In the last week or two, I have been studying the chakras again, those energy centers located along the spine. I don’t want to do a discussion of the history or meanings of the chakras here–you can google chakra and find out everything you want to know. What I want to do for the next day or two or more is to change up my Gratitude List for a while to an Examen again, to ask myself seven questions each day for a little while, questions that correspond to the essential nature of each chakra:
Root — Survival, support, basic needs
Sacral — Creativity, joy, desire, compassion
Solar Plexus — Will, resolve, determination, personal power
Heart — Love, connection to others
Throat — Expression of self, voice, speaking highest truth
Brow — Knowing, seeing, understanding
Crown — Connection to spirit (God, Mystery, Universe, Life), divine wisdom
Because of English literacy conventions, we read downward instead of upward, but I imagine my questions actually beginning at the root, the base of my spine, and moving upward until they reach the top of my head. As I do for my Gratitude Lists, I will not try to answer my whole life or even my whole day in one question, but to pick one item from the past day that shines out in response to each question.
(Note: Having worked my way to the end of the list, I see how much extra time and meditation this takes. I may have to limit a Chakra Examen to weekends.)
Daily Examen (as Gratitude List and Chakra Meditation):
1. What has supported you? Jon and the children. I sometimes get frustrated that there are so many distractions while I am trying to work and plan, but this is the bowl that holds me, this home of my three. The busyness and activity are part of the work, part of what makes my work possible.
2. How have you encountered joy? Perhaps it’s more amazement than joy–the way some people just Know how to do a thing without ever needing to be taught. We let Ellis take apart the old Chromebook yesterday to see if he could fix it. I truly expected that we would end up putting it in the trash, but it’s working now. His dad made a stand for it to support it because of some of the broken parts, but the screen is working fine. There’s a Swahili phrase that my mother uses sometimes that expresses it better than I can say it in English: Nimeshangaa. It means something like, “I am filled with wonder.”
3. What resolve is filling you? Balance and Organization. Okay, two for the price of one here, but my resolve to be organized and focused is part of bringing balance into my daily and weekly rhythms in the coming months.
4. What opened your heart? I handed some cash out the window to a homeless man yesterday, and Joss reached up to add a dollar bill of his own.
5. What do you need to say? Pick up each moment of silence and joy, and carry it with you like a jewel.
6. What did you See? The shift in the children–they are so ready to step up to the coming school year, so eager to be part of their class cohort.
7. How did the Mystery meet you? Here she comes again: Hummingbird. I watched her feed her babies again yesterday.
May we walk in Beauty!