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…

Peace be with you

I’ve been going to church fairly regularly lately. Now that I’m going, I even listen to the message of the priest. I sit in the wooden church pews. It seems all churches that I have been to have wooden church pews. So today, sitting in a courtroom as part of my day job, I am sitting in a wooden pew. Defendants in front of me, standing before the judge and family members behind me, awaiting judgment.

As the DA quotes all the statements made by each defendant, the court gets quieter, the young men sound guiltier. Bail is requested for each based on the nature of their stated involvement. family members behind me start getting upset: one makes a loud gasp and leaves the courtroom, others are crying quietly into their tissues. Then the defense lawyers take their turn. Things start to get clearer, put into context. Lives are hanging in the balance.

I think about the wooden church pews. I can’t turn around to talk to these family members but I imagine I turn around, shake their hand and say ‘peace be with you’.

Morning Prayer 1

Morning meditation
Morning prayer
listen to me, tell me what to do
guide me, clear the air
hold my heart
whisper in my ear
lead me down the path towards growth
let me not trip myself up
or hold myself back
consciously
unconsciously
help my mind and my heart work together
give my voice force
help my still waters splash
silence may be golden but becoming known
letting my self be seen
allowing my voice to be heard
takes courage also
help me blossom
ripen
bloom
into higher consciousness
into light

Loyalty

Loyalty – I wrote this and posted it elsewhere, thought it should go here as well.

In Santería, Obba is the faithful wife of Changó. She is tricked into believing that if she cuts off her left ear and puts it in her husband’s soup, it will cast a magic spell on him and make her more attractive to him. More attractive than the women he philanders with. The woman that he is having the affair with, is in fact, the one that tricks Obba into cutting off her ear.
Morals of the story: don’t use magic to get your way; look more closely to see what the real problem is; don’t base your decisions on fear.

Obba is known as a warrior, an inventor, a fierce Orisha who also happens to be loyal. Children of this Orisha are also loyal and also have to watch out that they don’t make fear based decisions. They have to look closely at the situations that trouble them and not repeat the same non-working solutions. They have to remember that they are warriors. Fidelity is not a weakness; loyalty is not a character flaw. Remember and remind yourself of your strengths and your fierceness. Remember what is good in you, and if others do not see it, this does not diminish your value.