On Monday, January 8th, I started a 7 day Chakra Challenge with Alisha Leytem. I met Alisha through mutual friends when I was in graduate school in Minnesota. Social media has kept us connected and I have been in awe of her way of life! It is amazing and I would love to be able to do something similar one day. So, when she posted this free challenge, I was immediately on board! I had already been wanting to learn more about chakras but was a bit overwhelmed by everything I was absorbing online.
My new desire for a chakra education came from one of my personal goals for 2018, reducing my stress. Read more about that here.
Now, let me walk you through my 7 day experience!
Day 1: Root Chakra
After a busy morning of emails, phone calls and cabin chores, I found myself opening my first email for the challenge, titled “Day 1: Ground Down!”. I have been reading about the power of grounding already, yet with all the snow outside, thought I would have to wait until spring to really get grounded. However, the email addressed snow and said just get outside and be in nature. The affirmation for the day was “I am safe. All is well in my world”. In an effort to use more essential oils, I put some vetiver on the soles of my feet and patchouli on my wrists. I took a deep breath in, since the sense for the root chakra is scent, bundled myself up and headed outside with my sweet pup, Porsche.
I repeated the affirmation as we began our walk. I could already tell that some type of weight has been lifted. I felt different. I am outside frequently, yet sometimes forget why. I recall this feeling happening on some of my hikes in 2017 where I found myself become quieter and smiling but not knowing why. The more I hiked, the more I realized the power of nature. However, I didn’t realize it was helping me stay rooted. This new knowledge on why hiking is so powerful to me has expanded my mind beautifully. It also helped me think why I may get such joy and happiness out of touching trees, especially ones that remain a strong constant in my life.
At the end of this challenge, the words that came to me where: Happy. Grounded. Strong. Capable. Relaxed.
When I started learning about how to reduce my stress while trying to conceive (TTC), I read that the sacral chakra can play a huge role in fertility. I was eager to get my email from Alisha, but had a busy day and wasn’t able to open it until the evening. However, that turned out to be exactly when I needed to open it! The email was titled “Day 2: Be A Dreamer”. Although my day was hectic and long compared to most, I needed to dream. Opening the email encouraged me to finish my to-do list while preparing to heal my sacral chakra. I cooked dinner, enjoyed it, practiced yoga and meditated before starting the challenge.
There were two parts to this challenge. The first was to journal with the prompt, “If I could do anything and know I would be successful in doing it no matter what, what would I do?” I was so overwhelmed, thrilled and just straight up emotional about this prompt. I ask myself this a lot but never seem to fully answer it. So I did. It looked like a list to me. Doula. Nutritionist. Midwife. Yoga teacher. Wellness Coach. Forest Therapy Guide. Blogger. Author. Wow! Just wow. I ended it with “Jump in, Samm! If not now, when?” But, aren’t we all bold in our journals?
The second part was to take a salt bath. I didn’t have epsom salts (they are on the list for the next time I go to town though…) so I went to google and read that I could mix ¼ cup each of sea salt and baking soda and bring to a boil with a quart of water. Since orange was an essential oil that I learned pairs with the Sacral chakra, I added some fresh orange zest. I then took my first bath in months! I had dim lighting, candles, a spa playlist on Spotify and some light reading I had been meaning to get to, The little book of Hygge. Time flew by and I easily surpassed half an hour. Towards the end, I put the book down and began just breathing and taking in the atmosphere. I found myself resting my hands in the shape of a heart on my sacral chakra, just below my belly button. I laughed at how ironic this was but continued relaxing and embracing the moment!
I then took notice of my calm breathing and three words came to me: Safe. Brave. Alive.
I woke up ready and eager to tackle the next chakra! The daily email was titled, “Day 3: You Are Powerful”. As I read the challenge I was not excited anymore. But I think that was ok. The deal was, however that I needed to complete it! The challenge was to take one bold action step toward the desires we shared on Day 2. I read it, ate breakfast, headed out and shoveled snow for three hours. But when came in, I had a lunch rich with curry spices, drank some kombucha and made a cup of ginger, pepper and turmeric tea. I did not have any oils in house that matched with the chakra, yet these digestive herbs are also healing for the Solar Plexus chakra, according to the internet.
As I began sipping my tea, I decided to post a blog. I had one written that was not yet posted. I re-read,edited and uploaded it. Bam! Step taken. But then, I kept writing! I started this blog post which I won’t be able to post until the end of this challenge, but I took another step!
I also took some time to review the book I had started to write and come up with a small plan to move that project forward.
The affirmation for this challenge was, “I am the powerful creator of my life. I align my actions with my goals.” When I first read that, I didn’t connect. Then a silly thing happened, I texted one of my best friends a photo of my first successful fizzy homemade kombucha. She wrote to me, “You’re good at everything you set your mind to. I’m always amazed by your talents”. Blushing, I didn’t know how to accept this compliment. It came on the perfect day at the perfect time.
The words that came to me as I smiled were: Confident. Capable. Smart.
On Thursday I was home alone. Jeff had an early dentist appointment. I got to my honey do list and sat down to read my email from Alisha, titled, “ Love You”. The challenge was to perform one act of kindness. At first, I felt stumped. I was in the woods, far from anyone and with no plan to leave. Hmm. I couldn’t buy the person behind me at Starbucks their coffee or leave a scratch ticket at the gas pump. I went to google and started looking up random acts of kindness that were done online. So many felt disconnected to me and didn’t feel “right”. Then, it came to me! I have so many people in my life that more than deserve a reminder to how amazing they are. I set out to connect with them and let them know how much they inspire me and all the love I have for them. Some I hadn’t been able to connect with for a while and I really think it brought them just as much happiness as it brought me.
A few friends I wanted to reach were unavailable. I took the time to sit down and write them cards. I strongly believe they all needed them for different reasons. One, we really needed to reconnect. The two others were going through some tough stuff and if we had lived closer, I would have been visiting with them and helping any way I could. Although a card isn’t the same as a coffee date or helping them put away dishes, I hope it remind them I am just a call away.
I quickly realized, there is one person who needs to know I appreciate them more than anyone else, my AMAZING husband. How perfect was it that he was gone? I took all the house trash and cabin trash to the dumpster, a task he always does! Then, I brought in a ton of wood for our wood stove, a daily chore that often falls on him. Next, I grabbed his laundry and put away the clean clothes and washed the dirty ones. We lost power for a few hours so it wasn’t done before he got home, but I finished it. He was surprised.
The affirmation of the day was, “I am peace. I am joy. I am love.” I couldn’t stop imagining the character Joy from Inside Out. My uncle calls me Joy after this character which warms me to my soul every time! I started to realize, all the outstanding people in my life that bless me with their presence fill me with such joy, which clearly reflects into my personality! As I offered kind words to those I love, my heart filled more and more! I received all the kindness back tenfold!
I smiled in appreciation for all that I am grateful for: Joy. Blessed. Unique.
“Tell the Truth”, the email said. But I am not lying? Hmm. The challenge was to speak my truth. She said the first thing that came to mind would be the right thing. But nothing came.
Literally just moments later, I received a text from a close friend. She has been dealing with an issue that has been challenging for her and I just shared my honest opinion with her. In that very moment, I was shocked by the irony. Ironic things have happened more than once this week. I then chuckled and realized how amazing my friends are! People I can always be truthful with, even when its hard!
A quote came to my mind, “ Best friends are people you don’t need to talk to every single day, you don’t need to talk to each other for weeks, but when you do, it’s as if you’d never stopped talking.”
Later in the evening, I practiced speaking my truth with my husband. Although always truthful with each other, there have been times over the past few months where our truths are hard for the other to here. Sometimes one of us gets frustrated, yet we still need to hear the truths! My husband listened and absorbed my truth. No one got upset. It was very healing for our relationship.
The daily affirmation hit a soft spot. When I read, “ I am living my true purpose in alignment with divine will,” I started to think about our TTC journey thus far. I have been debating sharing this on social media because it is a vulnerable subject, yet it is my truth. This affirmation helped me realize that however and whenever I become a mom, it will be in alignment with divine will. It may take a year or years. It may be adoption. It may be in a way I have yet to imagine. However it happens, it will be my truth and in alignment with divine will.
Emotional charged, I felt: Honest. Open. Ready.
“I am an intuitive person and I know what is right for me.” Damn straight! I love this affirmation! The challenge was to do an eye opening meditation. I have just began a mediation practice (Jan 1st!) and was eager to add a second mediation to my day. She said to look into your third eye and you would “see” what you needed to see.
After getting set up with my blanket folded under my bum and some mediation music on, thanks again Spotify, I began to sink into this mediation, repeating the affirmation. When it came to me, I found my face flooding with a huge smile. S-L-O-W. I am doing what I need to do for me. Reducing my stress with yoga, meditation, essential oils, chakra healing, removing oxidative stress. It is all what I need to be doing but I need to go slow!
I am the queen of rushing. I am known for scheduling every tiny part of my day. I have been addressing my need to slow down but being reminded it applies to my spiritual education too was powerful.
Slow. Secure. Satisfied.
At first I didn’t want to open this email. I didn’t want this week to come to an end! The last challenge was to mediate, just sit and be. Ok! Yay. An opportunity to focus on mediation again.
But, after I let the challenge sink in, I began to realize how important this was to me today! I had been busy all day cleaning, decluttering, doing laundry and just going. Now it was time to sit and be still. As mentioned before, this is not my strong suit. I need reminders. Well today, I got one!
I came to the floor, settled in and set a timer for 10 minutes. I usually meditate for 5 since I am still a beginner but I felt like I needed more. I peacefully meditated for 8 minutes before losing my focus. I would later reach 10 minutes while doing my training practice with Headspace. Afterwards, I felt relaxed and re-balanced. I was able to focus on moving through my evening in a calmer and more preset way.
Alisha suggested expanding this challenge by reading some spiritual texts. I made a cup of tea and headed into my cozy bed with my furbaby by my side. Although not necessarily spiritual text as much as an educational text, I reached for the …isms book I was gifting in college and have held onto over the years. I chose to read about Buddhism. I loved reading this and began to reflect on my 2018 de-stress goals and realized education is a huge part of this. Also, I want to get my hands on some spiritual texts! Any suggestions?
As I realized the challenge was now over, I felt: Balanced. Excited. Focused.
Now I was eager to jump in deeper to chakra healing but I am going to go slow. I have some other de-stressing related books on my shelf that I am going to spend some time focusing on over the next week and see where it brings me. However, I feel as though this week has changed me permanently already. Unprompted today I went outside with Porsche for a long walk and repeated, “I am safe. All is well in my world”. I came in and after lunch drew myself a bath with dim lighting and the same book. I then chose to sit down and finish this blog. As I rap this up, I am smiling and eager to see what the future holds for me. Thank you, Alisha for expanding my mind!