Zen Pen’s writing from the body challenge this week is to explore everything related to our Gut, and I’m finding it both challenging and enlightening. I thought that last week’s Heart prompts would be challenging, but not quite like how I’m experiencing the Gut prompts to be. I have been interested in deepening my writing-by-hand practice, but this week’s gut-lesson has felt so very blog-worthy, that I thought I’d share. To begin the lesson Courtney starts off by explaining:
When our solar plexus chakra is out of balance we may experience increased anger, fear, low self-esteem, apathy, resentment, compulsiveness, as well as a variety of unpleasant physical sensations. I think we can all relate to experiencing many of these characteristics and sensations. Perhaps our bodies are trying to speak to us?
That hit me in the gut (pun intended) quite hard. Because, if I were to sum up a chapter of this summer it would be called “Dealing with Angry Monk-Monk.” Though I’d probably use my real name. Unless I was writing an anonymous memoir. But I digress.
It seems that ever since summer started (which also happened to coincide with being off work for a daunting 3 months with kiddo), I have wrassled with my ANGRY side. Some of this anger has been leftover bits (think popcorn kernel STILL in your teeth from the movie you saw a week ago) from childhood that have been coming up and being replayed over-and-over again. I can’t quite shake that angry label I was given as a kid/teen, even though I know that, looking back, I wasn’t actually angry. I was afraid. Afraid and misunderstood.
And that’s often how I feel these days. Misunderstood. Like the whole world is staring at me in puzzled wonderment, on good days, and complete disgusted disdain on others. While I’ve managed to find a few friends, and a partner, who at least tolerate, and even-possibly-dare-I-dream-love, my quirks, there often times when I just feel all alone in this great big world of complexities.
So, I did a little more research on this elusive solar plexus chakra, which, according to one site is: is a personal power chakra. This chakra helps us to wield our own power. Sounds a lot like internal locus of control if you were to ask me to relate it in terms that I explain to my college students. This idea that things are manifest from within, a lot of personal choice and personal power that propels us forward.
But websites aren’t enough. I prefer hands-on reading material, so I scanned my shelf for Caroline Myss’s Anatomy of the Spirit (one of the few books I’d take to a desert island). Bypassing the first few chapters, I went straight to the Solar Plexus chakra and began reading. And everything began to resonate with me, like:
The solar plexus chakra becomes the dominate vibration in our development during puberty. It assists us further in the process of individuation, of forming a self, ego, and personality separate from our inherited identity.
Holy shit. No wonder I’ve been feeling so blast-from-the-past when experiencing my ANGRY self this summer. That’s when I was labelled angry. As a teenager. And while I don’t want to blame everything in my life on my adoptee status, the fact that I didn’t really know my “inherited identity,” and was trying to individuate to something that wasn’t encouraged (perhaps another blog entry, on the conservative Christian idea of sameness vs. being a rebellious individual). I read somewhere else a few weeks ago, too, that “helplessness leads to feelings of rage,” which all seems to come back to this very idea of my gut center trying to develop as a teenager, but feeling so very caged-coyote-trapped by the constraints put upon me by my parents-as-ambassadors-of-THE-church.
At the end of the chapter on the Solar Plexus Chakra, Caroline Myss asks some questions, one being:
Are you continually wishing your life were different? If so, are you doing anything to change it or have you resigned yourself to your situation?
Now, it seems that she’s trying to get at the idea that the third chakra, when in balance, will spur you toward a more ‘internal locus of control,’ which will help you do something to change a situation. But, in reflecting on some of the earlier summer angst, where I had a hard time shifting, I think that my approach needs to be less fight-against-the-current (especially since this time of my life has certainly been a well informed choice), and more drift with the current, letting the days be how they are because they simply exist this way. Because when I think about that acceptance, that comes from a gut place that says, “yes, this is right. you chose this. rest easy,” the anger melts away.
What’s your relationship with ANGER? Are you constantly wishing your life was different?
(p.s., if you’re interested in joining Zen Pen, a 6 week writing course, Courtney is starting one again on Sept. 30th! I highly recommend it!).