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The First Chakra
"The first chakra represents the earth element, the strength, the grit, that bullish part of you."
The first chakra is the realm of habits, the land of automatic behavior and deep instinctual patterns we learn for survival. It is at the very base of the spine, the power center that comprises our bowels and our anus. Just as our arms and hands are associated with the heart chakra from which they emanate, so are our legs and feet related to the first chakra. It is our unconscious center, deeply shared across all of us, regardless of intelligence, status, or age. The character of the first chakra is to "reduce everything to the bottom line."
"First you make habits, then habits make you."
The color that is traditionally associated with the first chakra is the color red. It is the flash point of the eternal flame burning in our first three chakras, which combine to make up what is called the "lower triangle." It can be the red of the burning ember at the center of a roaring fire, or it can be the musty red of clay, or the deep crimson of a ruby forged by pressure deep within the earth.
We connect to the planet through our first chakra, and it's where we return ourselves back to the earth beneath us. It is at our first chakra that we accept we are even here on earth. It is where we first say "yes" to life.
"If the roots aren't deep,the tree can't stand the weather."
A student told me a story recently about a conversation she had with her brother. They have always had a strained relationship, which she attributes to the fact that they grew up in a home with an alcoholic father. This girl's brother never wanted to admit that fact, and often ridiculed her for trying to heal herself about this issue.
She wanted to accept her father. Her brother didn't even want to admit there had ever been a problem, and he resented that she constantly kept bringing up the topic. She wanted them to talk about their father and his drinking, but eventually stopped trying. She felt her brother never talked about anything real. As a result, their relationship was always cordial, but not close. She longed for this closeness, especially after the death of both her parents.
Recently her brother was going through a difficult time with his own family. When other people suggested that events from his past might be affecting his present, he began to listen. As often happens, being in the middle of an emotional crisis opened him to a deeper level.
He began reading literature about adult children of alcoholics, and identified with what he was hearing. What his sister had talked about all those years suddenly started to make sense. It had been decades since he had spoken to his sister about these issues. He decided to call her to talk about their father's drinking.
She was surprised and happy to receive his call, and hear him say he was beginning to understand their father had been an abusive alcoholic. The conversation was important for both of them; they both expressed acceptance for each other and for their father. The brother was beginning to understand what their father had done to them, as well as why, and that brought understanding and acceptance to him. For the first time in decades, this student feels as if she may be able to feel close to her brother. Such is the awesome power of acceptance.
Acceptance opens us up physically. The tightness in the lower
back frees up, the clenching in the lower intestines loosens.
I think this is why the story of the prodigal son has always been one of the most popular biblical stories. Another version of the theme of the prodigal son is a story that appears in a wonderful collection of inspiring true stories. In this story, a young Jewish son decided to rebel against his father. He did this by renouncing their Jewish faith, which the father treasured dearly. The son resented the fact that his father would not let him choose his own spiritual path. In turn, the father resented his son's refusal to honor their religious tradition. His father had been a Holocaust survivor. He had pledged that the religion for which his relatives had died would be honored in his family. When the son turned his back on their faith, the father turned his back on the son, disowning him and banishing him from the family home.
Having wandered and traveled for many years, the son ran into an old friend who told him that his father had just died of a heart attack. The son was overcome with grief and guilt, because he was certain that he was responsible for his father's broken heart.
The son was tortured by one thought: if only he could turn back time and tell his father that he loved him, and beg for his understanding. But of course, that was impossible. Feeling lost and alone, the son decided to go to Israel, to the Wailing Wall, where Jews have for centuries gone to petition for miracles. The son wanted to go there to pray for his father's understanding, even though it was too late.
When the son arrived at the Wall, he recited the long-remembered prayers his father had taught him. Then he prayed a prayer of his own, begging for his father to understand that he had loved him, and that he was sorry for the pain he had caused him. He looked around and saw that other petitioners were writing notes and placing them in crevices in the wall. He was told that people wrote down their petitions and placed them in the Wall, praying that this place was so holy that prayers...
The Eight Human Talents. Copyright © by E. B. Gurmukh. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.