Moving up the totem pole to the sacral chakra:
At my sacral lives an adorable, sweet, cute, little red panda. If you have never seen a red panda before, stop reading and go directly to YouTube or Google Images and experience the absolute loving nature of these creatures. Why are you still reading this? Go. Now.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, welcome back. If you did not already know this, red pandas are endangered, one of many victims of deforestation. In fact, many of my spirit animals are on the endangered species list. I connect to this non-coincidence. I, however, do not easily connect to the energy of my red panda. If you have read the reflections on my Foot and Root Chakras, you know that I quickly identified the feel of the energy of those chakras as well as the animals but it is important for you to know that was not the case at my sacral. I will share with you later in this writing, my conclusions of why this is but for now, all you need to know is that some parts of this work come with more ease than others and when you identify which are which, you learn a lot about who you are being and where you need to put your efforts, despite how uncomfortable or sticky the path may be.
At this point, I have worked with my little red panda twice. The first time I did not consciously connect to his energy and while I was able to do so the second time I worked with him (for a far longer amount of time), he still has not given me his name! Some chakras/areas of your life are more out of balance than others and I take the fact that this cute, cuddly, little ball of sweetness is withholding his identity from me as a signal that our work here is not done and in order to learn his name, I must first do my work. So what do you do if you are working with a chakra or animal but are not feeling it? Have you ever heard the phrase, “fake it ‘til you make it”? While I do not recommend this philosophy in many areas of life, especially when it comes to relationships, and that includes in the bedroom, I did use this philosophy with my little red fluff ball while working with my sacral.
The cool thing about Earthstar18’s Inner Animal Magic curriculum is that it gives you a lot of activities to try out to get to know your animal and the energy of the associated chakra and there’s also a lot of room for creating your own ways to break the ice with your spirit animals. Here’s a list of some of the simple ways I faked it until I made it with my panda friend:
I wore the color orange (orange is the color associated with the Sacral Chakra)
I ate pumpkin (again, orange… and the sense associated with the sacral is taste, double dipping is okay in this scenario)
I gave my cute, cuddly, fluffy dog a dog bath (water is the element associated with the sacral and when I could not ‘feel’ my panda around me, I focused on shared qualities of the panda and my dog Sedge who I could physically feel around me)
I was gifted new lingerie (connection to sensuality is a practice of the Sacral Chakra)
I started regularly volunteering and offering Reiki to hospice and cancer patients (awakening the healer within)
I attended an Acro Yoga and Thai Massage workshop (connection to others)
I watched a YouTube video of a red panda playing with a pumpkin that one of my staff just so happened to email me… coincidence? I think not.
I then went on World Wildlife Fund and adopted a red panda for said staff member
These little activities were simple ways to consciously put effort towards connecting to my animal. Just like when my staff member sent me the video of the panda, I saw example after example that my panda was reaching out to me just as much as I was searching for a connection to him. The timing was just perfect because I started working with little red right before Halloween and Thanksgiving so pumpkins/the color orange were everywhere. Anyone who does not live under a rock knows that pumpkin-anything is marketable these days so opportunities to taste orange were everywhere. The key was acknowledging the color and tastes as energy. While seeing Fall decorations and indulging in carrot muffins, bags of citrus fruit, and finding the perfect orange sports bra were little red’s little ways of showing himself in my everyday life, I was fortunate enough to have an even bigger reminder of his presence…
One of my clients and friend lost her dog (Addison who I spoke about in an earlier writing) and wanted to take me on a surprise getaway to say “thank you” for the care I gave Addison during his life and especially in his last week with us. I had no idea where we would be going but I had heard her slip when talking to another friend and mention that we would be going on a train somewhere. The morning of our departure, we headed to Baltimore Washington International to grab our Amtrak (or so I thought). When we got on the shuttle, the driver asked us, “which airline are you on?”! I looked at my friend in shock. It turns out she had staged the “slip” and we were about to board a plane to Miami, Florida-- can we say WATER ELEMENT?! Not only had she booked us a stay in Miami with water views from our hotel room and dinner reservations at an award winning restaurant (*taste element*), she had also gotten us tickets to Oprah’s “The Life You Want Weekend”. Did I mention that the entire event was done in the color orange?
Our seats to the event were in row 117 which is one of my special numbers because it signifies being on the right path on your life’s journey and finding your purpose. It was no coincidence that the theme of the weekend was identifying your purpose, which brings me to the energy of working with my Sacral Chakra…
The sacral is about creativity and your passion, or as our french speaking friends (like MTMM) like to say, “joyeux de vivre”. We are all creative beings and, for the purpose of this write up, let us look at creativity as feminine energy and let us look at the “rat race” or to-do lists as masculine energy. When we are going-going-going and focused on completion and accomplishment, we are out of balance with our masculine and feminine energies. In order to cultivate feminine energy, we must make space for it. If we are thinking about what was, we are living in the past and if we are worrying about what will be, then we are living in the future; in order to be creative we need to slow down, clear our minds, and be fully present. I realized that the energy of my panda was the energy of the concept of MASTERY OF THE MOMENT.
It is my belief that to do lists and achievement based motivation takes me out of the present moment and further away from connecting to my 117, my purpose. Fulfilling commitments and moving through tasks are important but it needs to be in balance with the feminine, creative side of you to move you forward. Are you connecting to what satisfies you, what is delicious to you, what is sexy to you? Are you connecting to that joyeux de vivre that is the core fuel to your flames? BAM, I realized the reason I was having a difficult time connecting to my red panda and the energy of the sacral was because I was having a difficult time being in the moment, I was worrying about the future and getting things done and what my schedule would be the next day, and the week after, and when I would get my Christmas wrapping done, and go-do-achieve-complete-accomplish (sound familiar?). Where had my adventure escaped to? Was there any time for fantasy left?
My panda helped me identify that I was not honoring my creative side. How could I daydream or create if I left no time to be quiet, to be still, to master the moment. Once I connected to the energy of “mastery of the moment”, the energy of the little red panda, it felt sweet and I thought to myself, “life is going to feel so good once I do this work”.
Another lesson I have learned through working my totem pole is that when one major area of your life is out of balance, even if you are fulfilled in every other area of your life, you will not be able to feel overall joy BUT you can feel present moment joy and the more you feel that joy, you can identify which areas of your life are not filled with joy. I am not suggesting that life is void of pain, lessons, or challenge, but I am suggesting using these emotions as a compass and as warning signs. For instance, if I am not able to get out of my head-of-worry to settle into the present moment, perhaps my mind of worry is giving me a message that I have been ignoring over and over and until I process that message, I cannot settle into the joy of my life. There’s an Eckardt Tolle quote that I find to be very useful for processing these unpleasant messages, “When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.” TRY THIS: the next time you are in your head obsessing over your predicted outcome of something or feeling anxious about an upcoming activity, ask yourself, “Is this [area of your life] for my highest and greatest good?” If the answer is “no”, then consider leaving the area of your life, changing it, or accepting it with love… because Eckardt is correct, all else IS madness. Through this exercise I was able to see which areas of my life were out of balance and then choose to leave them, change them, or accept them to create more moments of being in my body, and asking myself those juicy questions: “What fuels my fire? What is my purpose? What is delicious?”
One very big breakthrough my panda helped me through was my decision to close my business down. I realized that my business was not driven by passion any more and so I had to decide if I was willing to accept being in a career that did not fill me up any longer? I chose to leave the situation and started making preparations to close my business and commit to reconnecting with my joyeux de vivre. I was losing part of my true self by staying in this career. Pandas signify going within and introspection and it was important to honor that aspect of my spirit animal and spend a lot of time in my home space just listening and observing my mind and heart.
I had some powerful insights when I was able to be present and almost step outside myself to see how I was being in certain moments and identify patterns and have some of those “a-ha” moments, all things that would not have been possible had I been thinking about the past or worrying about the future. I want to share some of these insights I was able to journal about while practicing the mastery of the moment with little red panda. Here are some of my journal entries written while working with my introspective panda:
“It feels better to feel sad, tearful emotions because I know they will pass and I can not feel this low forever. It hurts to feel good because I know it is a manic high and soon I will be low again and I am fool for having a trip to such a fantasy of feeling-- this pattern is holding me back. I do not believe happiness is an option for me, I truly do not believe that (yet). I, at the end of the day, believe that I am broken and undeserving? No, not undeserving but that I am not built for such a thing because that shows naïveté, that shows ignorance, and that shows something outside of reality, a fantasy. And then you think back to that person who you thought was the love of your life and you think back to the moments you saw your father’s heart stop beating and you strum up all of those memories that will allow this cathartic cry to continue, go deeper, pull harder, and allow you to feel in a time when you have felt like you have lost yourself. The panda asks you to go inward and the sacral is your passion, your reason for living and if you have lost yourself then this is who you think you are, someone who needs pain and suffering to grow, someone who has to be a fighter and survivor but the truth is there will always be loss and pain in your life, you do not have to create it to get inspiration. By living in such a controlled state, by managing so many people, I have lost my guttural passion, my animal self, I do not even want to truly connect with the panda who can show me what I have lost, because then what? Then, who will I be? Resistance was the name of the game-- and I was winning.”
This is an example of going inward and identifying a pattern to have a breakthrough around it, to identify what could be holding you back from connecting to your emotions. The sacral is about speaking freely in relationships but the relationship could be the relationship with your ego self and your true self.
“What is working up your totem pole really about? Your Foot Chakras are just about getting you to take the journey, you find out your gifts at the root and then what really feeds your flames at the sacral but the solar plexus gives you the self-confidence to share these things...then it is time to check back in with your heart and make sure everything is in alignment but more importantly, that everything has been healed for you to move forward (remember the connection of the Foot and the Heart Chakras)? Then your Throat Chakra gives you a voice, perfectly you move to your third eye to make sure there’s wisdom and insight in your sharing, but also to allow you to see light in the dark because your sharing may not be well accepted and finally there is source, to make sure you realize this journey is about your connection to all.”
This is an example of creative thought patterns that come when you give yourself time to be in the moment and give recognition to your inner self.
I will be curious to learn which chakras were the sticky ones for you? As always, I hope that my reflections allow you to identify new pieces along your path with your spirit animals.