This Chakra is all about our IDENTITY & TRANSFORMATION.
NAME: Manipura (lustrous gem)
LOCATION: Solar Plexus
IDENTITY: Ego identity
Located up from the sacral chakra at the solar plexus, this chakra is centre of our own sense of identity. Where we realise that we have the power to choose and that our actions have consequences. This chakra is associated with Ego identity, where we tend to define ourselves as "I am what I do". In a world where so often our worth is counted through our successes and achievements (whether this is school exams, which uni you went to, what job you do, your social group, looks, who your partner is) this can lead us to feel that if we do something right, we feel good about ourselves, but if we make a mistake or fail, we feel bad about ourselves. This chakra is most often in charge, making us feel that we create an ‘identity' — I am this or I am that — and when unbalanced this can leave us feeling unworthy and a failure or reliant on things we do to feed our ego identity.
So what would a balanced third chakra be?
The first chakra was the element Earth (steadiness), the second chakra was the element Water (movement), the third chakra is the element Fire and related to transformation. If you simply think of fire, you have to have all the elements right not only to keep it alight, but not to keep it from getting out of control or dying out. So a person who is balanced here is reliable and responsible but with a good sense of will because they have good self esteem and a BALANCED ego. If you are balanced, you have a warm personality because you are not FIGHTING for power, you have a self confidence that doesn't need feeding from outer sources. And this self confidence means that you can be spontaneous and playful because you have appropriate self discipline and a sense of your own power. A balanced person in the third chakra is able to meet and greet challenges from a grounded place.
And what causes imbalances?
Imbalances may develop temporarily with situational challenges, or they may be chronic. A chronic imbalance can come from childhood experiences, past pain or stress, and internalised cultural values. I think for this Chakra you perhaps try and rebalance your past traumas either way, for instance a child who was always put down and or made to constantly adhere to conditions, may find themselves unable to find their own worth, so would either become deficient and passive or have a need to find their power through dominating behaviour, aggression. Temporary situations can cause us to feel unbalanced here for a while too, for instance a collapse of your business or losing your job, a bad haircut, a patronising boss. All these can temporarily throw us off balance but when we start to realise that it's our EGO that wants us to 'be' something, we can start to become aware that we have the POWER ourselves to find a deeper sense of self, NO MATTER what is happening around us.
What happens when we are deficient?
When we are deficient in our third chakra, we can feel weak, in body, mind and spirit. We perhaps have low energy or lethargy. No discipline or little and find it difficult to follow a task through to the end (because we kind of believe deep down we will fail anyway) and this leads to low esteem, unreliability and perhaps a little cold in relationships. The third chakra is the element fire, and this chakra is related to digestion too, so a person with a deficient third chakra, may not have enough fire to digestion food properly, perhaps making them feel more sluggish. There can be a victim mentality here, or a blame of their situation on someone or something else, not taking responsibility for their own person. There can be an attraction to stimulants as they may temporarily make a deficient person feel empowered.
What happens when we are excessive?
When we are excessive in this chakra, we may go the other way by finding our sense of worth through dominating, aggressive behaviour or a need to control everything. We have a NEED to be right or have the last word, which perhaps makes us power hungry, deceitful or manipulative. Perhaps an inability to control temper, causing temper tantrums or outbursts. There is stubbornness, a driving ambition, competitive nature, which can lead to arrogance or hyperactivity. And through this whirlwind, the inability to stop, as you identify yourself with what you DO. Therefore, an excessive person may be attracted to sedatives.
Remember, not many people are completely balanced so we all most likely experience small traits of both deficiency and excessiveness!
So what can we do to help balance deficiency?
Vigorous exercise is great to get the fire burning again. But it's super important that you don't judge yourself along the way. Go with a friend and commit yourself to once a week first and slowly build it up. Routine is good for a deficient third chakra. Abdominal exercises literally make your core strong, making you feel centred and empowered.
Take a risk…
When we are deficient in this chakra, we tend to believe we will fail before we've even begun. But I'm afraid taking no risks means stagnation. At some point, say to yourself "What IF I just gave it a go?" and take the plunge.
It's important to start believing in yourself again. Either write a list of what your strengths are or ask a friend or a couple of friends for input. And begin to believe. Build on these strengths, little by little, and start to plan and make routines for positive things in your life. Routine helps strength and self esteem to grow, just like adding the logs to the fire, one by one not all at once. And remember, everyone is imbalanced in someway and sometimes a little help from someone along the way is the best to help you work through a rut.
See if you can go a day without thinking self-deprecating thoughts, or if you are thinking something, say it out loud and see how harmful it is. At the end of the day, if you are feeding yourself negative self talk continuously, you will feel exhausted and there will be no room left for inspiration.
What can we do to balance excess?
SLOW IT DOWN! I'm sure excessive people turn immediately to the most intense and time effective workout or perhaps don't work out at all because of working over hours. Exercise to find release. And, through your choice of exercise, really allow your mind to focus on the present, not the future. Don't let your spin class or run be a chance for your mind to get distracted, only thinking about what you are going to do next or how you're going to be better, bigger, more successful. Focus in on what you are doing in the moment, get out of your head and into your body. Whatever you choose, why not try without music for once?
Learning to relax is super important for people excessive in this chakra. And yes, it could be a little confronting and uncomfortable but why not try scheduling relaxing like you schedule a meeting, just to start out? Find a good Yoga Nidra, or bedtime meditation to listen to.
People excessive in the third chakra tend to lead from their heads rather than their hearts, it's important to take some time to allow yourself to feel. Or rekindle friendships that aren't based on networking. Allow yourself to be you without the masks you put on for your job, your Instagram, etc. (And try and let them pick the lunch spot!)
Remember that we are ALL imbalanced in someway, and this is also what makes us unique. Embrace your imperfections and learn to love them, explore them, and perhaps you'll open to things you never thought possible. If we see ourselves with imbalances, rather than flaws, we begin to see that we can actually become more balanced and that we are constantly growing, learning, changing, in this wonderful whacky world. Remember we are in it together!