Getting Grounded

on the roadIn my last post I included an image of a beaded bracelet with a first chakra design. It, like the ChakraBabe project, came into existence on the road between Texas and Colorado. New Mexico is truly God’s country and I have traversed the breadth of it with loving attention.

In Albuquerque I had the fortune of working with an incredibly talented Native American bead and jewelry artist. Together we created the First Chakra bracelet. It was a rewarding process, and part of my grounding in ChakraBabe. I included the bracelet in my earlier post because on the personal front, as I mentioned, I have felt a yearning for a positive connection to my foundation.

I am a terrible meditator, I have to confess. I can quiet my riotous mind only for so long, so, though it is the currency of spiritual awareness, my sessions are brief. Ten minutes of mindfulness in the morning, calibration toward presence during the day and a walk in the evening. For more than that, my Type A personality gets in the way. This is why I try to enhance my elementary meditations by other means – attentive travel, design projects, research, writing.

These interests led to the compendium of balancing tools I recently placed on the blog. Under each Chakra link you will find characteristics of the particular vortex and tools to help you attain the energetic equilibrium you seek. I will continue to share insights with you on this front as I will share designs and objects I find that speak to the Chakras.

If you have found rituals or items to be especially helpful in the pursuit of balance, please share!

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The Alchemy of Scrambled Eggs

Root Chakra Bracelet

Reconnect to your root with 1st Chakra bracelet

I have spent these last weeks ripping out the roots of my married life. Irradicating my past all the way down to altering my former identity – dealing with social security, name changes and account modifications. Oh my God, the amendments seem endless and the final effect, when the required changes are commingled with the ongoing details of every day existence, is completely ungrounding.

Though having my feet in the air is really an opportunity to plant them somewhere else. The discipline is leaving the decision as to where up to the Universe. Trusting the unfolding days to take me where I need to be is an exercise in meditation, self love and extreme patience. I have good days and bad. I make beautiful coffee in the morning, get my seventh grader out the door, try to spend time outside. And I want to believe, more than anything else right now, when I look back over my life the dots will connect.

Sometimes in the chaos I have a moment of perfect presence, giving me an idea of what all those connecting dots will look like. I might be in the kitchen, slicing onion, beating eggs, chopping basil and parsley – and the colors will strike me, the marvel of the application of heat and blending of flavors in the creation of something that didn’t exist a moment before. In that instant of grounding in the physical world, a spiritual window opens. Through that window I can see when the time comes to leave the avalanche of detail and sensory input that is this life, I will miss the magic of scrambling eggs.

And other grounding exercises.

Hanging by a Thread

blog6_minLast night, in direct opposition to my Buddhist directives of finding peace in the mundane, I was cranking out my domestic duties as fast as possible. In the midst of stuffing my washer with a load of laundry, I noticed a suspicious puddle of water on the floor in front of me. Upon further inspection it became evident I was dealing with what I can only call a minor catastrophe. A hot water leak in my foundation running from the bathroom, through the laundry room and coming to rest under the wood floor of my dining room buffet. The earth work alone is enough to warrant selling this place and moving to a monastery.

I went to bed subdued, to say the least. Life seems so tenuous at times – trying to balance private school tuition for a seventh grader, crazy high water bills, a burning desire for an area rug in my living room. Complicated, of course, by a deep sense of mourning for the loss of my Sephora habit.

Hanging by a thread – not just the monthly budget or retail therapy, but all of it, our health, relationships, our very existence on the planet. Lost in these thoughts I looked up and took in the confines of my bedroom. The walls a creamy hue, the artwork abundant and traded for years ago, vintage pieces from furniture markets, all coalescing in a feeling of easy tranquility and comfort.

It occurred to me then, maybe the thread is not a single-ply piece of cotton, maybe it is silk or has the tensile strength of the anchor line in a spider’s web. Maybe in its delicate presence it is capable such strength and elasticity that it outperforms any man made material.

In the moment of testing that strength, not knowing if it will hold or it will snap, we have a choice – to create and appreciate beauty.

It balances our lives. And it is all around us, all the time.

Who is your ChakraBabe?

IMG_1499_min-2What is the meaning of Valentine’s Day? Someone asked that question in response to our Facebook post of a picture of cupcakes last night. My daughter was at her best, destroying my kitchen and making some people very happy today as they indulged in her hot pink Capezzoli Di Venere delights.

My answer is heart shaped pizza. At least that’s what we are having for dinner tonight. Which, in turn, makes my girls happy. But I’ve thought about it all day. What is the point of all the candy, flowers and the general hub bub?

Obviously the answer is love, but that’s a broad statement. My Valentine ‘s version of love is the kind most often lacking. Think about it, the deliverables, the deadlines, the time spent taking care of the kids… The love most often lacking is the type you show yourself. Thirty minutes with a book, a yoga class – a little self care. Who will do those things for you if you fail to do them for yourself?

A very wise friend once told me, “love is what you do.” As you are are out there today, showing love for the world, don’t forget you.

Be happy… and be your own ChakraBabe!

Take a Deep Breath and Balance

In this average American life – frenetic from first light to the sigh as your head, last bill paid, last dish washed and offspring asleep, hits the pillow at night – what is balance? Enough resources to go around? Or the art of partnering with the Universe to manage those resources with grace, presence and gratitude, knowing there will always be enough…

Any type of balance starts with intent. I came out of such an epically unbalanced environment that it took time to find mine. And even then, layering the tools of energetic management over my intent to lead a more balanced life, I found my footing shaky.

Just the blessing of a peaceful household was enough at first as I took my tools, meditation, mindfulness, stones, color, breath, and put them to work trying to balance my chakras and my life. Did it work – was it a magic formula for bliss? No. I still have ungrounded days and a cluttered mind. But I find myself setting my intent more often, I see more grace, take more walks with my dogs and I have dedicated myself to love in a new way.

This intent to balance has been a catalyst for greater beauty in my life. For that I am incredibly grateful and my heart chakra spins in perfect rotation. One down…

Move or be Still

The minute I made the decision to move – from my marriage, from my typical work experience, from the day to day hamster wheel of suburban survival – I was overwhelmed.

Too much to do. I moved out of my former home in seven hours. I found a job to pay the mortgage and started a company at the same time. Single mom, bread winner, entrepreneur and housekeeper.

Like so many independent, creative women I know, some inching their way forward, some losing ground, I find myself sitting at the stoplight five minutes behind schedule, divorce rash burning a hole in my skin, a Rolodex of to-do’s spinning through my head  (this analogy dates me, I know). Ten tasks on every card, no way to catch up, no way to stop the constant lists of deliverables from flashing through my thoughts. The discomfort on my  skin is a metaphor for the avalanche of change, the rattling in my head a persistent distraction from the moment.

How to balance?

How do I get myself to remember that this stoplight is exactly where I should be – where I need to be?

Settling my Estate

Pushing forward on product, business and web development, I am also in the midst of wresting a divorce decree from my (now ex-) husband, the attorneys and the court. I can’t imagine a better third chakra school. Affirmations like, I stand up for myself, I direct my own life, I am worthy of kindness and respect – barely suffice to steel me for the rigors of legal combat.

And still I make my way through the subject material. As I often tell my daughter, failure is not an option.

I chose the marriage I just undid for a reason. I see the need I had for emotional support and the hope which compelled me to exchange vows to this end. I understand only I can support my emotional needs, whether they are rooted in past experience, a negated inner child or simply an inherent need for love. My marriage was a unequal energetic experience I opted to see through so I could learn these things.

Smart girl and experiential learner that I am, I got it, and I got moving.