Keeping Up With the Coronavirus: Managing the mental health pandemic

Keeping Up With the Coronavirus: Managing the mental health pandemic

It’s week four of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine in the Bay Area. To keep my mental health in check, I walk the trails by my house daily and have noticed a shift. People move to the side of the street instead of playing chicken for sidewalk space. Where there once were slight nods of recognition are now smiles and a wave hello. On the trails, we walk at a distance. When we pass one another we acknowledge each other before facing the other direction. Some wear masks. Some don’t. Others exclaim how great it is to see another human being. 

Here in the Bay Area we’ve been on lockdown since March 17, 2020. Since then I’ve noticed a change in people. Some have become hyper vigilant, ready to pounce over the slightest perceived offense. Others are going about their days, making the best with what we’re left with. Then there are those that don’t know what to feel, as the illusion of control crumbles down around them.

All any of us can do is our small part in keeping ourselves healthy and be conscientious of others. The coronavirus is out of our hands from that point. 

According to pandemic psychology, the hoarding mentality is a pretty common means of control. It’s not hard to see why. Many of us function in fear that the other shoe will drop at any moment, that we’ll get hurt some how some way, and in order to avoid a catastrophe we’ll hold tight to anything that can provide relief, even toilet paper. 

When the masses start panicking it creates a domino effect. Chances are, if you’re surrounded by people who panic, you’re likely to panic too. But buying into fear doesn’t make the situation better. Getting mad at others for keeping their cool won’t make the situation easier to deal with. Yes, the threat is very real, and in order to get through the coronavirus pandemic we must take precautions. 

There’s another side to the quarantine that many do not see. With most distractions removed, we are given the opportunity to take a true inventory of our lives and the way we’ve been living day to day. Many of us just go through the motions, believing we have no choice in how to live this thing called life. Staying busy and keeping our calendars at the point of boiling over is a great way to avoid digging deep into our needs and addressing issues that feel out of our control. 

By closing the world, we’ve been handed an opportunity for change. 

We’ve learned to appreciate what we have by the removal of the in-person experience. While it’s fun and healthy to treat yourself, it’s common practice to displace discomfort with shopping, alcohol, overeating, and general American consumerism.

We practice the art of buying more, but the current circumstance begs the question “for what?”

With nowhere to go and nothing to do, the only option is to face ourselves. We are left with a choice of whether to continue drowning ourselves out, or face the person you have become.

Who are you?

Do you like who you are?

Do you like what you do? 

Do you like how you feel?

We’re being forced to slow down. 

America is a country that prides itself on workaholism. We race from one thing to the next, barely stopping to breathe, consumed with entertainment, survival, comfort, and for some, luxuries. We’ve worked hard to get where we are. Now there’s some time to enjoy it. Yes, the coronavirus is threatening our physical and financial health. No doubt that these are troubling times. 

Conversely, we can still fulfill our duties to society while enjoying the time off. You are allowed to be grateful for friends, family, health, a roof over your head, or clean water even when there is suffering.

Pleasure becomes idle when pain is absent.

Many of us get so caught up in work, we forget why we work so hard in the first place. Allow yourself to enjoy the extra time to cultivate relationships with others and yourself. Isn’t that why we fight for our lives?

Depression is a major mental health concern surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Psychologists predict there will be long-term mental health effects due to financial inequality, as well as have adverse effects on children who are in the midst of a world trauma. Staying calm and remembering why life is precious will collectively shrink the stress level, and allow us to be there for our most vulnerable. Just because we can’t physically be together doesn’t mean we can’t be there for each other. 

We’ve been presented a chance to change the course of our lives. Whether it’s in career, home, or self, there’s ample time to reevaluate where we’re headed. I know it can be difficult to think that losing your job can have a silver lining, but repeating the mantra “everything is working for my highest good” will help even if you don’t necessarily believe it.

Mantras move you in directions that benefit you until one day you realize you were right the entire time! What we focus on multiplies, whether positive or negative. We make decisions everyday which we’d like more of. 

We’re being given a chance to reactivate our creativity. With so much time on our hands, many of us are getting to those projects we felt there wasn’t time for previously. Even if you’re not in the mood to be productive, practicing self care in any way is good for the soul.

Be good to yourself.

Revitalize yourself with candle lit baths, home cooked dinners, journaling, family time, and whatever makes you feel good. Getting back to our core selves will indefinitely boost creative energy in the short and long term, as well as keep us mentally stable! 

This is by far not an easy process for anyone. We’re all going through a period of uncertainty leading into the unknown. The only form of control we have is over our own mental health and how we’ll use the time that’s been handed to us. Will we evolve within ourselves, and in turn, as a society?

In all its complicated simplicity, the coronavirus pandemic has sent a message that we might not understand until it’s viewed in hindsight, and there’s a high probability we won’t have this time again. I hope you decide to use yours wisely. 

Recommended crystals:

Aquamarine

Amazonite

Green aventurine

Smoky quartz

Identity Lies in the Age of Ancestry.com

Identity Lies in the Age of Ancestry.com

One of the most emotional experiences of my life occurred when I received the results of an ancestry.com DNA test. The entirety of my existence, my family lineage, were sent on a tailspin. So many things made sense. Yet feelings of anger, relief, betrayal, and satisfaction ping ponged throughout my body. It’s a turmoil people who know their biology never have to experience.

Identity Crisis

You look in the mirror and see a person, you see yourself, but who are you? It’s an identity crisis that sends many off their natural path. It’s an isolation that chains you to always wondering why security doesn’t grow like it does in others. It’s a root rotting in an outgrown space.

So many of us live our lives this way. Doesn’t matter what we were told by family or how deeply we are loved, that gnawing feeling never goes away. It’s no wonder why DNA tests have become so popular.

Although sex was taboo in our great-grandparents and grandparents day, they sure had a lot of it. And with random people. Husbands and wives cheated. They had children outside of marriages, but no one talked about it. It was swept under the rug, never to be spoken about again. They could take secrets to the grave then. But not anymore.

Our current society is demonstrating how important identity is for a sense of self. Parents in modern society should think twice before trying to conceal an aspect of another’s identity. Families can promote irrevocable damage for lying to children their entire lives. And isn’t that a fair response?

Intuition

It’s not emotionally healthy to lie to a child. The adverse effects of being lied to manifest in very personal ways because we all have an intuitive nature that just knows. There is a bond with people who share the same genetics that isn’t there with someone who isn’t our biological parent.

That’s not to say love isn’t there, but that innate, indescribable knowing is at a miss. It’s better to know why than to live an entire life questioning yourself and the way you feel.

Just to be clear, it is not ok to make decisions about another’s identity in order to save yourself from feeling the consequences of your life choices. Lying does not protect children. It forms an unstable foundation that supports a false reality. One that will most certainly be shattered in the age of technology. The emotional pain that people go through when they realize they’ve been lied to their entire lives by the same people who claimed to love them is like blunt force trauma to the soul.

Adult children are feeling this across the globe. A well-cited woman named St. Clair describes the feeling as “the floor falling out from under her” when she found out her biological father wasn’t her real father. A friend and I discussed the feelings of abandonment felt when a biological parent doesn’t come and “find” us. I noted, however, that many Boomers have trouble navigating computers, so our feelings of abandonment might be self inflicted.

Triggers

Yet these negative feelings are the way our bodies respond regardless of logic. For each trauma we experienced, emotionally or physically, our bodies keep the feelings stored in a memory bank. Each time there’s a perceived trigger, we feel the same sensations we did when the trauma was actually happening.

When my biological father popped up on my DNA match on Ancestry.com, I instantly wrote him a message. At that point I had looked for him on and off for about 9 years and had been on ancestry for 4 of them. After he didn’t respond I felt anger, sadness, betrayal, unworthiness, indifference, and probably a hundred other emotions.

However, I had an intuitive feeling that maybe this Boomer didn’t know how to navigate technology. Whether or not it was true, I held onto that thought until the negative emotions subsided, and I accepted knowing my DNA as good enough.

An entire year went by before I received a message back. Turns out my intuition was right. Although I had all that time to get over it, even though I felt I had released the need to know, the wave of feelings came rushing in all at once. But this time it was met with an unfamiliar sense of closure.

In the following months, I learned a lot about the other half of my genetics. Unknown medical information, unexplained patterns of behavior all in the light. Nature versus nurture is a real thing. The lost puzzle piece was found and I can finally put the gnawing feeling to rest.

Closure

From the perspective of a child growing up in secrets, it is far better to grieve together in honesty than to live a life of falsities. I would rather feel the initial shock with a solid foundation in. honesty than years of aftershock with raw emotions always boiling beneath the surface.

With quick DNA testing sites like 23andme and ancestry.com, life has found a way to bring ancestral secrets to light in order to heal generational trauma. Too many people have walked this earth living a lie. Too many have brought their secrets to the grave, leaving loved ones always guessing. Forcing people to forget. But this is a new age.

At the click of a button we can uncover generation of secrets. We can find the truth of our lives. The only questions is, are you ready to receive it?

Crystals for healing emotional trauma:

Carnelian

Aquamarine

Citrine

Self Care: What it is and how to do it

Self Care: What it is and how to do it

A few years ago, the concept of self care was foreign to me. Work was all consuming. If I wasn’t working, I felt guilty. If I felt tired, I would simply push myself through the uncomfortableness. The only time I allowed myself to rest was when I passed out. And eventually I crashed, hard, in the form of a nervous breakdown. Some of us are just so stubborn that the Universe intervenes and forces us to listen. That’s me. I’m some of us.

The message was loud and clear: Self care actually keeps your batteries charged. Imagine driving your car without stopping for gas, or bringing it in for an oil change or a tune up. Those time outs for repair are what keep the car running. Without it, you’ll find yourself broken down on the side of the road. Our bodies work the same way. Whether it’s your muscles or your brain, we need time to recoup the energy we’ve exerted out into the world. Self care is how we keep going.

“There is one thing that must be understood: self care is about you, not anyone else.”

It doesn’t surprise me that I’m not the only one who had trouble understanding the concept of self care. Society demands so much from us. School, work, partnership, children, and family are priorities in most people’s lives. Sometimes those priorities become overwhelming and it’s easy to forget about ourselves. These are the times we must stop and think: What good am I if I run myself into the ground?

Self care comes in many forms. But there is one thing that must be understood: self care is about you, not anyone else. Self care is not doing something someone else wants to do. Self care is not putting your needs aside to take care of someone else. Self care is about your needs.

Self care is saying no to someone else when you already have plans for yourself. If you’ve started running a bath, and your partner or child calls for you to do something, you have the right to say no. You have the right to take that hour to just be without interruption. Unless there’s fire, flood or blood, there’s no need for you to stop what you’re doing. It can wait.

Same goes for plans. It’s true that some occasions call for you to suck it up and go, especially if it’s important to a loved one. But there is a line to be drawn. There is no reason to put yourself in a bad predicament for someone else’s enjoyment. Bad predicaments can be financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. If you don’t have money, don’t go. If you have work tomorrow and missing it would severely hurt your financial situation, don’t go. There is a measure of guilt, but at the end of the day, you’ll feel good about making the choice that was right for you.

“There is no reason to put yourself in a bad predicament for someone else’s enjoyment.”

Which brings me to my next point. Don’t wait around for someone to do things with. Trust me, I know it’s frustrating to always be alone. But it’s even more aggravating when you sit around wasting precious time you could’ve been using to do the things that you love. Whether that’s hiking, seeing a movie, eating out, or going to a museum or gym, it’s important that you don’t neglect yourself just because no one else in your life is interested in the same activities.

Take time for yourself while making your priorities a priority. This means getting your work done when it’s supposed to be done and not waiting until the last minute which results in a half ass product, or no product at all. Many people love to self sabotage with procrastination. All this does is continue a cycle of shame and guilt that keeps you locked in a cage of self hate.

You might lie to yourself and claim that trip or that date was necessary, but when it detracts from the goals you set for yourself all it becomes is a distraction. Putting in work to reach your goals builds self esteem and confidence. Neglecting responsibilities only drags you into despair.

“We are responsible for the choices we make.”

There are two polar opposites: those who give themselves too much, and those who deny themselves of everything. Neither one of these choices are healthy. An excess of anything is unhealthy. Someone or something is always on the hurt end of the stick. Whether it’s your credit, your parent’s retirement fund, or your goals, excessiveness will catch up eventually. Spending money on trips, clothes, and other experiences are nice and provide us with a sense security and well roundedness. Yet when it’s done to such excess that it negatively affects our day to day lives, the fun and niceties have become a problem.

On the other hand, making yourself a martyr and denying yourself any pleasures is just as bad and is no doubt hurting you. Making yourself a martyr breeds resentment. Eventually, this resentment is directed toward your kids, your spouse, or whoever it is you feel you have to deny yourself for. At the end of the day though, it’s more than likely no one asked you to forgo every little luxury. We are responsible for the choices we make. The key is to find a healthy balance.

Maybe you can’t afford much, but if none of your clothes fit, is it really going to break the bank to spend less than $50 on a pair of pants at Target or a thrift store? Giving ourselves what we need, be it a pair of pants, higher education, or a spa day, it necessary for our ultimate fulfillment so we can be our best selves for the ones we love.

Whether it’s saying yes to more things, or saying no, it all starts with acknowledging what you need.”

So do yourself a favor, and take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. Know that no one is perfect and we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We are here to learn, not have it all figured out. There’s a great deal of self control that comes with self care. Wherever you fall on the self-care spectrum, know that you have the power to balance it out and bring stability into your life.

Whether it’s saying yes to more things, or saying no, it all starts with acknowledging what you need. Be honest with yourself about what you really want, then take that first step. Once you do, you’ll be empowered to do it again, and again, and again. Next thing you know, self care becomes second nature.

Listen to your thoughts. Take a moment to feel the sensations in your body. Our minds and body tell us when something doesn’t feel right, when it’s time to relax, and when we must make a decision that is better for us in the long run. Follow your gut feeling; don’t ignore them. The sooner you start taking care of yourself, the quicker you’ll restore yourself to sanity.

Recommended crystals:

Rose Quartz

Blue Kyanite 

Girasol Quartz

Sacral Chakra Balancing: The codependent corrector

Sacral Chakra Balancing: The codependent corrector

Many people struggle with finding joy in the day to day. Life becomes so mundane that it feels as if they’re just going through the movements, forgetting to experience the little miracles of the world. Miracles that would bring life to existence. Some forget their passions. They stop making time for their hobbies, or maybe never made time for hobbies. Others are plain dissatisfied. Whether it’s with relationships, a job, or something unknown to them, they can’t deny a level of discontent with their position in life as it sits at this very moment.

You may experience one or many of the above mentioned issues at one time or another. Life is not constant; it moves in phases. One week, month, or year we could be up, and the next…we’re just not.

The sacral chakra, or Svadhishthana in Sanskrit, controls the joy and passion we experience in our lives. Svadhisthana translates to “one’s own place.” When we know and understand ourselves fully, we are able to set boundaries needed to have healthy, fulfilling relationships in all areas of our lives. This place keeps your higher self protected, while allowing others to see you fully in order to give the respect you deserve. It is the second chakra located in the pelvic area represented by the color orange. Water is the element of the sacral chakra, symbolizing fluid and changing emotions.

Emotional relating in the 3D world is formed during the developmental stages of childhood. If a child has untrustworthy or unavailable caretakers, a whole litany of issues will arise stemming from low self esteem. For example, a parent who does not allow a child to make his/her own decisions, develop a sense of personal identity, or freedom to express his/her needs will result in an adult who is unsure of his/her self. In psychological terms, this shows up as codependency.

Codependency has a very wide umbrella. Put simply, codependency is allowing the actions of others to affect your emotional wellbeing. That also means using another person or substance as a means of feeling better. For example, a man or woman who relies solely on his or her partner to meet all their emotional needs is codependent. An addict is codependent. Trying to control situations is codependent. A parent whose entire world revolves around his/her child is codependent. The people who accept sex in lieu of love are codependent. Jumping from relationship to relationship is codependent.

The list goes on and on. Basically, if you grew up with any family dysfunction, you most likely have some type of codependent characteristic. A full (and exhaustive) list can be found here. The effects of a skewed developmental stage in childhood leads to imbalances in the sacral chakra.

Signs of an Unbalanced Sacral Chakra

The most obvious is addiction. This can be addiction to anything— shopping, gambling, behaviors, people, drugs, alcohol.

Another sign is promiscuous behavior, or the other extreme, repression of sexual desire altogether. Sleeping around for validation and obsessive sexual thoughts or fantasies also fall under this category.

Codependency is a symptom of a blockage. Trust issues, low self esteem, people pleasing, controlling behavior, and manipulation are all signs of codependency.

Lack of joy or boredom: What’s stopping you from doing the things that you love?

Resistance to change arises with a blocked sacral chakra. Since water is the element that rules the second chakra, one that is balanced would “go with the flow” and accept change as a part of life.

Common Physical Manifestations 

Lower Back Pain

Heightened Allergies

Bladder issues

Lethargy

Addiction

Balanced Sacral Chakra

When the sacral chakra is balanced we feel balanced. We are able to process our negative emotions in a healthy way, and maintain an even temper even when things don’t go our way at work, home, or in relationships. Expression of our emotional needs come easily. We are in tune with sexual needs and express them in a safe, loving manner. A balanced sacral chakra is how artists create, relationships accomplish harmony, and mindfulness is achieved.

How to Balance 

  • Create! Make time for a creative endeavor whether it’s cooking, singing, painting, or jewelry making. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it. It only matters that you enjoy it. Practice makes progress!
  • Practice yoga. This can be done for free with a YouTube video or join a class.
  • Wear orange. Orange is a symbol of happiness and job. It is our creative force.
  • Eat more orange fruits and vegetables.
  • Practice sound healing. The sacral chakra is associated with the key of D. You can sing, play an instrument, use your own song bowl, or have a sound healing done professionally.
  • Practice meditation with healing crystals. Guided meditations can be found for free on YouTube, or on apps like Calm, Headspace, and others.

Healing Crystals for the Sacral Chakra:

Citrine

Tiger’s Eye

Carnelian

Amethyst

Pyrite

5 Red Flags of Like Versus Lust: How I Learned the Difference

5 Red Flags of Like Versus Lust: How I Learned the Difference

Did I like you or lust you?

We’ve all been there. You meet someone and feel there’s a genuine connection. You vibe with them; your energies mix creating a blissful aura of peace and harmony. You think this encounter will flourish into partnership because you both like each other. But the universe had a different plan for you. Now you’re left wondering what you could have done to have the outcome you so desperately wanted. 

I learned that what we want is not exactly what we need, and what we have, in that moment, is not always reality. Sometimes reality is skewed by the things that we lust and crave. We focus on how that individual is making us feel, not so much who that person truly is. It blinds us from the fact that we may be craving human attention and affection. 

I recently found myself in the situation of like versus lust without even realizing it. I was so drawn to the idea that I could be in a relationship, I lost sight of what was important– me. 

This past year I have been on a committed journey of self love. Loving myself has been a difficult thing to do but I found that fearlessly setting boundaries and directing my energy on what I really need, and how someone’s actions make me feel, helps me to understand what my best interests are. For the first time I’m asking myself, “what fulfills you.” I am actively practicing self awareness.

As I break free from my own binds of insecurities, I am learning to distinguish what is meant for me and what is not. This is the challenging part, because the old me is always in the shadows trying to seduce me into old patterns of behavior of accepting lust when what I really want is a genuine connection. It’s easy to beat yourself up for even having these thoughts. I know I struggle with it. But I have learned to appreciate that I can catch myself thinking those thoughts, and turn it into self empowerment.

Understanding what is meant for you also means understanding your self-destructive patterns of behavior. Only when I was brave enough to see these destructive tendencies was I able to begin replacing them with healthy behaviors and responses.

The Situation

For example, I met this guy over the summer. Let’s call him Kyle. Our time together was short lived, but this person was able to teach me so much about myself in a brief period. Kyle and I met via a dating app (not surprising huh) and upon our first encounter I was instantly attracted to him. He was tall, not dark, but definitely handsome. Here’s what my experience with Kyle taught me about myself: I ignore red flags just so I can deter feeling lonely

I wasn’t aware of this at the very moment. It took me a minute to come back to reality and realize that I was ignoring my own intuition about the red flags. Something didn’t feel right. And when something doesn’t feel right, chances are you are so lost in the sauce that destructive patterns of behavior are clouding your judgment. 

I was lost in the sauce. Not one, not two, not three but five red flags I blatantly ignored despite the fact that something didn’t feel right.

The 5 Red Flags

Red flag #1 is something we can all relate to. He started texting and calling me less than usual. Trust me, that is a red flag especially if you and that individual were talking on a regular/daily basis. I found myself overthinking and actually justifying his lack of effort with the good ol’ “Oh he’s probably just busy.” You say to yourself “yeah he’s busy he will get back to me,” only to go on Snapchat and realize he is blatantly ignoring you. People make time for what is important to them, period.

Red flag #2: I saw him using a dating app and my initial reaction was confusion, then of course a justification for him “We are not officially dating, he does not belong to me, he can be on a dating app, I am okay with that.” Truth is, I was not okay with that! Even though it ate at me, I remained silent and did not bring it up immediately. After evaluating my feelings about whether or not I had the right to feel this way, I mustered up the courage to talk to him about it. His gave me a lame ass excuse that I naively believed. 

Looking back, I can’t believe I actually questioned whether or not I had the right to feel. I had a right, and so do you. The right person respects your feelings and can meet you with clear, honest communication.

Red flag #3: I deadass asked this man to take me on a date and his response was “I will let you know.” If you could see my sour facial expression as I am writing this! First of all, someone who is with it would have responded with “When is your next day off we will do something then.” Actually no. Scratch that. I wouldn’t have to ask someone who was actually with it. He would’ve just done it from the get go. Period. 

Red flag #4: He stood me up. You’re probably thinking “Sis, he stood you up after you told him to take you on a date, sheesh.” Yes he did and I am not even upset about it.. Ok, well I am a little bit. I am more upset about how I once again defied my intuition. 

You see, the day of our date I woke up with a gut feeling that it would fall through. I remember thinking to myself “Jessica dont wait on anybody to take you out, take yourself out, leave without him and do your own thing.” I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I waited. And waited. Then waited some more.

I was so disappointed in myself. Disappointed that I did not listen to the intense feeling my body was giving me to just go. I chose him over myself. It is at this very moment that I started to observe the destructive patterns of behavior that I was so desperately trying to change. I had to take a step back and reflect on this situationship I was in and how it was blinding me from the reality that this dude made me feel like shit. 

Red flag #5: He used substances regularly. He posts himself drinking daily, he is open about popping pills every so often, probably more than he led on. He text me while he was drugs. This is such toxic behavior and a clear indicator that this guy is suffering internally. If he can’t cope with his own feelings without numbing it, then how is he supposed to cope with mine? 

What I Learned

I took this time to self reflect. I thoughtfully analyzed all the red flags I tried to ignore because I was too occupied lusting over him. Red flag number 1 made me realize that he was most definitely ignoring me which made me come to the conclusion that communication is a two way street and all I could do is reciprocate the same amount of effort he was giving me. 

Red flag number 2 was difficult for me to dissect because I was torn between feeling like I could or could not express myself based off of the fact that we did not belong to each other. This made me understand that you don’t have to belong to someone to vocalize how you feel. Setting boundaries means doing just that vocalizing what you will and will not allow from a potential partner, friendship, acquaintance, parent, etc. 

Red flag number 3: what in the actual fuck was I thinking?! I had to actually ask a man to take me on a date, wow. Nobody should have to ask someone to spend time with them, and if you do, homie is just not into you. I knew I deserved someone who wanted to spend time with me without me having to ask. Period. 

Red flag number 4 was eye opening because it showed me that I still had a lot of learning to do. How could I possibly choose someone I barely knew over myself? 

Red flag number 5 was a no brainer. I know better than to try and fix someone. Other people’s issues are not my problem to fix. 

This experience with Kyle was important to me because it forced me to think about my old patterns and how easy it was to ignore myself when lusting over someone. Don’t get me wrong, I had a difficult time differentiating whether or not I actually liked this man or was simply blinded by the lust I felt for him. I told myself I had a genuine connection to him, it was a vibe. I was experiencing emotions that I had not felt in a while. I was wrapped up in a blissful love spell and for a brief moment, I was not being true to myself. 

I knew I had to detach from Kyle because I was not ready and in reality, neither was he.  Old Jess would have berated herself and blamed herself for a failed attempt at a relationship. She would’ve felt unworthy. The ascending me is accepting what is truly meant for me and graciously letting go of what is not. I took this moment to reflect not on what I lost, but what I gained. I am growing, I am learning, I am unlearning, I am healing, I am receiving, I am reflecting, I am deflecting, I am choosing me. Always. 

The universe expanded, the stars aligned. Lady luna remained a balance of dark and light. I had a vision of him shooting for the stars, but now I see it’s me who floats along the milky way.

Recommended crystals:

Black Kyanite

Hematite

Smoky Quartz

Root Chakra Balancing: Why it’s so important

Root Chakra Balancing: Why it’s so important

Imagine building a house without a solid foundation. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a structure you’ve built, how high the walls, or what stone counters or floors you’ve installed, it’s basically a house of cards that can be blown apart with even the slightest upset. The root chakra is the first chakra because it represents your foundation. Balancing the root chakra provides stability and secure survival patterns. It provides a safe environment for all other chakras to open.

Located at the base of the spine, the root chakra, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, is responsible for feeling grounded and safe. The name Muladhara translates to “root support.” Only when we feel grounded are we able to feel safe in any situation. Without a root, plants would have no means of support. This is the primary difference between someone who is calm and collected even when they have very little versus someone who has it all, yet constantly struggles for more. The element of the root chakra is Earth, symbolizing the solid ground in which we securely plant our being.

Security in the 3D world is formed during infancy. In psychology this is called attachment theory. A child who is securely attached to his or her parents feels safe. The parent has met the child’s needs. For example, if baby cries, the parent will do his or her best to quell the baby’s nerves. The parents have the baby on a routine for feeding, sleeping, etc. The baby is well taken care of. The baby learns that he or she can trust that its needs will be met and therefore the baby feels safe.

Babies who have parents who are fickle or neglectful develop insecure attachments. They learn that their needs will not get met all of the time, or in extreme cases, not at all, and consequently the babies learn that the world is not a safe place. From birth, their root chakras form an imbalance that can affect the relationship with themselves and others for the rest of their lives.

Root Chakra Imbalances

This shows up in myriad forms. The one most familiar is anxiety. I’m not speaking of the normal doses of anxiety that you get when there’s a big project due, or you’re getting evaluated for a job or a promotion. Chronic anxiety flares up when we don’t feel safe. These feelings make it hard to deal with reality. You don’t believe you can accomplish a task no matter how small or big. You are consumed with worry to the point you don’t even start. Concentration and focus become nearly impossible. This is a clear indication that the root chakra is imbalanced.

Another tell-tale sign that the root chakra needs balancing is insecurity. These behaviors show up as extreme shyness, inability to say no, fear-based thinking, and carry a scarcity mindset. In other words, nothing is ever enough.

Greed also arises with a root chakra imbalance. When materialism becomes the most important facet to a person’s life, it is a clear indication the root chakra needs work. Think of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

Anger and irritation are additional behaviors of a root chakra imbalance. We become annoyed that we don’t feel an inner sense of security and lash out at others unintentionally. The lack of control we feel over our own lives triggers insecurities.

Common Physical Manifestations 

  • Lower back pain
  • Low energy
  • Leg pain
  • Feet issues
  • Colon problems
  • Eating disorders

Balanced Root Chakra

When the root chakra is balanced we feel confident. We are able to take responsibility for ourselves and feel secure that we are in control of our destiny. Feelings of calm blanket our lives regardless of the circumstances. We feel at peace with what we have, yet do not let fear get in the way of our goals. A balanced root chakra is how children are able to leave home and create new adult lives, how people go back to school, begin new hobbies, start businesses, and travel the world.

How to Balance 

  • Get back into nature. Hike, camp, lay in the grass— anything to reconnect with the earth
  • Practice yoga. This can be done for free with a YouTube video or join a class.
  • Wear red. Red is a symbol of strength and power. It is our life force.
  • Eat more red fruits and vegetables.
  • Practice sound healing. The root chakra is associated with the key of C. You can sing, play an instrument, use your own song bowl, or have a sound healing done professionally.
  • Practice meditation with healing crystals. Guided meditations can be found for free on YouTube, or on apps like Calm, Headspace, and others.

Healing Crystals for the Root Chakra:

Black Kyanite

Smoky Quartz

Hematite

Black Tourmaline

Carnelian