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Fourth Chakra THE RIGHT TO LOVE AND BE LOVED
I send love to everyone I know. All hearts are open to receive my love. I am grateful for all the love I have and will receive.
How can I help you feel my love?
Fourth Chakra - The Right to Love and Be Loved The fourth chakra is known as the Heart Chakra because it is located in the center of the chest. This chakra deals with love, courage, and compassion. When it is open you are able to radiate love for yourself and express it unconditionally, and are not dependent on the love of others. In this center the higher spiritual chakras and the lower physical chakras integrate.
Our history of love started in the womb. As we grew up we learned how to give and receive love, and as a consequence some of us have built walls around our heart. Only through forgiveness and vulnerably can we courageously open our heart and use love as a healing tool, healing not only ourselves but also the world around us.
When a person becomes disconnected from their heart the fourth chakra shuts down. This often results in both low energy and shallow breathing. Throughout the ages we have heard many people expressing love as, “he/she took my breath away,” as well as in sorrow “when he/she broke up with me, it broke my heart and I stopped breathing.” Love, or the loss of it, can indeed take your breath away.
Spins Fast: In Excess, Congestion, Disharmony When the heart chakra spins too fast, or is too open (placing love above self-respect), the effects are characterized by distortions of loving relationships, and love becomes conditional or possessive. These distortions may also manifest in manipulative behavior, such as emotional withholding to “punish”, or a tendency to be overly dramatic. A fast-spinning fourth chakra can produce co-dependency, jealousy, an unrequited craving for connection, an inability to establish healthy boundaries, or failure to see when a relationship is abusive. Physically, you might have problems with the lungs, such as bronchial pneumonia, tuberculosis, asthma, lung cancer and breast cancer.
Spins Slow: Deficiency, Depletion, Disharmony A slow-spinning heart chakra acts like a wall preventing love from being allowed in, the effects of which can result in a lack of self-love, feelings of unworthiness, and a gloomy sense of self-pity. Generally rooted in a fear of rejection, when the heart chakra is deficient one is obsessed with ideas about loving too much, or unrealistic expectations like waiting for the knight in shining armor. Depletion in this energy center is characterized by attitudes of self-righteousness, blaming, judgment, and dwelling on the failures of past relationships. All those who are avoidance addicts, who isolate and are love anorexic, dwell here. Emotional states include being unforgiving, stuck in anger about a past betrayal, fear of intimacy, loneliness, depression, and grief. Physical manifestations of a malfunctioning heart chakra include heart conditions such as congestive heart failure, palpitations, high blood pressure, and all heart related challenges.
Balanced – Spins Harmoniously
Compassion and self-acceptance reign in the balanced heart chakras. Harmony in this chakra leads to the discovery of the desire for a spiritual experience in all relationships. A balanced fourth chakra yields an altruistic and empathic nature and generally an excellent immune system. In learning from the shadow aspects of the fast and slow-spinning fourth chakra, loving too much can be retooled as the ability to love deeply and profoundly. From needing and craving connection we can develop a strong sense of empathy as well as the ability to connect to a large number of people. Empathizing with the needs of others can be used to serve greater causes such as charities or the community as a whole. Co-dependency can be turned into interdependence. Even the avoidance addict or the person who isolates can discover the joy of his or her own company.
The Gatekeeper The fourth chakra represents your right to love and be loved. It is the doorway between the chakras of mind and spirit above, and the chakras of self, body, and the material world below. In this center dwells a gatekeeper, standing guard to the threshold of your heart. This figure could be a loving usher maintaining good boundaries and letting in true love or can be the guard that stands in the way of feeling loving, lovable and loved. It is the one that erects a protecting wall around your heart made up of all the beliefs that have been imprinted in your consciousness from the other eight chakras. These imprints come from all you have learned about love from your family/tribe/culture (first chakra), from the experiences with intimate love (second chakra), and from your feelings about yourself (third chakra). The gatekeeper is also influenced by all the things you have heard about love (fifth chakra), the images you have seen about love (sixth chakra), plus all of your personal experiences with love (seventh chakra). Lastly, it is influenced by your relationship with the Divine (eighth and nine chakras.)
The History of Love In utero, the baby’s needs are fulfilled instantly and automatically. Without asking, the child is constantly soothed by the rhythmic beat of his mother’s heart, fed by the placenta, healed by the mother’s immune system, and surrounded by a safe environment. This natural and metaphysical connection generates a primordial feeling. I am completely loved, I am completely lovable, and I am safe.
Once the baby is born parents cannot maintain the original feelings of total safety the child felt while on the womb. Laden by the inevitable circumstances of life - work, money, anxiety, sickness, etc. - parents don’t always understand the baby’s needs, nor can they anticipate or meet every demand. Every unmet need generates a degree of fear and pain, and the child defaults into immature coping mechanisms: screaming or crying to get attention, as well as withdrawing and becoming aloof, or turning into a people pleaser.
Research scientist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., explains how a child learns behavioral patterns: “A child’s brain can download experiences at a super high rate of speed. From the moment a child is born through about the first six years of life, she is in a super-learning state. Children learn and assimilate from how we treat them and how we respond to each other.” As the baby learns the meaning of love given and received, they are exposed to ways in which love is commonly used by their parents. Sometimes, to restore harmony, the parents use love as a bargaining chip: “If you really loved mommy, you would not scream at her.” Love becomes a reward for good behavior: “What a good job you did…Daddy loves you so much.” It can be withheld in anger: “I am angry at you, you are a bad girl.” Love gets tinted with guilt: “You should love Grandma, look at all the presents she got you.” It gets religious undertones: “God loves those who obey Him.” It is given on a timetable: “Go on and watch some television, Daddy is busy right now.” Showing love in these ways can lead to children learning that love can be used to manipulate others, and that love can hurt and cannot be trusted.
Nonetheless, the loss of love is immediately forgotten each time the child is enveloped in the loving embrace of their mother or father. The sweet feeling of Divine love fills her, and she recalls its primordial origin, how she felt in the womb, and how all her needs were met instantly. But alas, another confusing exchange and love is once more questioned. The gatekeeper continues getting stronger, building walls of protection around her heart.
As we grow and let go of the familial embrace, we discover a new world—the world of our peers. When we start school and are surrounded by an unfamiliar group of people, we discover that their approval, or love, becomes instrumental to our happiness. In an effort to fit in and be accepted by the group, under peer pressure, we learn to love only those who are considered acceptable, right, and hip by our group. Concerned only with acceptance and validation, we fall for the cool guy in our school, only to find out (through dating or rejection) that we are completely incompatible. However, because our focus is still acceptance, we don’t change our ways. We are on the quest for someone who will reconnect us to the miraculous and unconditional love we experienced in the womb, and we continue our search outside ourselves. We need direction. Unfortunately, we have no guides in this quest as no one is teaching children about love or relationships. It is not part of the curriculum.
Straying away from our immediate world, we look further for clues about love in fairytales, myths, and the media. Here we are introduced to the impossible and rebellious love of Lancelot and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, and Leo and Kate (lovers on the Titanic). We listen to love through the words of love songs and learn that often love equals pain. All these tragedies suggest that true love means losing oneself for the sake of the other. So, we dream of the knight in shining armor to come and rescue us from the tower of loneliness. We look for a romantic, sensitive guy with perfect abs, an amazing smile and wit, just like the hero in the latest movie. We are on an impossible journey in hope, of finding the one. At this point, we have actually given a detailed description of the phantom person our gatekeeper can allow into our hearts. Yet, none appears to look like the ‘most wanted’ poster we provided our heart’s usher.
As we mature, we hear mentions that we must love ourselves first, before we can love another. But, no one bothers to give us the tools to do so. The fleeting memory of the original state of wholeness we felt in the womb lingers in our unconscious. We yearn for that heavenly love that can heal us, makes us feel safe, feeds us without being asked, and lulls us without being told. We continue to look outside ourselves for the solution. When we finally find whoever we think is the one, we experience sheer paradise. We notice every little thing they do, all the minuscule idiosyncrasies of their character, and we love each and every one of them. We stay up at night thinking about them, we talk for hours, opening our hearts like never before. We become sexier, happier, and more blissful than we have ever been.
Sadly, as time passes, we begin to notice things we had not noticed before. The shadow guarding our hearts is screaming at us, this person does not fit the requirements. It turns out our partners have qualities we can’t stand. We expect them to have psychic powers and know what we need or want, and to our surprise, they don’t. We demand they satisfy all of our needs, even if we don’t know what they are. This is not the unconditional love we have longed for. Where is the flawless human being that understands us, makes us feel safe, and offers the type of love we are unable to give or receive?
When it comes to love, we have become completely dependent on others, yet based on experiences, we no longer trust anyone to deliver the love we want. Once again, as we did when we were little, we default into immature coping mechanisms and we learn to operate in a codependent manner. Bargaining ensues: “I will behave this way, if you behave that way,” or, “I will show you my love if you show me yours.”
We manipulate others by placing blame, finding fault, or attempting to control the situation: “I know you love me, but I wish you told me more often, or in a more romantic way.” This translates as: “I am not sure you love me, because you aren’t saying the right words, or taking the right actions. Therefore, I can’t hear you.”
We attempt to buy our partner’s love by showering them with gifts and favors, disguising our manipulation as generosity and altruism. Some of us enmesh and lose ourselves in the relationship. We compromise our values and integrity; or we minimize, alter, and deny our feelings. There are those of us who need to control and offer advice without being asked only to become resentful when others refuse our help. Finally, we find gratification when someone cannot live or function without us. It appears that our self-worth has been validated and everything seems under control, but we are still unhappy. With one foot in the past we dwell upon what we wish the relationship was, and one in the future where we think about what it could be, we forget about what is and stand on precarious grounds - we are insecure. When all efforts fail to produce the desired unconditional and celestial sense of love we have dreamed about, we resign ourselves to believe unconditional love is a myth. We suppress our dream of the idyllic love and learn to cope with the occasional fighting and the feelings of loneliness we experience in our marriages or committed relationships. We will never be satisfied because we fail to appreciate what is.
Byron Katie, who wrote an amazing book called Loving What Is, inspires us with these words of wisdom: “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is, is what we want.”
The Key to Opening Our Hearts When you are about to go on a new journey, be it a new career, learning a new sport, craft or art form you give yourself plenty of time to learn. You take courses, you practice, and as you get better you feel more confident, which results in greater success. Yet, it rarely occurs to us that entering a new relationship, one that might last a lifetime, requires spending as much time learning about love as it did learning how to ride a bike, write an essay, or play an instrument.
Often we hear our girlfriends complain that it is so hard to find a man who will commit to a relationship, but women also have a problem with commitment. In our case it is the commitment to ourselves. Our heart needs commitment from a loved one, but most importantly from our self. How often do we get into a relationship with someone simply because they seem to love us, regardless of how we feel about them? At times we stay with someone because we fear being alone, our procreation clock is ticking, or we feel this is the last train that will stop at our station. We have forgotten our heart. Our strategy for loving is colored with the stories of our past and the hurt we’ve suffered or brought upon ourselves. We linger on memories and resentments, unable to start anew with each and every relationship. In fact, we have armed the gatekeeper to our heart with all these resentments and memories.
The expression falling in love encompasses a truism. If we want to love and be loved we must allow ourselves to fall, which can be viewed as a metaphor for trust, without bounds. When we trust that each relationship brings a new lesson required for our growth, and that we have the tools to recover in case the fall ends up being a hurtful one, we begin to let down our walls We get to open our hearts and forgive ourselves and those who have hurt us. In fact, the key to opening our heart is forgiveness.
Forgiveness creates the space for love to rush in. For this purpose we can transform the gatekeeper of our heart into a celestial bodyguard, free of all preconceived notions, becoming our heart’s greatest ally. Actual forgiveness does not mean allowing someone who wronged you to forego his or her karmic debt, nor does it mean condoning or forgetting what was done. Forgiveness recognizes that the road to happiness lies in letting go of the hold that memory has on our reactions, our life, and our perception of self. Forgiving frees us from the perpetrator forever, and those memories no longer have a negative influence on future relationships. In reading A Course in Miracles, I learned that my righteous indignation toward what happened in the past conveniently made it seem that others were different from me, that I was good and they were evil. Other people’s interests appeared to be separate from and in competition with my own. In that paradigm, others seemed to be forever seeking happiness at my expense. However, when I looked at the perpetrators with forgiving eyes, I saw that their pain and unhappiness was as big, if not bigger than my own. Forgiveness shows us that we are all the same. We all have the same needs, the same desires, and the same pain. Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves, not to anyone else; it is something we can do even before we meet someone, so that we may start anew without bringing the past into our present.
Forgiveness is not about forgetting, it is about letting go. Resentment literally translates as experiencing a negative emotion repeatedly. Resentment is what takes away our serenity in the present moment while not changing the past. Once we can forgive those who have wronged us and let go of resentments the keeper of the gate will lower our walls and let the love and beauty in. Forgiving and letting go means we must become vulnerable.
“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes
Culturally, the word vulnerable has been connected with the concept of weakness. Being vulnerable is usually associated with opening yourself up to being hurt emotionally and/or physically. . We avoid vulnerability to avoid rejection, but all the while we feel highly uncomfortable by trying to be someone we are not. When we hide who we really are, what we think, and how we feel we are in essence rejecting ourselves. Emotional vulnerability actually requires great courage and strength.
Chris Rock, in one of his stand up routines, says, “When you meet someone for the first time you are not really meeting them, you are meeting their representative.” Sometimes, we end up falling in love with this representative only to discover that the person we chose to love is someone different. We also send our representative out on a date in fear that if the person we just met finds out who we really are they surely would not be interested in us.
When we expose our core-self we take a leap of faith trusting that we are good enough and lovable -- as is. Vulnerability is the doorway to love and self-love, and gives us access to our inner strength. Dr Brene´ Brown, a professor and vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston says, “We emotionally ‘armor up’ each morning when we face the day to avoid feeling shame, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. The particular armor changes from person to person, but it usually revolves around one of three methods: striving for perfection, numbing out, or disrupting joyful moments by ‘dress rehearsing tragedy’ and imagining all the ways that things could go wrong.”
Vulnerability is the experience and emotion we actually crave. We feel most loved when we are accepted for who we are and that can only happen if we show our vulnerable side. Self-protective armor, usually unconsciously erected at a young age, causes most of our adult suffering. Awareness of it is a big step toward freedom. Typically, when we are faced with something that is new and challenging, or that feels threatening to us, we unconsciously retreat behind a force field of self-protection, hiding behind the tall walls we have erected around our heart. Yet, it is the self-protection that creates far more suffering than that which we are afraid of!
Uncertainty and vulnerability are two characteristics we have fought hard to reject in the modern world. In the last two hundred years more women have entered the work force and had to take on the warrior archetype. As warriors we constantly battle and compete. In the business world, expressing one’s emotion is considered unprofessional and it is looked down upon as a sign of weakness. As a result, women have had to learn a new game - the game of hiding their feelings. Instead of relying on their instinct toward expansion and expression women have learned to withdraw and choose silence, or opt for aggression and defiance. In this model we come to believe that it is safer to build a wall preventing others from coming close and hurting us, or even worse, from dismissing us as weak and unpredictable.
In the game of the male-dominated workforce, women must look detached, in control, rational and poised. Vulnerability is a sin and women have come to assume a role that goes against their very nature. The constant battle against one’s nature and the countless diseases that follow have been the price women continue to pay in order to be perceived as powerful, independent, self-reliant, and successful.
Here is a typical modern scenario.
Jenny, unable to leave her masculine stance at work, brings her survival mechanisms home. Since multitasking is intrinsic in women’s nature she believes she is the only one who can get things done efficiently. Jenny thinks her man cannot handle taking care of a job, marriage, the house, and kids all at the same time. So, she takes on the role of superwoman juggling it all. As a result, she becomes bitter, angry, and condescending with her husband who she sees as an inferior person. Someone who wants it all, yet is incapable of managing any part of it, even if she was kind enough to let him. Jenny keeps volunteering to do all of the work herself. She can be controlling even when she seems to only be concerned with pleasing her family. She fears that if she lets them see her vulnerable side, they won’t like, or love, her. She lives on the offensive—attacking, blaming, or correcting others. This keeps the spotlight on others and off of her, once again putting up the armor that keeps people, and love, away.
To reclaim the fourth chakra and embrace love for the self and the world at large we get to let go of the warrior archetype and embrace the mother-nurturer archetype, surrendering to vulnerability along the way. Tuning into our feelings and learning to express them enables us to have a healthy perspective of our problems, our place, and ourselves. After a crisis, notice when the old armor starts to take over. Try to see what thoughts circulate in your mind just before you begin retreating into to your armored self. You will find that fear of what others might think, or of being exposed as not good enough, and ultimately being rejected is responsible for your retreat. You may feel anger, resentment, sadness, fear, or even terror. Try not to fix the fear.
Sit with those feelings and acknowledge them. If you are in a safe environment express them, then prepare yourself to be informed by them. Go through the feelings inventory exercise of the second chakra. Fall madly in love and be curious about who you are and what you need to feel loved and to love. If you do not retreat from your feelings and stay with the discomfort, keeping your attention on the energy/feeling, it will eventually transform into love. Everything reverts back to love eventually. Love for your family, love for your partner, but most importantly, love for yourself and this incredible world we live in.
Become one with the goddess and the mother/nurturer archetype. A goddess is the embodiment of the Divine in a female body. She acts with integrity while loving and nurturing. She lets go of anger, pain, fear, guilt, and judgment. She has no need to change anybody and she does not blame, for she sees the Divine in all beings. She has learned to love unconditionally and has no expectations. She encourages others and allows things to be what they are; welcoming other people’s efforts, she looks at everyone the way a mother looks at her child. She knows that life is a mystery, which cannot be conquered or understood. She embraces her sense of humor, especially towards herself, and feels compassion for all her little idiosyncrasies and human characteristics. She searches for and embraces her Divinity, knowing that change is inevitable and that the journey is as exhilarating as the end result. Sure this is a tall order, but it is what we strive to become, one day at the time. We strive for practice not perfection.
Mastering this journey will make you a living example. Becoming vulnerable will open you up to the heavens.
Using Love as a Healing Tool In studying hypnosis, I learned of a particular tribe in Africa that believes one way to cure illness is to concentrate on a part of your body that feels good, and then transfer the feeling to the part which is sick or injured. If you were to twist a wrist, you’d concentrate on the wrist that feels good. You would pay attention to all the little movements, all the sensations of wellness in the healthy wrist, and gently transfer them all to the wrist that was injured. We can apply the same method to our relationships with others and ourselves.
Make a list of all the things you love about your partner, and if you do not presently have one, make the same list of all the partners of the past. YES, all of them. Now write down all the things you love about yourself when you are in love, and happy. All you have to do is transfer this love to whatever area of your relationship you’d like to improve, and then see the law of attraction work for you. Let love mend the disagreements or conflicts you are experiencing. Wake up each morning remembering why you fell in love with this particular person and use that to fuel your state of mind. Use this exercise for every relationship that needs mending, including the one with yourself. This is a great tool to use to attract the love and relationship you have been longing for. We hear over and over again that no one can love you if you don’t love yourself, but that is not accurate. All kinds of people can love you even if you don’t love yourself. However, you may never feel loved unless you are open to witnessing and receiving love from others.
If there is any ailment in your womb this is a perfect time to use this exercise to bring health and well being to it. If it seems that there is no part of your body without pain, then use the Uterus Mundi: place your hands on your belly and call the well being of the young womb that brought you into this world or your grandmother’s womb where you resided as an egg in your mother’s ovaries while she was growing in grandma’s belly. Use the wellness of your daughter’s womb, your best friend’s womb or any woman you like. Go even further and use Mothers Mary’s womb, or her mother Anna’s womb. Use Rachel’s womb if you are Jewish, or Khadīja (Mohammed’s first wife) if you are Muslim, According to Buddhist tradition, Queen Māyā of Sakya (Māyādevī) was the birth mother of Gautama Buddha, Siddhārtha of the Gautama, or even use the womb of Mother Teresa, which birthed so much love for humanity. You can transfer their well being into your belly and feel the potentiality of the Uterus Mundi that brings avatars, saints, and unconditional love into this world. This is your tribe and these are your ancestors. Their love lives inside of you. Their love is one with you.
Now it is time to place your love chakra seed on your altar and nurture it with this prayer.
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.
From Essential Rumi
I’ve been re-reading Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. and was talking to a girlfriend about connecting to our place of inner power, our intuitive wisdom, and inviting the perspective of our inner knower and wolf more fully into our everyday lives.
In preparing for the rite of passage of giving birth a woman needs to focus on her inner power, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes said "A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet separation from the wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghosty, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to give chase, to birth, to create a life. When women's lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge; it is time for the creating function of the psyche to flood the delta...It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can." Birth as a rite of passage, is just like every other coming of age ritual in a person’s life. It is hard and intense but when you trust in the process you will came on the other side as a fully conscious human been, full of wonder, love and unrelenting curiosity.
Your first rite was your own birth when you had to leave your mother’s womb and slide down into dark tunnel with the promise of a reunion with your mother. It was a jump into the big unknown. The pressure to leave increased with every hour and every minute. The body of your mother was expelling you, guiding you towards the dark tunnel; you were either ready and eager, or reluctant and stubborn. You either came with ease and grace or with force knives or forceps. But you came and eventually were held in your mother’s arms and you were full of wonder, love and unrelenting curiosity.
From your mother’s bosom you looked around and explored the new territory with all its peoples, places and things, all the wonders you only imagined while in your mother’s womb. Then came the day where you wanted to go and explore on your own. You tentatively left your mother’s side and crawled into the unknown running back as soon as something startled you. Slowly you gained more self confidence and you raised yourself from the ground and stepped forward. From that moment on you were on a journey away from the mother and onto your own life experience.
From zero to three years old you lived in your first chakra, understanding the world from the tribal point of view of your family. Survival was your only goal, you depended on your mother for everything and you focused only on your small nucleolus, your home, family and your parent’s friends. From three to six you switched your focus to the second chakra; you needed to carve a place for yourself outside the family, outside your personal tribe. You slowly began to understand that things can be different even opposite of what you know. In this time you learn about relationships with others, it is around this time most of us begin going to school or frequent some other form of socialization. Here is when you experience the power of choice, be friend with this little girl and not that. Be accepted by this group and not that. You became conscious of the us (children) and them adults.
Between six and twelve you entered the realm of the third chakra: developing a sense of self, how you feel about yourself determined the quality of your life. Children between the ages of six and twelve years old don't grow as quickly as they do in their first six years; their bodies aren't changing as dramatically as they will during adolescence. The growth is more internal. You are becoming a self the ego has its first struggle to surmount, to win over your higher self.
Even though your thinking was becoming more complex, in this age group you still thought in concrete terms. This means you were most concerned with things that were "real" rather than with ideas. In the later part of middle childhood, you began to show the first signs of puberty. Your bodies began to develop the same proportions as an adult body. Your breast may have grown breast buds and your hips widened, which lead you right into the forth chakra the love chakra of the years between twelve and sixteen. In this phase of your life you discovered the power of emotions. At this delicate time you dwelled in the central powerhouse of human energy. The middle chakra mediates between body and spirit. It is a powerful rite of passage in a very confusing time of a person’s life. You thrived on arguments and discussions, your body was going through enormous changes, you needed to withdraw from your parents who you felt inevitably did not understand you. You reached the point where you would have to jump into adulthood and needed to rebel from the old familial ties in order to have the courage to leap.
As a young woman you were preparing to flee the nest and be on your own. Some of you did it early, in your fifth chakra the one that rules sixteen through nineteen years of age. The rebellion years the separation is dramatic, often exhibited in running away, angry, sad, forceful. This is the age of expression of demanding the truth, speaking your mind, establishing your voice in the world. The separation might also have been more subtle though through going away to college and never coming back. Still it had its dramatic stealthiest. Or you where one of those who left in the subsequent time between nineteen and twenty two were as you were dwelling in the sixth chakra where you had a vision, a glimpse of your future life. You chose the vision of your future life and left the nest often to follow a career a calling. Some of you waited a bit longer and left in full seventh chakra between the ages of 23 to 26 where your spiritual connection became strong, the connection with your higher self or the Divine. Some have done it gracefully, some just married and packed their bags with tears in their eyes, and others like me severed the cord painfully, crossed the great ocean and disappeared from their mother’s sight for four long years.
No matter when it happened or how when the moment came you needed to let a previous phase of live simply ”die” in its present incarnation and face with the next big leap of faith the unknown.
Finally giving birth is yet another rite of passage that brings a woman to full circle. In giving birth one experiences her own birth her own flight into the unknown this time from the other side. You face the unknown of birth, of your body taking over and bringing forth a new life, a life that is destined to slowly but inexorably begin its passage through you and away from you.
All rites of passage are intense and painful; they feel similar to jumping from one ledge to another of the Grand Canyon.
In order to jump to the other side one has to make a leap of faith. Words like trust, patience, come to mind as well as courage, strength and power.
But the two ledges we have to jump to and from sometimes feel like an impossibility, in order to jump we first need to walk back to have enough room, enough of a run up for the jump to succeed. As you run back through your life you must look around and find what did not work, let go of what weighs you down. Forgive, let go, rebirth a new self, mend heal. The work needed is to give you enough energy to run as fast as you can and jump as high. One cannot gather enough energy to jump from one ledge when distracted by the prettiness and comfort of the before, unwilling to prepare for the future not just in things but in self-exploration. At time one must be angry, courageous, and ready to run as fast as the wind will take her, and jump and land on the other side on her feet.
Often the people around you, providers, friends and even mothers try to distract you from your aim with woes of fear tales of pain, solution of drugs, promises of numbness, enticements of speed via inductions or convenient scheduling of cesareans. That’s when you must become like the wolf “robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving.”
So I say onto you let your child come into this world as he/she chooses, don’t be so consumed by what you can and cannot take, what you can and cannot do, do not feel complacent in her being in your womb in fear of what will be. Take a leap of faith in your ability to do what every woman was built to do (have a child) step back and take aim, let go of the ne-Sayers, the worriers, the ones who tell you or scare you with their story. Prepare yourself to run as fast as the wind will take you and jump from the ledge of womanhood onto the one of motherhood.
Following the publication of my book Painless Childbirth in 2008, I began holding workshops all over the world using the self-discovery tool I call the Nine Basic Human Rights and the Nine Chakras of Creation. An important lesson became clear from the very first seminar I ever offered: womb carrying humans heal through feelings (specifically gut /womb feelings) and through both physical and emotional support from other women (spiritual midwives). To my delight, women from around the world, including the USA, Australia, Japan, Italy, China, and other European and Indonesian countries, enrolled in my workshops, giving me a wide variety of perspectives. There were younger women who were either pregnant or wanting to get pregnant that longed to heal before conception, as well as older women who had never had children, couldn’t carry a child to term, or were menopausal. There were those who had terrible birthing stories of abuse and unwanted medical interventions, and those who had repeated cesarean births and felt deprived and hurt by their memories. There were doulas and midwives, women’s advocates, and therapists. Some had been attracted by the concept of having a conversation with a part of their body that either held physical or emotional pain, or had great potential to carry life in their future. Some desired to go on an inner journey to heal the self, discover or strengthen their life path. Whatever the different interests all longed to heal together with a group of supportive women.
In these workshops, we spoke about listening to our inner voices and we began the practice of having conversations with ourselves, the only condition was to speak to our womb-self as a caring and loving mother would. When it came time to listening to our inner voices some pressing questions arose: How do we discern the messages that comes from Divine, nurturing, and loving spirit from those that seemingly come from what might seem logic yet, they are colored with judgment and/or reproach, maybe something left over by an overpowering primary caretaker? In essence, how do we know if the gut feeling we have is something we should follow or not? To find these answers, we began looking at the different messages that we were receiving, splitting them into two groups. We placed in group one, those voices that seemed harsh, belittling, and judgmental. Group two was made of those messages that maybe seemed far-out, but were always exalting, loving, and caring.
We had to come together and define what our Divine Spirit was and how a loving Spirit would talk to us. If we imagined a celestial mother, or even Mother Nature herself trying to communicate with us, we would perceive Her as being loving and nurturing. From there, we began to notice that for some participants the messages came through as to-do list and for others a not-to do or –I don’t want list. We zeroed in on how this lists made us feel, and noticed that the anxiety of having all these things to do was again a possible transference from a demanding mother (or father-figure) to our concept of the Divine. We also noticed that if our energy was focused on all that we did not want we would only concentrate on what was negative, rendering us myopic in our vision of the future. Next we experimented with ditching the actual words we’d hear in our mind altogether and tuned into the feelings we experienced while hearing the messages. If the feeling we had was of a positive nature, we resolved that it must be coming from Divine inspiration. On the other hand, if the message would make us feel ashamed, belittled, anxious, or overwhelmed it would be something that might be from our past experiences, but not of Divine inspiration per se; it was our mind filled with a number of judges/shadows coming from past negative experiences. Let me give you an example:
One day a 50-something woman who was asking about her future direction, heard a message that said dance. Immediately a sense of joy came upon her, yet almost concurrently she heard a voice saying something like: “You are too old for that; you cannot be a dancer at your age. You are making a fool of yourself. You cannot make a living doing that; you will hurt yourself doing that. What a silly idea!” Her confusion was obvious. The message had a lot of logic in it, the inspiration was quite absurd, and when she tuned into the judgmental yet rational messages she found them disheartening. At this point we suggested she let go of all the words and simply delve into the feeling that the action of dancing elicited. If the feeling was overwhelmingly positive, we decided that regardless of the logic of it, dance was the one thing she would do. It was possible that through dance she would be inspired to discover even more about her true path. She changed her daily practice from meditation and yoga to dance, and began having deep and transformative conversations with herself, laughing hysterically at and with herself, chasing in her imagination after the wildest dreams, and allowing the sense of child-like wonder to come back into her life. She told us that one day, while dancing and spinning in a Sufi-like trance, she received a message. Here is her story:
I was in my living room where I had removed some of the furniture so I could transform it into a dance floor whenever I wanted. My hardwood floor felt warm to the touch of my feet, and as I allowed the music to enter every cell of my body, I began spinning in place as I had seen the Sufi’s dancers one night, long ago in Istanbul. I was transported in the interior of the Tekke (a Sufi convent) where a shady atmosphere and the soft music of a flute and tambourines embraced me.
In the center of a circular hall, men clad in black and with long fez hats were bowing towards an elderly man with a white beard, seated with his back upright and his arms crossed. Slowly moving away, the Dervishes formed a large circle, while the music slowly changed rhythm with the sound of the Turkish flute, which filled the atmosphere with a melancholic and insistent cry. After a long meditative time the Dervishes got up, again forming a circle. Their movement was so slow and concentrated that I could hardly acknowledge that they had moved. Their expressions were so much out of this world that their eyes looked without seeing: it seemed like they were looking to the profundity of their own interior world, vividly aware of the moment, of themselves, and of what surrounded them.
One by one they removed their black attire, perhaps symbolizing the separation from the ego. Their white tunics shined with splendor. These tunics were white garments with a long sleeveless robe, on top of which they had a short jacket that was tied at the waist. Slowly, raising the right arm towards the sky while the left arm pointed to the earth, the Dervishes began moving very slowly around one another and around the center.
As they continued circling, I found myself in the middle of their circle. At first I began feeling afraid, but soon I could feel the wind their garments were creating and began allowing such wind to inform me. I heard myself begin a conversation with the wind, “I am here, I let go, I am ready.” A voice responded, “Yes you are and they know it, rejoice and spin as the Dervish do.” I kept spinning till I gently fell to the floor, and breathing deeply I knew somehow what my path would be. Shortly after this journey I went to research what I could about the Sufis and their practice and I learned that a Sufi’s way of life is to love and be of service to people, deserting the ego and all illusion so that one can reach maturity and perfection, and finally reach Allah, the True, the Real. I resolved I’d find a way of being of service.
Today, she is not only a wonderful dancer who uses that medium to meditate but she is a successful life coach and mentors teenager women on their career path. Dance and a willingness to listen to her inner voices have completely changed her life.
The idea of having a conversation with the messages that surface at different times in our lives, and following our feelings and not our logic, can lead us to gathering ideas for a different direction. These ideas then can be transformed into seeds that could grow into a life purpose, a life’s new path, or whatever you are ready to conceive.
However, how often do we get a glimpse at an idea, a desire, or even a vocation and forget to nurture it as a seedling, allowing it to grow and flourish? Why do we commonly silence the voices that are standing in the way of our heart’s desires that want to bring us down? Additionally, can we disinherit our family and tribe’s legacies filled with judgment, fears, and pain, and at the same time harness the good from our past while being completely independent individuals? Personally I pondered can we find or improve the way we give and receive love and begin gentle conversations with ourselves to stir us in the direction of that love? One woman at one of our workshops, who was concerned about her mother’s cancer legacy asked, “Can we change what seems an impossible task (our genetic makeup) and have the health and the body we want?” At times it seems that the more questions one asks, the more continue to surface. Instead of indulging in feelings of overwhelm, we could try to simply rejoice in the mysteries of life, and create the time and space to be quiet and listen to the answers that come whispering in our ears.
During my workshops I encourage women to choose the messages that feel good and positive, and jot them down in journals, gathering them as seedlings to be planted in a fertile soil; a place far away from our intellect and all the seemingly logical reasoning of why we couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t do this or that? During this process of finding a safe place for our heart’s desires I came upon a realization: As women we have this remarkable organ, the womb! It can literally birth a new human being! So I began asking new questions: What if we place our seedlings in our womb and let them grow from there? Could we use our womb every time we wanted to create something new in our lives? Is the womb the place where these voices come from, is it the place where we can have these conversations? Excited, I went back to the drawing board to deepen my understanding of our wombs. Here’s a list of womb definitions from women all over the world.
· Our womb brings forth life on all levels of body, mind, and spirit. Within it there is a healer, a counselor, a confidant, a sage, a decision-maker, and an artist.
· Every face and facet of your being has roots in the womb, making the womb the logical domain for our healing process.
· Our womb is our defining difference that makes us have the advantage.
· Our womb is the seat of our being, our first creative spark, the place of absolute Divine presence and power, a sacred space, a gateway, and portal.
· Self-esteem and the womb are synonymous with one another.
· The womb is the perfect chamber to contain and transform negative or harming energies, with our monthly blood we can strip away negativity.
· The womb knows and understands the true essence of who you were born to be. It wishes for you to remember to connect with the Universal Mother. It rejoices in the eternal now of the Divine spirit.
· The womb is the source of a woman’s deepest strength.
· The womb is not only the seat of physical creation, but also of our creative expression.
· Ideas are born in our womb; it is our ‘gut’ feeling that tells us to do something, follow a particular intuition, change careers, or launch a new endeavor.
· If our womb/self-esteem is not healed the idea might come, but the action will not.
· Our womb yearns for healing love. It has known pain of various degrees. It knows that tender loving care is a catalyst for being made whole.
Inevitably when women began talking about their womb and what it meant to them in our workshops, sacred tears streamed down our cheeks. A lot of sorrow often surfaces in this work, and it becomes clear that there is a need to heal the womb and the pain that is associated with it. We need to begin listening and talking to our wombs. The time has come to take our womb’s power back through healing and understand its potentiality, as well as harness its ability to create and manifest the life we deserve and desire.
Excerpt from Conversations With The Womb
Hello my name is Nicola and i love wombs. I also love a good book,i love women and I love to work on myself. this book tickled my fancy in a way a book hasn't for a long time.
I know Giuditta as a woman who has a wonderful way of magically transmuting negative traits to positive. she has captured this magic so well in this book - we all get a taste. even when you are dealing with powerful mother daughter dynamics which will always raise the emotions you are left with a way forward, an opening.
the stories have been perfectly chosen to illustrate the lessons this wise woman is teaching. what a developmental book for women!!! all these marvelous questions - i was so struck by how much a woman’s circle or a book club would enjoy working with this book.
while i was reading this book i had made a note to myself how often i’m left thinking that many things are easy said and i wondered on the page whether this is something the author actually does for herself - literally on the next page she shares with us a little of her own life. as a reader i really appreciated the personal connection.
spending time meditating on all those women's wombs - my own womb and all the wombs of the women around me was very powerful. indeed how profound to consider the reality that was me as an infant in my mother's womb.
Giuditta is a very wise woman who shares her wisdom and wonder in a powerful package that i’ll come back to again and again.
Nicola Mahdiyyah Goodall ~ Dip Ed in Antenatal Education with Luton University ~ Doula Trainer and Facilitator of Loving The Mother workshops
All men have had to fight for their rights and womb-carrying humans are fighting for very unique ones. In some cultures more than others the fight is still very challenging. Furthermore, many of us are our own worst enemy in this fight. With low self esteem in tow, women trample on their own rights by declining them, not demanding them, and not fighting for them. Not accidentally, the womb resides in the second chakra, the chakra of intuition and self-esteem. When a woman’s self-esteem and intuition come from a wounded or abandoned womb, it can seem as though the life one has come to live is a result of external forces. Rather than being in command of one’s own existence in a pro-active and empowering fashion, feeling as if things “just happen” that are out of our control becomes the modus operandi.
When any of the chakras are out of balance, issues regarding self-respect, fear of losing control, financial loss, ability to survive and thrive, and poorly balanced relationships will be present. Eating issues such as anorexia and bulimia, along with buried emotions and depression are associated with an unbalanced second chakra and an unbalanced womb. Unless you heal yourself you cannot heal the world around you or help another sister, mother, or daughter in need.
It is common knowledge that if the people who fight for other people's rights do not fully believe in their own they cannot make a difference. How can a woman stand up for her rights to something, let’s say choice, if deep inside she doesn’t feel like she deserves any basic rights for herself?
Aside from the right to choice, there are some more personal, subtle rights that are constantly challenged by our social, familial, cultural and even religious environment. These are the right to speak and hear the truth, the right to love and be loved, the right to take action, and the right to know, just to name a few. For example, if we are not taught to question authority as children, we might believe we cannot stand up for our rights to go against societal norms. This misguided belief can result in feeling compelled to consent to unnecessary medical interventions. Similarly, if we walk around with the belief that we are unlovable, we may not stand up for our right to be in loving relationships, overlooking abusive patterns. If the right to voice our feelings of anger and frustration, or even joy and laughter are denied in our childhood we might become incapable to stand up for ourselves or even believe we are deserving of any rights at all.
When a woman identifies her patterns and learns how to let go of unwanted beliefs she is on her way to obtaining the life she deserves and desires. She is creating and cradling within her womb future generations of empowered human beings. Most of us living in the western world know this and understand the need women have to stand for their basic rights, but only a few of us have been given the tools to actually stand up for ourselves.
Much work needs to be done to re-write our history so that our reactions and actions stem from a positive and empowering place. Unless we do the actual work, just knowing this intellectually will not help. We need to begin a conversation with ourselves as we are the person best equipped to heal what needs healing, and exalt and bring into life our dreams, and desires.
Many years ago I found myself at Esalen having a conversation with my shoulder. I was taking a workshop on Rubenfeld’s Synergy Method of Talk and Touch which is a modality that integrates bodywork, intuition, and psychotherapy. According to their teaching: Rubenfeld Synergy utilizes talk, movement, awareness, imagination, humor, and compassionate touch as gateways—contacting and melting frozen tensions and emotions, freeing the body from pain and the mind from suffering. What intrigued me during this experience was the longing I felt coming from my shoulder to communicate with me, and the release and sense of well being that ensued once that part of my body felt ‘heard.’ Scientific research continues to mount showing the truth of a simple principle: the body, mind, emotions and spirit are dynamically interrelated.
Following the first conversation with my shoulder, I repeatedly heard different parts of my body calling me to have a conversation to clear and let go of those emotions and memories that were lodged in them and were causing not only emotional, but physical pain. This concept of speaking to parts of my body to obtain clarity and healing fascinated me so that I began engaging in conversations with my liver, which has been ailing for years. Recently during menopause, I felt compelled, even called, to speaking with my womb.
However, this time, I did not want to simply have a random conversation. My methodical mind longed for an in-depth inquiry where I could touch upon how the many facets of my existence where influencing my womb during this very important life change we call menopause. Taking the time to pause and ask the right questions I chose a tool I call the Nine Chakras of Creations that I had created when I wrote my first book, Painless Childbirth.
The chakras (or energy centers) are a system used in many healing modalities, especially in Eastern cultures and have their origins in yoga. What I love about using the chakras is that each relates to a specific physical location in our body as well as a life lesson. In studying the chakras I noticed that many disciplines use them parallel to some basic human rights like the right to be here, the right to be loved, and the right to speak. I also learned that focusing on each chakra, one at a time could shed light on obstruction that some life event might have placed on it. Going one by one helped me focus on certain aspects I had not previously considered, and each time I released the energy in a lower chakra I could feel the one above longing for the same relief. This way the conversation with my womb began with questions related to the first chakra, my roots, my relationship with the past, my family of origin, my culture and the tribe I come from. The conversations in my first and second chakra led to the relationship with myself in the third chakra, love, intimacy and universal relationships in the fourth, the impeccability of my words in the fifth, all the way to my relationship with the Divine in the ninth.
The lessons revealed in using the basic human rights (in tandem with the lessons embodied in the chakras,) helped me follow a specific path. On this path I was able to see and understand the major influences and belief systems that shaped aspects of my history, my memories, and who I am as a person, a woman, and a mother. By using the nine basic human rights embedded in each chakra I was able to explore how I truly felt, for instance, about my right to be here in this world, or my right to be loved. At times I was even surprised that it had taken me all this time to realize that I needed to ask myself if I had a right to have a vision for my life, or if I had a right to my Divine powers. This process helped me shed light into some dark corners I never even knew existed.
Concurrently, for the next five years I began offering workshops on the Nine Chakras of Creation around the world. During this time I recognized how useful the lively conversations generated from the women who attended these workshops, and the tools employed within them could be. This is how Conversations With The Womb was born.
I encourage you to begin an intimate conversation with your own womb, the seat of all creation and, to use the Nine Chakras of Creation as a spring board to zero in on what needs your attention.
Through the use of these nine steps you will learn:
· How your history and the pacts you have made in the past affect your present actions.
· How your mind works and what stands in the way of achieving your goals.
· How to harness the power of intuition which resides in your womb, and how to listen and trust it.
· How to heal past grief related to your womb and bring to light that which is in the shadows.
· How to harness the power of manifestation.
· How to use your newfound womb power to take action.
· How to have a daily conversation with your creative womb.
Since the journey into our souls requires a lifetime to tackle, having reminders at particular times in my life, has really helped me to stay on track. In this book when we talk about striving to live a conscious life, or having a conscious contact with the spirit, we tap into a universal message; one that is not NEW, but is repeated each and every year for centuries by different people using similar kinds of languages. We are not here to impart new knowledge, but reawaken, remind and/or accompany you on today’s journey to self-discovery. Just like athletes practice every day to keep their skill fresh, our spirit needs daily reminders and tools to stay sharp on the journey of self-discovery. Many times in my fifty-seven years when I needed inspiration I picked up a book that had motivated me in the past, only to discover that at this particular point in my life I could not read the same message, for my soul was hungry for something new; not a new message per se, but a new shade, or voice that would wake up something that was still asleep. In this vein I offer you these nine steps, the Nine Chakras of Creation.
From the title Conversations with the Womb it would seem that I am only talking to women folk, but that is not true. I recognize that all human beings have a feminine side to them and that this feminine side needs to be reached through feelings rather than concepts of thought and logical processes, especially when we are going to look at our lives from a holistic point of view encompassing body, mind, spirit and emotions. So it is to the feminine in all of us that I dedicate this book.
There are, have been, and will be many teachers on my path; illustrious men and women from Jesus to Siddhartha, from Carlos Castaneda, to Carolyn Myss, from Marianne Williamson to Dr. Christine Northrop, from Plato to Bruce Lipton, as well as all the women who have given me the privilege to be at the birth of their child, those who have participated to my workshops, all the men I have loved, and the one I have given birth to. Their legacy is shared in this book.
My purpose with this book and in my work is to create an environment where women support one another. I invite you to cultivate nurturing relationships with supportive people. Join one of our workshops, create a woman’s group, or start a book study using this book as your springboard. Then share how you are doing in these endeavors on my site at www.ConversationsWithTheWomb.com, or on my Facebook page, Conversation with the Womb.
Giuditta Tornetta is a bestselling author (Painless Childbirth), doula, clinical hypnotherapist, CEO and founder of JoyInBirthing.com and the JoyInBirthingFoundation.org (a volunteer doula organization.) Giuditta has authored and has been interviewed in hundreds of magazines articles worldwide She teaches women around the world how to activate their womb power and manifest the life they desire.
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