Rock My Root Chakra


“Call me. It’s important,” she specified in her voice mail.

R. hated to talk on the phone, so I knew it had to be

When she picked up on the first ring, I got scared, as R.
didn’t race to the phone for anyone, not her husband, her friends, or even her
clients. R.’s phone aversion mirrored my aversion to processed foods.  If I were starving on an island and had no
choice but to eat dinner rolls from Perkins to stay alive, I would relent.  If R. were stranded on an island and needed
to make a phone call to get off the island, she would possibly relent.  Yet there is no guarantee. But I

“I know what’s holding you back from moving forward in life
and having everything you want,” R. said excitedly.

“Tell me,” I say.  “Please!
Tell me!”

“It’s your root chakra,” R. says, matter- of-factly. “You‘re
too rooted.  You have worked so hard to
build roots to compensate for the roots you didn’t have when you were younger
that you can’t get off the ground. 
You’re stuck.”

I quickly do a mental scan of my life, including my well-publicized
hang-ups, my hyper frugality, my decision to stay with jobs and relationships  well past their reasonable end points. My
intense rigidity with food.  When I trace these behaviors, they all lead back to my need
to feel grounded and secure, which is what the root chakra, located at the base
of the spine, is all about. 

“You need to let go a little,” she says.  “Once you let go, you’ll see a big shift in
your life.  Treat yourself to a night out
to dinner or at the least, a glass of wine.”

“So, if I have a glass of wine, I’ll get a book deal?”

“Absolutely,” R. says.  

I took the kids to Perkins last night for dinner,” I offer.
I suddenly feel very proud of that decision.

“Oh my God, you ate at Perkins?”

“Of course not.  But I
let my kids eat Perkins.”

“OK, well I guess that counts.”

All I needed to do to get that book deal is booze it up on
occasion and let my kids eat at Perkins? Who knew?   

“You need to do things to unroot yourself.   Like
wear a color other than black, for crying out loud!”

“Oh my gosh! It’s like we have been communicating telepathically,
because I wore my new red pashima wrap to work today.  Wait, and there’s double points in that
because not only was it color, but it was an impulse buy!”

You made an impulse buy?” R. gasps.  “Like something you didn’t need for absolute
survival?  Now that’s real progress!”

“So, between the Perkins dinner, the red scarf, and the
impulse buy, I’m like well on my way to a book deal, right?”

“Well, yeah!”  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the chakra system,
the yogis believed that there are energy centers that reside in specific areas
of our physical/mental/spiritual bodies that are responsible for the reception
and transmission of certain life energies. 
There are tens of thousands of these receptors all over our bodies and
seven major ones that run up the spinal column. They are responsible for such
energies as survival, pleasure, personal power, compassion, communication, and

For me personally, I have spent a lifetime creating the
illusion of security in different areas of my life – yet ultimately, no amount
of security can make me feel secure and no amount of “security” can provide
security, because as we all know, life can change on a dime.  My hyper healthy diet is no guarantee that I
won’t get sick, and as far as my extreme frugality goes, who’s to say that the
stock market and the banking system won’t topple tomorrow.  We just don’t know.

We have so very little control that we scurry to find things
that give us the illusion of control. 
Being smart with finances is one thing, but stopping all of my
disposable spending is not necessary. The same with food. Will the one Perkins
dinner roll kill me?

This brings me to the phrase on my belly this week, as prescribed
by my transformative coach E. It’s quite fitting after my girlfriend's deconstruction of my root chakra:

A balanced life


A picture is worth a thousand words, or a thousand chakras,
I should say!

Namaste, Divas!  

Are you rigid in certain areas of your life?

What would happen if you let go of this rigidity?

What does having a balanced life mean to you?

Have you said hello to your root chakra lately? 



Rock My Root Chakra — 23 Comments

  1. Ha! Fabulous.
    I have been uprooted by force over the past two years … I was completely rooted in my job/career and left because of an abusive work environment, though I also felt imbalanced in my commitments to work and family … and since then have been drifting around trying to figure out how to re-root. I definitely need balance there.
    Food … same thing. Uber-healthy, except when I toss the diet to hell.
    I think balance is something we need to work on forever, though. Because the ground never stops shifting under our feet. A balanced life would mean knowing when to let go, having the tools to recenter, and being able to be kind to myself, to be OK with the wobbly in-between, just like we are in asana. 😉

  2. Only comment I have Ilene is that I’m totally impressed with your 6 pack of abs in this picture!!! You must be doing something right! Call it whatever you wish, but Damn girl! You are looking great! 🙂

  3. Reading this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m sitting at work absolutely miserable after just witnessing my boss go off on a coworker for no apparent reason. I have a horrible tendency to stick to things WAY after their shelf life and I’ve given thought as to why. LOTS of thought. I don’t know if its the need for security so much as just a general lack of faith in myself that I can do better. I’ve stuck myself with this job because “at least I have a job”, is the excuse I’ve given over and over. It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re planted somewhere you don’t want to be, but only by your own making. You have a great friend there for telling you to shake loose and push yourself out of that rigid mindset. And I have to thank you (along with my close friends) who are helping push me out of mine. It’s not easy, but the desire to have a more balanced life where I’m happy with my choices far outweighs the struggle. Anyway, sorry for rambling here….Like I said, this came at a perfect time. Hopefully I can apply this to finding a job that’s worthy of my time and effort! Thanks Ilene. 🙂

  4. I think we should all just create our own little commune and live off the land! I’ve been having a very difficult time with life/balance lately. There’s guilt, followed by more guilt and even more guilt if I feel I can’t get my stuff together. I think it’s time for me to get off my “root chakra” and do something about it.

  5. I am rigid in so many ways. I know if I let go of somethings that my girls would probably have more fun too. I tend to like things a certain way and if they aren’t…I can get pretty grumpy.

  6. OMG, OMG, OMG – I couldn’t even finish reading the post I was so freaked out – we are twins in every way. I want to cry – I’ve received the same feedback the past few weeks (actually for the past six years, but who is counting?) – not root chakra specifically, but the feedback about my control serving me well while I was growing up, but perhaps stifling me somewhat now. The feedback to find small ways to let go. And big ways. Every time I do, first I feel the lightness, then the terror (the reason I didn’t let go any sooner), then the joy. I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone but me, but I was so excited, I had to share. Ok, book deals for both of us! Maybe we’ll end up writing something together ;-). xoxo

  7. I’m with Mary – I feel like I’ve been getting similar feedback too. I’m so super rigid in some areas but have trying so hard to let go some more. I feel so stuck in my job/career and other areas but it’s not bringing me peace or joy. I’m trying to remain open to the idea that not everything has to go according to the “plan.” We’ll see how that goes…But you are doing a tremendous job.

  8. Ha! I love how you describe your relationship with food – it kind of sounds like mine! My “food choices” don’t exactly go to hell, but I’ve been known to hide in the corner with a bag of vegan chocolate chips…
    I love how you describe balance – I actually paraphrased this earlier this evening when I was teaching a yoga class because you are so spot on about the balance always shifting.
    Have you ever considered teacher training? My oh my would you be a great yoga teacher!

  9. I so, so, so, feel your pain like I can’t even describe. It’s the worst feeling in the world to feel stuck – and perhaps even worse to know you are stuck but not know how to move forward. I’ll make a deal with you – I will take baby steps, and you take some baby steps and hopefully we will have the strength together that we did not have alone – OK?
    BTW – happy 2 month anniversary! And to a brilliant future!

  10. I 100% get the lightness, the terror, and then the joy. Totally. This applies to big things and things as little as my dinner at Perkins with the kids! Because Oh my god! I was letting them eat processed dinner rolls that I would NEVER allow them to eat – but once I saw they would not be killed my them, there was joy! Of course, this applies to the big things too – the major life changes, but some of them take me way too long to commit to due to this fear.
    We really are so much alike, it’s scary. Something tells me your book may be similar to mine in many ways – but much more eloquently written – you know I think you’re the bomb.

  11. Thanks, Christine! It’s such a journey and a slow one for me. I am much less rigid than I was a year ago or two – but still SO RIGID! The Perkins dinner was actually a BIG DEAL as crazy as it sounds! But I am a believer in small steps. I am wishing peace and joy for both of us!

  12. You’ve got yourself a deal! I pushed myself with the blog so I can check that off my life’s “to do” list. Now comes the career. Hearing your stories certainly helps me so I hope to make both of us proud!! Thank you so much Ilene. Have yourself a wonderful weekend- shake loose and do something new! 🙂

  13. Ilene,
    I don’t know if it’s my root chakras, but it’s definitely something that doesn’t let me soar sometimes, like I am too rooted to the ground and to the rigidity of my life and the demands on it, that I have forgotten to let go.
    I haven’t forgotten how to drink wine. In fact, I am probably WAY too good at that.
    But in terms of spiritually giving myself some room to wiggle around in and just be happy, that I need to work on.
    Wishing you peace and joy.
    Namaste, Sister.

  14. I 100% hear what you are saying – as the demands on me have grown throughout life, I have used rigidity to gain a sense of control – it works but it doesn’t – you know what I mean? I need to let go….because that’s the only way we can create space for that wiggle room! Wishing you peace and joy in return. xo

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