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First Chakra: Balanced Foundation




Excerpted from
True Balance: A Commonsense Guide for Renewing Your Spirit
By Sonia Choquette, Ph.D.

How Did I Lose My Chakra Balance?

Many things can upset the balance of your first chakra; some are rooted in the past, and some are in the present. From the past, by far the most influential element is the family environment you encountered at your birth and during your early years. If you grew up in a loving and stable environment, one in which your parents and caretakers were generous and reliable, giving you what you needed easily and effortlessly, chances are you have a very solid and grounded foundation. Unfortunately, many of us were not born into such ideal conditions. More common are stressful, even chaotic homes, where one or both parents was challenged or ineffective, for whatever reason, in taking care of you, destabilizing your natural psychic equilibrium. Conditions such as not having enough money, attention, space, affection, community, or comfort when growing up can weaken our foundation. So can being exposed to threatening or untrustworthy people, such as people who are chronically angry or unreliable. Another unsettling influence is being uprooted from familiar surroundings without preparation or warning, such as moving into a new home, new school, or new social circle. Even frequent travel can destabilize our foundation, as can venturing into the unknown, particularly when we are very young.

As for the present, conditions that can unsettle your foundation include changing jobs, losing a job, not having a job or reliable means of support, or working in a job you do not like or where you feel others are not on your team. Getting married, getting divorced, ending a relationship, fighting and arguing, having a baby, getting into an accident, becoming ill, having an affair, or entering a new relationship, especially where you feel vulnerable, can throw your foundation out of balance. So can experiencing the sudden illness or death of someone you love, or getting a new boss. Taking care of someone who is sick or handicapped or suddenly dependent upon you can destabilize your foundation. In other words, the first chakra can be imbalanced by any condition that threatens your sense of stability, familiarity, predictability, security, or safety. Life itself can be very destabilizing. All unexpected or unpleasant events, the "psychic earthquakes of life," can challenge our foundation and throw us off balance. The worst upsets, however, are not the things that do happen. In fact, most people are extraordinarily adaptable to crises. The most unsettling element to our foundation is thinking and worrying about change before it happens. This unnerves us more than anything.

For example, my client Barbara originally called me urgently to request an appointment. She said she had visited an energy healer because she kept having minor accidents, usually the result of tripping over her own feet. None of her falls resulted in a serious injury, but they were nevertheless very unsettling. Her healer told her this was happening because she had a shaky foundation and was ungrounded. She had no idea what the woman meant and wanted me to help her understand it better. I explained to Barbara that when a person feels ungrounded, it is often because they are entering uncharted waters, and I asked her if she was facing any uncertainty in her life at this time. "Our first chakra is our connection to the Earth," I said, "and having a first chakra problem essentially means that you are in a period in your life where you aren't especially sure-footed. If you aren't sure where you are going or are not taking solid steps, the chances of you falling over go way up. Is that the case for you?"

Barbara laughed and asked, "This couldn't have anything to do with the fact that I am considering leaving my job of twenty years to venture out on my own, could it?"

"Of course it does," I said. "It has everything to do with it! In fact, I'm sure this is exactly what is causing you to stumble. If you'll notice, a job is a source of support. It pays our bills, puts food on the table, brings us security. If you are changing that source, it destabilizes you, especially if you are moving from predictability to uncertainty. Hence, your energy field is reflecting your psychic condition, leaving you ungrounded and off balance. That explains why you may be accident prone. To remedy your problem, think about what you are doing, and don't force anything until you feel more certain."

"So," she said, "you believe I'm uncertain about changing careers, and that's why I keep falling down?" "Yes!" I said. "I do. Once you understand how your energy system works, and how it reacts to your mental state, even to the point of affecting your physical body, the problem becomes obvious. In order to regain your balance, you need to come to terms with your new path. It's not so much the urge to change that is destabilizing you as your waffling. It's as if you were waffling while changing lanes when you are driving. If you vacillate back and forth and don't commit to either one lane or the other, you not only throw yourself off, you throw everyone around you off as well. That's why you must be sure-footed. It can cause accidents if you aren't."

I went on. "At some point you must either make a decision and act on it, or forget about it until you feel ready. Just move out of limbo, Barbara. Then your foundation will rebalance, and you will be back on track." With that advice, Barbara decided to stay a little longer in her present job, until she had a better idea of what she wanted to do. Three short months later, she was offered an early retirement package as a part of a merger deal. With that healthy financial backup, she was able to let go of her job easily and painlessly. Now she is presently working part-time at a florist's shop and learning the art of flower arranging, something she has always wanted to do. And by the way, she hasn't tripped since.

Solid, Not Fixed

Maintaining a balanced foundation is an ongoing and at times tricky process because it actually requires that you adapt to the ever-changing nature of life, bending like the branches of a tree to its ebb and flow while maintaining your roots. Though it is important to have stable and predictable conditions in your life when it comes to safety and security, it is neither reasonable nor realistic to insist that life be either stable or predictable in order to be secure. It isn't. Rather than trying to control your external environment, which none of us can ever do, it is far more reasonable and grounding to create an inner environment that supports you, which you can always do. Pay attention to what calms your spirit, soothes your soul, and helps you feel safe and secure in the world, and then to the best of your ability, regardless of the conditions around you, preserve those conditions, no matter what.

For example, though I love writing books and talking with people, I have discovered that going on lengthy speaking tours or working away from home for longer than a week at a time is very ungrounding, not only for me but for my family as well. After all, a family is a system, and when one person is off balance, it can't help but affect everyone else. Airports, hotel rooms, bad food, the effort of travel itself all wear me out and leave me feeling in need of the familiar and comfortable in a big way. My being gone also destabilizes my husband and children, who depend upon me to sustain the family dynamic that we've set up. It's not that I don't like to travel, because in fact I love it. But after a certain period of time, I begin to miss the daily routines that give me a sense of belonging to my home and family. I miss the delicious and healthy food that my husband prepares. I miss the family rituals over dinner and at bedtime that give all of us a sense of safe haven and solidity. I miss chatting with the neighbors and having dinners with friends. Though lecturing and teaching around the country are a terrific part of my life, I have come to discern when it's just enough and when it's too much. And I maintain that pace. That's how I preserve my foundation: by recognizing what I need to feel safe, sound, and solid and not giving these things up, no matter what distractions the outside world or even my own mind may present.

A musician friend of mine, Mark, has discovered some simple coping techniques for maintaining his foundation while traveling. These include bringing along mint tea bags, eating oatmeal for breakfast (not always easy to find), and walking at a very even and steady pace, no matter how rushed he is. The outcome is that he stays grounded.

The more aware of and faithful you are to the rituals and routines that help you feel rooted, the more adaptable you will be when life throws you a curveball and you are required to make changes in a hurry. No matter what goes on around you, you will be able to maintain your balance and stay solidly grounded in your energy.



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