Simply stunning. I love when art evokes not only wonder for the art itself, but wonder for the souls who inhabit the paintings. It’s like you see yourself in the faces; and you feel strangely honoured to be able to view such incredible work.
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Although not currently widely understood in the Western world, chakras have been known to ancient cultures for millennia…
So what are chakras? Chakras are energy centers that are located in, and extend past, your physical body. They store everything you’ve ever said, done, or thought. They’re also the source of your unique gifts, your physical aches and pains and your ability to manifest your dreams. ”Chakras regulate, maintain, and manage the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being on the physical plane”, says Cyndi Dale in The Complete Book of Chakra Healing.
I believe that an understanding of chakras, and how they function, will help you immeasurably on your path to success and true fulfillment.
Firstly, let’s explore your personal relationship with the chakras. Have you ever felt a pain in your tailbone that made it hard to sit? What about butterflies in your stomach? Have you had a migraine or a soar throat? What about an upset stomach or a toothache? All of these sensations are caused by your chakras, and they’re actually a physical manifestation of a chakra communicating what’s going on in your system.
Seven main chakras are found within your body. (Although there are more than 7 chakras - we’ll talk about that later!) Each chakra has a different function, and a different purpose, but all are equally important and interdependent. They each govern different aspects of your life:
1st Chakra (Kundalini or Root Chakra) - Your ‘home' chakra; security, financial stability, questions about primary partner, sexuality (especially in males). This chakra is intensely physical in nature. Zest for life comes from a healthy 1st chakra.
2nd Chakra (Sacral Plexus) - Creativity, sensitivity, intuition, sexuality (especially in females), independence, playfulness. This chakra is about emotions, and determines how we process them.
3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus) - Personal power, my experience with the 3rd chakra is that it is a warrior, a storehouse of justice, clarity and confidence. This is also where your ego resides.
4th Chakra (Heart Chakra) - Compassion, harmony, and balance, the heart chakra is all about love. Its is the mid point between your lower (physical) chakras and your higher (spiritual) chakras. Heart centred awareness comes from this balanced chakra.
5th Chakra (Throat Chakra) - Wisdom, communication, artistic expression, and decisiveness. This is the gateway to the spirit world.
6th Chakra (Third Eye) - Imagination, visualization, intuition, clairvoyance and vision. A strong 6th chakra allows you to see energy, auras, and more.
7th Chakra (Crown Chakra) - This chakra acts as a link to the divine. It leads to the highest guidance, celestial knowledge, and a reverence for all life.
I recently took my first course with Brahma Kumaris, an international spiritual organization, and learned many an important lesson.
Focused on Raja Yoga (a form of meditation), we first learned about the nature of our thoughts. To practice observing your thoughts, even just for an hour, is a powerful thing. You’ll find that they range from great ones, to not so great ones, and we were given guidelines of what types we would be finding. They are:
Positive (ex. She’s so kind!) Negative (ex. He looks bad in that picture) Wasteful (The chitter chatter) Necessary (ex. I need to pick my son up at 8)
Thoughts, like everything else, are energy, and powerful energy at that. Negative and Wasteful thoughts will deplete your energy, Necessary ones will have a fairly neutral effect and Positive ones will magnify the ‘good vibes’ that you are both receiving, and giving out. The first step to transforming your thought energy into positive, powerful, and well balanced energy is awareness. Bringing your awareness to what is happening in your mind is a significant first step in harnessing your personal power. Personal power goes by different names: confidence, joy, commanding attention, kundalini, etc, but it’s all the same thing - it is our life blood as humans, and the more we understand and work with it, the happier and more successful we will be.
Simply put - Be an observer in your life, and watch your life change. Period.
That’s a question I asked myself a lot about a year and a half ago. I was starting to ‘wake up’; I was beginning to figure out that there was something about the world that I had never been taught, and I wanted to find out what it was.
I had just discovered meditation, and the idea of a clutter-free mind. But apart from that, I was lost. I felt called to continue a journey that I didn’t know how to continue.
Little did I know that the mere awareness of ‘something more to life’ was the very step I had been searching for. As I started to ask questions, I began to receive answers. And so I stumbled upon one of my first keys: Ask, and it will be given.
Books began to fall into my hands, penned by the likes of Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Cyndi Dale. As I continued on the abstract process of spiritual discovery, I was also given literature, conversations, and aha moments to ground my growth. These anchors served to propel me into a world of understanding I had previously been oblivious to.
What I now know, is that if you’re on a path of self-discovery, and wondering what the next step is, take comfort. You are already there.
Many people don’t know about the power of good feelings, and so their feelings are reactions or responses to what happens to them. They have put their feelings on automatic pilot, instead of deliberately taking charge of them.
When something good happens, they feel good. When something bad happens, they feel bad. They don’t realize that their feelings are the cause of what is happening to them.
Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often.
The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path.
Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul.
Pray that they will find guidance.
Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you.
It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.
Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
Never speak of others in a bad way.
The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
All persons make mistakes.
And all mistakes can be forgiven.
Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.
Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of one’s will within this universe.
Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
"Since time began on this planet, there have never been two snowflakes alike or two raindrops the same. And every daisy is different than every other daisy. Our fingerprints are different, and we are different. We are meant to be different.
When we can accept this, then there is no competition or comparison. To try to be like another is to shrivel our soul. We have come to this planet to express who we are.”
One day Deepak Chopra met a businessman who seemed a little unsure of the spiritual movement growing around him. He asked, in quite a frustrated manner, “What is consciousness?” Fair question, the word is everywhere. Chopra didn’t intend to reply, but found he was compelled to say:
"Consciousness is the potential for all creation."
It was like a light bulb went off for the man, and he responded excitedly, “So, the more consciousness you have, the more potential you have to create!”
Thanks to Stuck In Customs (Flickr)
So what does that really mean? Simply that manifestation becomes natural the more you identify with the observer of your thoughts, and the less you identify with the thoughts in your mind.
We are not our thoughts. We are not even our feelings. We are the one who watches.
Ok, so it’s not quite a tuna melt. But I was craving a dish that satisfied my hunger, my love of everything delicious, and my need for protein.
Hmmmmm, bean chilli you say? A great go to, granted, but I’m looking for something that can be made in 10 minutes or less.
Hmmmmm, again. I glanced at what I had: organic cheese, garlic hummus, raisin bread, tomatoes, arugula, eggs. Not the most obvious ingredients to combine, sure, but my oh my, are they scrumptious when you do. (Recipe Below)
Thanks to Sharon Drummond (Flickr)
Vegetarian Tuna Melt
1 Slice of Raisin Bread
1 Free Range Egg
2 Tbsp Hummus
A Handful of Arugula/Spinach
Your Favourite Condiments (I used BBQ and Chilli Garlic Sauce)
1) Fry the egg, any way you please, my choice was sunny side up.
2) Turn on the broiler in your oven or toaster oven.
3) Toast the raisin bread, I buttered it after for some extra somethin’somethin’.
4) Spread the hummus onto the toasted bread, then the condiments, tomato, and top it off with the cheese.
5) Broil the mixture until the cheese has melted and the tomatoes are warm.
6) Take it out, top it with the arugula and egg, add salt and seasoning to your taste, and voila!
It wasn’t until I actually tried the mixture that I discovered it tastes an awful lot like the tuna melts I use to eat growing up. They were a bit tangy, because of the tuna/mayo mix (hummus), and had some relish and a boiled egg mixed in for flavour (egg, condiments). Oh, and of course they were topped with cheese (…cheese)!
Try it yourself, and don’t be afraid to play around with the recipe! Cooking is art; Go create!