Chakra Levels Part 3 – Emotions and Psyche
Our emotions are one of our most powerful doorways into our subtle body, and to working with it on the second level of the model I’m using – what I’m calling the psychological or mind level. By ‘mind’ I don’t mean only our thoughts, but our entire field of awareness, including our emotions, thoughts, physical sensations, and subtle senses. This level really encompasses the full spectrum of our awareness, from our darkest moments to our highest. Most of the time we live somewhere in between, swinging between the emotions and thoughts triggered by our everyday lives. Working at this second level of the chakras involves engaging with our thoughts and emotions in a new way – as a link to our subtle body.
While both emotions and thoughts are energy, for most of us it’s easiest to connect with our emotions as energy. To experience this for yourself, try the following 2 simple visualizations:
- Close your eyes and remember the last time you were frustrated or angry. Replay just enough of the scenario to re-trigger the felt sense of that emotion – don’t go into the entire scenario. Where do you feel this frustration or anger in your body? How would you describe it as an energy?
- Now let go of that visual and imagine a person or being you have great affection for right in front of you, at arm’s length. This might be a family member, child, friend or pet. Imagine you would like to hug this person to you, to your chest, in a wave of affection and warmth. Where do you feel this affection in your body? How would you describe it as an energy?
Most of us will have a strong felt sense of where these emotions are ‘located’ in our bodies, and the energies we experience in each visualization will be very different from each other. But where are they located really? If you begin to focus in more deeply on either of these energies, you will find they don’t exactly feel in your physical body, in the sense of being precisely located in a muscle or organ, although we use our physical anatomy as a reference point. You might say our physical body is the vehicle through which we experience these energies, but they are not exactly physical energies.
This somatic or felt-sense of emotion as energy is such a powerful thing! It provides us a bridge for moving between the first and second levels of our subtle body – from the physical to the psychological. For this reason, locating emotions in our body is the starting point for many somatically based therapy forms, healing techniques, and shamanic methods. When we are working with difficult emotions and emotional patterns – our wounds, fears, insecurities, and angers – feeling them in our body provides a link to the deeper obscurations in our subtle body. This is important because then we can work with the underlaying patterns, as opposed to individual arising emotions. Our subtle body is like a map of our subconscious – every pattern that generates difficult emotions and obscures our true nature of love, light, and happiness is reflected there.
Think back to the prism metaphor from the first article in this series: Pure Source light shines in the back of the prism, and is refracted out the front as a beautiful rainbow of colors. But if any side of the prism is dirty, the color refracted from that side will be dimmed. Emotional patterns of fear, anger, unworthiness, shame, etc. are written in our psyche and our subtle body and block our expression of our natural enlightenment. We can work on clearing these through either traditional psychological means such as therapy, or through energy work (linked to the chakras or other modalities), or even better – through both!
Every chakra is associated with certain emotional and mental states, and these mappings serve as the starting point for working with our chakras to clear these obscurations. Although we rarely feel anything that is sourced from just one chakra, this map provides a good way of understanding the base energies involved, from which all our states form:
|Chakra||Psyche Area||Obscured States||Clear States|
|1st/Root||Physical Body, Psyche Foundation||Fearful
|2nd/Sacral||Emotional Body, Sexuality||Stuck
|3rd/Navel||Mental Structures, Sense of Self, Personal Power||Passive
In the flow
|4th/Heart||Relationships, Connection to Source||Resentful/Angry
|5th/Throat||Communication, Presentation of Self||Disingenous
|6th/Third Eye||Subtle Senses/Mind, Vision||Busy Mind
|7th/Crown||Connection to Spirit, Purpose/Meaning||Personality-based
Chakra-based energy work (whether you call it energy psychology or energy healing or something else) is really very simple – you are trying to bring forth more of the clear states and let go of the obscurations. You work this from both directions – on the one hand, you work to clear your obscurations through release work, energy line cutting or clearing work, or methods that help you inquire into your emotional patterns and release them. On the other hand, you try to experience more of the clear, empowered states through meditations and other methods designed to specifically cultivate them.
It’s very important to work from both angles. If you only focus on your obscurations – your issues – you get buried in them. You may become unable to feel anything else – the door closes to feeling the enlightened expression that can come through. On the other hand, if you only focus on feeling the clear states, you can fall prey to spiritual bypassing – your chakra and spiritual work simply becomes a way of bolstering your ego, experiencing pleasure, and avoiding pain, rather than growing and transforming.
A very simple way to begin to work with any obscuration is simply to tune into how a difficult emotion feels in your body, and to describe it to yourself. When you are angry, see if you can take a time out and locate exactly where you feel it in your body. Explore the edges of this energy with your awareness. Then try to describe for yourself how that energy feels – is it small, large, ephemeral, dense, warm, cold? Over time, even this simple approach will actually start to loosen the hold these emotions have over you – the light of your self-awareness begins to dissolve the obscuration. This is why focusing in this way (or something similar) is the starting point for so many mind-body emotional healing techniques, including Somatic Experiencing, Mindful Healing, tapping approaches like Emotional Freedom Technique, and one I use myself, Feeding Your Demons.
A simple way to begin to empower your ability to feel the clear or enlightened expression of any chakra energy is through affirmations in which you really strive to feel the state and vibration you are affirming. It is not enough to simply say ‘I am grounded’ or ‘I am loving’ – to really open up your subtle body, you need to cultivate the felt-sense of that emotion or state. You can do this through visualizations that trigger it (as in the simple example above) or any method that really creates a felt-sense (the chakra meditations I feature online are all geared around this.)
For all of you law of attraction fans, a felt-sense is really the heart of affirmations from a manifestation perspective – it’s not the words. You need to feel and experience the vibration of a state (joy, love, security) to attract more of it into your life. This is why solely focusing on your blocks can backfire (although again, not focusing on your obscurtions at all can lead to problematic states of denial and repression.)
So explore and experiment! What are your obscurations – the energies and emotional patterns that block you? What chakras are they associated with? Can you feel them in your subtle body? Can you bring the light of your awareness to them? Then what are your gifts – the clear states that you most easily feel? What chakras are they associated with? Can you cultivate more of these feelings and attract from them?
The awakening process is one of vibrationally transforming ourselves moment by moment in this way. Every moment you are reflecting a certain combination of energies, a reflection of your emotional and mental patterns – the state of your own prism, your subtle body. And the good news is, you can change it! Moment by moment you can clean your prism and become a clear and unique expression of light in the world.
Next post I’ll talk more about this process and working with the inner third layer of the chakras – the direct doorway to the Source of this light.
Other posts in this series: