The other day I found myself completely out of sorts.
I was trapped in my fears—frozen.
It was the fear of all that is uncertain in my life right now. And the fear of failing miserably. It was the fear of anything and everything that could go wrong and the fear of losing someone I love—that had me tripping all over myself.
I was like a deer in headlights, paralyzed.
For me, fear translates in my body as a shock. It is a heightened sensation of alarm that turns quickly into sadness and depletion. Many tell me their fear feels more like the jitters, or a racing, burning feeling inside their chest and legs. Some say that fear is a mixture of both: a heart-pounding, immobilizing shock and an uncomfortable adrenaline surge.
When I find myself here and in this way, I tend to stay there and suffer in silence.
I don’t want to burden anyone with my heartache by sharing my pain. I don’t want to bring them down either. I’m certain they must have enough to contend with already.
And besides, they may blow it out of proportion and into something much larger than it is—possibly making matters worse. Plus, I’m better off handling everything on my own anyway. I’ll push through it by myself like I always do.
Yes, these are the old stories I continue to tell myself. The ones that made sense at a certain time in my life but weren’t supposed to be absolute. They were never meant to be taken with me into adulthood or leave me feeling alone and forgotten.
So, I pushed back on the old narratives, tore up the chapters on self-sufficiency, and reached out for support, and to my surprise, I found a friend who listened with her whole heart. Soon, more compassionate people showed up in my life and brought encouragement and love with them—one an especially gifted healer.
She led me in a meditation where I was able to clear and balance my root chakra. Instantly, I felt at peace—peace in my body and peace in my mind. None of my problems had been solved; on the contrary, some situations became even more complicated.
But that daunting and dreadful feeling I had was no longer with me. It was replaced with a sense of calm and renewed faith. I felt enlivened and prepared for whatever challenge came next.
For those unfamiliar with the chakra system, it originated somewhere between 1,500 and 500 B.C. in India. It has been around for quite a while and appears in the earliest Sanskrit records and the ancient scriptures of Hinduism.
The chakra system is applied in Ayurveda, yoga, and other traditional holistic medicine practices.
There are seven major chakras or energy centers within our body. They run up and down the spine, from the base to the crown of our head. Each center is linked to particular organs, as well as physical, emotional, and spiritual states of being.
The short meditation I was guided to do cleared my first chakra, also known as the root or base chakra. It is located at the base of the spine and includes the pelvic floor and the first three vertebrae.
Our root chakra is associated with feelings of security, safety, and survival. It is related to being grounded and centered, including having our basic needs met, such as food, water, shelter, and safety.
Emotionally, the first chakra corresponds to letting go of our fears and feeling physically and psychologically sound. When our root chakra is balanced and unencumbered, we tend to feel less worried, despite life’s difficulties. When our root is congested, however (as mine had been), we experience anxiety, fears, insecurities, or nightmares.
Remembering to align our chakras when feeling stressed or in crisis (and when everything is fine) can be especially restorative and useful for maintaining a balance of body, mind, and spirit.
The meditation I did to balance my root chakra was a guided meditation. But the following short-adapted meditation can be performed on our own to help clear and soothe the root chakra:
We begin by making ourselves comfortable—calming our breath and imagining ourselves anchored into the center of the earth. Next, we envision a cascading waterfall of pure, continuous, crystal-healing waters flowing down from the top of our head through our spine—out our base and into the ground. When the healing waters enter our root chakra, we imagine them swirling, washing, and rinsing the area clean for a few minutes. Then we allow for the water to flow through us and back into the earth.
When the meditation is completed, we place a soothing color, like pink or white, in our root chakra to renew the center. It’s beneficial to keep holding and envisioning that specific color in the area, especially when we feel fearful or worried.
There are yoga poses that help balance the root chakra as well, such as a wide-legged forward fold and the mountain pose.
I’ve learned to come back into my body—away from my thoughts—and to center myself in the present moment whenever I’m feeling worried or anxious. Most importantly, though, I learned to reach out in times of need, break my old, self-limiting patterns, and let the love in.
Solace, I’ve come to learn, is within the people who care about us and within ourselves—our true temples.