So here we are in the middle of August and what could be more appropriate to this season than a look at the solar plexus chakra, the “fire within” that drives our will, self-esteem, and sense of identity?
If you’ve ever spoken of having a “gut sense” about something, or felt “kicked in the gut” by a violation of your rights…if you’ve ever felt a literal pain in your abdomen during times when you were uncertain of your path (or following a path that wasn’t right for you)….that was your solar plexus chakra sounding the alarm.
Located at the center of your body, between the rib cage and the navel, this is called the highest of the three physical chakras – not only in terms of its position, but also in terms of its function The chakra is placed at the site of your body’s “fourth brain” – the celiac plexus, a network of nerve fibers including the same type of cells found in the three lobes of your brain.
On the physical level, the celiac plexus manages the sympathetic nervous system and the distribution of nutrition to the rest of your body – thus making all of your body’s functions possible. While it controls all of your major organs, it is particularly associated with your pancreas, liver, gall bladder, spleen, digestive system and nervous system.
But at a higher level, shamans and energy healers for millennia have identified the solar plexus chakra as the core of the body’s life force. In Hindu teaching, it is called Manipura, the “resplendent gem,” and is associated with fire and the color yellow, indicating your power to create and undergo change both within around you. This chakra helps to shape not only your sense of yourself and your self-worth, but also your relationship to the rest of the world.
With this chakra healthy and balanced, you’re walking in integrity with your deepest values (or on your way to doing so). You have the strength to confront your fears and blocks, confront the unknown, serve selflessly, and stay the course despite obstacles. You have the grounding to laugh and love deeply, to be at ease and to put others at ease through your energy.
So how can you balance your solar plexus chakra?
On the etheric levels:
Stones: Use yellow stones to help balance the solar plexus – topaz, citrine, yellow zircon, sunstone, and tiger’s eye.
Essential oils: Try diffusions of lemon, grapefruit, vetiver, Roman chamomile, or juniper
Foods: Look for foods that support a healthy gut, such as foods with low gylcemic index (oatmeal, peas, carrots, kidney beans, hummus, most fruits except bananas and watermelon, says WebMD). Feast on foods rich in fiber, legumes, and fermented foods such as Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Kombucha, but eliminate high-glycemic, simple sugar, foods such as cakes, cookie, donuts, candy and sodas.
And don’t forget to include yellow foods such as organic corn, yellow bell peppers, yellow tomatoes, yellow summer squash, yellow split peas, lemon, pineapple, kumquats, and cumin
Activities: Finally, to balance the solar plexus chakra on the mind, body and spirit levels during your everyday routine, experiment with some of these activities.
- A good dance workout that involves shaking the hips (bellydance is perfect!)
- Core strengthening exercises such as Pilates
- The Boat Pose in Yoga
- Visualizations of yellow – a field of buttercups, a blazing sunset, or simply a yellow glow surrounding your body…
- Affirmations to build your courage, self-worth, and self-empowerment
- I accept and value myself exactly as I am.
- I determine to treat myself with honor and respect
- I am confident in all that I do.
- I trust my inner voice. I am strong, wise and powerful.
- I am willing to release all my fears and struggles that have to do with power and control.
- It is safe for me to be powerful and I accept my God-given power to be used in
the service of love and light.
6. Self-esteem building exercises
- Instead of comparing yourself to others become your best cheerleader. Give yourself daily compliments
- Make a list of all your strengths and celebrate when you use them
- Eat foods that nourish your body, mind and spirit.
- Do some form of movement or physical activity daily
- Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
Finally, your solar plexus chakra is all about stepping into your power…so believe in yourself and step up! If a cause is calling you to take action in the world, trust your gut and do it! Take the risk – in a network where you are supported and affirmed, take on a leadership role. Stretch your boundaries – you’ll be surprised at how your confidence will grow!