The seven chakras and their gift of creativity

 

What are Chakras?

The ancient yogis intuited that we all have subtle energy paths + centers all throughout our bodies. These centers are spinning wheels of energy called Chakras. Different spiritual paths describe different numbers of chakras and have assigned them different colors and attributes.

How to sense your own Chakras

The concept of the Chakras can seem really abstract and as with all subtle energy, not always readily accessible. In other words, you might not be able to feel into your own chakras and understandably, be a little bit skeptical about their existence.

And I totally get that. It’s one thing to read in a yogic text explaining that the body is made up of entities of subtle energy and when these major vortices of energy align, boom, you reach enlightenment.

It’s a whole other thing to experience the energy of these different centers for yourself. Can you really feel them in your body and have momentary (or sometimes sustained) glimpses of awakened connection with yourself and everything around you? And if you can feel them, what do they feel like?

The Tantras tell us that we all are already awake, divine, creative and connected, we are just in an on-going process of forgetting that and then remembering it again.


I like to think of the chakras as tiny gateways into the remembrance of that awakened state.

They offer us themes to work with and help us understand our experiences, traits, idiosyncrasies, and issues a little bit better. By working within the qualities and attributes of each chakra (qualities that might feel more tangible than subtle energy,) we can come to know ourselves a little bit better.  

Kundalini + your divine creative nature

It’s hard to talk about the Chakras without also talking about the energy of Kundalini.

As I understand it, kundalini is a specific form of Shakti (divine feminine energy), it’s sometimes even referred to as kundalini-shakti.

This specific form of energy is said to be coiled at the base of the spine (the root of the word Kundal, actually means “coil”) and it arises up through each of the energy centers all the way to the Crown chakra where it unites with Shiva, consciousness.

This unification of Kundalini-Shakti (divine creative energy) with Shiva (consciousness) enables a full awakened and creative state for the individual.

This is called a Kundalini awakening.

But what does this mean for regular ole yogis like you and me?


I believe that even though most of us aren't walking around in states of enlightenment, we are all having tiny awakenings happening within us all the time; little moments of oneness, peace, stillness, and expansive creativity.

Awakened Kundalini=Inspired Creativity

I also believe that within the small awakenings we experience in our every day lives, there is something profound happening to our creativity.

When the creative energy flows through a chakra and we engage with the qualities of that center, we are awakening new pathways to experience and work with the different aspects of the creative process. 

In my experience, blocked creativity looks a lot like blocked chakras. And when the chakras are awake, alive, energized and vital, and flushed with that crazy creative, powerful Kundalini-shakti, it results in flowing, inspired creativity.

Open chakras work in tandem to help you unfold your creative potential.

The Chakras

 

Name: Mulhadhara

Meaning: “Root Support”

Location: Base of Spine, Perineum

When the root chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Strong and secure in your abilities
  • Like you deserve to create
  • That you can fully believe in yourself as an artist, as a creative being
  • Brave, gutsy even
  • Like a risk taker (in a good way)
  • A stable sense of self-worth

When the root chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Like a fake or a fraud
  • Insecure
  • Self-doubt
  • Unworthy to create
  • Like all the good ideas are gone (scarcity mindset)

Creative Exercise for the Root Chakra

Create a nature mandala. 

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  1. Get out into nature with some time and the intention to connect with the earth. If it’s warm enough, go barefoot! 
  2. Find a place on even ground where you are feeling called to create your mandala.
  3.  Collecting sticks, or stones or any other element of nature that you find, begin to create a circle, a mandala that represents your sense of belonging on the earth.
  4. Spend as much time as you need, breathing deeply while you work.
  5. When you have finished your mandala, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation with your eyes closed or gazing down into your creation.

 

Name: Svadhisthana

Meaning: “Sweetness”

Location: 2 finger widths below the navel

When the Sacral Chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Fluidity
  • Passion
  • Pleasure + joy
  • Expansive
  • Expressive
  • A sense of well-being

When the Sacral Chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Directionless (not sure of your passions)
  • Depleted
  • Disconnected from your feelings + emotions
  • Guilty about making art for the pure pleasure of it

Creative Exercise for the Sacral Chakra

  1. Turn up the tunes, dance in your living room. 
  2. Put on your favorite song.
  3.  Turn it up.
  4. Dance around the room, moving your entire body and especially your hips

Dancing is so good for bringing in more fluidity to the body and waking up sacral chakra!

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Name: Manipura            

Meaning: “Lustrous Jewel”

Location: between the sternum and stomach

When the Solar Plexus Chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Like taking action + making stuff happen
  • Totally motivated to create
  • You can bring ideas to life
  • Empowered
  • Productive in how you spend your energy
  • You know yourself in relation to the world

When the Solar Plexus Chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Highly self critical
  • Depleted in your energy levels
  • Disempowered
  • Procrastination station
  • You can only find answers outside of yourself
  • No motivation to create

Creative Exercise for the Solar Plexus Chakra

Become an explorer in your own backyard.

  1. Grab a sketchbook or journal
  2. Head out for a walk around your neighborhood
  3. Begin looking at items you see everyday (doorways, trees, houses, buildings, gates, etc.)
  4. Look for patterns, textures, symbols, colors, anything unique and interesting that catches your eye and document them in your sketchbook.

Looking at ordinary things in a new way can help break your inertia and rev up the solar plexus chakra.  

  

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Name: Anahata    

Meaning: “Unstruck Resonance”

Location: Center of the chest

When the Heart Chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Free to create
  • Lightheartedness around what you create
  • Spirited + energized
  • Self-acceptance
  • Grace + ease
  • United with the world around you

When the Heart Chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Egotistical
  • Locked in your own self-defined boundaries
  • Fear of rejection
  • Separate from the world around you

Creative Exercise for the Heart Chakra

Paint with the Breath.

  1. Get out some watercolor paper and paint.
  2. Wet down the watercolor paper.
  3. Put some paint on your brush and take a deep inhale. Exhale and let the paint move through the water and over the surface of the page. Continue this process until you have filled the page.

The Heart Chakra is connected with the breath and the energy that is carried into the breath, so tuning into your breath helps to open the heart chakra.

Related: Painting with the Breath: An exploration of Shakti

 

Name: Vishuddha    

Meaning: “Purification”

Location: the throat

When the Throat Chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Comfortable expressing your truth
  • Authentic
  • You are finding your voice and style as a creator
  • Connected to your creative energy
  • A zest for your creative life

When the Throat Chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • You have to hide or suppress your truth
  • Disconnected to a higher truth
  • Like you don’t have a voice
  • Uncreative
  • Worn out
  • You have a hard time saying no to projects/plans/people that don’t fire you up

Creative Exercise for the Throat Chakra

Sing in the Shower.

  1. If you are self conscious about your voice, find a time when no one is around.
  2. Belt out your favorite song or make up one of your own, maybe about how you are feeling in that moment.
  3. Sing at the top of your lungs and in a soft whisper and even if you feel silly.
  4. Notice if you feel any differently after.

Singing wakes up the vocal chords, eases tension in the jaw and mouth, opens up the lungs and makes the Throat Chakra ring!

 

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Name: Ajna

Meaning: “Perception”

Location: Just above the brow at the center of the forehead

When the Brow Chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Intuitive (that feeling when “you just know”)
  • A sense of leadership
  • Imaginative
  • Like you are learning deep lessons from your life experiences
  • Confident in your knowledge

When the Brow Chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Dull thinking
  • Judgemental
  • Creativity is for other people, but not you
  • Foggy brained

Creative Exercise for the Brow Chakra

Draw a Yantra.

  1. A yantra is a geometrical diagram that represents a particular energy or entity
  2. The making of the yantra is a meditation in itself and then can be used as tool to meditate upon.
  3. You will need paper, a ruler, a compass, a pencil and some instructions. I recommend this fantastic book to learn how to create a yantra: Nine Designs for Inner Peace by Sarah Tomlinson

 

Name: Sahasrara

Meaning: “Infinite”

Location: At the top of the head

When the Crown Chakra is awake and flowing with creative kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Connected to your deeper source
  • You have a positive outlook on life
  • Grateful
  • Accepting
  • Embraced
  • Whole

When the Crown Chakra is blocked, cut off from the creative flow of kundalini-shakti, you feel:

  • Disconnected from your source
  • Limited
  • Like you are striving
  • Like something is missing in your life

Creative Exercise for the Crown Chakra

Collage Vision board for what you want to manifest in your life.

  1. Gather magazines, scissors, glue and some poster board
  2. Set a timer for 10 minutes and flip through the magazines and quickly rip out any pages that speak to you about what you want your life to look like
  3. Cut out bits and pieces from these pages and glue them to your board. These don’t have to be pictures of things, they can be textures, colors, patterns that represent what you desire and how you want to feel in your life.