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Inner Power

Strength: It is the courage we find during life’s most difficult times that makes our souls grow.” – Adele Basheer

One of my favorite holiday movies is The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law. It always gives me a warm feeling. It also has some great quotes and points for life. Kate Winslet’s character goes out to dinner with her temporary neighbor, Arthur. Iris (Kate Winslet) divulges her heart break and the reason she is visiting California. Arthur says, “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.” In a moment of self-realization, Iris exclaims, “You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake!”

This exchange has always resonated with me. So many of us live our lives trying to disappear, suffocating ourselves by not exhibiting our confidence. We are the only one that holds us back, we are the only one that keeps us from leading the life we want. Once we find our inner power, the fire that lights inside us, we are able to take control of our life, be our own “leading lady.”

The manipura chakra, the third chakra, and the source of our power and located in the solar plexus. The manipura chakra contains the fire element. Our vitality comes from the third chakra. We develop our self-confidence, self-assurance, and decision making in the manipura chakra.

How do we light our own fire and spread the heat throughout our body? Physical exercise fires up the manipura chakra by heating up the core. Pilates ignites the core, bringing focus to our core. Certain yoga postures such as twisting positions (Parvritta Trikonasana and high lunge twist), which bring constriction and release. Poses that massage the belly (dhanurasana and bhujangasana), press the belly against the earth, connecting the earth with our fire. Boat pose, much like exercises in pilates, burns our fire brighter. Certain pranayama practices, like kapalabhati, also stoke the fire in the manipura chakra.

In the third chakra our ego is born and given agency. We find what we desire in the manipura chakra and give voice and action to those desires. We lack individuation when we stifle our ego, blocking the free flow of energy through the third chakra. As Anodea Judith states, “without autonomy, we are destined to feel shame, which makes us doubt our actions, constantly monitoring the free flow of power through our system” (Judith 187). When we feel shame and uncertainty about ourselves and actions we seek other’s guidance. Then we fall into a habit of letting others make our life choices. This smothers our will and snuffs our inner power. Shame also, disconnects our mind from our body, therefore, when our third chakra is unbalanced we see a lack of communication between the the upper chakras and the lower chakras.

The manipura chakra is known at the “jeweled citadel” because this is where our authenticity is born (Judith 195). We self-define through the third chakra. Our personal inner strength and the ego strength are linked inheritantly. The ego is not an evil piece of ourselves that we should deny, in fact a healthy free flowing ego blossoms ourselves into an individual. The ego only becomes troublesome when we attach too much to the identities the ego forms, when we use our power to control every situation and person around us.

Yoga stresses our need to live free of attachment. This includes our attachment to what we believe we need to be an individual, i.e. money (I am a businesswoman), technology (I am an influencer), books (I am an intellectual), and so on. Our identity is not what we have but who we are at our core. When we embrace our own strength and our own inner power we can lead a life we envision for ourselves.

Next, time you are active whether you are jogging, biking, holding a plank, or settling into Warrior II, draw your attention to the spot at your navel. Imagine a flame burning brighter, warming the whole body, and revel in that power.

You are a warrior! You are strong! And you have the power to take control of your life!

Finding your inner power is as much mental as it is physical. Discover a mantra to chant daily within yourself, like a drum. With acceptance of our own power comes our self-love. We recognize our self-worth. Our love for our own being allows us to expand that love into the universe. As we make small changes to ourselves, our life, we make changes to the universe. Make positive and strong changes to yourself and you will be making positive lasting changes to the universe.

I have a tattoo with the word strength. I decided on this because I wanted a daily reminder to stay strong, because life is unpredictable and brings suffering. While we cannot escape pain and suffering, we can use our inner strength to move forward, to deal, and to heal. The suffering we endure becomes a badge to our being. All our experiences make up who we are and the way we overcome our suffering establishes habits for future choices in the face of pain. Lead a life of peace and positivity and even during the harder times we are able to march forward standing up to our own fears and uncertainty.

All because we have nurtured our internal power. With strength and power we can accomplish anything and conquer anything.

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.” – Janice Trachtman

Judith, Anodea. Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self. Celestial Arts. New York City, New York. 2004.

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