Connecting to the earth in the winter is just as healthy as connecting in the summer.
By “connecting to the earth,” all I mean is allowing yourself to be swept up in its rhythms. I’ve talked about this before, so I’ll be brief. We humans like to think of ourselves as separate observers of nature, but we are just as rooted in that savage beauty as trees, spiders, birds, or horses. We’re part of it, it’s part of us. To neglect that connection is not only foolish, it’s harmful.
This year, I have been learning (very slowly) what it means to accept and live into that connection. I learned a lot when the weather was warm and I could go outside a lot. But then winter came and pushed me away.
I was working on a post a few weeks back about how hard it is to connect to nature when that nature is cold and dark, but since then, I think I’ve started to get it.
The problem wasn’t with the earth being too cold and dark; it was with me expecting that it is supposed to be accommodating and friendly all the time.
While winter has a lot of pleasant beauty, one of the most important things this season teaches is that nature doesn’t live to please you. You must learn how to experience and accept it, even when you don’t get your way.
I’ve only scratched the surface of all winter has to teach me, I’m sure. So, even though I’m cold and I wish the days were longer, I’m excited I still have a couple months to learn from it.
Reality works like a mirror. Whether you take this as literal truth or just a helpful metaphor, it still holds true.
This is why some people seem to have good luck and some bad, and why people who like themselves often end up being liked by others (and vice versa). There are endless applications of this on every conceivable topic from relationships to health.
For me, now, it has been showing up with regards to my self-image. The more I learn to accept and enjoy myself, the easier it is for me to accept and enjoy other people.
I used to be very prideful and very cynical. I disliked people, as a species in general. (I still do a little, if I’m honest.) And the fact that I was part of this species felt like a dirty secret to me. I always wanted to tack on a qualifier in my mind. “Yeah, I’m part of humanity, but…”, or “Yeah, I’m a girl, but…”
Qualifiers do more harm than good, I think. It’s only in taking them away and accepting what and who I am that I have been able to see more clearly what my true potential is. And by extension, that of other people.
Last night, I reopened my chakras.
Usually, I only do chakra meditation if I feel one or two in particular are clogged and need to be cleaned out. It was the first time that I had sat down and used a string of meditations to open each of them in turn. It felt good. Like, really good. I feel like I had a full-body scrub and a spiritual getaway all in one.
Chakras represent energy concentrations in your body and, like organs, they are commonly given main functions. For your convenience, here are the locations and simplified functions of each:
- Root Chakra: Base of the spine. Deals with security, food, and the other basic animal instincts. Blocked by fear and being out of touch with your environment.
- Sacral Chakra: In pelvic region, below navel. Deals with pleasure and sexuality. Blocked by shame.
- Solar Plexus Chakra: In stomach. Deals with dignity, pride, and confidence. Blocked by poor self image.
- Heart Chakra: In chest. Deals with love and emotions. Blocked by hate.
- Throat Chakra: In throat. Deals with truth and self expression. Blocked by lies and inability to express yourself.
- Third-Eye Chakra: In center of forehead. Deals with insight, clairvoyance, and decision-making. Blocked by confusion.
- Crown Chakra: On top of the head. Deals with spirituality, enlightenment, and oneness with everything. Blocked by attachment and preoccupation with earthly things.
To open your chakras, all you need to do is clear out what is keeping them from flowing freely. Admittedly, that is easier said than done. For example, dealing with the hate you have for someone, or dealing with shame or insecurity. It’s difficult, and it’s an ongoing process.
A good way to do this is through meditation. Chakra meditation is simple in structure. Choose a chakra to focus on. Think of what it means and what blocks it. Examine yourself in this light and work at trying to open it. Start scooping away the gunk clogging it up. Eventually, you will get a clean, relaxed feeling, a feeling of new understanding and freedom. That’s the sign that that chakra has been opened.
There are all kinds of meditation positions, chants, and visualizations to aid chakra opening. Personally, I’ve found this one to be the most helpful as a meditation guide. For general chakra information, as well as signs of blocked chakras, I like to watch Chakraboosters on Youtube.
As a general tip, you should not open your crown chakra if your root chakra is blocked. That can make your imbalance between physical and spiritual even greater. Always start with the root and work your way up.
There’s something sacred about the wind, but I can never put my finger on it. Only that, when it blows against me, filled with all the smells of where it has been, caressing me and getting into my hair and clothes, I feel more connected somehow. As if it’s blowing away the layers of flesh that separates me from other manifestations of spirit.
And in that moment, I want to strip off the rest of what keeps me back and become one with it, scattered over the earth. Fully integrated into the realm where nothing matters because everything matters. Where all is spirit and all is one.
But then I must still go home and do my homework for tomorrow’s class. Not only encased in flesh, but encased within a minuscule niche inside a purely human context. Oh the juxtaposition. I know it’s good, and everything has its time. But some days I can hardly stand it.