Our journey through the chakra system begins at the Root Chakra. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Muladhara meaning “root support”, so it is the foundation for the entire chakra system as well as our connection to our physical body. Each chakra has a number of different qualities and characteristics. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine. The color for this chakra is red (having the longest wavelength and slowest vibration), and the element for this center is earth. So, it is in charge of the very solid, tangible aspects of our being. It governs over the solid things in our bodies such as bones, muscles, legs and feet. The root chakra deals with how we interact with our physical existence through things such as our body, home, finances, work, environment, etc.
The root chakra is not only where our journey begins, but it’s also where our journey often ends. “Mula” means root, and can refer to the root of all of our actions. The roots of our actions are our thoughts. Anything we do begins with a single thought. We take this thought and turn it into action, and then through our action we (ideally) manifest into physical form what it is we originally thought about.
Our chakras can either be deficient (not enough energy is flowing in this area), excessive (too much energy is flowing) or balanced. Three possibilities, but in our dualistic way of thinking, we tend to see it as our chakra is either good (balanced), or bad (deficient or excessive). I was talking to a student about this yesterday who was a little concerned because they saw themselves on the “bad” end of the spectrum. My initial response was to say it’s human nature for us to identify immediately with the weaknesses in ourselves - we always tend to look at the things we need to improve instead of the things that we are awesome at. But, the more I thought about this, the more I disagree with this initial thought. When I think about my 5 year old nephew or my 3 year old niece, I think about how they can easily see themselves as a superhero or a princess. They know that they have these amazing qualities and energy within themselves to really be these things. Somewhere along the way, we lost this ability to see how amazing we are and how amazing we can potentially be.
The demon of the first chakra is fear and can also show up in our lives as worry - things that are created in our mind from our thoughts. Thanks to my student and our discussion, I’m starting to realize that the root chakra has everything to do with our thoughts. Our thoughts create the foundation for our life – we either create a strong, solid base, or a weak, shaky one. I was originally going to list some of the deficient, excessive and balanced characteristics of the Muladhara chakra when I was first thinking about this post, but realized that most of us would be looking at the deficient, excessive lists trying to find ourselves here. One of my chakra books recommends when working with the root chakra to do some self-inquiry work to identify “clear deficiencies” in the areas related to this energy center such as our health, family, home, finances, and trust issues. I don’t disagree with self-inquiry. In fact, I think it’s extremely important when doing this kind of work, but I think before we look at what it is we’re lacking, we should first look at what it is we are strong in, or where we have abundance. Wouldn’t the base and foundation of our life be stronger if we first recognized how amazing we are, how strong our bodies are, how lucky we are to have a supportive family, a place that keeps us warm, access to nourishing food, people who love and support us? Wouldn’t it be easier for us to look into these places in ourselves that need work if we’ve first established that we have a lot of awesomeness to fall back on during those periods of self-inquiry that may get difficult? I realize that we all have different life circumstances and are in different stages, but I also know that we all can find at least one thing to be grateful for in our physical existence.
So, my challenge for you over the next week in our work with the root chakra is to find something you are grateful for in your life everyday, no matter how small. One of the projects I currently have going on is a 365 gratitude project on Instagram. You can find me there at shine8out, or see some of my pictures on the sidebar of this blog. My husband will attest that I am “good” at worrying (hello root chakra issues!), so for reasons I can’t even remember I decided to embark on this project. I’m currently on day 105 and have noticed a definite change in the way I see things and how I am moving towards creating a foundation built on gratitude instead of on fear. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you.