Expressing your Truth — Communication (expression) is all about letting others see who you really are, under the skin, without games, lies and evasions.
The Zen of Letting Go
We’re continuing along on our journey through the Chakras, and talking about the way we develop the skills necessary to be fully human. Last week, we arrived at the Heart, which I equated with compassion and vocation. This week, we look at discovering and dropping blocks to expressing your passionate vocation.
The Throat Chakra is the doorway to expression
Now, you need to think in broader terms than just speaking. The Throat area acts as a sort of gate / barrier to “letting the cat out of the bag.” Remember, everything about us is set into motion by our parents and tribes, so what we “naturally” let out has a lot to do with what we were encouraged to express. What we don’t let out is all of the stuff our tribes helped us to repress—our passion, potentiality, and “true being.”
As you may recall, her parents, both physicians, were aghast at the idea of their precious daughter attempting to paint for a living. She mentioned one line they used: “We support the arts! We don’t make art!” The passion for making art never left her, however.
What did happen was that she didn’t (almost) paint—she had a lot of sex. By the time she was 30, she’d had 40 sexual partners, or so.
Well, artistic passion (one flavour of “passion for life”) resides in the 2nd Chakra. The passion is energetically created and stored at the 2nd Chakra, which matches the Lower Dan Tian, and is located inside the lower belly. This Qi, this energy, powers everything we do.
So, the yearning to “relate” by painting (or creating anything you are passionate about) is found at belly level, but on the back of the body. Call it the sacrum.
Unexpressed, the energy has nowhere to go, and there is an ache of longing that radiates from the lower back.
Now, the front of the body is the home to sexual passion, so it doesn’t take a leap to figure out what my artist friend was doing with all of that energy. Since she wasn’t allowing herself to paint, her only options were to find another release, or to suppress the energy. She mostly chose to burn off the charge of passion by being sexual.
Other people will take the energy and throw it onto something more mainstream and approved of.
They’ll put it into career, or interfering in their kid’s lives, or trying to micro-manage their parents or partners. In other words, the passion of relating gets turned into attempting to control others.
I don’t want to retreat back to the 2nd Chakra, but let me say this:
the 5th Chakra is the expression gate for the passion created by the 2nd. Developmentally, it’s all about finding elegant ways to get your passion out. This can also apply, for example, to communication.
Elegant Communication is a 5th Chakra skill, and communication makes the passion to relate (C2) real
Here’s a paradox for you. I know a few quite successful people that have yet to master the skills necessary to have meaningful relationships. We’re talking exactly the same energy. In this case, while they might be building buildings, making art, writing books, whatever, their relationships suck. They know what they want, but are unwilling or unable to create (C5) an elegant relationship.
You might say that the 5th Chakra is all about open, honest, and vulnerable communication.
That’s no matter whether the communication is verbal or through the production of something.
~ If you are not producing something, anything, that is a clear expression of the deepest part of you, you are stuck.
~ If you are waiting for permission to get on with it, you are stuck.
~ If you refuse to let people in, you are stuck.
~ If you refuse to let your gifts out, you are stuck.
The mechanics of being stuck
OK, so in bodywork, what I notice is a direct link between Chakra 5—the jaw points, the top of the shoulders, and the 2nd Chakra, at the pelvis. Now, this isn’t 100%, but often, as I work on the jaw points, for example, my client will begin to rock or move “her” pelvis. It’s like the body is saying, “See! This is the issue!” To move the pelvis is seen by many as provocative. To be passionate is seen as unseemly. To take the content of your “true being” and put it out there, for all to see, is scary. Better to clamp down.
Oddly, it’s not all that difficult to get the body to let go. You push, the muscles release, the chi flows, and all is well. Except…
Most people go right back to blocking themselves!
One of my most favourite TV shows is “In Treatment,” and the 3rd season started last week. The protagonist is Paul Weston, a psychoanalyst. The methodology has shifted a bit this year, but the “normal” pattern is for the show to run 5 nights a week, 30 minutes an episode. Nights 1–4, we see Paul with one of his patients. Night 5, he’s with his analyst. I’ve only seen 4 episodes, and they’ve shifted a bit — 3 clients, and Paul with a new therapist.
Anyway, I love this show. It is so true to what actually happens in therapy that it’s scary.
Last night, Paul was with the new therapist, wanting his sleeping pills renewed. She was not quick to write a prescription. Paul deflected and blocked her every question. This is so real — clients resist cooperating! It takes great courage to sit there, be vulnerable and open, and really let the therapist know what’s going on. Most people come and hope to hear how well they are doing. Some only show up when things are OK—it’s too difficult for them to show up in the midst of the messy stuff.
The cool part last night was Paul, sitting there, talking about Gina, his former therapist—how great she was, how famous, etc. As I said, he also blocked his new therapist’s attempt to get to the bottom of his sleep issues. (I’m paraphrasing the dialogue…)
“I’ve worked with my therapist for decades, she’s famous, you’re a baby therapist, I’ve already got myself all figured out! Stop asking me uncomfortable questions! ”
He does admit, however, that he’s having a bad dream—it’s waking him up.
“But I’ve analyzed myself and I know what the dream is about. Now, give me my pills!”
The new therapist writes a prescription, walks Paul to the door, and says, (still paraphrasing)
“Well, you’ve analyzed your dream, and have been with the most famous therapist on the East Coast. So, I’m wondering one thing. If you have it all figured out, how come you’re still having the dream?”
In other words, “You’re stuck! Are you willing to actually do something about it?”
That’s the key to the show. Paul is a great therapist, yet when “In Treatment,” he deflects every attempt to get him to open up and really be open, honest, and vulnerable. And this, in turn, is only possible with an open 5th Chakra.
Here is the job of a blocked 5th Chakra—to hide
To deflect, to be obscure, to keep things hidden, and to repress the actual expression of one’s passion. The body may rebel, causing aches, and pains, illnesses, a shadow of a life, but resistance is the norm.
Oddly, the only way out of this mess is to actually, with passion and engagement, DO SOMETHING
- The only way to make art is to make art.
- The only way to write is to write.
- The only way to communicate with elegance and honesty is to communicate with elegance and honesty.
- The only way to move through a block is to tackle it head-on.
- The only way to free your passion is to find where it’s blocked and open things up.
- The only way to have a successful relationship is for YOU to stop blaming, and to start relating with elegance and clarity.
This week, have a look at how you hide, run away, resist your passion, refuse to communicate who you are, really. Notice how you block yourself from sharing your pain, sharing your joy. Notice how you distract yourself from getting down to actually doing something.
Then, find something, anything, to focus on, and do it!
Next week, “insight!”