It’s time for a little “Chakra Spring Cleaning”

“Life is about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.” – Nishan Panwar

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Source: Willa Gebbie

I was raised with the notion that in life, you should always strive for balance. Work hard, but make sure you’re taking the time to enjoy the journey along the way and celebrate each place it brings you to. Take care of your body and feed it the right nutrients, but if a slice of cheesecake is screaming your name, you better give those taste buds a little bit of what they want!

I also was taught to listen to my intuition. This was something that my mother placed a huge emphasis on and I have her to thank for teaching me to trust my gut reaction.

There are times where I still find myself striving for balance and seeking some form of confirmation that I am where I need to be. I think from time to time we all just need a little sign, anything that says “Hey, you are doing great. You are where you’re supposed to be right now and you’re doing what you need to be doing”. These little pushes we can find the energy to keep pushing and working our way to living a fulfilled life.

Gentlemint

Source: Gentlemint

So when a friend at work told me about a Reiki session she had that cleansed her chakras and how amazing and centered she felt afterwards, two questions popped into my mind.

  1. What in the world is Reiki?
  2. How can I have my chakras cleansed?

That afternoon I researched Reiki practitioners in New York and decided I wanted to have my chakras looked at to see if they were all aligned and balanced. Before I went, I wanted to learn more about chakras and how Reiki could help align them.

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Source: The Skinny Online

Reiki – The Japanese word for “universal life energy” and a form of natural healing to help find balance in life. There are many different forms and methods of practicing. The one that I had done involved an “above body” approach where my body heat was used to recognize any imbalances. I lay down on a massage like table and essentially took a two hour nap while still being coherent with my surroundings. My chakras and meridians were scanned and Reiki then removed blockages that were creating imbalances.

I was a little skeptical at first, but I’ll explain what exactly happened during these two hours and what the outcome of it all was after giving a brief rundown on what our chakras are and why it’s important to make sure we are staying in touch with them.

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Source: Poetic Dreams of Magic

What exactly is a chakra?

Chakra comes from the Sanskrit meaning “wheel”. Our bodies have seven main chakras that run in a straight line starting from the bottom of our spine up to the crown of the head as they spin around, changing vibrations and absorbing energy and emotions. Each one also radiates energy and controls a major organ in the body or gland. The frequency in which our chakras vibrate dictates a certain wavelength of light and color to create balance in the mind, body, and soul. Remember the line from Legally Blonde “Endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t just kill their husbands”? Well, happy people also have balanced chakras! People with balanced chakras also are

-healthier

-more satisfied in life

-in touch with themselves

If a chakra is overactive, underactive, or blocked, it can become out of balance. Because chakras act as a chain reaction, if one is out of balance, it can also cause the rest to be out of sync as well. While we can’t actually see if these are out of balance, we can feel the imbalances mentally, emotionally, and physically. The body depends on the alignment and equilibrium of all our chakras, but each individual chakra also serves a purpose independent from the others.

–          Root chakra– The survival chakra that helps us to be aware of our surroundings and also provides comfort. The root chakra vibrates at the shortest frequency and is connected to adrenal gland.

–          Sacral chakra– This is the chakra that allows us to feel, express ourselves, and encourages creativity. The sacral chakra is connected to the gonads and is located below the navel.

–          Solar Plexus chakra– Our confidence comes from our solar plexus and is the center of our being. The pancreas is connected to our solar plexus.

–          Heart chakra– How enduring we are towards others and our ability to love and feel loved is from the heart chakra. This chakra is connected to the thymus and aids in healing, balance, and tranquility.

–          Throat chakra– Our ability to communicate and express comes from the throat chakra and is connected to our thyroid.

–          Third eye chakra– Insight and our intuition is connected to our third eye chakra which is also connected to the pituitary gland.

–          Crown chakra– This is our spiritual chakra and is where our wisdom comes from as well as our ability to be open-minded. It also helps us realize our needs and connects to the pineal gland.

The 4-1-1 on my chakra cleaning…

Okay, let’s get down to “What goes on in a Reiki session”. Well, my eyes were closed for the entire 2 hours so I really didn’t know what happened around me, I only know what I felt. I walked into a massage room with soothing music playing and the smell of lavender. The woman who gave me my Reiki session told me she was already receiving the Reiki and was ready, to which I was a little skeptical and hesitant, but I went in with an open mind and lay down on the bed as I closed my eyes and prepared to take a two hour nap. She placed her hands on my head a few times and then my shoulders and brushed a featherlike object along my hands. Besides that, I could only feel an external force of light pressure inside my head and along the meridians in my arms though nothing was touching me for most of the time.

When the two hours were done, I was gently awoken and asked to take my time standing up and finding a seat so we could talk about what just happened and she could tell me anything she noticed going on in my chakras. I felt overwhelmingly calm and amazing. The best way I can compare it is the way I feel after a great hot yoga session where I exerted all of my energy and feel as if I sweated out all my toxins and am just left with positivity and tranquility.

CJB AppSource: CJB Apparel

I was very interested to hear what she had to say and what her findings were. I didn’t tell her much about my history or my personal life beforehand, because I wanted to see how much what she told me truly related to my life. I was surprised at just how much sense it all made.

Though I feel as if I live a balanced life, it was very reassuring to hear her tell me that my chakras were all very open and balanced. She said there was lot of heat by my ears though which told her I have been trying to listen for signs in my life. Though that was comforting to know that I’m following my intuition, I still wasn’t completely convinced until she asked me if I saw any colors while I closed my eyes. I told her yes to which she replied by asking if I saw a lot of purple. I’ll admit, I was a little surprised because I had seen many purple and yellow swirls. She explained to me that this was my crown and the opening of my chakras which meant I was trying to follow my intuition to help guide me though life right now.

After that I felt much more comfortable expressing myself to her and we had a lengthy conversation about how my chakras related to my life and what certain things meant. While I don’t know if I would do it again, maybe later on in life if I felt the need, I did take some great words of wisdom from it that I think many people can find helpful. There were three things she told me people should do daily to help cleanse their chakras.

Intentions – Ask yourself what your intentions are with your life. Now, find a way to turn those intentions into a daily practice to keep you on track and in touch.

Appreciation – Anything that feels negative in life or creates a bad gut reaction can be overcome through appreciation. I actually tried an experiment to see if this was true after watching this SoulPancake Video. Give it a try and I think you’ll see for yourself that showing gratitude and appreciation truly can help overcome negativity.

Drop what holds you back – If there’s something in your life that is holding you back or making you doubt yourself, drop it. Life is too short to allow negative people, bad experiences, or anything that makes you feel less about who you are and what you’re doing. Instead, focus on what inspires you and what pushes you to not just strive for success, but strive for what makes you happy.

I know that was quite the lengthy post, but I found Reiki and our chakras to be truly fascinating once I started doing a little research. Though Reiki is a very private experience, I did want to share a little about mine as I found many people had questions about it when I told them what I was doing.

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Source: Note To Self

If you don’t want to try Reiki, there are other ways you can seek balance in your chakras. There are some ways to go about this that may be obvious, while others may be surprising.

–          Practice yoga or engage in physical activity

–          Meditate and find something to focus on. It can be anything from a goal you have, a thought that makes you happy, or seeking inner peace

–          The colors you wear or surround yourself with can impact your moods and emotions

–          Eating foods that help open up specific chakras. A papaya can help evoke creativity and open up the sacral chakra.

–          Breath in for roughly 5-7 counts, then hold and slowly exhale as you imagine your chakras opening

–          A method called “hand energy” where you place your hand over whichever chakra feels as if it needs energy

 

FindBalance

 Source: Motherland Design

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” – Simone Weil 

Spice up your life (if you’re having a good time!)

Spice up your life, (if you’re having a good time!) Any former Spice Girl fans will appreciate that reference. I used to be a HUGE Spice Girls fan growing up. One of my favorite things to do with my best friend and her sister was play “Spice Girls” where we would each choose a member of the group and pretend we were on tour as we sang and danced on their swing set in the backyard. I even dressed up as Baby Spice for Halloween one year. Back on track to spices though. I’m also a big fan of adding spices to everything when I cook to switch up bland meals and recreate old recipes. Cinnamon, cayenne pepper, basil, and rosemary are just a few of my favorites.

Baby Spice

In addition to boosting food’s flavors, spices can serve a purpose in providing many benefits for the body as well.

Ginger: Anti-inflammatory

Cumin: Aids in digestion

Turmeric: Antioxidant/antibacterial

Cinnamon: Increases metabolism of glucose in cells

Cardamom: Removes toxins

The results from spices are best when consumed as a supplement as most require more than the amount you’ll find in your food. Unless you want to pull off a Mrs. Doubtfire and cover your plate in spices. However, when a blend of spices are added into your daily food consumption, one benefit you can obtain is managing your blood sugar levels.  Penn State conducted a study that found simply by adding 1 tbsp of combined spices to foods created a decrease in post-meal insulin levels by 21 percent.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking the health benefits from spices, or you’re looking for a way to change up your diet and add a little spice to your life, spices are definitely something you should try playing around with in your daily diet. Here’s a recipe I adapted to my taste buds’ liking by randomly grabbing an array of spices I thought would mesh well together. This soup is also great for a rainy day (hello Spring flowers!) or as it was served at my place over the weekend, a chilly winter’s night in watching The Oscars with friends!

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Barley Coconut Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 celery stalks chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups barley
4 cups coconut milk
5 cups water
3 carrots, chopped
3 sweet potatoes, cut into one-inch chunks
a few fistfuls of spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil (or a small handful of fresh basil)
1 tsp dried thyme
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine olive oil, celery, onion, and barley in a soup pot over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Gradually add coconut milk, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spices. Allow the veggies to soak in the flavor from the spices while the coconut milk comes to a boil, then add the remaining water. Allow to boil again until the barley is fully cooked and the sweet potatoes are soft, but not mushy. Mix in the spinach, garlic, and any other spices you think will add that extra kick! Play around and see what pleases your taste buds.

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I didn’t add chicken initially but I think this would taste amazing with some shredded chicken breast in it. You can also add a little bit of cayenne pepper to add a bit of heat, just the way my dad likes his food! Hot spices are a great way to add a boost to your metabolism as well. A double whammy!

This recipe was derived from Dig This Chick

What are some of your favorite spices to cook with?