Howdy friends of the web,
today we’re going to dive into self-esteem and our energy. Yep, you read that right. After posting a lovely little poll on my instagram, majority wins on the topic for self-esteem and the manipura or the sola plexus chakra.
If you’re not familiar with the chakras, have no fear I will give you a brief synopsis. Chakras are a set of energy systems that run up our spine, starting at the base of the spine and reaching all the way to the tip top of our heads. This energy system is made up of 7 different chakras, each located in a different space along the spine and each having its own unique energy functions. They work together and build off of one another. So, if you have issues with one chakra, it might effect all, especially if it’s a lower chakra because that’s a part of our foundation. Stable foundations are how things grow. Additionally, when any of the chakras are out of whack or unbalanced they can cause various issues in our mind, body, and spirit. Make sense? I hope so. There is so so much information about the chakras if you’re interested in learning more. This is simply a basic run through for those who may have never heard of them.
What is the Manipura?
For today we’re going to focus on the Manipura Chakra (the Solar Plexus), located between the breastbone and navel. It is associated with the color yellow. This chakra is all about our willpower, confidence, motivation and energy in life. Our tapas. It’s associated with the fire element, because it is that fire in us that gives us the energy and confidence we need in our day to day life. Additionally, it helps regulate our digestive system and more.
Now that we know what it is, let’s get some ideas on what an underactive, balanced, and overactive manipura may look like.
Underactive – low self-esteem and/or confidence, feeling guilty, lack of energy, shameful, worthlessness, etc.
Balanced – confident, balance of energy, strong will and motivation, active, strong sense of self-worth.
Overactive – control issues, grouchy, misuse of power (or being a bully), irritable, angry or aggressive.
*also please be aware that we’re all different and may experience energy differently and that there are other ways that an imbalance can present itself.
So by now I’m sure you’re like, “okay Haley, what does this have to do with my self-esteem”, or you’ve already started to connect the dots. Self-esteem is the confidence we have in our own abilities, which is what the manipura is all about (our own fire). If we have low self-esteem or a blockage somewhere, it can be hard to get the things we need and want out of life. Additionally, we’re likely prone to seeking validation from others. That can be seeking validation that we’re doing something right or that we’re worth something, etc. It could even look like stoping something we love because no one else seems to be interested in it. However, when we seek validation from others, it doesn’t really help us learn how to build our own confidence and causes that space to shut down.
Think of it like you’re the keeper of your own flame. When you seek validation it’s like you’re borrowing someone else’s flame (or power) and ignoring your own flame, which causes it to grow even weaker. Sure you may feel empowered shortly because you felt the energy that you needed, but it was a temporary fix and isn’t sustainable.
For some (or rather for lots of humans at some point) there is the opposite problem. The flame isn’t a light, but a wildfire that can cause destruction. It stems from the same root ( I think anyway). When we make our flame so bright, big, and sometimes scary, it’s usually because we feel wronged or like we’re not getting the credit we deserve. We may be angry because we think we deserve better and want those around us to agree with us so we can feel…..validated. We’re still seeking (sometimes forcing) validation from those around us in some way to make us feel better. No one is going to give you validation for your flame when you’re burning them. Rather figure out ways to control it on your own and validate yourself. Sometimes that means walking away from people and things.
In yoga teacher training my teacher would always say something like “the person who thinks they’re the worst and the person who is screaming that they’re the best are the same”….because it stems from the same place. That’s so true in more ways than one.
What I’m really trying to tell you is that working on your self-esteem can help balance the manipura. I know, I know, but how do you work on your self-esteem? I got some tips!
1. Be your own best friend.
I’ve found that treating myself like my own best friend has been the most helpful thing. It has also helped me realize what kind of friendships and interactions I enjoy having in my life. It has helped me grow and feel more confident. And taught me how to be a better friend to my friends. Sometimes I’ll just observe what my thoughts about myself are. If they’re not thoughts I would think about my best friends, they’re not thoughts I should think about myself. Makes sense, yeah? Be kind to yourself and actually be the good that you need.
2. Do things alone.
Take yourself out to eat. Go on a solo day-trip. Travel the world alone. I cannot express enough how doing things alone can really help you learn to trust yourself. It forces you to solely depend on yourself and foster your independence. You’re forced to spend time with yourself and get to know yourself too. Which is a good thing.
3. Stop second guessing yourself.
I think we all have done this before. We think, “what a brilliant idea”, and then we come back and say “but is it, maybe I should ask someone else first”. Stop over-thinking every choice you need to make. Stop worrying what others will think. Trust your gut and intuition that you know what is best for you. Even if it does end up “being the wrong choice” maybe that was an important life lesson you needed to learn that was unavoidable. Trust yourself.
4. Get out of your comfort zone.
Getting out of your comfort zone and feeling something new is one of the most empowering things you can ever do. It makes you truly see how being uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing and that you’re still okay. You eventually learn how to find comfort in the uncomfortable. If there’s something you really want to do or try, but are nervous, do it anyway. Maybe that means going to a weird restaurant you want to try, skydiving, or just something small, do it anyway. (as long as it’s safe).
5. Stop comparing.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop wanting what others have. Comparing your own “flame” to others is silly and weakens your confidence. We’re all different, with our own unique life experiences. Of course our flames are going to look a little different. We’re all on our own path, your life isn’t meant to look like someone else’s. Ever.
6. Do other things to help balance your manipura.
- wear the color yellow
- get out in sunshine
- eat citric fruits – lemons, grapefruit, etc
- get moving or sit still (do the opposite of which ever one is your biggest issues)
- crystals – Citrine, Tigers Eye, Amber, bumble bee jasper.
- smells – sandal wood, saffron, ceaderwood.
- mantras – ” I am enough”. “I am capable”. “I am kind.” “I can.”
- Bhastrika breath or breath of fire.
There is so much more about the manipura and self-esteem, someone could seriously write a book about both topics. There is even more information on the chakra’s. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to do your own research. Google can offer an overwhelming amount of (sometimes cliché) information. Below I have a link to a really great book on the chakras if you’re interested.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead of you.