How Do Your Chakras Fit Into Self-Awareness?
With mindful organizational leadership, practicing yogis, and social media spiritual messengers on the rise, self-awareness is fast becoming a popular key phrase. But what’s this awareness of self buzz all about, who has it, and how do you get it?
Human beings would not be asking the essential existential question, “Who am I?” unless they thought that there was something more than meets the eye. This is where the practice of self-awareness comes in, to know the who behind “I AM.” In getting to the inner essence of ourselves we use a multitude of tools—from intellectualizing (philosophizing) and religions, to ancient spiritual practices, paid psychotherapeutic sessions, and contemporary 12-step programs.
In this article we’re going to take a look at what self-awareness is, why it’s important and how it’s related to spiritual work—specifically chakra work.
What does self-awareness mean?
Self-awareness is the ability to really look at the naked truth of who we are. It’s getting under the hood and analyzing what we find, then paying close attention in each moment to how we are interacting with the world around us. To be self-aware means understanding and owning our own feelings, thinking processes, motives and subsequent reactions, knowing where our strengths and weaknesses lie.
Yet there’s more. Self-awareness is also the act of diving much deeper into the very essence of who or what is behind the personality we see in the mirror. This is what so many spiritual practices aim to discover—the True Self. When the question “who am I” arises in our brain, just who is it asking the question? Furthermore, who is aware that the question is being asked? At the core, self-awareness is the awareness of being aware.
Are you self-aware?
Studies show that few of us have the measure of self-awareness that we think we do. This means that the majority of us are moving through each day on autopilot, allowing our subconscious mind to rule our lives.
While our subconscious minds are incredibly powerful—having the ability to build and rebuild our bodies, keep trillions of complex, life-sustaining processes working properly every second that we breathe, and bring what we focus on into our physical experience—this perplexing and enigmatic driving force in our lives needs to be provided the right suggestions if we are to have the results we desire in our lives. The only way we can effectively provide beneficial suggestions is if we are aware of what’s going on inside of us, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Two of the methods to becoming more familiar with what’s driving us, and what we are subconsciously trying to achieve, are introspection and healing work (like working toward balance and awakening of your chakras).
What is introspection?
Introspection is the act of looking inward, seeing the role we play, the motives and feelings involved, and what our essential needs are. We also look at how our behaviors, thoughts and actions affect the world around us.
Introspection can also help us go deeper, allowing us to get in touch with our soul and our deepest desires. One way to go deeper is asking ourselves meaningful questions like:
- What makes my soul light up?
- What does the best version of me look like?
- If I could be anyplace on earth, where would I go?
- Who in my life makes me feel good when I’m in their presence?
- What are my most important values?
- What do I love about myself?
- If I had more money than I could ever need, what would I do with my time?
What are the benefits of having self-awareness?
Developing self-awareness is a crucial first step in becoming who you want to be. If you’ve been struggling with a habit that is no longer serving you, for instance, becoming aware of the behavior and the underlying feelings associated with that behavior is a first critical step in helping you to curb the habit.
When we develop greater self-awareness, we learn from understanding our strengths as well as our weaknesses.If we want different outcomes in our lives we need to understand what our patterns are and what the elements within us are that trigger these patterns—both wanted and unwanted.
This is where chakra work can be incredibly useful. Our chakras have a close and interchanging relationship with our emotions and thinking patterns (as well as the physical components in our body). If a chakra is out of balance, chances are the emotions and behaviors associated with that chakra are also out of balance.
Learning to identify which chakras are out of balance through introspection and meditative self-awareness practices can lead to:
- Better physical wellbeing
- More accurate intuition
- Healthier chakras
- Happier experiences
- Knowing your true Inner Power
- Sense of personal empowerment
- Higher likelihood of getting your needs met
- Greater probability of success
- Increased ability to interpret your own motives
- Heightened emotional intelligence
- Changed perceptions about reality and your place in the big picture
- Closer connection with the divine
- Preventing unwanted behaviors
How does self-awareness affect chakra work?
Chakra work is deeply embedded in the art of self-awareness, because you must become more in tune with the subtle signs inside your body and the not so subtle feedback you get from the world about how your personality and personal engagement affect others and your own life.
The alignment and health of our chakras have a major influence on our emotions and our physical wellbeing. Conversely, our internal state (emotional, physical and thinking processes) can have a major affect on the health of our chakras.
For instance, the first (Muladhara or Root) chakra engages in give-and-take interplay with our natural instincts around safety, security and getting our basic needs met. This vortex can affect how self-centered, fearful or in-service we are, and these qualities within our personality also affect the health of our root chakra. Balancing our root chakra and actively engaging in more compassionate, humanitarian and trusting activities are some ways to heal both this chakra and ourselves.
So, raising our awareness about what’s going on in our body and our chakras is invaluable to our healing process.
Self-awareness leads to clarity and clarity leads to chakra awakening.
Chakras can help us immensely in determining where our strong and weak points lie so we can identify thinking and emotional patterns that are not getting us the results we desire. Gaining an understanding of how these powerful vortexes within our subtle bodies influence our emotions and behavior gives us access to an incredibly powerful calibration system—tools that are free and already ours!
When you’ve brought balance to your body and mind through understanding yourself better and making positive changes in your life that reflect a deeper commitment to spiritual growth, you gain insights that lead to clarity. Becoming a clear channel for energies to flow through awakens and activates your higher chakras, allowing you to experience the mystical in your life. You become more at peace and in harmony with others.
Is self-awareness important for spiritual growth?
Developing self-awareness is crucial for spiritual growth. Becoming self-aware is the first step toward becoming the highest expression of your true self. Also, self-awareness is a prerequisite to self-understanding. Knowing something is true isn’t the same as understanding how it works and why it works that way. First we become self-aware and that leads to using that self-awareness to understand vital, elemental parts of ourselves: our emotions, our instinctual drives, and our spiritual nature.
Understanding where our emotions come from leads to greater personal and universal insights. This is why chakra work is such a valuable tool for getting to the underlying, (and often) unnoticed patterns in our lives. These sensitive, powerful vortexes of energy within our subtle bodies show us—through their position in our bodies and their level of activation—where we have blocks and what areas of ourselves we need to focus on.
Finally, through practicing self-awareness and chakra healing, we have the potential to awaken to our true self.
What are some self-awareness techniques for improving our lives?
We’ve already touched on chakra work, introspection and asking yourself some serious soul-searching questions. Now let’s look at a few more ways you can begin to build more self-awareness.
Mindful Presence: the art of simple noticing
When another person says something that stings, take a moment to simply ‘sit’ with the way it feels in your body. You may notice an actual physical sensation somewhere in your body. This is the way our bodies process emotions.
When we don’t take the time to give these emotions the space to be what they are, emotions get stored in the body. Or we lash out, and we risk damaging our relationships.
But when we allow ourselves the time and space to feel our emotions instead of avoiding or stuffing them, they can become powerful guiding tools that teach us essential truths about ourselves.
Becoming intimately familiar with your chakras and how they affect your moods, and subsequently your behaviors, is indispensible in the process of self-understanding. Working to balance all of your chakras will also help balance your emotional state and help you gain clarity. As you’re working with your chakras, and learn about the ways they affect you personally, you’ll begin to notice which chakras are out of alignment based on how you feel. Learning which chakras affect certain behavioral traits and patterns in your life can help you begin to work on those areas—both ethereally in balancing these energy centers, and in action through changing your habitual behaviors.
You can start by asking yourself which chakra is associated with different emotions manifesting as physical sensations in your body:
- Feeling like your solar plexus is crunching in on itself? This may be anxiety, associated with the third or solar plexus chakra.
- Tightness or heaviness in the chest? Try imagining a lotus flower with slowly opening petals, and place it in your heart chakra.
- Suddenly feeling sleepy and confused? Your third eye chakra may need some attention.
Meditation is another great way to build more awareness of self. This ancient practice has been freeing people for thousands of years. Going inward and stilling the mind allows the space to discover our essential self. The endless stream of thoughts that continue to intrude when we first learn to meditate are a keen reminder of what’s going on inside our minds. Paying attention to how these thoughts feel in our body allows us to see what we are creating with our thinking.
Our thinking leads to our emotions, and our emotions lead to our actions, and our actions lead to our circumstances—which lead to more of the same type of thoughts and emotions. Self-awareness helps us stop this cycle and do something new.
We hope this article serves as a good staring point for you on your journey to self-healing and self-awareness. May you find peace, may you find joy, and may you live with an open heart always.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment below to share your comments or questions.