Stages of Change and the Chakras

The Stages of Change is a ‘transtheoretical model of behavior change’ that discusses the steps a person goes through before making a change. There are 5 stages in this model: 1) precontemplation 2) contemplation 3) action 4) maintenance 5) relapse.

Precontemplation
Have you ever told someone they need to ‘do something’ about a particular behavior and they look at you like you’re nuts? They are in the precontemplation phase. They do not see this behavior/issue/situation as a problem. This could be addictive behavior such as smoking or drinking; or it could be whether or not eating GMO food or watching TV is something to be concerned about. A person in this phase would say, ‘not a problem’; ‘I’m good’; ‘if this was a problem, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I’m doing’.

Contemplation
In the contemplation phase, a person will entertain the idea that the behavior may be problematic, but are not really interested in stopping or modifying what they do. So, in the above examples a person would agree, that their behavior is not necessarily good for them but are not interested in stopping. “I know I watch way too much TV sometimes, but I enjoy it, it’s not a problem, and leave me alone’. “Maybe I’ll stop one day, but not any time soon”

Preparation
In the preparation phase, the individual decides that they must make a change. Something happens that tips the scale – new information, increased consciousness about the issue. For example, a near miss car accident due to drinking too much; your TV malfunctions and you see how much you are able to get done in the 2 days it takes for you to get a new TV. You see a documentary/read a book about the impact of genetically modified food.

Action
You make the change.

Maintenance.
The action of stopping is one thing, but staying stopped is a whole other ball game. This phase includes going 2 steps forward and 3 steps back and actively learning new skills and to use new tools for coping with the changes. You become aware of new things as you make your changes: wonderful things that you have not been previously able to do or see due to the problematic behavior – such as going for walks in the evening due to not watching TV; waking up refreshed in the morning due to not having a hangover; as well as other problems that surface now that you are not occupied by your problematic behavior. You stop drinking and you realize how much you dislike your job; you get rid of the TV and notice how messy your house is.

Root Chakra
As you move along the stages of change, you enter into the world outside of you. In precontemplation, you are solidly on the earth, everything is in its place; no flexibility. There is isolation; self-sufficiency, no trust, solid mass, no change, no movement, stability, all your needs are met (or so you think).
Sacral Chakra
In contemplation, you see that there is a duality – the possibility of something other than what you know. Suddenly there is a stream in this barren earth that grows into a river, dividing the land in two. You meet this increased awareness with a gasp as an unexpected intruder that you are not sure is friend or foe.
Solar Plexus Chakra
In preparation – there is the beginning spark of aspiration and hope for something better. You may feel washed away by the river of uncertainty, but the landscape is becoming lighter and greener. The intruder holds a torch and extends their hand to you saying, ‘come’.
Heart Chakra
In action, you involve your heart – you take the leap of faith – you face the fears that have been obstacles to your change. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you don’t realize it’s a leap until you look back and see where you have come from. Other times, you see the dark chasm in front of you and you have to gather up all your will, faith and energy to take that leap.
Throat Chakra
As you move into maintenance, you learn how to communicate more clearly and honestly. You say what you mean, and mean what you say. You dip back down into the energy of your solar plexus to fire you through and transform your thoughts, your words and your actions.
Third Eye Chakra
You learn to develop and then trust your intuition as you enter into relationship with others. As you do, you travel back through your root chakra struggling with earthly stubborness – changing your mind about change; and through your sacral chakra – you know you can’t do it by yourself but who can you trust? You exert your will, your desire for something better and move up through your heart where the door has squeeked open to let some air in and as it opens further, it lets in light where you can see – both physically and intuitively – what is around you.
Crown Chakra
As you look around you, you realize how big and how small you are within the universe and you set aside some time to pray.

Blood, Sweat & Tears and the Chakras


Just being playful, really, I don’t really know if this band or the lyricist was thinking about chakras when they wrote this, but in listening to the lyrics I found it to be a fun association and a way of beginning a discussion about chakras.

The word ‘chakra’ is Sanskrit for ‘wheel’ or ‘spinning’.  There are varying levels of energy vortices within our bodies that supply us with vitality.  C.W. Leadbeater wrote about chakras in the early 1900’s, and he stated that the physical body needs 3 things to be alive:  1) food 2) air and 3 ) vitality – energy that comes from Universal Life Force, or prana. The chakras are energy centers that process this vitality that we both take in and give out.

Abraham Maslow wrote about ‘hierarchy of needs’ which describe a human beings’ motivation which influences action.  There are similarities between the chakras and the hierarchy of needs.  The need for safety and basic needs being met comes first; followed by need for friendship and intimacy and followed by more spiritual needs and need for self-actualization.

The hierarchy of needs theory postulates that the fulfilment of these needs goes in one direction:  Safety and basic needs first, then comes social and lastly, self-actualization and spiritual needs.  The assumption is that you are not going to pursue higher-level needs if your basic needs are not met. Often, in chakra work, the goal has been to ‘rise above’ the first 3 chakras connected to physical and social needs and develop the more esoteric ‘higher level’ chakras such as the intuitive ‘third eye’ and the spiritual ‘crown chakra’. All of the chakras however are important to acknowledge and work on. The chakra energetic system is a ‘two way street’,  there is both an energy flow up from root to crown, as well as an energy flow down the chakras, from crown to root.  Our sense of safety and financial stability definitely enables us to more easily develop a social and spiritual life.  On the other hand, our spiritual life, our value system, our sense of compassion and sense of purpose also greatly support and influence the choices that we make to increase our sense of safety and who we align ourselves with in relationships and friendships.

Our experiences throughout life are recorded energetically in our chakras. Our life events impact the openness and the energetic spin of our chakras:  We feel perpetually unsafe; our heart is closed to loving kindness; we don’t speak our true mind.

This brings me back to the song at the top of this page.  ‘talk about your troubles and you never learn’.  When the chakras’ energy is not aligned due to past events; talking about it does not change the energetic spin of the chakra.  Talking about it can even become a negative mantra: repeating over and over the negative events that you have found traumatizing without making any behavioral changes. Others repeatedly try to avoid talking about critical events, that despite the avoidance, keep ‘leaking’ out into their behavior or emotional state.

This is where alternative healing techniques  that work directly with the chakras energetically become helpful.

The work that I do individually with clients is to facilitate entering into an altered state of awareness. Initially, I use tuning forks in Reiki hand positions to help in relaxation as well as using the actual sound vibrations to as a way to remove blocks and work energetically on the chakras- a form of chakra massage. Energetic blocks are released. Insights or memories that were previously inaccesible become known. This is not the end, only the beginning. To be continued…

 

 

chakras and sound healing

The Chakras

The chakras are represented by the seven colors of the rainbow: red – orange – yellow – green – blue – indigo – violet.  As one goes up the ‘shushumna’ through the chakras, there is an increasing energy level, an increasing vibration just as the colors of the rainbow increase in their vibration as they move from red to violet.

Categorizing the above colors and sounds into 7 elements is essentially creating artificial boundaries and limiting what is really an infinitely vast spectrum of light and sound.  It is a simplified way of conceptualizing the energy work that is being done and it is intended to help develop a beginning understanding of sound healing.

All your experiences in life are stored energetically in your body.  Memories can be triggered through one of the 5 senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, or auditory.    The impact of life events can alter our energetic power centers – our chakras. Our heart closes; our mind does not learn new things; our sense of safety is perpetually awry.  We can have an intellectual understanding of our past life events (through therapy, or self-help groups and other forms of healing), but often times, these experiences remain ‘stuck’ within our bodies – the energetic misalignment of chakras remains the same.

I like to call the soundwork that I do ‘chakra massage’.  It does not involve an actual physical massage, but rather an energetic massage through the use of the monochord and energy work through my hands.