be reached, it tries to stop the incompatible energies from conflicting. If you’ve had butterflies in your stomach, you’ve felt the energy of your third chakra working. This is your third chakra in current threat assessment mode.
When your internal and external versions of yourself don’t align, your third chakra colludes with your subconscious mind and starts looking for threats. When it goes from passively absorbing environmental energy to reactively searching for threats, it begins to spin in the opposing direction and your energy flows out of you. If social situations exhaust you, now you know why.
Detail your way of being when you are in a work environment but not interacting with others. Get a feel for your energy configurations, the state of balance of your bodies, and the energies in your second and fourth chakras.
The third chakra is very mental, but its primary body is the emotional. It is concerned with how you feel about yourself, in and out of relationship. Your mind gets involved when it is playing referee or mediator. Your mind takes over when it is in threat assessment.
The third chakra absorbs energy relating to the potential for self-expression. It feels for energies that will allow you to be yourself more. It is the chakra of resonance. It looks for opportunities to connect and funnels those energies to either or both the second and fourth chakras through the Central Power Channel. If you are present and authentic, it funnels the energy in both directions. If you are self-conscious, it reduces input. If you are self-conscious but really want to express yourself, it funnels the energy downward toward your second chakra. If you are being more demonstrative than is normal, it will funnel the energy toward your fourth chakra.
The third chakra resides in close proximity to your stomach. Most stomach issues are probably the result of an imbalanced Manipura Chakra. Back in my corporate executive days, I was diagnosed with ulcers in my stomach. Lots of potential causes including bacteria, stress, too many NSAIDs, caffeine, or alcohol. I don’t drink, but all the others could have contributed. Underlying those, I was unhappy, frustrated, and hated what my job had devolved into and the person I had allowed myself to become.
I am a playful, fun-loving guy who likes to joke. As a business owner with employees, salespeople, and customers, it felt like I couldn’t be myself. My job was putting out fires. I dealt with complaints, demands, and expectations. It seemed like everyone wanted preferential treatment. I was the bad guy. I told them things they didn’t want to hear and said no to their demands.
In those business relationships, I wasn’t being authentic. People were usually upset by the time they made it to my office. Fun, playful, and joking wasn’t what they wanted. They wanted serious and compliant. They wanted someone to listen to their bullshit and agree with them.
My second chakra was compressed, my fourth chakra was stagnant and my third chakra was spinning the wrong way, working overtime trying to resolve the imbalances. Funneling energy from my third chakra to the others didn’t leave enough energy to vitalize my stomach. It lost its ability to maintain health and disease happened.
Inside I wanted to express my playfulness, but it felt like if I did, people would see it as a golden opportunity to ask for something or complain. So, I got into the habit of appearing mad, fed-up, and harried. My subconscious reasoning was that if I appeared about to explode, no one would bother me.
Reflect on your way of being when you are in a work environment and interacting with others. Get a feel for your energy configurations, the state of balance of your bodies, and the energies in your second and fourth chakras.
I changed things in my life after the ulcer diagnosis. I started doing yoga and meditation, spent less time at work and more time surfing, mountain biking, and working out. It was healthy to a point. What I really did was disconnect. I stopped caring about the success and longevity of the business. I checked out. The business lasted another ten years but I grew less and less happy, content, and fulfilled. By the time I sold the business, I hated it.
So, what would you have done in my place? If I had it to do it over again, I wouldn’t have handled it the same way. If I found myself in a similar situation now, I would be more authentic. Now, I know I can be playful and still be a leader. I can remain authentic regardless of my environmental energies. I know that I don’t have to take on or defend against aggressive or demanding energies.
Back then, a lot of my energies were spent trying to keep the wheels on the cart. I resisted change. I put up with a ton of nonsense because I didn’t want to deal with the results or consequences. For years, I allowed myself to get and stay unbalanced because it felt easier than making hard choices. Ugh! Glad I’m not still living that existence.
My bodies were also completely imbalanced. One body wanted to move, another wanted to freeze, and another wanted to fight. I had a different set of intentions for each of my bodies and chakras. My mind wanted to limit energy. My emotional body was frenetic and wanted to flee. My environmental body wanted to control, manage, and constrain energy – a fight response. My energy body was completely frenetic. My gravity body was grounded into the false stability of the status quo. My ethereal body had lost the plot completely.
And as a result, my third chakra was completely depleted all the time. This not only resulted in ulcers, it took a toll on my adrenal glands too. Constant threat assessment mode overworked my adrenals. The adrenals are meant to help humans react to actual life-threatening situations, not daily stresses.
Contemplate your way of being when you are in a social environment but not interacting with others. Get a feel for your energy configurations, the state of balance of your bodies, and the energies in your second and fourth chakras.
I mentioned earlier the body associated with the third chakra is primarily the Emotional Body. When you are expressing yourself fully and authentically, your emotional body will be balanced and enlivened. When you limit your self-expression, your emotional body is restricted.
The mental body is secondary to the emotional in your third chakra. It processes the differences between the second and fourth energy configurations. Worry lives primarily in your third chakra. Worry is the projection of current and future limits of self-expression.
When healthy, your environmental body usually only relates to your third chakra peripherally, through your second and fourth. You feel your environment and relationships with the second and fourth chakras and process them with the third.
When unhealthy and in threat assessment mode, your third chakra reaches out and tries to find solutions and compromises that will allow the second and fourth chakras to align. Most unhealthy relationships have cords connecting the third chakras of all parties involved. There are agreements to continue dysfunctional and imbalanced energy configurations.
Ricardo and Liz are siblings. From an early age, Ricardo antagonized Liz. He would pick and prod until she exploded. It became a habit. As middle-aged adults, Ricardo still provokes Liz. He makes a continual stream of small criticisms about Liz’s choices, clothing, career, relationships, and attitude. Eventually, Liz explodes.
Ricardo is a dick. Liz is a punching bag. Either of them could choose to act, react, and respond differently but they don’t. They have an unspoken agreement to continue the dysfunction. Here is why.
Ricardo continues to be a dick because his second and fourth chakras are undercharged. He has low self-esteem and has never learned to enliven himself in a healthy way, so he demands it of others through his third chakra. Liz is a favorite target because those pathways are well established.
Liz continues with the dysfunction because she limits her self-expression, both internally and externally. She has a ton of potential that she is unwilling to recognize. That potential builds, compresses, and starts to feel overwhelming. Exploding at Ricardo allows her to vent her excess energy, albeit in an unhealthy way. She subconsciously wants Ricardo to be a dick so she can continue to explode.
Ricardo and Liz have maintained that pattern their entire lives. For it to change, one of them needs to change. Ricardo would have to learn how to love and appreciate himself and Liz would have to learn how to authentically express herself in all her bodies.
Ponder your way of being when you are in a social environment and interacting with others. Get a feel for your energy configurations, the state of balance of your bodies, and the energies in your second and fourth chakras.
The primary components of the solar plexus chakra are focus and endurance. The component of focus plays a big part because healthy or unhealthy, your third chakra focuses on the resonance or dissonance of your bodies and chakras. It evaluates opportunities and threats … constantly.
When current potential is evaluated by your third chakra as an opportunity and a threat, the energy starts to move in ways that feel disconcerting. Maybe like butterflies in your stomach.
Elvira is a banjo player with huge aspirations. At 13 years old, she is nervous about her upcoming gig at the Appomattox Chili-Cookoff. There is opportunity and fear. She is eager for the chance to play in front of a large group of people and frightened that she won’t perform up to her expectations or the expectations of her family, friends, and the audience. Her energy is both gung-ho and don’t go. Her third chakra absorbs this and gets overwhelmed … which Elvira feels as nausea.
That energy is so disruptive to her system that her entire digestive system panics. After the explosive diarrhea, Elvira feels better. She drinks a ginger ale, goes on stage, and enchants the crowd. She goes on to win the coveted Sweeney Award for banjo mastery. The timing of the award was perfect as it coincided with the return of the comedy variety genre on TV.
Her show was a hit for seven years and along with her trio of multi-platinum albums, Elvira retired a wealthy and loved entertainer. To this day, she says “Ode da lay he ho! Shitting my hoop skirt before my first show was a gift from God. You got to give a crap if you want to be the best.”
Identify the people you have dysfunctional relationships with. Make a list of the ways you collude to maintain the imbalances. Where do you sacrifice your self-expression to continue in that relationship?
Healthy Configurations: Expansive, Fluid, Accumulating
Unhealthy Configurations: Compressive, Isometric, Isotonic, Bleeding, Accumulating
A healthy Manipura Chakra facilitates expansion because it identifies opportunities. Fluidity happens as the third chakra effortlessly absorbs the energy and expresses it without resistance.
After the third season of Elvira’s Funhouse, Elvira stopped being nauseous. The weekly show became routine and her dry-cleaning bills disappeared. She learned how to be herself without worrying about what others thought or about being perfect. Things got easy. Her audiences loved her, and her ratings soared.
In the mornings before filming, she would sit in her trailer and dream. She would allow the ideas to flow and the energy to accumulate. By the time the director said “action,” she was fully charged and glowing. She was expressive, enchanting, and authentic.
She let her internal state of being radiate through her third chakra to combine with the external state of being of her fourth chakra. The compounding of energies between her second, third, and fourth chakras radiated as vibrant and genuine Essence.
Bella, Elvira’s cousin’s daughter, was a better banjo player than Elvira. She practiced constantly, had a plethora of natural ability, and had spent years studying music theory. She knew she was great but couldn’t play in front of a crowd – her stomach knotted up as the energy compressed. Her emotional body fought with her mental body for supremacy. She spent tons of energy thinking and worrying about her future.
Bella didn’t come across as authentic because the internal state of being in her second chakra didn’t match the external state of being of her fourth chakra. No match, no compounding, no radiance. Her third chakra was overworked, constantly trying to find concessions, agreements, and compromises.
The desire to be great isometrically pushed against the fear of expressing herself in front of others.
Eventually, she gave up her dream of supplanting Elvira and opened a refuge for abandoned tropical fish. She was fond of saying “If you’re not in for a pound, you are in for a pond.”
Next week, the fifth chakra, Vishuddha, where you will learn a whole new way to listen.
Solar Plexus Nexus