All posts by Patricia Dornelles

You find what you look for – getting past the root chakra

Please watch this video before reading the rest of this post.

Do you often wonder what someone else’s ‘angle’ is, finding it difficult during a conversation to take things at face value? Or maybe you just feel lonely, not liked by many people. Perhaps there was some past trauma that has left you hypervigilant and unable to move forward. How often do we ‘look’ for things and ultimately find them? What is the likelihood of seeing something that we are not looking for?

I have worked with many people that count their personal slights; they look at and report on the number of times they have been ‘betrayed’. Often times, there is unhealed trauma that keeps perpetuating itself in various ways that appear to be unrelated to the original event(s). One is left with unrelenting sense of ungroundedness; fears, insecurities and inability to take risks due to a fundamental sense of lack of safety.

As in the video above, how often do you ‘count’ the number of times someone has wronged you; or how many times you have been hurt? The bigger question is, though, how often have you missed the ‘moon-walking bear’? How many times has a kind gesture gone unnoticed; an invitation to lunch left unanswered?

The root chakra – located at the base of the spine is the energetic center that holds our most basic survival needs: physical safety; financial stability; shelter. When our root chakra is clear, we feel stable, grounded, safe. We are able to venture out and take risks. When there are blockages, or ‘sanskaras’ – imprints left in our bodies from past experiences that impacted our basic sense of safety or stability – then we become, or remain, ungrounded, insecure or fearful. We may have physical problems in the general area of the root chakra or emotional problems stemming from the lack of groundedness such as depression or anxiety. The events that lead to PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – could also cause a disruption in the root chakra, especially if the individual is not able to or does not have the opportunity to process the trauma.

Talking about the past in therapy is a wonderful way of working through past trauma. It is a forum to work through difficult social interactions and the full range of emotional issues that stem from them. There are specific cognitive- behavioral interventions that help an individual move past their specific life events in order to live happier healthier lives. However, sometimes an individual can get stuck with the whirlpool of talking about their problems and remaining unable to move beyond this.

Sound healing can be a tool to help an individual move to the next level in their psychotherapy; give them that extra ‘oomph’ or insight into themselves that helps them along in their growth. Using toning; tuning forks and other sound healing tools – in meditation or with a sound healing practitioner – can help an individual heal and move forward.

My little hater

A while back, the church I attend announced that it planned on raising 1.5 million dollars through it’s parishioners in order to give the church a makeover. My spouse immediately said ‘I’m going to get involved!’ and I thought to myself that this would be a waste of money as the church would never raise the needed money.

More recently, Marianne Williamson – an ‘internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer’ – announced she will be running for congress in her district in California. I love Marianne; I’ve read many of her books, attended her lectures; and think that it would be great if she could be elected to Congress. But then I thought: ‘she won’t get elected’; ‘the general public won’t go for her’. I read some of her website, there were some parts in her FAQ’s that I felt were a little awkward; so again, I pondered that maybe she was putting energy into a losing battle; ‘she’ll feel bad if she loses’. I read some of the comments, and already there were some haters posting ridiculous statements.

Sometimes I look at the comments section of Youtube videos, or of articles that I read and there are always haters commenting, no matter what the topic – sometimes important, divisive topics; and at other times quite innocuous topics. A few years back, I had posted a Youtube video that I had taken while on an airplane whose wings were being ‘de-iced’. I put the video to music and posted it. It was innocuous enough for me that I could post it, I wasn’t putting something dear to me online – but still, there were hater comments. I’ve wondered about the haters that have time to post toxic commentaries online, and I wonder who they are in their ‘real’ lives. But then, I don’t really have to look too far, because I have my own little hater.

The church placed this fundraising thermometer with their goal amount. I was embarrassed for the church, that they would set themselves up for such a major disappointment. As the weeks passed, slowly but surely the red marker kept rising. Eventually, and this didn’t take a long time either, it reached it’s goal and then surpassed it. I was stunned, and I felt it was a lesson learned. The church benefited by having many people who were like my spouse – they took the leap of faith and put their money where their mouth is.

I don’t know if Marianne Williamson will win, nobody knows that. But she is taking that leap and doing what she feels called to do. It is a major leap, that won’t be easy – but what is life, if not for the leaps?

All of these negative thoughts I have – about the church’s inability to raise money; how they’ll embarass themselves; how Marianne will be disappointed to have put herself out there – are comments that I make to myself. My projections. I am my own little hater. Statements that are preemptive strikes to any action that I may desire to take. ‘this is stupid’ ‘people won’t understand’ ‘nobody would buy that’ ‘it’s not good enough’ ‘I’m not an artist’ ‘I don’t know enough’.

Do you have a little hater? How does your little hater stop you in your tracks; slow you down; make you doubt yourself?

Working with music and sound in therapeutic ways is something that I am feeling called to do. In doing this work, I have to bring in all of me. I do have something to offer despite being imperfect. As this blog evolves; as I evolve – I hope that you will be able to get something that you could use for your own personal growth and healing.

http://www.holynamebrooklyn.com/

fundraising thermometer
fundraising thermometer

http://marianneforcongress.com/
Marianne Williamson


Beating the Little Hater

sound bites – the elements and mindfulness

Click on the top left corner of the image to hear the sound for that image. These short Vine videos help you focus on individual sounds that may go unnoticed around you. After browsing through these, take time throughout your day, to notice the sounds in your immediate environment. What element does it represent?

EARTH – what is an ‘earth’ sound – footsteps, metallic sounds? The earth is unmoving, solid below our feet. Do you feel grounded, steady or stuck and unbalanced?
pawsteps

footsteps

walking in the grass

subway – underneath the earth (lower your volume!)

WATER – what are the variations of water sounds that you could think of? What sounds suggest the element of water? Water flows down the path of least resistance but with quantity or over time, can effect much change in the landscape. What do the sounds of water bring to mind?

morning dew by a stream

water in a bowl

dripping faucet

water fountain in pond

FIRE – As compared with water, which flows down, fire rises up – it transforms. what images or sounds elicit the idea of fire?

lighting a match

AIR

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.

 

Using toning for meditation

Imagine you start your vacation after a long extended time working very hard. It’s your first day on vacation and you finally get to the hotel, you plop yourself down on the bed and say….’aaaah’.

Often we treasure our vacation times and resign ourselves to not experience that level of relaxation except on those few and far between, times off.

What if, though, you could get to that state of relaxation by saying the word ‘aaaaah’? This is toning.

Toning is the conscious pronunciation of extended vowel sounds that can have impact in other parts of the body. It is not chanting nor singing.

If you sit yourself down, comfortably, for 10 minutes a day, and say ‘aaah’ – or any other vowel sound that you prefer – repeatedly through each elongated exhalation – you will get to a more peaceful state of mind.

using sound for healing and transformation

Sound is vibration. The range of audible sound is small compared to the actual range of sound that exists in the universe. Music, noise, speech, sound, ultrasound, infrasound. ‘Acoustics’ is the ‘study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids. “Cymatics’ is the study of visible sound.

Sound is energy. When we think about energetic healing, sound is not usually what comes to mind. We think about chakras, auras, reiki, therapeutic touch, bodywork…

Sound is healing. The difference between music and noise is that music is rhythmical, has sounds that harmonize with eachother. Noise is sound that is random, disorganized and does not harmonize.

Welcome to this site where I hope to provide information related to using sound for healing and transformation. Please feel free to email me with questions or suggestions

Blessings,

Pat.

 

Living a multi-dimensional life

Living a multidimensional life

One dimension
One dimension is a line – a line connects 2 points. . This line does have movement – one step forward , 3 steps back… but it does not get you anywhere. We only recognize one dimensional living in others: ” why don’t you just go right? Or turn left? It’s easy and impossible at the same time. So much shame.

Are you living a one- dimensional life? Are other people loading you with seemingly simple solutions that you just cannot do? What would that look like? Being a point on a line is the ultimate in stuckness – you can only go back and forth – and things that are seemingly close are out of reach.

Two dimensions
You can move forward, backwards, sideways. If you’d been living a one dimensional life for a while this would probably feel fantastic. You can go pretty far on a flat plane – in all sorts of directions. Many things are no longer out of reach. There is work life, home life, vacations once a year. There may be a certain sense of emptiness, but there really is no such thing as flying or rising above the fray, so you make due. You console yourself by comparing your life with those in one dimension. You wonder how others dare to fly. Things could be worse.

Three dimensions
You are now in a three dimensional life – you rise to new heights; and sink to new lows. When the lows are prolonged – living in two dimensions seems appealing, but ultimately it does feel good to make attempts at a creative life; a spiritual life that helps you rise above the mundane. In a three dimensional life, you are trying to ‘do it all’, but the one thing you don’t have is time. There just plain isn’t enough time to do all the things you want to do. It’s impossible, isn’t it?

4 dimensions
to be continued…