In last week’s article, we began to look at the second chakra. I mentioned that the Second Chakra area, located 2 inches below your navel, is part of a region that encompasses the lower belly and the lower back.
From a developmental point of view, this “relationships area” rests upon the firm foundation of the First Chakra—the groundedness chakra. What’s really important to “get” is the idea that personal, emotional, and relational development requires that you “transcend and include.” In other words, in order to move on, one needs to have mastered each level. Once you are grounded you have the stability to engage in meaningful and stable relationships.
Passion is as passion does!
This week, we look at passion for life. Metaphorically,
passion for life is located at the lower back
—from the waist down, excluding the sciatic nerve pockets.
Contained within this region is the sacrum, the triangle-shaped bone that is just above the tailbone. It is not for nothing that the word sacrum derives from the same root as the English word sacred.
We might take from this that we are built in such a way that we ought to see our life’s work—our vocation—as both sacred, and something to be passionate about.
It is to this sense of sacred passion that we turn our attention.
As we use this series of articles to take a tour through the body, it is important to remember that our goal is balance.
Here’s a weird thought for you.
Given how emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually “dead” most people are,
this seems almost impossible.
Some weeks ago, I wrote that our societies, through socialization, attempt to “normalize us.” I think it’s a bit more insidious than that. When you think about it, people who are compliant, docile, and calm—to the point of boring—are also the easiest to manage.
Society does love its sheep.
Most people are familiar with Thoreau’s famous quote,
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
Passion scares “society,” and passion scares us. We think of those who have been considered creative geniuses, and part of us thinks that their genius hovered on the edge of madness—think van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso.
Mostly, when confronted with passion, we’d like to see it dialed back.
What I’m suggesting, and what I’ve seen in Bodywork, is that our passion for life, or perhaps better put, the thermostat for our passion for life, is set way too low. We think “semi-numb” is normal.
I am really wondering what the world would look like if “normal” was
closer to van Gogh than Elmer Fudd.
Let’s take a moment to talk about balanced Yin and Yang. The first, and perhaps the more obvious distinction is between the left and right sides of the body—the left side being Yin, the right side being Yang.
As we think about passion for life, level hips indicate the perfect balance between Yin intuition and Yang effort. That’s just one example. In other words, passion for life requires both
- an internal, intuitive, emotional YIN component, and
- a practical, thoughtful, rational YANG component.
Here’s another important Yin / Yang comparison. The front of the body is Yin, and the back of the body is Yang.
The front of the pelvis is Yin, and is the home of sexual passion, which must be internalized, absorbed, and shared. We’ll talk more about this next week.
Let’s return to passionate living, vocation, and sacredness.
Passion for life means living out your vocation. I suspect that most of us are aware that at some point in our lives we had one or more “burning desires.” As I said regarding socialization, our parents and tribes want such “burnings” to somehow be inoffensive, so that we can fit in.
For most, our passions and desires were something our parents teased us about—and if that didn’t discourage us from stepping out of the norm, some gentle or not so gentle form of repression was applied.
Parents have dreams and aspirations for their kids, and those dreams and aspirations are framed by the lifestyle and culture of the parents. Most parents freak out when they see the kinds of things that their kids are passionate about—that “turn them on.” So they do what they can to force the kid to fit in. They suggest that the thing that they’re passionate about is just a passing interest, or a hobby. Or they declare it off-limits altogether.
Kids don’t know any better, and actually listen to their parents, so they learn to tighten down and block their passion. From a Bodywork perspective, this involves freezing the pelvis, and tightening the muscles that are just above the pelvis.
Shake it ’til you make it!
And, of course, it is so that Westerners are reluctant to move their pelvises at all.
I remember a trip Darbella and I took to Jamaica, and as we were walking to our room, the bellboy kept saying, to both of us,
“Mon, move your pelvis! You so tight! Walk like this, mon!”
The key to overcoming blocked passion for life is twofold: physical, and mental.
The physical side is about loosening the back pelvis through movement, exercise, and Bodywork. You might also say that the physical side includes actually doing something with your passion—as with an artist, you have to “put brush to canvas.”
The mental side , the Yin aspect, is accomplished by spending time in reflection. Your “passion-o-meter” is likely set pretty low, and you might have even forgotten what used to turn you on. You’re going to need some time to look inside, and to remember.
I’m not sure why, but Jimmy Carter keeps popping into my head.
He took a bit of time out to be the president, but really, two of his passions are bringing peace, and serving others. Which is sort of the same thing.
If you watch him now, 30-some years after leaving the presidency, you will see that he’s pretty much on call when it comes to serving his passion.
He’s often out there, swinging a hammer for Habitat for Humanity. And he’s still the “go to guy” for brokering Middle Eastern peace. Despite being retired, if you get the joke.
Here are a few things to try:
This is a bit of a snapshot of the “passion for life” part of the second chakra region.
For this week, think about creating a masterpiece with everything you do. Continually imagine the fire of passion flowing up your spine. Visualize the sacredness of your life, relax your lower back, and also spend some time moving your pelvis.
I suspect you might be surprised by what emerges.