The Solar Plexus Chakra and Recovery—a continuation of the “conversation” on the chakras and recovery. In case you are joining in for the first time, I want to start with my regular disclaimers. The chakra model I am using is just one of the interpretations of the chakras, and only addresses the seven main chakras. There are many energy centers in the body. These are a few better known ones. My “spin” (yoga joke) on these is my opinion, and I welcome positive additions to the discussion.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra, located just above the navel at your solar plexus, provides us with self esteem, a sense of peacefulness, generosity, self respect, compassion, and empowerment, when in balance. The color associated with this chakra is yellow; anything yellow in color can be helpful in balancing this chakra. A characteristic that summarizes a balanced solar plexus chakra is (earned) confidence.
A Blocked or Overactive Solar Plexus Chakra in Recovery
We can come into recovery with either a blocked solar plexus chakra or one that is overactive. In my case, it vibrated between the two: I was the perfect example of [her} majesty the baby; suffering from being an “egomaniac with an inferiority complex” as described in the book of AA. (Here I am referring to egomania as being an obsession with self, in my case as worthless, not only thinking that I am all important and the center of the universe.)
So, how did this manifest for me? When this chakra was overactive, I was both judgmental and defensive. I was stubborn and craving change. I was critical of both others and of myself. There was no being pleased—there was no “just right.” I was Goldilocks with no third bowl of porridge, no comfortable chair, and no restful bed.
With an underactive chakra, I lacked self discipline, felt powerless, had low self esteem, and was unable to develop or maintain healthy boundaries. I craved approval and withered under criticism. As this chakra also influences the stomach, I was prone to lots of stomach issues.
From the historical perspective, the family systems view, it is not surprising that this chakra was very unbalanced both in my using “career” and for a few years into my recovery. My father had massive ulcers and had surgery to remove a great piece of his stomach. Because the underlying issues were never addressed, he continued to “belly ache” all my life. The turmoil and inconsistency in my home contributed to my internalizing a chronic family condition of judgmentalism, criticism and “his majesty the baby” as a ruling driving force. I had a lot of work to do here.
Balancing Personal Power
One of the challenges in addressing the energy of this chakra is using your personal power in a balanced manner. When manipulative, I had personal power. I had the ability to read a room and determine who to approach to get what I needed. I had to work on this in recovery. This was an unskilled use of my personal power.
On the other hand, I would also find myself a “victim of circumstances,” reacting to events rather than responding. Without healthy boundaries and without the ability to state my needs clearly, I would explode, pout or walk off rather than face objectionable circumstances in a healthy, balanced way. When I feel those impulses now, I know that my solar plexus chakra is out of balance, and I would be best served by taking care of myself. I can instead pause to contemplate the big picture is and see how I can be in it. I can get in touch with my skills and move on in a proactive way. Self criticism, however, rather than self reflection, continues to keep this chakra out of balance. There is a difference.
The Twelve Steps and the Solar Plexus Chakra
There are several steps that can be linked to the Solar Plexus Chakra. I think of being returned to sanity, the ability to make a decision. The honest and thorough inventory (without self criticism, but with open evaluation) sharing with another, and the daily review. Because mastery and self confidence and finding balance are so integral to this chakra, one could make a case for all the steps; but two, three, four, five and ten are the ones I am choosing now.
Reflection on some questions can guide you in understanding if your solar plexus chakra is out of balance.
- Do I feel unempowered and weak?
- Do I feel I deserve the good I get in life?
- Am I manipulative to get what I want?
- Do I feel I deserve the difficulty I face in life?
- Do I tend to get into codependent relationships with others?
- Am I a people pleaser?
- Do I tend to have ulcers, stomach upset or digestive disorders?
- Do I struggle to set boundaries with others?
Here are some self care steps to add to your recovery routines that can help balance your solar plexus chakra.
- “Tease” your comfort zone: try new things
- Connect to your higher purpose
- Take on service roles
- Gain self esteem from “doing esteemable acts”
- Practice setting and maintaining boundaries
- Work on replacing phrases of self criticism with kinder words and encouragement
- Use affirmations
- Practive yoga and breath practices that focus on the solar plexus area.
These tools, along with the companionship of positive supportive people, can help guide you to a more balanced experience with your sun center: your solar plexus chakra.