(A two part blog. The sequel will be Love And Kundalini In Chicago.)
That’s me doing an ankle drop in aerial silks. (Silks are my hobby.) Falling backwards is scary to me, as it is for lots of folks. My brilliant silks teacher, at Aloftloft in Chicago, Zoe Sheppard, finished off our year in 2014 with a bunch of scary drops. We got out the big red mat, and I think I did all of them. With lots of encouragement from my classmates, and patience from Zoe. Thanks, Zoe.
No really, thanks, Zoe!
Thanks, because it deepened my contemplation about fear and things that hold me back in life, and then resulted in me deciding my theme for 2015 is fearlessness. Not exactly a resolution, nor a goal, more of an intention, as we refer to it in the yoga world.
In yoga we talk about setting an intention, an intention is not oriented towards achieving a specific outcome. For example, “today I will balance in handstand” = goal. Intention is more about a path one is taking. Setting an intention is based on what matters to you, and then aligning actions and attitudes. How you want to “be” in the present moment. And what are you opening to in your life. “Today I will explore fearlessness in handstand.”
Actually, I was even considering this as my year theme before Brilliant Zoe’s class. Isn’t it wonderfully mystically curious how these things happen? I decided I need more fearlessness, and the opportunity manifests. The ankle drop challenge solidified and brought clarification.
Honestly, I am not sure how I am doing with this intention. I may have waylaid it in the dregs of our endless Chicago winter.
But I have reconnected with it again lately. Which brings me to my next topic,
I recently took a wonderful class about kundalini energy meditation at InVision School for Psychic Abilities. (Promise to write more about this fabulous place soon.) I believe it is the exploration of the Kundalini energy which reawakened my theme of fearlessness. Things have began to move for me again.
In fact it is the class that birthed this blog site.
It went like this. One morning, about two weeks into the six week class, I woke up and created verdant faerie, very literally. At 5:00 a.m. I hadn’t even conceived of this site yet. Feeling stuck in my life and wanting to move forward with various things or just something/ANYTHING… I needed a jump… Quite suddenly this blog site manifested. AND got me moving forward on some other projects that have been lying dormant.
What is it anyway, this kundalini? From my novice understanding of kundalini (Sanskrit word) I’ll describe it is is an individual’s personal source of energy located at the base of the spine. It is near to and related to the first chakra.
Kundalini energy lies in all of us, dormant, for the most part. It is coiled there, at the base of the spine, waiting to climb up the energy channels along the spine or through the chakras. Kundalini also has its own specific paths through the body. It is often depicted as a coiled snake with three coils. Its symbolic image is found in various places throughout the world and in history.
Kundalini energy is very powerful and is, in fact, sometimes feared. True, kundalini should be explored with care. There’s plenty of talk and info out there about negative effects of the rising of the Kundalini energy. Some even claim it is the devil’s work.
While I do NOT believe it is the devil’s domain, I do think that it should be explored with respect and awareness. Even when explored by a skillful mystic, the body’s adjustment to the Kundalini energy can possibly be a bit rough. With reports of body shakes and high fever or disorientation.
In aerial arts there is plenty of talk about fearing heights or fearing certain drops. (Part of the thrill, after all). What I have come to realize is that respecting the danger of the drop is required, but the fear is really not helpful, at all. In silks, to honor my intention, I am trying not to shriek in terror every time Zoe demos for us an exciting drop. Rather, respect the power of it and pay attention, yes, but try to calm the fear which clouds the brain and makes the body do weird unhelpful things (flail and bite the fabric). And then explore and experience. (Not shriek.)
I find it is the same for exploring kundalini energy meditation.
Kundalini is offered once a year at InVision. It is offered for folks with previous experience in meditation. During our six week class our fantastic teacher and guide, Christopher Rhodes built upon the depth of exploration. Always checking in and making sure we felt safe. Some of us did have physical reactions. Some adjusted pretty easily. But feeling safe, calm, and open was key.
Although, here’s something that’s a little difficult to explain. Sometimes these physical reactions are a part of the kundalini energy ‘magic’ as it clears out blocks and restrictions.
How do you get it? This kundalini.
There are many ancient traditions involving very specific breath and meditation techniques. Often the chanting of mantra is employed. While you just have to take a class at InVision (or elsewhere), to learn it for yourself, I will say that at InVision we did not use chanting or complex breathing. We were led in meditation, InVision style, to get grounded. We breathed deep and learned various ways to explore and move the kundalini.
Kundalini energy moves upward. When it rises it brings movement, vitality, healing . For me, it did several things. Notably it burned through fears and lessened resistance to moving forward. It allowed me to acknowledge dreams I have, things I have been suppressing. To speak them aloud.
Kundalini seems to have released some of that Fight or Flight Response that was sticking me. Taking me out of overactive adrenal stress and activating the areas of my brain not associated with this response. In that six week period of time during the class we ran kundalini energy every day. I was riding a powerful flow wave. To me, it felt pretty sparkly, but smooth.
Of course, sometimes fear is a good thing. It alerts us to real dangers. But we don’t want to stay there. And it is so easy in this modern world. With slashing media and especially if you are an urban person. But it’s less than ideal to consistently operate in this mode.
I recently heard an interview on Bulletproof Radio with Eduardo Villoldo. Eduardo Villoldo is a Shaman and author of the book One Spirit Medicine. Highly recommend the book and the interview. Shaman Villoldo (is that how one titles a Shaman?) tells how the shamans speak of the need to get the jaguar out of the tree. Where it climbed in fear and is out of control. Bring it down where it belongs, lounging and relaxing at the base of the tree. That’s where we want our own personal, jaguars so we can be calm and brave and wise…
To launch websites, drop backwards, and follow dreams.
When I welcomed kundalini in the area of my throat, mouth, chest, I felt a massive amount of clearing, or activation. Less clenching, more space. I know, more space sounds woo woo, but I don’t know how else to explain it. Not surprisingly, this area is all about expression. Again not surprisingly, a blog site to express and clarify my thoughts, experiences, visions, and dreams was born.
Ironically I had this experience. I worked on verdant faerie for several weeks before going public. Then it was time to launch. Still so much resistance and fear in me. It’s such an unfamiliar and new arena for me, personal blogging and a website. And a very solo project for me, a creature hailing from the ensemble world of theatre. So much fear that I got a severe cold and lung virus and even developed laryngitis!!! Could NOT speak – express myself.
How mystically ironic is that?
So I launched.
But this virus… Where does it fit? Clearly I have more kundalini energy meditation to do. I feel I have merely scratched the surface. Yet this virus… Unpleasant as it is/was, has important information for me. Its part of my healing and clearing. Even after launching the virus allowed me to see deeper into a lot of other larger truths I have been avoiding.
A huge one I realize is the loss of myself as a creative being. When I left my job of 17 years as a theatre teacher/director 2 years ago I was burnt out. Burnt on the job, on the struggle to make ends meet in a creative position, and on life’s many demands. Too burnt out to continue with the struggle to be a productive and creative person. Now after coming around the bend, and with this kundalini energy reaction, I see how much I miss creating. How I miss collaboration and expression. Longing for my artist self.
Wonder what I’ll do about that.
There’s more about my whole transition, letting go of the job. The technicalities. I think I will kundalini energy meditate more and see what happens. I’ll report in another blog.
In the meantime I have this blog right here and now. And I’m about to push publish… And I have you, dear friend. Thanks for reading.
Dear Reader, have you had any experiences with kundalini energy?