I just realised how thoroughly I’ve boxed myself in. I’ve been diligently constructing the box I like to call my identity or perhaps, my personality, my whole life. I thought I liked the box and I guess I thought it was essentially ‘me’. It wasn’t until the other day that I even had the understanding that the box is separate from the actual, real Tricia.
So how do we define or even recognise this box? Our personality is really only our ‘outer self’ or what we might think of as our socially acceptable self. We only need dig down a little into our inner, darker recesses to observe that many parts of us, including our beliefs, preferences, ideals, habits and prejudices form only the thinnest, most flimsy layer of who we really are. And while this may initially sound shocking and feel very destabilising, when we can get past our attachment to these parts of ourselves, it can be very liberating.
But oh how we cling.
Of course it’s not easy to let go of what we believe is true about ourselves, the world and our place in it. I identify very strongly with many aspects of my outer self, not the least of which is my body and how I feel in it. This is where the experience of being in an earth-bound human body is very instructive. I’m talking about the aging process and what it can do to our sense of self and our ideas of who we think we are over a lifetime. I might cling to the idea that I look a certain way perhaps until my latish fifties, but then, maybe come sixty, the changes wrought will be undeniable and if I’m to enjoy my life and carry on despite ‘looking old’, I must release this care and focus on other things. Goodbye body image box.
One of the other boxes I can now acknowledge and I want to shed is my habit of denying myself pleasure. I’m really good at this. I reckon I’m a bit of an expert…how do I know? Well it’s because I recently began finding ways to bring more pleasure into everyday moments and it made me pause and reflect. I was astonished at how vigilant I’ve been with keeping myself from pleasure.
It kinda goes with the territory when you’re a Virgo though. We are known for our puritanical tendencies….And it’s not like it’s all bad. There’s a sick type of pleasure to be gained from denying, holding back, going without and then….all of a sudden, yes! I’m going to have a piece of chocolate. What a high! But seriously, I’m sure my body is grateful for the many years of deprivation I’ve subjected it to. No really. I’ve never been overweight and have had only one hangover. EVER! I know, total square.
The other way self-denial can be a positive is having the discipline to endure long periods of toil in order to accomplish a goal. It probably contributed to my completion of two degrees and a post grad diploma before I turned 28. But….and this is a big but because, to be honest, having two degrees didn’t really equate with happiness and fulfillment for me …. There’s this. From whence we experience pleasure is from whence our creativity springs and from creative expression comes great pleasure. It’s the circle of life. Without creative expression of some kind, we’re kind of stunted in our capacity to enjoy life.
This is sacral chakra energy. Our sacral chakra is the energy centre for our reproductive urges, sexual and sensual enjoyment, feminine power, creative inspiration and integrated emotional expression. So doesn’t it make sense then, that to be creatively engaged with life and to allow pleasure to seep into every moment possible, we will have healthy energy in the sacral? And as women, we really want to be super-engaged with our sacral chakra because it’s the seat of our capacity to nurture ourselves and others, feel our feelings and be stable in our sense of self. Just think about the archetypal womanly figure, rounded hips and soft stomach creating a safe and welcoming vessel for a baby to form and grow. She is stable and strong in her sacral and the powers that dwell there are revered by all, especially herself.
The sacral chakra is all about receptivity. Can we receive more? Does it feel safe to open up and be the receiver of life’s abundant pleasures and gifts? Goodbye pleasure-denial box.
The way to nurture our sacral is simply to nurture ourselves. Make life fun, comfortable, sexy, pleasurable, soft, open-hearted and even a little bit naughty whenever you can. Turn music on when you cook and clean, eat some chocolate in the morning, take a bath in the afternoon and always say yes to spontaneous invitations that sound good. Enjoy your five senses and be open to what life has to offer. For me pleasure is more time outdoors, more music, yoga, dancing and meditation. More time having fun with the people I love.
Pleasure, creativity and feminine wisdom are inextricably linked. Enjoy. Create. Feel. Know yourself.