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Working with Your Sexual Energy – Part II

October 9, 2012

Note: I have updated my blogroll and links in the right sidebar, and divided them into 5 categories – Health and Healing, Personal Growth and Spirituality, Soulful Parenting, Wanderings (Other Faves), and Trauma and Abuse Resources. Many links could go in more than one category, so if your blog is listed and you’d like it in a different category, just let me know. Or if you’re not listed but would like me to visit you back and consider it, please make sure your comment and/or gravatar lists a web address – I love to find new blogs and sites. Note that I don’t add them to my blogroll until I have been a regular reader for several months or personally know the author, as I do consider this list a kind of referral on my part. Thanks!

Yab Yum Statue – representing sacred sexuality, but also symbolically the union of yin/feminine and yang/masculine energies within each of us and the universe. This is the heart of creativity, and co-creation.

On to Sexual Energy, Part II! Of course while preparing this I realized that this could be a 10-part series, but I want to keep it manageable, so I will dive right into the three topics that I think are the highest priority:

1) Working through shame

2) Causes of sexual energy buildup

3) Ways to release, channel or redirect it.

That’s a lot to cover, so this will be a very to-the-point post.

In the first post on sexual energy, we talked about the sacral (second) chakra as the center for women’s sexual energy, and that therefore our sexual energy and expression is linked to the other aspects of this chakra – our emotions, creativity, sensuality, and fluidity. These are what naturally flow through us when our sacral is whole and freely expressed. So what inhibits our expression of the second chakra?

Shame.

Shame, self-blame and guilt are the most common internal patterns that block us from fully owning and expressing our sacral chakra energy. This might be the result of sexual abuse or trauma, or it might have been implanted in us through parental, cultural, or religious conditioning that told us feminine sexual energy and desire are impure, dangerous, or even the root of evil.

We don’t have to look far for this message. Just consider the story of Adam and Eve, and the way Eve is often portrayed in interpretations of this story as the ‘weak’ one, who listened to the serpent, ate the forbidden fruit, and convinced Adam to try it too. The ramifications of this myth have been felt throughout Judeo-Christian traditions and all related socio-cultural forces. Other religions and cultures have not fared much better, if you consider the daughters of Mara (who in some version of the Buddha’s life story attempt to lure Buddha away from enlightenment), tales of Hindi sirens (sexual temptresses), and even Helen of Troy, blamed for the Trojan war.

Although in today’s culture we are often surrounded by images of feminine sexuality, is it usually used to sell something – anything actually. This just reinforces this message of feminine sexuality as the uncontrollable temptress, driving purchases of beer, cars, etc. We don’t see many images of feminine sexuality as a free expression for its own sake – of women owning their power and using it creatively in the world.

You get the idea. And so the very best thing you can do for yourself in terms of owning your sexual energy – and therefore your personal power, since in women these two are so linked – is to look at the ways you may have internalized shame, blame or guilt. Not just in relation to sexual energy either – perhaps you are comfortable with your sexual expression, but have other internal dialogues that you engage in within which you blame yourself for your shortcomings, or constantly feel shame or guilt for your actions or inactions. Are you always saying “I’m sorry” for situations and incidents that are not really your responsibility? This is a habit many women develop, and although it may not seem related to your sexual energy, if it reflects a internal cringing in guilt or embarrassment, it may reflect inhibiting emotional patterns lodged in your sacral. Working through these will profoundly shift your relationship to your entire energetic self.

Which brings me to my next topic – why sexual energy can buildup in the second chakra. As I mentioned, this is one of the questions I get asked the most frequently by email. And interestingly, feelings of shame and self-blame can actually contribute to a buildup of sexual energy in our energy bodies and our physical  bodies. Sometimes shame causes us to disconnect from our sacral energies, but sometimes it causes us to repress it. When left with nowhere to go, it bottles up and can even become uncomfortable. In this case, working through shame will help you to release and redirect this energy.

Interestingly, another common cause of sexual energy buildup is stress. In her excellent book Wild Feminine, pelvic physical therapist Tami Kent discusses the role our pelvic bowl plays in our anatomy. For many of us, stress is held here, as commonly as it is held in our neck or shoulders. From a chakra perspective, when we are stressed, and particularly when we feel under siege, we may hunker down into our navel and/or root, and actually trap our second chakra energy between them, disallowing its release or expression because this feels too vulnerable.

So how do we work with this sexual energy? As I mentioned in the first post, the second chakra themes of emotions, sensuality, sexuality, creativity, and fluidity are all linked. Engaging in activities that bring these forth in us will increase our sense of our feminine sexual selves. They will also help us redirect our sexual energy, so that it is healthily expressed, and not bottled up. Here are other ways to work with sexual energy:

1) Inversions – raising our legs above our pelvic bowl for a period of time can encourage the flow of sacral energy up into our third chakra. For more on the other benefits of inversion, read my interview with yoga teacher Rosie Good on Yoga for Women.

2) Release Through Exercise – Exercise of any type will often help us release sexual energy, especially if it is stress-related. In these cases, exercise that forces us to push ourselves a bit – that forces us to draw upon our third chakra determination – will help draw this energy up for release.

3) Visual Redirection – Meditate on the feeling of desire itself, until you can feel it as an energy in your sacral chakra. Then visualize moving this energy into another part of your body. One use of this is as a healing modality – shifting this energy into your palm chakras, which you might then visualize healing a part of your body that needs repair (remember the sacral chakra is connected to procreation, and therefore regenerative.)

4) Dissolve It – This is part of tantra traditions, although there is a lot more to it. To experiment with this, try sitting with the energy, focusing on your awareness of your desire without playing out any fantasies or other stories related to it. Just meditate on the sexual energy and desire itself.  Once it becomes simply an energy to you, imagine it spreading out and dissolving your entire being into light.

5) Create With It – We often say creativity is linked to the sacral chakra, but really it is the passion behind creation that is linked to it – the driving force to bring something new into the world. It is creativity as birthing, that we are talking about when we talk about the energy of the second chakra. So birth something! Do you have an activity in which you can freely create? If so, experiment with drawing on your sexual energy when engaged in this activity.

I’ve left off the most obvious way of working with sexual energy – sexual activity, alone or with a partner – because I figured that’s pretty obvious. But it’s worth noting that in tantric teachings, this energy is the starting point for traveling through the sacral chakra into the primordial roots of creation itself. And physical sex is only one method for this spiritual journey – or transformation really, as it is better understood as a rebirthing of ourselves. We can do this alone through meditation and other techniques. This is different than the sacred sexuality teachings of tantra, which emphasize the connection between partners. In fact, we are in a dance with the universe all the time, and this dance is what tantra really opens us to. Meditation on images such as the yab yum statue shown above are one method for connecting with this co-creative energy within ourselves, and is something you can safely experiment with yourself.

There’s a lot more we could say about sexual energy, but perhaps you can continue the conversation in the comments or with your own posts…I’d love to share them here if so. Namaste-

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Pam permalink
    October 9, 2012 7:04 pm

    Oh good, I’ve been waiting for this! I really connected with the shame release work you did on the teleseminar call, and the retelling of the role of Eve. i think so many women take on this sense of primal guilt. We take responsibility for everything. I had not thought of it in relation to the second chakra or sexual energy, but it makes so much sense to me. Thanks for writing about this. I will need to read this again and sit with it a bit.

  2. October 9, 2012 7:09 pm

    Hi Pam, thanks for reminding me about the retelling of the Adam and Eve story, I didn’t include it here. In the enlightened version Eve – representing the yin/feminine energy in all of us – instigates free will with her biting of the apple. We are free to choose how we live, and this earthly realm becomes both a ‘school’ for our lessons and a ‘playground’ for our co-creation of the world with the universe.

  3. durga permalink
    October 9, 2012 9:05 pm

    Lisa,

    I’m cringing because I just said, “I’m sorry” to an unjust situation where someone could have been cool, but decided to “shame” me. Saying “I’m sorry” was the easiest way to disengage without throwing more energy at the interaction or so I thought. I think because this is a pattern so many women have followed, men know this and can twist things a bit so we are on the defensive. My error or lesson…but I’ve pretty much lost respect for this person. :)

  4. Anonymous permalink
    October 10, 2012 1:23 am

    I had not thought of it like this, about shame blocking the sacral chakra, but this makes a lot of sense to me. I have always thought of myself as sexually comfortable, and was never the victim of abuse, but I do have PCOS and other reproductive related health issues. And I do know that I have internalized some shame around sexual energy from the religion I was raised in. I wonder if working on this will help?

  5. October 10, 2012 2:16 am

    Reblogged this on Journeying to the Goddess and commented:
    “Whenever one woman begins to heal, she contributes to the healing of many other women, for all are united as sisters in a mysterious timeless place. Whenever a man enters a woman’s body with true tenderness, sensitivity, reverence, humility and passion, love grows upon this earth.” – Roslyne Sophia Breillat

  6. October 10, 2012 5:14 am

    Durga, sometimes an “I’m sorry” is skillful means, even in a situation that isn’t your responsibility, because it lessens a conflict. It’s when it’s a chronic pattern of accepting blame, shame, and guilt that can really drain/wound a person’s sacral. And yes, some people will definitely use this when they feel it will benefit them.

    Anon – it can’t hurt, but I am always an advocate of working on medical issues from both conventional and multiple alternative means. Have you checked out Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine for Women or the Natural Health Bible for Women? Both have a wealth of information on PCOS and related feminine reproductive issues, and the first also ties it into chakra work, so it might be a good fit for you…

    Ravenstar – thanks for the reblog and I love the quote from Roslyne Sophia Breillat!

  7. Anonymous permalink
    October 10, 2012 9:43 pm

    Hello Lisa..
    My heart is filled with gratitude…this was an amazing read..
    Recently I started taking chiropractic adjustment for my low back issue (Sacroiliac sublaxation & bulge) …when my chiropractor did my scan (digitally) it was very interesting to see the results..it showed an obvious distortion pattern in my sacral area and my neck…I directly related it to my chakra work..I know that I have sacral and throat chakra issues..it was amazing to actually see a digital scan that said the same…
    I am going in for adjustments…and am wondering if somehow a chiropractic adjustment releases these patterns in us…cause during my first few adjustments i could sense some shift..some headache, fatigue which eventually cleared..!
    do you have any experience with the correlation between chiropractic adjustment and energy healing? would love to find out more..!!

  8. October 11, 2012 5:23 am

    Hi Anon, I am so glad to hear this resonated for you. Yes, any body work, and in particular chiropractic work because it involves spinal alignment (and as I’m sure you know the chakras correlate to the spinal column also) will help surface and release on the subtle body level. So coming at your healing from several different angles, including working on the psychological themes and lessons that correlate to strengthening your sacral and throat chakras, can only benefit the overall shifts you are trying to make. Energy Medicine for Women by Donna Eden, Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, and Complete Chakra Healing by Cyndi Dale are all three books I recommend for exploring energy healing in this way on a deeper level depending on your interest level and background (just read reviews on them if you are interested to see which might best fit your needs.) Blessings to you in your healing…

  9. donnacounselling permalink
    October 12, 2012 4:36 pm

    Reblogged this on donnacounselling's Blog.

  10. October 12, 2012 6:54 pm

    Thanks so much for the reblogs!

  11. October 16, 2012 8:22 am

    Hi Lisa,
    I’m currently working on awakening/balancing/healing my second chakra and have found your blog and e-book to be some of the most useful/meaningful resources on the internet for this purpose.

    Please take a look at my blog, in which I am documenting my upward journey through the chakra system (I’m just wrapping up my first round of root chakra work, and beginning to explore the second chakra). I am very open to any feedback/advice you may have for me.

    aceofstarsblog.blogspot.com

    Thank you!
    Shonna

  12. October 17, 2012 3:50 am

    Hi Shonna, I am glad you have found my resources helpful and yes I will come visit your blog – I am always happy to find more people sharing this work and journey with others. – Lisa

  13. October 19, 2012 12:57 am

    This is really rich and wonderful material Lisa. I’m going to re-read it again as there’s lots worth absorbing here and thinking about further. I was really struck with your point about shame. Internalised shame and/or blame. It makes a lot of sense, even for those of us who may not have had unhealthy or shaming messages about sexuality growing up (at least within a family context). But there are often blind-spots with our feminine woundings aren’t there? Very good food for thought.

    And I sat up when you spoke about meditating on desire, because this is exactly what I’ve been working with – the energy of desire – in my meditations of late. Allowing desire to arise and feeling it deeply within the body – allowing it to flow freely and be. As a source of energy and creativity. I think this aligns with what you’re saying above…

    I’m definitely going to extend that meditation and apply the dissolving technique as you suggest. That really appeals to me also.

  14. October 19, 2012 2:34 pm

    Hi Antoinette, I’m glad you liked this. There is so much more I wanted to write! But as always, it was getting long:-) There are so many forms of internalized shame, and cultural conditioning around feminine power and/or sexual energy as bad, inappropriate, impure etc., that almost anyone (man or woman) can use some clearing and healing work around it. And as for the dissolving technique, this is a variation on a tantra technique that I like a lot, although there are others I can pass on to you privately too if you want to experiment.

  15. tantricpulse permalink
    February 18, 2013 10:27 am

    I would like some advice on how to redirect an overflow of sexual energy. Is there any yoga exercices I could do? Any books you could recommend me to read? Any practice of any kind? I am desperate. Thanks

  16. February 18, 2013 6:19 pm

    Hi tantricpulse, I’m sorry you are struggling with this, I know it can be very challenging. On a general level, the main recommendations I would have are in this post above – inversions for redirection, exercise for release (cardiac-raising, aerobic level exercise is best), visualizations/meditations to redirect the energy, and/or creative activities (also for redirection of sacral energy.) I think with any of these – or a combination – it can take several weeks of regularly incorporating them into your life for energetic shifts to occur, so be patient if you can. Without knowing more details – your age/phase of life, possible medical issues, your triggers, and other healing methods you may have tried – it’s hard to be more specific. Some women also have some success with herbal supplements (this is especially true if the surplus is related to perimenopause) or if all else fails going on birth control pills (which I don’t personally recommend doing solely for this reason without exhausting other options, but I do know woman who have really struggled with this at points in their life, and this has been the best option for them.)
    As for books, I would check out my Women’s Energetics book list and see if any appeal to you – read the excerpts offered on Amazon and some of the reviews and you may get a sense of what will resonate for you (it’s hard for me to recommend one without knowing more about your background, and how familiar you are with energy practices.) This list includes everything from women’s alternative healing books, to energy medicine, to full-on tantric texts.
    From a purely chakra perspective, encouraging the sacral energy to move both down into the earth (grounding) and upwards (all the way through to the crown) is the goal. But to really do that successfully requires having a connection to your subtle body that is developed enough for you to move the energy up. If you haven’t done chakra meditation or energy work before, this might take you a bit of time, but will help once you do. Of course if the issue is some sort of holding of energy in this area, because of blocks above or below it (in the root or navel chakras) working on lower chakra healing in general will help (I assume you have probably looked at other posts here already on that.)
    I hope this provides you some ideas for working with this. Our sacral chakra energy is such a powerful and beautiful force when it is flowing in a natural and comfortable way, but can be so difficult to deal with when it is blocked or overhwhelming, and of course this is magnified by so many of the cultural issues discussed in this post that make it difficult for us to talk about. I hope you find some healing and peace. – Lisa

  17. Maria A Coughlan permalink
    February 18, 2013 6:40 pm

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I really appreciate it :D

Trackbacks

  1. Trauma Healing, Feminine Empowerment and Ancient Egypt Mysticism « Everyday Miracles
  2. Working with Your Sexual Energy – Part II « sensualtantrichealing
  3. Working with Your Sexual Energy – Part I « Mommy Mystic

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